How to cycle in style and comfort - and safety!

Cycling is all about just cocking your leg over the top tube and pedalling wherever you want to go. You can cake yourself in lycra, throw your pyjamas if you wish or even join the thousands who do the naked ride in London every year! If you're into the nailing the trend when on the bike, then this guest blog from Catherine Bedford, founder of urban helmet brand Dashel, is right up your street as Catherine takes us through what will get you a second look on the bike for all the right reasons...!

With more than forty five major fashion designers showing cycle shorts in their catwalk collections for S/S19 and A/W 19 (including: Chanel, Alexander Wang, Fendi, Miu Miu, Roberto Cavalli, Vivienne Westwood, and Prada) it would seem that fashion is taking inspiration from cycling. So is it time cycling wear followed suit and started taking inspiration from fashion?

As a keen cyclist, I have seen a definite trend, over the last six years, away from functional but unfashionable cycle wear to clothing and accessories that are both practical and fashionable. Scandinavian lifestyles and designs have long been aspirational in the UK - and they have always cycled to get about in a relaxed, upright style.

To be honest, when you are commuting in the city, lycra and clip on shoes aren’t really necessary – or very appealing. The rise in e-bikes, which are now available to hire by the minute in London via Lime Bike, has seemingly – finally - put an end to the sweaty commute.

It is estimated that 1.5 million people commute every day, rising to 2.6 million people who make at least three trips a week. Looking good when you rock up at the office is all part of the fun. It’s likely you’ll have made the journey to work quicker, easier and with less stress than those in the car or on the train, with the added bonus that you’ve simultaneously achieved your daily workout.

So, if you want to bring some chic to your cycling without losing functionality - what brands should you look out for?

Dashing Tweeds

Dashing Tweeds create modern, urban tweeds woven in the UK for bespoke and ready to wear tailoring. Their cycling range is designed with the knowledge that the time spent cycling to meetings in the city is only a small part of the day, so it is made with a Lumatwill cloth woven with 3M. The 3M reflects car headlights at night, but by day the fibres look like elegant silver threads. Their range includes blazers, bomber jackets, tailored trousers and capes.

Geek Shoes by Tracey Neuls

The grey sheen of Geek leather cycling shoes is subtle in appearance in daylight, but at night, once illuminated, it reflects the light with an incredible high-vis impact. These look great when cycling and great when you’re not – the perfect peddle to pavement footwear.

Dashel Helmets

It is absolutely imperative, whether commuting in the city or with any other kind of cycling, that you wear a helmet. This is one of the most important items for cycling safely. Traditionally it has also been one of the ugliest items in a cyclist’s wardrobe but that has changed with the creation of the Dashel range of retro-styled cycle helmets.

Made in the UK from carbon-fibre and the only cycle helmet that wouldn’t look out of place with your Prada shorts, a Dashel helmet is extremely slim fitting and light, without compromising on safety. Tailored to fit, via some special coolmax pads inside which keep you cool and prevent any helmet hair.

Casual Cyclist bag range by Ally Capellino

The Pendle Travel and Cycle body bag is a handy marsupial zip up pouch that can be worn in a number of ways. Crossbody and close to the chest or around the waist. Named after British cycling hero, Victoria Pendleton, these bags work brilliantly from bike to office. No more clunky rucksacks that need to be dragged around during the day, and no need to carry an extra ‘going for drinks after work’ bag with you either. This bag is practical and will look stylish all day long.

Findra Neck Warmer

Any clothes made from natural fabrics allow breathability when cycling and merino wool is prized by cyclists for its warmth. Findra, a Scottish company, only use ethically sourced merino from Australia. Their neck warmers are more practical than a traditional scarf when cycling and have no seams for the ultimate in comfort.

Bookman Metallic Bike Coffee Cup Holder Copper

A leisurely commute would ideally involve coffee, but carrying your coffee on the bike has been pretty impractical and unsafe. Not anymore, with this elegant, copper holder that affixes to your bike with a spring mechanism that holds fast over any bumps in the road.

Catherine Bedford