Biking in my suit? How not to ruin my pants.
May 12, 2012 5:21 AM   Subscribe

Anything like a suit-friendly bikeseat cover?

Kind of a weird question here. I'm living in Copenhagen where we bike everywhere all the time, and that's great. I've also just started at a rather conservative company so I'm wearing a suit & tie every day. Now, I'm worried about the wear and tear on the pants from the bikeseat (I plan on packing the jacket away while I bike so as not to stretch it too much). So, what I've envisioned as a potential solution to the pants/bikeseat friction is to find/create a "suit-friendly" bikeseat cover. This is where your ideas/opinions come into play! I would think that the material for the cover would ideally be either the same fabric as a suit, or the suit lining. Would this work? Does this already exist somewhere? What do you think? Silly idea, or stroke of biking genius? Thanks!
posted by alchemist to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This doesn't answer your question directly, but if you are packing your jacket for the ride anyway, why not pack your suit pants with it and just bike in normal biking shorts or a cheap jersey bottom? Then you can change when you get to work.

I bike to work everyday in a suit myself. Granted, it's only a 15 minute ride, but I generally "stand" and pedal/coast the entire way there.
posted by Kevtaro at 5:41 AM on May 12, 2012

I feel like an unpadded leather saddle (i.e. a Brooks) would be your best bet. Should cut down on friction, and this, wear and tear. Plus, classic as all hell.
posted by supercres at 5:47 AM on May 12, 2012

When I needed to cut down on seat friction, I used a thin plastic shower cap over the seat--the kind you get for free at hotels. Not too classy, of course, but it easily packs away when you arrive, and the elastic keeps it tight enough. I rode thousands of miles like that, so it does work. As a bonus, you can use it as a rain cover.
posted by BlooPen at 6:47 AM on May 12, 2012

My Brooks (B17S) has never caused a problem with any of my dress pants, and I think would be a great idea because the smooth, hard leather creates almost no friction with fabric.

However! If you do this, be diligent about covering the saddle in the rain, as the color of the saddle tends to leak and transfer. I've got a cheap waterproof cover I keep in my saddlebag at all times, and slip it on immediately after I hop off the bike on rainy days.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:43 AM on May 12, 2012

I think that better than leather would be one of those gel seat covers that are upholstered in neoprene or some other slippery synthetic material. The color is much less likely to bleed and there'd probably be much less friction. I usually don't like seat covers because they tend to move around a bit on top of the saddle but in your case that might actually be a feature as seat-seatcover friction would be preferable to seat-pants friction.

Or you could just put a plastic bag over your seat (or any other material) and secure it with a rubber band or a ziptie around the seatpost. Wouldn't be too elegant but you could sew up something nicer once you'd found a material you liked.
posted by Scientist at 6:00 PM on May 12, 2012

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