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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, 10:17 AM   #1
Brad Smith
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Getting Geared Up

I've been riding regularly to work now for a week and a half and enjoying it immensely. My body is adjusting nicely, so I figure I now can justify getting geared up for more comfortable riding. The biggest problem is the LBS does not keep a very good stock of a lot of stuff, and the times when I can make it there they do not have their knowledgeable people working. I'm looking for a bit of advice on some things, as the search function makes it hard to find some things (if it doesn't time out on me).

First off, clothing. I currently have half-finger gloves and love them. Saved my hands on my first and only crash. What I am looking for now is a jersey and some shorts.

For the jersey, I don't want a tight fit. I am currently pretty large. My waist is just a hair above 38" (and dropping), and I think my chest is around 44" (not positive about this, but it's close). Is there anything in particular I should look for? I've been looking at some of these:

Novara Hurricane Bike Jersey
Sugoi Mack Daddy Bike Jersey
Novara Draft Bike Jersey
Novara Encounter Bike Tee
Cannondale Fly-By Jersey
Cannondale Atomic Jersey
Fox Flow Jersey
Pearl Izumi Micro Sensor Jersey

Any thoughts or suggestions on any of these? Something else?

Next up is a good pair of bike shorts (to wear with no underwear underneath). I would prefer to avoid the "tights" look for awhile (until I feel a bit better about my appearance). I get enough snickers and laughs already by working out and cycling a lot (apparently people find exercise to be amusing for someone like me). What I want is a nice light pair of shorts with the inner tights with chamois but an outer liner that masks the appearance. I want to avoid the heaviest of the mountain-biking-type shorts. Any thoughts here? I've only been able to find these online. Don't know if they are good.

Fox Mid-Ranger Short
Cannondale Fitness Baggy Short
Nashbar Trail Short
Novara Exposure Mountain Bike Double Shorts
Novara Rail Mountain Bike Double Shorts

My next purchases are going to be fenders, a rack, some panniers, shoes, and clipless pedals. I want to do some more research before bugging the forums for advice again.

Thanks,
Brad
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Old 06-19-06, 11:38 AM   #2
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I've been very pleased with these boxer briefs under cheapo sports shorts. They are lycra and smooth no chafing and wick very well. No padding though if you want that.

For jersey's if you can forgo the pockets - www.alertshirt.com If you need pockets - I've had good luck on ebay.

EDIT - Corrected alertshirt link

Last edited by dalmore; 06-19-06 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 06-19-06, 11:46 AM   #3
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Soccer jerseys from Walmart are a lot cheaper and are made from a good wicking material. I weigh 235 lb and wear Sugoi bib shorts in size XXL - #1 priority is comfort, #2 priority is comfort, #3 priority is comfort. The shoulder straps stop them dropping below the beer belly and revealing the cleavage at the back. The opinions of non-cyclists doesnt matter. I just bought Shimano A520 SPD pedals because the small SPD pedals gave me terrible hotspots on the bottom of my feet on hot rides home. The A520s spread the pressure over a wider area - tried them out yesterday for 34 km at 30C.
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Old 06-19-06, 11:48 AM   #4
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Soccer jerseys from Walmart are a lot cheaper and are made from a good wicking material. I weigh 235 lb and wear Sugoi bib shorts in size XXL - #1 priority is comfort, #2 priority is comfort, #3 priority is comfort. The shoulder straps stop them dropping below the beer belly and revealing the cleavage at the back. The opinions of non-cyclists doesnt matter. I just bought Shimano A520 SPD pedals because the small SPD pedals gave me terrible hotspots on the bottom of my feet on hot rides home. The A520s spread the pressure over a wider area - tried them out yesterday for 34 km at 30C.
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Old 06-19-06, 11:50 AM   #5
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I got these cycling shorts from MEC when I was in Canada a couple weeks ago. They're more like lycra underwear w/ chamois padding. I also picked up these mtb shorts to wear over them or on their own. My commute's not long enough that I need the padded cycling boxers. They're comfy and quick drying and cut slightly above the knee so they don't get hung up when pedaling. You can get something similar to both of these at most sporting goods stores or online. As for a jersey, I just wear a poly shirt from alertshirts or similar.
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Old 06-19-06, 12:14 PM   #6
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Soccer jerseys from Walmart are a lot cheaper and are made from a good wicking material. I weigh 235 lb and wear Sugoi bib shorts in size XXL - #1 priority is comfort, #2 priority is comfort, #3 priority is comfort. The shoulder straps stop them dropping below the beer belly and revealing the cleavage at the back. The opinions of non-cyclists doesnt matter. I just bought Shimano A520 SPD pedals because the small SPD pedals gave me terrible hotspots on the bottom of my feet on hot rides home. The A520s spread the pressure over a wider area - tried them out yesterday for 34 km at 30C.
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Old 06-19-06, 12:21 PM   #7
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Everybody will be different - but here are my thoughts:

As far as comfort goes, I find shorts to be far more important than jerseys. I found a short that works well for me (PI Attack shorts) and I have stuck to them. They are moderate in cost.

For jerseys I have two different types - the ones that I buy are the day-glo yellow ones - whichever brand is on sale. My wife likes to get wierd and wild design jerseys for me.

Fenders are a must if you intend to ride when it is wet out. I shower at each end of my commute, so it is not a big deal for me, but without fenders your drive-train gets filled with grit in no time.
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Old 06-19-06, 01:19 PM   #8
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So you guys would stay away from the items I mentioned in favor of other choices, then?

Also, especially with respect to the shorts, does bicycle clothing usually shrink when washed? My waist is at about 38.5" right now, and I am gradually decreasing that number (was 41-42" several months ago). Most of the sizing charts indicate XL as being 38-41". Would it be best to get the XL or drop down to the L? Or would it be best to just buy one pair and try and get by with it until I've dropped down closer to the L range?
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Old 06-19-06, 01:29 PM   #9
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I buy Ascent shorts off eBay, I paid $18 each for the last couple. I bid on one, when I won it, I asked the guy if I could buy a couple of pair for that much each and not have to bump up the shipping. He agreed.
For shirt, www.alertshirt.com.
Synthetic fibers should not shrink when washed, unless you put them in the dryer and the fibers melt, in which case they're probably ruined. Wash cold, line dry.
For socks, I'm buying the 2 for $5 Wigwam tour socks from Nashbar, they're holding up surprisingly well, but size selection is limited.
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Old 06-19-06, 01:55 PM   #10
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All those jerseys are fine. I was just pointing to an OK alternative at low price. Walmart also have sport socks (0% cotton) at 2 pairs for $5 or something like that price. For shorts get the bibs.
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Old 06-19-06, 04:40 PM   #11
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Nothing much to add other than to second "line drying" (or drying rack drying). I never put my bike gear in the dryer!
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Old 06-21-06, 08:08 AM   #12
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It would appear you are new to cycling aparel. You will develope a wide aray of jerseys and shorts from every make and model. I have no clue where some of my jerseys came from. They all work. Just try on a jersey at the LBS and go from there.
Sorry, I cant coment on your particular list,
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Old 06-21-06, 07:37 PM   #13
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Cycling clothing like jerseys and shorts dont shrink, at least none i've bought have.

The cycling jerseys you list, are all fine, but since your droping weight, go for the cheaper version like simple coolmax T shirts from costco, walmart, target, etc. That way its not a few hundred bucks sitting in a closet till you get big again. Once you get to your target weight, then treat yourself with some fancier jerseys.
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