Phil Siegert was sick of changing his clothes for the commute.
While working in advertising, Siegert appreciated commuting by bike, having spent years as a messenger in Chicago. But he didn't appreciate having to pack a second set of clothes. A few years later, Upright Cyclist was born.
Upright Cyclist clothes are made to look good on the street, and feel good on the bike
Upright Cyclist launched last month with five pieces: pants, shorts and three jackets. Each are designed to handle the stresses of city riding without looking out of place when off the bike.
"It seems to me that there is a gap in clothing for the urban cyclist," Siegert told BikeRadar. "I've ridden bikes my whole life, but my background in cycling has never been competitive. It was always urban riding. I was a bike messenger in Chicago when I was in art school, and that just broke open the city for me, knowing every taco joint and side street. When I began doing work in advertising, I always had to take a bag with a pressed shirt and slacks, leave it there, shower and change. I always hated the fact that I had to change to ride."
The $249 Damen Jacket
Siegert has deep experience in design — he founded the interactive firm Royal Design of Experience — as well as online clothing retail, having worked with Patagonia and Burton on their user experience and e-commerce. But he had never orchestrated the design and retail of clothing himself until Upright Cyclist.
"I just started to look at what was out there, what people were wearing for city riding. There was a lot of 65/35 cotton/poly blends, a lot of Dickies," Siegert said. "Then I just started doing prototypes with a seamstress before going to Fit Factor, who took my initial style and did design work and sourcing."
"The pieces that we have made are not high-end technical road pieces. There is no Lycra in the mix. This is clothing for city riding," he said. "We have polyester shelves, heavy venting, ribbed areas on back of jackets so you can lean over without your jacket riding up. The pants have stretch, and a gusseted crotch. We use a lot of urban stylistic references. We use nice material that is not über-expensive, so it's a little more accessible. The construction is about fashion, durability, stretch and mobility. We are probably competing more with the Japanese urban fashion crowd than Outlier or the Rapha that you’re seeing."
The $169 Jackson Jacket