Outfitted: The Bike Ride – How to Look Your Best and Cycle in Style

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In our Outfitted series, we hand-pick the style items and practical accessories you need to look your best in a specific scenario.

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle. – Elizabeth Howard West

Ms. West’s quote sums up our feeling about bicycles perfectly. As a kid, bikes meant freedom, and there’s no reason that should change as an adult. They get you from place to place, while providing a great, low-impact form of exercise, and … they’re fun.

We teamed up with Public Bikes, a San Francisco-based company that focuses on design, and emphasizes the look of the bike in addition to the ride and the feel. 

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To celebrate their first sixteen-speed road bike, the Public R16, we created an Outfitted post in which we curate the right men’s style items and accessories for different bike scenarios. ManMade founder and editor Chris took the daily commute to work, and our contributor Gabriel opted for a casual Saturday ride in the city. All of our picks were influenced by the design of the R16, a stylish road bike modeled after the classic European touring bikes and English club racers. 

Chris’ Scenario – The City Commute 

Chris says, “Riding a bike to work is all about balance. You need to have movement and comfort during your commute, but not be covered in spandex when you get there. I selected these items for their ride-friendly features, and their classic British-inspired looks to match the design of the R16. Each item works well on the bike, and all day long.”

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Jacket: Land’s End Madison Wool Bike Blazer – The only sportcoat I know of that was designed specifically for cycling. It has zippered and button pockets, an earbud loop, and a popup collar with reflective tape for those nights home. It’s wool, so it’ll be warm in the summer…but who bikes in a blazer in the summer anyway? 

Pants: Levi’s 54I Straight Tumbled – Dark enough to dress up for work, and loose enough to not restrict your leg movement without being baggy. If jeans are a no go at your job, a dark grey trouser would work well.

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer RB2132 Tortoise Shell – The most versatile pair out there. Never not appropriate, they work equally well with a suit or a swimsuit. Black is classic, but the brown works well for most situations. If you shop smart can be found for under $100. 

Shirt: Banana Republic Slim-Fit Non-Iron – No need to worry about wrinkles from cycling, and sharp enough that you can take off your jacket after lunch. 

Belt: Gap Leather Stripe – Has a little extra something, and the stripes echo the details from the classic touring bike design of the Public R16. 

Socks: Fits Business Crew – If I could, I’d wear only wool socks for everything, and Fits whenever possible. Natural wicking keeps your feet dry while you ride, and stays cushy throughout the day. 

Shoes: Clarks Original Desert Boot – Since the R16 has metal toe clips, I chose something whether the leather wouldn’t get scratched and beat up by the pedals: suede. Super comfortable, yet dressy enough. 

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Gloves: Gantoli 006 – A European-style touring bike deserves some European-style touring gloves. These Gantoli’s are sharper than anything you’ll find at the sporting good store, yet the same price. 

Headphones: Aftershock AS3000 – Uses bone-conduction technology so your ears are still open to listen to the road and traffic, and keep you street legal. The audio isn’t amazing, so use these to listen to talk-based podcasts, audiobooks, or the morning news. 

Mini Pump: Lezyne Carbon Drive Lite – The best way to avoid a flat is to make sure your tires are filled appropriately, especially on city streets. Check your pressure before every ride and fill as needed, especially during warmer months. Not optional, and Lezyne makes the best. Public agrees.

App: Strava – Uses your phones GPS to monitor your ride – speed, route, elevation, etc – and automatically keeps track of your progress on your account. And? It’s free. 

Bag: Herschel Supply Little America – Cool leather details match those on the Public R16, and Herschel products look great on and off the bike.

Multi-Tool: Crank Brothers Mulit-5 – Keep one in your backpack or saddle bag to make sure your bike is aligned and set-up just where you want it. 

Helmet: Nutcase Street Super Solid – Not optional, regardless of your local laws. The matte red here echoes the stylish red cable housing of the R16.

Bike: Public R16 – Suitable for recreational riding or a quick commute. I love the stock fenders for wet days, and the subtle details like the white-walled brown tires and the leather toe clip straps. 

Gabriel’s Scenario – A Saturday in the City

Gab says, “One of the best things about summer is that you get to spend the weekend exploring the city with friends. Kicking back, biking around the neighborhood, hitting the farmer’s market,  having some drinks, and simply enjoying each other’s company. This collection is full of items that will definitely make your experience that much more enjoyable, and keep you looking sharp. From the perfect accessories for your bike, to nifty gadgets and stylish picks – we cover all of your exploring needs from AM to PM. And don’t forget that it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey…and the gadgets.

Rather than practicality, I chose my pieces for the streamlined color options. You’re not going to work, you’re hanging out with your friends and your sweetheart on a Saturday. Enjoy it!”

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T-Shirt: Maxnina Grey Simple Classic 

Pants: Sureshot Chino Terracotta  

Cap (to hide helmet hair): Huf Melton Wool Leather Circle H 6 Panel 

Shoes: Vans Washed Twill Era 59 

Sweatshirt: Scotch and Soda 

Pant Cuff: Brooks Leather Trouser Strap 

Sunglasses: Steven Alan Monroe Light Dew 

Bike: Public R16 with Slender Rear Rack

Panniers: Public Farmer’s Market Twin  

created at: 06/13/2013Helmet: Bern Watts Matte Grey

Casual Reading: Instructions for Happiness and Success by Susie Pearl 

Accessories: Wally Wallet Bottle Opener | Photojojo Bikepod 

Picnic Blanket: Cross by Pia Wallen

Insulated Bag:  The Camera Cooler by Poler 

This post was created in partnership with Public Bikes, who provided an R16 for review and inspiration. All opinions mine.