We love riding our bicycles in the city. Wearing neon Lycra? Not so much. So we were delighted to hear that H&M is teaming up with London's Brick Lane Bikes (BLB) to design a special collection of men's cycling gear that you'll want to wear even after your ride is over. Sadly, the product isn't available until March 7, 2013. In the meantime, we asked the guys at BLB for tips on how to stay stylish while riding your bike.
Is there any way to wear a helmet and look cool?
We believe that helmets are essential for every rider, even though they're hard to match with the rest of your outfit sometimes. We like skating/snowboarding helmets from Bern and also the amazing Ribcap, which are soft-shell helmets that look just like a beanie.
What's the most important thing to think about when dressing for a bike ride?
The most important thing is comfort. When riding a bike you're constantly moving, so you don't want to be restricted by uncomfortable jeans or a tight jacket. You also have to be prepared to ride in different weather conditions. Your jacket should be waterproof but you don't want to overheat, so you need ventilation in the hottest areas, which are the armpits and the back.
I think we did a good job with the water-resistant jacket in this collection. H&M chose a great material for it and we added details such as big zips under the armpits, adjustable Velcro wrists and a big aerated area in the back. When it's very, very cold, especially at the beginning of the ride, make sure that everything is closed and zipped up, then, slowly start unzipping the armpits or the back (especially if you're wearing a backpack) and the wrists to cool down the body.
What should a man NOT wear when riding his bike?
You wouldn't want to ride in non-breathable material, which will make you sweat way too much.
What piece of clothing should avid bikers have in their closets?
__ Good reinforced trousers and a high-quality. water-resistant jacket are essential. The chinos in this collection have a reinforced gusset, which will make them last much longer than an average pair of chinos.
How do you incorporate reflective materials into your outfit without looking like a crossing guard?
__ Reflective details, such as 3M Reflective Tape, are important for urban cyclists, but if you don't want to look like a crossing guard you'll have to find a way to use them just in key areas. For example, in the H&M collection we used reflective stripes in the ankle of the chinos and in the elastic strings of the jacket, which will make you more visible to cars without losing anything on the style side.
—Keith Wagstaff is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn. Follow him @kwagstaff.
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