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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 08-27-13, 10:56 AM   #1
RoadHolland 
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Ramblings about Jersey Sizing

We're not vain.

It's funny what you learn in the clothing business. 3 years ago, a "grade" meant a letter in school or how much I was likely sucking wind going up a mountain. In my world now, it refers to how much we expand things as we move from size small to medium to large and so on. I thought a marker was a type of felt-tipped pen (preferably the smellable ones…). Now, I hear the word and think about giant rolls of paper that inhabit my office. They're essentially outlines which are placed over the fabric to guide the cutters.

The same goes with sizing. I always knew there was some variability between brands. The small polo shirt from one company might be a bit snug on me while the small from another brand might be just fine.

But I never knew how seriously whacked out the world of cycling clothing was - and still is. From one brand to another, we're not talking about deciding between a small and a medium. We're talking about the choosing between a small and an extra large. What is going on? European brands are notorious for their snugger than normal sizing. Are they that much smaller over there? I don't know. I've been in Europe a lot and language aside, we don't seem that different. I'm not stick thin but I'm not heavy either - I want to know if anyone larger than my 4 year old can actually fit into the size 33" waist "urban" riding pants.

I'll be the first to admit we haven't always gotten our sizing spot on. But throughout this trip, we've been intent on rationalizing and "real worlding" our sizing. If you wear a medium in most clothes, we want you to wear a medium in our gear. If you're a 46" chest, we want you to actually wear something that measures close to 46".

We're not "vanity sizing" either - selling a size large and labeling it a medium to make you feel good about yourself. That's what the bike is for. A small is a small and a XXXL is, well, really big and we love that.
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Old 08-27-13, 11:52 AM   #2
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I would agree and not just cycling wear either but that is not your rant! I have looked at NASBAR and Performance for Jerseys Which are about the same across the branding but are ranged about 2 inches (NEW? Do not know!) and riding shorts/pants or bibs (either length) for that matter and they also are ranged about the same 2 inch span except Louis G's which are 36 and that is it which I think was smaller than the others. But as I said I have had pants where in one store a 36 fit fine and in another it took a 38 to fit the same and the pants were the same brand and same style!
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Old 08-27-13, 01:43 PM   #3
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What is going on? European brands are notorious for their snugger than normal sizing. Are they that much smaller over there? I don't know. I've been in Europe a lot and language aside, we don't seem that different.
Seriously? This spring I spent two weeks cycling in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Stayed in the shaddow of Monte Grappa. Cycling is extremely popular in that region. The average native cyclists we saw had far less "baggage" than what I typically see on the road here at home. Same was true for the average person walking around, although they are slowly catching up to us. One thing we saw almost none of were overweight and obese young children.

Someone is buying all that "skinny" clothing, and in the clothing factory and high-end bike shop we visited, there were no "club cut" jerseys to be found.
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Old 08-27-13, 02:12 PM   #4
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I understand and agree with most of what you're presenting. But, can't agree with, "we don't seem that different". There is definate body composition difference between the U.S. and europe. http://visual.ly/weight-world Average BMI in the U.S. of 29, Italy 25, France 24. Yep, they're skinnier than the average American. Over a third of Americans are classified as Obese.

But, on the subject size variation. It's actually a good thing that companies use different forms for their sizing. While it doesn't guarantee that the model we desire will fit us, it does provide us the opportunity to find a brand that "fits" our morphology better than the others. Not all XL riders are created equal. Some will be taller than others. Some will have a large chest and defined "V" shape. Others will be the exact opposite.

I do suffer the same frustration with regard to poor quality control and variation within a brand and style. I've started taking several of an item I want into the changing room and trying them all on to find the one that fits the best. Some times I can find as much as a two size variation in the items on a rack that share the same tag size. Store clerks report it is a tremendously frustrating issue for them. And, it significanlty impacts one's ability to purchase with confidence from online sources. If I were a size that the shops could afford to stock, that wouldn't be as much a concern.

But, kudos to Road Holland for trying to fight these issues.
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Old 08-29-13, 08:07 AM   #5
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I have many jerseys that fit in a similar fashion on my body. They differ in "size" from a Race Cut large to a 2XL then we can throw in the "size 6" one as well.

Can we also rant on the difference between European and U.S. full length zippers? Seems that the European (and Champ-Sys) like to put on 'backwards' zippers.

Lay the jersey flat and unzipped. Which side is the pull tab on?
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Old 08-29-13, 09:27 AM   #6
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Well, women's clothing numbers don't match any measurement, so it's always fairly random -- cycling gear and other athletic gear all runs small, but it also tends to run accurate to its sizing charts when they actually display inches, and your women's gear matches other cycling gear pretty well (while running at least a size smaller than street clothing).

I will point out, as someone who had to return something to Road Holland partly because of sizing (and partly because the color didn't work on me) that it would be really helpful to put the rest of the normal sizing measurements up on your page -- all you have is chests for jerseys, and without waist and hips (and ideally length) it's hard to tell what the right sizing is.
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Old 08-29-13, 11:35 AM   #7
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Can we also rant on the difference between European and U.S. full length zippers? Seems that the European (and Champ-Sys) like to put on 'backwards' zippers.

Lay the jersey flat and unzipped. Which side is the pull tab on?
Do you mean left vs. right or inside vs. outside.
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Old 08-29-13, 01:22 PM   #8
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Do you mean left vs. right or inside vs. outside.
left vs. right as you are looking at the jersey laying flat and unzipped in front of you.
Seems all but U.S. jerseys have the pull tab on the left hand side, much like the buttons on women's shirts.
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Old 08-29-13, 01:58 PM   #9
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left vs. right as you are looking at the jersey laying flat and unzipped in front of you.
Seems all but U.S. jerseys have the pull tab on the left hand side, much like the buttons on women's shirts.
In front of me I have a GSC full zip rain shell that I bought in Italy this spring. (We went to the factory. Pretty neat.) The pull tab is indeed on the left side. I don't think it's just cycling clothes. I remember buying a leather jacket in Italy back in '84 during one of my backpack around Europe vacations. The pull tab was on the left side. This confused me for a second or two. However, I actually came to prefer it. While I write and throw with my right hand, kick with my right foot and bat right handed, I do just about everything else with my left hand. I am a goofy foot skateboarder. When I did archery in camp, I shot left handed. I would even play the guitar left handed if I could play. People tried to teach me right handed but I couldn't do it.
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Old 09-03-13, 11:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
I will point out, as someone who had to return something to Road Holland partly because of sizing (and partly because the color didn't work on me) that it would be really helpful to put the rest of the normal sizing measurements up on your page -- all you have is chests for jerseys, and without waist and hips (and ideally length) it's hard to tell what the right sizing is.
Good suggestion... we will work on that.
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