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Function and Style for the Spring Cyclist

Our top picks for gear and apparel that can weather a Chicago spring

A stylish cyclist in Wicker Park   Photo: Martha Williams

Chicago—it has been a rough spring for cycling. But our weather is temperamental anytime of the year, so instead of waiting for a nice day to hop on the bike, wear the right clothes. We road-tested quality gear and fashionable staples that make biking doable in any weather condition, without compromising your style.

Dressing for Weather

Photo: Courtesy of HappyRainyDays

Trench Coat With Hood, $189, HappyRainyDays
Be prepared for any weather condition with a chic water-resistant coat with vents and plenty of shoulder room—important when you are working up a sweat.

Bamboo Jersey Pantyhose, $22, American Apparel
If you’re not going bare-legged, this lightweight option can last years with no snags and no sag.

Moonstruck Tight, $34, Hansel From Basel
We’re big fans of Hansel from Basel. These thick cotton tights are eye-catching and warm.

Cashmere Tight, $40, Hansel From Basel
If you need extra warmth, choose wool or cashmere blends.

Functional Footwear

Emma, $90, Tretorn
These wedges are sensible waterproof shoes disguised as sassy ankle boots.

Photo: Courtesy of Penelope’s

Barcelona Clog, $140, Penelope’s
Durable summer sandals are a must-have for summer cycling. These clogs have a rubber sole and sturdy ankle straps that can hold up to some heavy pedaling.

Non Skid Shoe Pads, $2.99 for a four-pack, Fab Feet
Make all of your shoes bike-friendly with these non-skid shoe pads. We even put them in the arch area of shoes for 100-percent slippage prevention.

Safety First

Photo: Courtesy of Nutcase

Nutcase Helmets, $69
Nutcase has such an amazing selection of unique colors and patterns. It’s hard to choose just one.

Bern Brentwood Helmet, $69
Bern helmets are multi-sport and colorful with a brim for sun and rain protection.

Bell Reflex Helmet, $65
For a cleaner design with no bill, the Bell BMX helmet is a sleek design.

Photo: Courtesy of Knog

​Knog Rechargeable Lights, $76 for two-pack
These front and rear lights charge on any USB port so you will never run out of batteries.

Essential Storage

Surly Rear Rack, $140, Kozy’s Cyclery
A rear rack is essential to avoid back strain and back sweat. We may have carried another human on this rugged rack with no problems.

Adjustable Flat Bungee Cord, $3.48, Keeper
Secure items to your rack with a few adjustable flat bungee cords.

Photo: Courtesy of Linus

The Sac, $69, Linus
This Linus pannier has treated canvas and a coated bottom, making it water-resistant and vintage cool. Leave the top open to cram as much stuff inside as possible.

Back-Roller Classic Panniers, $180 for pair, Ortlieb
These panniers are durable and fully waterproof for the truly rainy days.

Uptown Trunk Bag, $80, Po Campo
Local designers Po Campo (sold at several shops in the city) make a purse that straps right onto your rack.

Bike-to-Office Style

Photo: Courtesy of Madewell

A knee-grazing shift dress is a perfect bike-to-office outfit. It’s long enough avoid flashing all of Milwaukee Ave but slim enough to avoid getting tangled in your rear wheel. On colder days, layer up with a thin cardigan.


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