Cycling apparel is expensive. There are jerseys, bike shorts, special shoes, hats, etc. Not everyone has the ability to drop tons of money on this gear. Fortunately, this gear isn’t required to enjoy the bicycle. In fact, you can pick up the following alternative commuting essentials at your local thrift shop. Not only will this save you money, but it won’t be a huge deal if you get a little bike grease on something, which is bound to happen.
These don’t have to be some fancy, spandex cycling pants. These can be an old pair of jeans, sweat pants, shorts, or whatever else you want. It’s important to designate a pair or a few pairs of pants as your “riding” pants, especially if you are commuting daily. They will get dirty, wet, and will wear out in the seat over time. These pants should be easily replaceable. These pants should be ready to take a beating. That way, when you arrive at your destination, you can swap them with the fresh pants that are neatly rolled in your bag like this!
Whether you are a male or female, shoes that you wear to work are usually leather or some material that shouldn’t be abused. That’s why it is important to designate a pair of shoes for riding, just like the pants. These shoes are sure to endure a beating. The type of shoe you choose is all a matter of preference. It’s recommended to pick a shoe that is sturdy, breathable, and dries easily. Many people ride in Vans Authentic Core Classics. Shoes like this can often be found in your local thrift shop.
This may be the one item that you don’t want to purchase from a thrift shop. However, it will be essential to purchase a pair of these for obvious reasons. For men, these shorts hold everything in place. They also wick away sweat, which is a necessary function for all riders. No one wants to have a wad of wet cotton between their legs, which is what will happen if you ride in regular under garments. Compression shorts can be bought for a fairly thrifty price here!
Note: It’s recommended that you purchase padded bike shorts for long distance rides (about 20 + miles). However, compression shorts will suffice for a shorter, daily commute.
Although the expensive bike jerseys make people look “official”, you don’t need one. You can ride just fine in an athletic t-shirt. You will want to avoid the cotton and go for the polyester, elastane, or spandex like materials. These materials wick away moisture and keep you cool. Much like everything else on this list, you will want to have a few shirts that are breathable and “abusable”. There is an endless sea of these athletic shirts at every thrift shop. They are sold for as low as a buck.