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Gear Prudence: One negative consequence of biking everywhere all the time is this: I rip my pants. Like, a lot. I swear in the last year I’ve gone through five pairs of jeans, and it seems like within a month of getting a new pair there’s either a tear or small hole near the crotch. It is getting very expensive to keep buying new pants, to say nothing of how mortifying it is when you realize you’ve been showing your junk to strangers when you’re riding around. I’ve done some research and it looks like there are special bike jeans, but are they really worth the money? Do you have any other ideas? —Riding In Punctured Pants Exposes Dong

Dear RIPPED: Geez. That’s a lot of friction. Bike-specific jeans are widely available at various price points at both mainstream and speciality retailers. Though they’re more durable than regular jeans, they also wear out. The question is whether it’s better and cheaper to replace bike jeans occasionally, or to simply replace cheaper pants with greater frequency. Bike jeans tend to have tougher stitching and fabric in the areas in contact with the seat, and some other nice features: stretchier fabric, a higher rise in the back, leg widths that can accommodate beefy cycling thighs and calves, and, sometimes, reflective elements. However, GP must caution that unless you’re only ever wearing these pants while on the bike, you’ll want to make sure they meet your other stylistic criteria. If they don’t, stick with pants that do, and save money by mending instead of replacing.—GP 

Gear Prudence: I’ll never ride without a helmet, but one situation where this creates awkwardness is when I stop at the grocery store on the way home. I don’t want to walk around the store wearing it or carrying it, but I also don’t trust leaving it outside with my bike. Someone might steal it or who knows what other gross things might happen to it out there. But these seem like my only two choices. Help! — Having Encountered A Dilemma, Area Cyclist Has Entreaty

Dear HEADACHE: Unless you’re worried about the structural integrity of that display of canned beans, GP strongly encourages helmet removal in grocery stores. It looks silly. You can clip it to your bag or throw it in your cart if you don’t want to carry it. Or you could leave it with your grocery store’s helmet concierge. Oh, your store doesn’t have one of those? A pity. Your reticence to leave it outside is delightfully paranoid, but pretty unfounded. To address your theft concerns, run your u-lock through it when you lock up. To address your weird concerns about befoulment, leave a note on it that says “previously befouled” and hope that these imagined cretins see it and give up. But seriously, GP doubts that anyone will mess with your lid.—GP