Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Bike Show: It’s all about the fashion

Posted by on April 11th, 2010 at 8:10 am

Pedal Nation Bike Show-122

On the catwalk at the Urban
Bicycle Fashion Show.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Bike fashion in American is finally going way beyond spandex.

As biking takes off in big cities around the country, it’s not surprising that people want to look good doing it. They also want clothes that can stand up to the rigors of daily riding. At the Pedal Nation Bike Show, happening all this weekend at the Oregon Convention Center, there were several companies looking to fill that demand. There was also a fashion show where models on bikes showed how to put it all together.

Pedal Nation Bike Show-49

Perusing the Outlier rack.

Take Outlier for example, a company that makes “tailored performance clothing for cycling in the city.” Founder Abe Burmeister wanted a stylish pair of pants he could ride to work in, but he couldn’t find anything that did the job. So, with no fashion background whatsoever, he learned the ropes in Manhattan’s garment district. Now, he oversees a line of elegant, understated, and functional clothes. Burmeister told me he doesn’t think of Outlier as bike company: “We’re a clothing company for a world where people ride bikes. The way I see it, if you ride a bike everyday, your clothes should reflect that fact.”

Their new Workwear Pants are waterproof, have a bit of stretch, and are cut with biking in mind. They use a variety of fabrics, including cordura nylon in their pants and merino wool in t-shirts and polos.

Pedal Nation Bike Show-110 Pedal Nation Bike Show-109 Pedal Nation Bike Show-50 Pedal Nation Bike Show-48

In addition to Outlier, the show featured other up-and-coming bike fashion companies like GearPDX, Sheila Moon, Osloh Bicycle Jeans, Club Ride Apparel, and others.

At the Urban Bicycle Fashion Show, all the styles came together for an inspiring display of how to mix cycling with style. Check out the slideshow below for all the fresh looks and hot models:

— The Pedal Nation Bike Show is open from 10am – 5pm on Sunday (4/11). See more coverage of the show here.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Red Five April 11, 2010 at 9:07 am

    We need more skinny jeans!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Lane Kagay April 11, 2010 at 9:46 am

    “Founder Abe Burmeister wanted a stylish pair of pants he could ride to work in, but he couldn’t find anything that did the job.”


    “…if you ride a bike everyday, your clothes should reflect that fact.”


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • grrlpup April 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I just went to Outlier’s website to have a look at their pants for women. The size range was 0 to… 10. FAIL.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • KJ April 12, 2010 at 10:03 am

    who made the black dress?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Nick V April 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    The bike show overall was great but, really, you can ride wearing just about anything. I don’t see how bike-specific clothes are a real necessity.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ben April 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    No-one mentioned swrve, my favorite pair of bikey pants.
    Women’s knickers FWIW:

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • maddy13 April 12, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    If you commute a considerable distance, some stretch, wicking and water resistance is lovely. I second the Swrve recommendation, and honestly would throw down for the Outlier pants for women if the waist wasn’t so high (tried a pair on). My commute has been 20 miles round trip for years, and if the weather is right, jeans work fine. The rest of the time dedicated bike clothes (preferably not spandex) are required.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kim April 13, 2010 at 9:12 am

    As a pedestrian, walking coach, and sometimes bike rider (call me a free range commuter), I’ve always thought the over-emphasis on a particular type of clothing to be just that . . . an over-emphasis. When the weather is bad, it matters that you’re not in jeans, but there are plenty of clothes that are versatile enough to hike, walk, work, cycle, garden and anything else you can imagine doing at almost any time of the year.

    Same goes for shoes. Why do we need a special shoe for every single thing we do. Throw away your high heels and go do what you want to do. I once did an 8-mile hike in Bosnia in a pair of Wolky walking sandals. It’s weird, almost like someone was making money off this big “push” to specialize.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • meghan April 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    unfortunately i had to miss _both_ fashion shows, so i’m just going off of jonathan’s pictures (and perhaps it’s not fair for me to say this, but): more ladies on bikes in dresses/skirts/non-sporty gear on bikes next time, please, and less ladies in dresses as acouterments to men pushing bikes. thanks! (that black dress is great, by the way.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • annick April 14, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    we totally would have ridden the tandem in our wedding apparel but they gave us a bike sans pedals. and the black dress is very bike-able, even on a roadbike. it’s by suzabelle and it’s available at clever cycles.

    Recommended Thumb up 0