Best urban cycling clothing

A sampling of the best new city riding gear

A little bit of technical fabric, stretch and mindfulness can go a long way with clothing, as demonstrated by the latest crop of urban cycling apparel. There are a few good companies making great-looking clothing with features like a gusset in the crotch so you don't sit on — and wear out — the seams, water-repellant treatments, reflective elements and longer sleeves and taller waists for full coverage when riding. Even mainstream players are getting in on the action; Levi's Jeans has an entire Commuter Line. Rapha also has a City Collection, with everything from merino tops and under layers to jeans, belts and leather gloves. Here, we take a look at some new pieces from a dozen companies whose designers live and breathe cycling.

Upright Cyclist

Upright Cyclist's new jeans feature a gusseted crotch for longevity in the saddle and a reflective cuff on the drivetrain side. Upright Cyclist's new Lakeshore Jacket is made of Cordura cotton with a cycling cut. 

Upright cyclist's new jeans feature a gusset for longevity in the saddle and a reflective cuff on the drivetrain side: upright cyclist's new jeans feature a gusset for longevity in the saddle and a reflective cuff on the drivetrain side
Upright cyclist's new jeans feature a gusset for longevity in the saddle and a reflective cuff on the drivetrain side: upright cyclist's new jeans feature a gusset for longevity in the saddle and a reflective cuff on the drivetrain side

The 12.5 Denim Trouser

Chrome Industries

Chrome overhauled its urban line for the coming colder months. The Warm Vest is a reversible, reflective piece with hand warmers and quilted insulation. If the reflective striping isn't enough, you can flip the vest inside out to display the bright orange liner.

Chrome has successfully expanded its brand from messenger bags: chrome has successfully expanded its brand from messenger bags
Chrome has successfully expanded its brand from messenger bags: chrome has successfully expanded its brand from messenger bags

Chrome's Warm series includes a reversible vest and jacket

Pedal ED

Pedal ED's founder and designer, Hideto Suzuki, launched the company after 15 years in the Japanese fashion industry. Pedal ED's clothing, made in Italy and Japan, runs the gamut from streetwear to more traditional cycling-specific garments. 

Pedal ed's founder and designer hideto suzuki launched the company after 15 years in the japanese fashion industry: pedal ed's founder and designer hideto suzuki launched the company after 15 years in the japanese fashion industry
Pedal ed's founder and designer hideto suzuki launched the company after 15 years in the japanese fashion industry: pedal ed's founder and designer hideto suzuki launched the company after 15 years in the japanese fashion industry

Suzuki with some of his latest work

Quoc Pham

Quoc Phamshoes are available in Europe and North America. Quoc Pham's Tourer has a sole made as made for walking as well as riding, and a reflective rear stripe for safety.

Quoc pham shoes are available in europe and north america: quoc pham shoes are available in europe and north america
Quoc pham shoes are available in europe and north america: quoc pham shoes are available in europe and north america

Endura

Scottish clothing company Endura's Long Sleeve shirt has reflective lines woven in. Without direct light, it's virtually impossible to see the reflective elements.

Scottish clothign company endura's long sleeve shirt has reflectives lines woven in: scottish clothign company endura's long sleeve shirt has reflectives lines woven in
Scottish clothign company endura's long sleeve shirt has reflectives lines woven in: scottish clothign company endura's long sleeve shirt has reflectives lines woven in

Nutcase

Commuter lids with muted colors and integrated visors were all over the tradeshows - but Nutcasehelmets stand out from the crowd.

Commuter lids with muted colors and integrated visors were all over the tradeshows - but nutcase helmets stand out from the crowd: commuter lids with muted colors and integrated visors were all over the tradeshows - but nutcase helmets stand out from the crowd
Commuter lids with muted colors and integrated visors were all over the tradeshows - but nutcase helmets stand out from the crowd: commuter lids with muted colors and integrated visors were all over the tradeshows - but nutcase helmets stand out from the crowd

Club Ride

Club Ride makes a lot of mountain bike gear, but the Cog Jean is right at home in the city. Nothing about the Cog Jean screams cyclist, but the gusseted crotch and taller rear waist band are clearly designed with the bike in mind. Club Ride founder Mike Herlinger shows off the Buxton poly-cotton shirts and Phantom Short. Club Ride has a range of liners, from lightly padded boxers for commuting to full-on bib shorts.

Club ride founder mike herlinger shows off the buxton poly-cotton shirts and phantom short: club ride founder mike herlinger shows off the buxton poly-cotton shirts and phantom short
Club ride founder mike herlinger shows off the buxton poly-cotton shirts and phantom short: club ride founder mike herlinger shows off the buxton poly-cotton shirts and phantom short

Swrve

Swrve makes a range of city riding clothing in Los Angeles. Swrve's Lycra-blend Denim Jeans come in regular and skinny fit. Swrve's Jeans are made for riding, with articulated knees, Lycra stretch fabric and a gusseted crotch.

Swrve's lycra-blend denim jeans come in regular and skinny fit: swrve's lycra-blend denim jeans come in regular and skinny fit
Swrve's lycra-blend denim jeans come in regular and skinny fit: swrve's lycra-blend denim jeans come in regular and skinny fit

Mission Workshop

Mission Workshop and its sister brand, Acre, specialize in sharp, high-end riding clothing made in San Francisco, often in merino wool.

Mission workshop and its sister brand, acre, specialize in sharp, high-end riding clothing in quality fabrics: mission workshop and its sister brand, acre, specialize in sharp, high-end riding clothing in quality fabrics
Mission workshop and its sister brand, acre, specialize in sharp, high-end riding clothing in quality fabrics: mission workshop and its sister brand, acre, specialize in sharp, high-end riding clothing in quality fabrics

Mission Workshop began with bags and has since branched out into clothing

Ligne 8

Ligne 8 is a new brand from the same parent company as Champion System. Ligne 8 has a number of jackets, dresses, chinos and jeans that act somewhat like cycling apparel but don't look like it.

Ligne 8 is a new brand from the same parent company as champion system: ligne 8 is a new brand from the same parent company as champion system
Ligne 8 is a new brand from the same parent company as champion system: ligne 8 is a new brand from the same parent company as champion system

Clockwork Gears

Clockwork Gears does cycling T-shirts. Period.

Cycling art meets cotton at clock work gears: cycling art meets cotton at clock work gears
Cycling art meets cotton at clock work gears: cycling art meets cotton at clock work gears

Giro New Road

Giro continues to expand its New Road line, bringing techy fabrics to street-friendly styles. The Giro women's Wind Guard Hoodie Light is water-resistant, soft and packable. Giro's Mobility Trouser is mostly cotton with a little Lycra for stretch, a little reflectivity for safety, and two fits (classic or tailored), for options. Giro's Mobility Side Zip features, well, side zips and a button-up collar in brushed polyester and nylon.

Giro continues to expand its new road line, bringing techy fabrics to street-friendly styles: giro continues to expand its new road line, bringing techy fabrics to street-friendly styles
Giro continues to expand its new road line, bringing techy fabrics to street-friendly styles: giro continues to expand its new road line, bringing techy fabrics to street-friendly styles

The women's Wind Bomber acts like a cycling windbreaker - but doesn't look like it

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team, Trek Boone 5, Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4, Marinoni fixed gear, Santa Cruz Roadster TT bike
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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