It’s not overly important to look good when cycling. After all, when you’re almost 30 miles into a timed ride — drenched in driving rain and about to tackle an incline that would make an Olympian wince — the last thing on your mind should be the cut of your jacket, or style of your shoes.
And yet, not every ride is a record-breaking attempt. When you’re on a more leisurely trip, or a two-wheeled morning commute, it pays to put a little more effort into your appearance. You can’t be rolling up to the office wearing a crinkly cagoule and cargo shorts now, can you? So, to save our dear readers from any more cycling style mishaps, we’ve identified the finest fashion and accessory brands that’ll put the panache back into your pedalling…
For subtle, versatile cyclewear, Rapha
Back in 2004, when Simon Mottram launched Rapha, his aim was to create the finest performance roadwear available to modern men. 18 years later, and his free-wheeling fashion empire is still growing. This year, the Rapha Cycling Club continues to welcome like-minded members (over 20,000 global cyclists and counting), and the brand’s latest collection shows that Rapha is still one of the best in the world at what it does.
Just take a look at our picks from the athleisurewear label. Dubbed an ‘On- And Off-Bike Waterproof Jacket’, this simple, black zip-up is as versatile as outer layers come — and will soon become a mainstay of your everyday wardrobe, cycling or not. The ergonomic, lightweight trousers are similarly practical, and would look as comfortable in the office as they would on a mountain trail. And the ‘Explore’ shoes? They’re head-turning, tip-top lace-ups, designed in-house at Rapha from the ground up.
Rapha Men’s Hooded Rain Jacket II
Rapha Trail Lightweight Pants
Rapha Explore Shoes
For the most suave cycling bags, Alban
Another British brand, Alban was inspired by our nation’s hardy workwear aesthetic. Think sturdy cotton canvas and reliable leather straps — pieces built to last and designed to match both your bicycle and your wider wardrobe. Every bag is handmade in London, and with details crafted from nickel plated brass and stainless steel, they’ll stand up handsomely to even the bumpiest, most bustling cycle commute.
The brand also appeals to our Savile Row reverence — as it offers a bespoke service, altering colours and the cut of certain bags for customised creations. But the existing designs are just as good. We especially like the bags and backpacks that can double as panniers for your bike; seamlessly separating from your frame once you lock up. If you’re looking for practical bike bags, there’s no brand better.
Alban Tote Backpack Pannier
Alban Cycle Satchel Pannier Backpack
Alban Convertible Roll Top Pannier Backpack
For sporty-but-chic clothing, Café du Cycliste
Technically astute, but designed to remain as elegant as many modern luxury menswear brands, Café du Cycliste are among the finest fabricators of luxury cyclewear. Be it merino layering pieces or genuine cycle jerseys, there’s something for everyone in the collection — whether you’re a Sunday enthusiast or an ardent everyday rider.
Many of Café du Cycliste’s idiosyncratic shirts could double as bold summer button-downs — worn without a bicycle in sight. The brand’s ‘Francine’ striped shirt, for example, takes the iconic Breton pattern and gives it a sporty spin. The ‘Jeanette’ overshirt is slightly more restrained, but perhaps even more versatile. And the ‘Petra’ gilet will work for long rides, chilly offices and weekend lounging.
Men’s ‘Francine’ Breton Jersey
Men’s ‘Jeanette’ Overshirt
Men’s ‘Petra’ Gilet
Want more style tips? Here are the five pieces of modern menswear every man should own…
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