By Catherine Ellis, Hill & Ellis
Cycling is becoming the best solution for getting to work as coronavirus lingers and there hasn’t been a better time to cycle. Since the pandemic started, air pollution in some UK cities has reduced by a huge 40%, road traffic has dropped significantly and £2 billion pounds is going to be invested into cycling infrastructure.
Luckily cycling to work no longer means inappropriately-fitted lycra as brands are designing for life with a saddle. Here are some of the best independent brands, designing stylish kit that works for life on and off the bike.
As the British summer can never be relied upon, a light, water-repellent jacket is the perfect answer and British designer Oliver Spencer has just teamed up with Brompton to create a stylish jacket that works perfectly for cycling to work. Made in light-weight, water-repellent fabric, it’s anti-crease so it can be folded into your bag, but also has straps so it can quickly be transitioned to wear across the back when you’ve been pedalling hard and need to cool off.
For an alternative for ladies, Georgia in Dublin make elegant jackets that are also lightweight, stylish and water-proof.
The Bike Bag
Panniers have historically been pretty ugly – made out of plain black PVC with hooks that dig into your back as soon as you carry the bag off the bike. But since 2013 Hill & Ellis has been on a mission to design bike bags that look good on and off the bike and work perfectly in both situations – making them the ideal cycling to work accessory.
The roads might be quieter but safety is still key – and luckily wearing a helmet no longer means compromising on style.
British brand Dashel design chic bike helmets, all with a retro style and made in the UK. They have a stunning carbon fibre helmet and their latest range of Re-cycle helmets can be recycled… into another helmet.
All their styles are extremely slim fitting and light, designed without compromising on safety. Both ranges are tailored to fit, via special coolmax pads inside which keep you cool and prevent any helmet hair.
Tracey Neuls has been a London shoe designer for 20 years and is already a shoe icon. Tracey has a penchant for cycling and designed a range of reflective shoes for men and women over 10 years ago and they remain one of her best sellers. They are crafted in reflective fabric that is a matt grey during the day and glows under lights at night.
Glow and See is a not-for-profit global enterprise led by London fashion designer Comet. They work with women from low socio-economic backgrounds across the world who knit a range of hats and neck warmers from sustainable wool and reflective yarn.
With such cool, fashionable cycle gear now available, you can look fabulous whatever the weather and wherever you’re going.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Catherine Ellis is founder of Hill & Ellis, which produces a range of high quality, stylish cycle bags. Each bag, designed in the UK, is created to transition perfectly from home to bike to boardroom to bar. They are functional, fashionable and hard wearing. There’s plenty of space inside for a laptop and other essentials, and each bag comes with patented pannier clips that fit almost any bike, allowing you to clip the bag on and off quickly and easily.