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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-19-06, 02:46 AM   #1
kcmrl
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that wicking material...

am i the only one that this happens to?

when I wear the wicking material, i start sweating before i even start moving. doesn't feel right.
also, what's up with my compression shorts??? on my commute today (the first time I've worn such a thing (x-mart brand)), i felt like i was signalling 'left-turn' during the entire commute. had to manually adjust a few times. annoying!
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Old 06-19-06, 03:37 AM   #2
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Superfine merino wool is the new high tech wicking fabric. Sheep have been using it for many years with success and they never sweat when cycling.
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Old 06-19-06, 07:58 AM   #3
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I wear a nike dri-fit shirt as my base layer in winter. It takes 15 minutes of riding before I start sweating.
Your compression shorts issue would probably be improved with a nicer set of shorts. This should fit better.

My sugoi cycling shorts keep everything in their proper place. My performance shorts do not. To celebrate a promotion I will be replacing the performance shorts in a week or two.
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Old 06-19-06, 08:50 AM   #4
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I've been reluctant to try cycling garb for exactly this reason.

Whenever I wear ordinary clothing that's not 100% cotton, I sweat inside it, even when sitting quietly in a cool, dry, air-conditioned room. It's like being wrapped in Saran Wrap or a Hefty trash bag something, and I'm sweating even before I'm done getting dressed. I've tried all the synthetics in all sorts of mixtures and combinations, with the same result. I always go back to cotton.

I've experimented with cycling in wicking synthetics using several of the sweat management headbands and skullcaps with exactly the same result. My head begins sweating before I have my helmet on, and I'm dripping after less than a mile.

I've not purchased any of the fabulously expensive cycling jerseys or shorts. Instead, I wear t-shirts and jeans or cargo shorts (but they're hard to find in all cotton.) In the upper 80s and muggy, I'm dry until about a mile from work, or in a longer, harder, recreational/training ride, about ten miles. And most of that is because I wear a backpack in both situations. Yes, once I start sweating, the cotton stays wetter, longer, but I'd change out of cycling garb too at my destination, so what's the difference?

Cycling in cotton is a huge fashion faux pas, but I've resigned myself to the fact that in order to be comfortable, I'll have to take the disapproving stares.
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Old 06-19-06, 08:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmrl
when I wear the wicking material, i start sweating before i even start moving.
Are you wearing winter weight clothes? Summer weight jerseys and shorts are lighter/thinner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmrl
what's up with my compression shorts??? on my commute today (the first time I've worn such a thing (x-mart brand)), i felt like i was signalling 'left-turn' during the entire commute. had to manually adjust a few times. annoying!
WTF are compression shorts? Doesn't sound like anything made specifically for cycling.
I wear regular cycling clothes for commuting. Winter weight bibs and jersey in the cool months, summer weight in the warmer months.
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Old 06-19-06, 09:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Are you wearing winter weight clothes? Summer weight jerseys and shorts are lighter/thinner.
No kidding. Stay away from the heavier, winter weight stuff.

Quote:
WTF are compression shorts? Doesn't sound like anything made specifically for cycling.
I wear regular cycling clothes for commuting. Winter weight bibs and jersey in the cool months, summer weight in the warmer months.
FYI, bike shorts ARE compression shorts, but cut and padded for cycling. Get it?
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Old 06-19-06, 09:09 AM   #7
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Compression shorts are just skin tight shorts, they're not cycling specific (I wear them for rugby). Like oboe said, cycling shorts are also compression shorts, but typically not as tight since the purpose of wearing them is different. If someone rides in regular compression shorts though, they'd have to have an ass of steel.. boxer briefs are more padded!
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Old 06-19-06, 09:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rknj
If someone rides in regular compression shorts though, they'd have to have an ass of steel.

Ooh, I think I pulled up behind her at a traffic light last week! Serious hard-body on a cruiser wearing some spandex daydream hotpants...Michelangelo's polished marble had nothing on this girl.
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Old 06-19-06, 10:04 AM   #9
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I wear Under Armor boxer briefs on my commute, not as tight as their compression shorts, but same chafe protection.

When it's cold I wear Under Armor sleeveless compression t-shirt under my regular shirt.
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Old 06-19-06, 01:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Are you wearing winter weight clothes?
Don't think so. whether it's the nike dri-fit tank-tops made for "runners", or for basketball, it always makes me sweat. I think the purpose of the clothing is to attract moisture from your body, whether it's already sweating, or not. The plus: maybe it'll jumpstart me losing some of my water-weight!?!?
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Old 06-19-06, 02:33 PM   #11
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My observation: wicking and other synthetics work when they are close to your body, as in a jersey or a tight shirt. They don't work so well when they are loose, as in a regular T-shirt. In order to wick, the sweat needs to be in contact with the fabric, which needs to be in constant contact with your skin.

Which is unfortunate, because otherwise I really like my AlertShirt T's. And, you know, tight clothing makes me self-conscious of areas that are not quite up to polished-marble standards.
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Old 06-19-06, 03:36 PM   #12
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In all my years of cycling - and I date from the wool cycling short days - I have never had this problem. Weird. I use Giordana cycling shorts (same cut as the tdf riders use - it is what the Waterloo Cycling Club shorts are...) and with these, I never have to "adjust the plumbing" as they fit so well. As well, they are cool in any temp and the only time I sweat in them is if I am actually riding and working at it - riding in cotton, I am drenched in minutes... If I am in my winterweight stuff, I boil almost immediately though since all the materials, synthetic or not, have a high insulation factor. This is a good thing, as the clothing breathes VERY well when in motion, and insulates when soaking wet, which cotton does not. My cycling jacket is ancient - and made of wool with nylon shell pieces on the front only for wind blockage. I will only replace it when it finally dies since I have not seen one in about 20 years like it. If I do ever see one, I will buy it immediately since that material combination is supurb for cold weather riding and wool is amazing when soaking wet - warm, dries fast, and breathes perfectly.

Aren't different body chemistries great ? ;p
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Old 06-19-06, 04:00 PM   #13
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I don't think any fabric will reduce sweating. Fast drying is really what wicking is all about, once you get past the hype. They absorb sweat on the skin side, the sweat soaks through to the outside like cotton, but dries much more quickly than cotton. The evaporation produces a cooling effect, much as it would on bare skin.
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Old 06-19-06, 04:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rknj
If someone rides in regular compression shorts though, they'd have to have an ass of steel.. boxer briefs are more padded!
90% of my riding is in some cheap athletic shorts from target, but I do own one pair of real bike shorts for longer rides (anything over 30miles). I cut the padding out because it was more uncomfortable riding with a diaper than having an uncusioned taint.

I'm happy riding padfree.
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Old 06-19-06, 04:33 PM   #15
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underwear nazi, where are you?!
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Old 06-21-06, 03:35 AM   #16
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If someone rides in regular compression shorts though, they'd have to have an ass of steel.
Hey, thanks! Finally someone notices. Well, it is in a flabby sort of way.

Quote:
I cut the padding out because it was more uncomfortable riding with a diaper than having an uncusioned taint.
Not a word that one encounters in everyday conversation, now is it? I myself ahhh... don't like Target's compression shorts, but prefer the Fitness Gear brand (from Dick's Sporting Goods, it's like a Sports Authority). But that's just me.

I used to wear cotton, but after geting caught in a thunderstorm under a bridge I noticed that my nylon shirt dried and my cotton shorts didn't. Also they fold more compact so it's easier to stash some spares around. However, if I don't rinse them out in water after a ride, they will reek.
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Old 06-21-06, 08:22 AM   #17
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i just sweat and love it.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:03 PM   #18
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i just sweat and love it.
Me too...unfortunately where ever the clothes repell people. Wool buffs...you're saying that the wool does not make you sweat? That's a bit of a pull. My guess is that the wool absorbs more water and just feels dry.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:23 PM   #19
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I wear under armor shirts for my commute (less expensive than jerseys). I've noticed a big difference in comfort between bike clothing that wicks the sweat vs cotton.
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Old 06-21-06, 04:55 PM   #20
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I wear under armor shirts for my commute (less expensive than jerseys). I've noticed a big difference in comfort between bike clothing that wicks the sweat vs cotton.
But does it make you sweat even when you're not moving?
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Old 06-21-06, 05:54 PM   #21
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But does it make you sweat even when you're not moving?
I don't sweat that much anyway. The material keeps me cooler than cotton.
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Old 06-21-06, 08:38 PM   #22
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I wear the UnderArmour sleeveless or DuoFold (ultra thin) long sleeve shirts. Even when it's 50F, I arrive sopping wet
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Old 06-21-06, 09:23 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by bbonnn
Which is unfortunate, because otherwise I really like my AlertShirt T's. And, you know, tight clothing makes me self-conscious of areas that are not quite up to polished-marble standards.
That's odd, because I was going to suggest trying some alertshirts... To me they feel almost exactly like cotton t-shirts (in terms of fabric feel and breathability) but they are SO much more comfortable to wear when sweating because they don't hold the sweat like cotton does and they don't get all stretched and stuff.

And I know sweat ... any kind of exertion and I sweat like an ice cube in a blast furnace. My shirts will be SOAKED after I do anything significant outside.
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Old 06-23-06, 01:33 PM   #24
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I'm wondering
Whether the wicking stuff looses capability after a year or two?
Whether you sweat the same no matter what...??

Last edited by vrkelley; 06-23-06 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 06-23-06, 01:48 PM   #25
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I have some wicking thermals from snowboarding that are probably going on 6 or 8 years now, haven't noticed any difference between them and new ones. As long as they're clean they should wick fine, though eventually odors will accumulate like all synthetics and they'll have to get the boot.
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