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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-08-08, 07:58 PM   #1
Athanasius
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Can I ask a newbie clothing question here?

My fellow Clydes (and lovely Athenas)...

I bought a bike last week and have done a few commutes with it thus far. It's a fairly nice 6 miles each way, rolling, with a big (to me) hill each way. I have always been a big sweat machine (even when I was much slimmer, I guess I'm just inefficient)...and it rains a lot here in Seattle...so I think that for the sake of my co-workers and folks that I meet with throughout the day, I should wear "biking clothes". I have a shower at work, so I can hose down there.

I'm an XL, and have no qualms about wearing tights. Here is what I'm looking at getting, is there something else I should consider...or places to find better prices? I feel kind of dumb about "proper" attire as I am just getting going.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=22749 - Canari Gel Tight
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=8134 - Nashbar Crossroads Jacket
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=18975 - Canari Cadence Jersey

I'm really enjoying riding, and am itching to ride again tonight. I'm looking for stuff that will make that much easier to do and keep me on the bike more and more.

I know the Commuting forum might be the better place to ask this, but I spend the most time in this forum...and you guys are very helpful to new guys like myself...
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Old 01-08-08, 08:06 PM   #2
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Them or www.aerotechdesigns.com
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Old 01-08-08, 08:15 PM   #3
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Having bought stuff from Nashbar, REI, Perfromance Bike, LBS and one or two other places, the items in your wish list "look" okay. I have found that some mfgr items fit me better. I prefer the fit of Pearl Izumi and PerformanceBike jerseys and Louis Garneau shorts.

Prices can vary at the locations by the day or week. Once you find the mfgrs and fits you like, you can search for price. A word of advice, never buy more than one of an item before trying it on and riding in it. If it doesn't work, you don't need multiple colors in the closet or drawer unused.

Hope that helps some.
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Old 01-08-08, 08:47 PM   #4
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I've got a pretty limited budget, although the wife is happy to let me spend as much as we can on gear, so I won't be buying multiples of anything unless it is amazing. Good piece of advice on fit, though - it seems a lot of conversations about clothing emphasize the wide variance in sizing between manufacturers.
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Old 01-08-08, 09:46 PM   #5
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I have those tights, they feel good, are warm down into the twenties so far. They do run a tad bit small. I wear 38 pants and the tights are xl's They are snug but that's the nature of the beast.
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Old 01-08-08, 11:28 PM   #6
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Perfect AB, I'm about the same size...but snug is OK, cuz I'm gonna get smaller, right?
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Old 01-09-08, 12:55 AM   #7
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Pads

I had bad experiences with pants with Gel-based pads. I will stay away from them.
The most important thing in pants and tights is a very good fit - the pad can be rather low-tech (those 3D designs are pure marketing) and simple and better not too thick.
Just my observations.
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Old 01-09-08, 09:48 AM   #8
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Cannondale shorts are bigger in the legs and butt than some other brands as well. Many XL and XXL sized things from brands like Canari, Castelli, and especially European brands like Assos make larger shorts with large tummy areas, but legs about the same size as their smaller shorts. Cannondales have large circumfrence, and longer inseam shorts that were more comfortable to me when I was a little-bit heavier.

Now I prefer performance and PI shorts, but mostly because my legs barely squeeze into those, and I like the chamois pads better.

Have fun out there!
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Old 01-09-08, 10:12 AM   #9
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I buy most of my stuff at walmart. I'm cheap and their moisture wicking athletic ware works just fine for me.
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Old 01-09-08, 10:15 AM   #10
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I buy most of my stuff at walmart. I'm cheap and their moisture wicking athletic ware works just fine for me.
+1, Burlington Coat factory, has wicking sweat suits.
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Old 01-10-08, 08:38 PM   #11
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I buy most of my stuff at walmart. I'm cheap and their moisture wicking athletic ware works just fine for me.
All that stuff is nice for me up to the first twenty or so miles into a longer ride.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:08 PM   #12
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I buy most of my stuff at walmart. I'm cheap and their moisture wicking athletic ware works just fine for me.
If I am staying in the hood and have a short ride of 1 hr or so, I will use these, otherwise I like having the pockets in my jerseys and more comfortable shorts.
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Old 01-10-08, 09:52 PM   #13
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I buy most of my stuff at walmart. I'm cheap and their moisture wicking athletic ware works just fine for me.
Here in Canada we have a store called Winners, they often have runners gear on sale, when a cheap cycling jersey on sale can be over $50, then a $15 runners jersey on sale is a good deal. As for shorts, those are bikers shorts, even though they often run $60 or more, comfort is more important then cost savings. With the CA$ worth par these days, wondering about ordering a pair of shorts from Aerotech.... Although for Jerseys, I'll probably stick with the running shirts, there are times when the fact vendors think you need to be 8" taller then you are for the chest size you need is a good thing
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Old 01-11-08, 06:26 PM   #14
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I think the best deal in bibs are the Voler bibs from Hammer Nutrition at around $45 (www.hammernutrition.com ). I've got a pair of Aerotechs, a pair of Zoot Sports, and just returned a pair of Canaris to Sierra Trading Post because I wore a hole in them in less than 200 miles. The Zoots and the Aerotechs are both pretty good, but the Volers just feel a bit nicer to me. I'm also a big fan of Hammer's vitamins.
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Old 01-12-08, 12:29 PM   #15
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Padded bike shorts are the way to go. I like lycra the best, but some people don't like others seeing them in lycra, so they wear baggy padded shorts, or wear thin, loose shorts over their lycra. I've discovered a big variation in bike shorts. Every pair I've ever bought has been okay, as long as it was big enough, but some just seem to fit better, which is important to me, especially on long rides. I've had good luck with Performance Century shorts - partly because they go on sale regularly, and they're relatively cheap. I've bought more expensive shorts - twice as expensive - but they didn't seem twice as comfortable. I've noticed that Performance Century shorts seem to have shrunk over the years (no, I haven't expanded) so I now by XXL when XL used to fit right.

I wear tights when it's cold, but not padded - I just put them on over my padded bike shorts.

Seeing as how you say your wife has you on a budget, I'd recommend some mid-price, 8-panel shorts (I don't know if the number of panels makes all that much difference, but I bought some 6-panel cheapies from Nashbar and they didn't feel very good). If they're comfortable, great. If not, buy some mid-price shorts from someone else. You may have to buy a few pair before you settle on something, but you don't have to buy them all at once.
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Old 01-12-08, 05:19 PM   #16
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I gotta plug Voler because, like Aerotech, they make good stuff at a great price. They also have a fantastic return policy (they include an addressed priority envelope with every order.)

http://www.velowear.com/

Even better is Hammer Nutrition who sells their team kit at unbelievable prices:

http://www.hammernutrition.com/

I was able to get their top of the line Voler bibs for $30 during their Christmas sale!

Shorts run a bit big and jerseys run a bit small.
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Old 01-13-08, 07:44 AM   #17
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I now have 10 rides (11 after I post this) with my new gear from HOSS.

If you want a loose or baggy fit I would say check out the Hoss gear. They are the first company in a long time that I have found that the sizing is true to size (if they say 38" it is a 38" with room to grow or shrink). The waist fits well, the leg openings are wide enough to still be loose over my thighs and the material is comfortable as well.

For jerseys, I like to use the "Athletic" brand sold at Wallmart. Same stuff as UnderArmor but half the price and a bit looser fit.

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Old 01-13-08, 08:39 AM   #18
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??? The women's shorts there have a "butt pillow". Really, that's what they call it. Now why would plus sizes need more* padding down there?
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Old 01-13-08, 09:10 AM   #19
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Gear

Being a sweat machine myself I would recommend a jacket with pit zips. While they are not a panecea, I figure every bit of ventilation helps. As to "brand" I have no specific recommendations, that's a personal preference. I have an Arc'Teryx softshell for cold (<30F) weather. My favorite for >30F is a Showers Pass, although if its above 50F I'll use a lighter (Canari or GoLite <--- neither one has pit zips though) shell.
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Old 01-13-08, 12:31 PM   #20
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??? The women's shorts there have a "butt pillow". Really, that's what they call it. Now why would plus sizes need more* padding down there?

Or, Athenas can can just pad up their bike...
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Old 01-13-08, 03:30 PM   #21
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Or, Athenas can can just pad up their bike...
That would not do well in the rain!

Seriously, I think that's crazy that the site offers that. I can't think of anything more likely to keep a woman thinking she can't ride over 10 miles.
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Old 01-13-08, 08:33 PM   #22
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Generally I try to find better quality stuff on sale at my local LBS. I have had good luck with Cannondale stuff.

One thing, if you have even a bit of a gut, you would probably find "bib" shorts and tights nicer to wear. I certainly do. I also look for the ones with the least padding, I don't feel I need much, unless on a very long haul, and the thicker pads tend to block sweat transmission more.
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Old 01-13-08, 08:53 PM   #23
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Even better is Hammer Nutrition who sells their team kit at unbelievable prices:

http://www.hammernutrition.com/

I was able to get their top of the line Voler bibs for $30 during their Christmas sale!

Shorts run a bit big and jerseys run a bit small.
+1 on everything (especially the sizing). I wish I had gone down one size on the shorts and up one size on the jersey, but the prices and quality are pretty hard to beat. If you can get them on sale, or with a promotional code, then that's the way to go.
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Old 01-14-08, 12:07 AM   #24
Athanasius
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One thing, if you have even a bit of a gut, you would probably find "bib" shorts and tights nicer to wear.
One nice beer gut, and a good set of manboobs to boot. But I am not so blessed on the backside, so I think I'd enjoy some padding (plus, it keeps the junk covered - which is nice).
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Old 01-14-08, 02:59 PM   #25
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That would not do well in the rain!
Use an organic bike cover when you ride in the rain! (And, check out the rock kick stand that comes free with the cover.)
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