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View Poll Results: What do you wear on your rides?

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  • Full Euro team kit [includes Mercury and USPS] all the time

    3 5.26%
  • Mostly technical cyclewear

    28 49.12%
  • Lycra shorts and t-shirt

    17 29.82%
  • Shorts and a t-shirt

    6 10.53%
  • Street/work clothes

    3 5.26%
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  1. #1
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    What do you wear on a ride?

    Cambronne's thread in Rants and Raves got me thinking about what cyclists really DO wear for their sport, and whether it makes much difference, one way or another.

    Me? I couldn't care less how the people I ride with are dressed, but I do wear technical clothes -- lycra shorts, a colourful cycling jersey, sometimes one of the two team jerseys I own [they're just the best quality jerseys that I have], coolmax socks, cycling shoes. I've just found that it's more comfortable and efficient, but then again, I AM a roadie.

    I know from experience that the clothes/bike do not make the man. I know of a guy who wears full team kit and rides a Pinarello who couldn't keep with even a 35 km/h paceline if his life depended on it. Nevertheless, being from a fashion-obsessed part of the world, it's be interesting to see what people are wearing this summer/fall.
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  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Can you vote for more than one option? I wear the technical clothes on longer rides, but for commuting I just wear street clothes so I won't need to change when I get to university.

    Chris
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  3. #3
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    Same as Chris-L, I tend to wear cycling gear on long rides and casual/hiking gear around town.
    We get around 2-3 weeks of shorts weather, so Im usually riding in leggings. Ron Hill tracksters are a popular peice of kit for runners and mountaineers, and dont look out of place around town. My favourite top these days is a Paramo mountain shirt. Unlike a lot of cycling gear , its fluffy on one side, and very comfortable. Most days I need a windproof, and an old polycotton smock is perfect. I save my gortex for heavy rain.
    I really dont like riding around looking like an endorsement for performance enhancing drugs, so my cycling shirts are plain coloured ones.

  4. #4
    Member Jon T.'s Avatar
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    I always seem to feel like some kind of ghetto kid when I'm up on the mountain riding. It seems like every single rider I encounter is in full top of the line lycra/coolmax etc. cycling attire with a million dollar bike under him/her. Honestly, these people either make huge amounts of money or just blow all of it on gear. Myself, I have to many other obligations which eat up most or all of my money usually.

    Im usually just wearing lycra riding shorts underneath a regular pair of shorts ( not ready to come out of the lycra closet yet, lol ) and a plain ol' T-shirt.

    I don't know, it just seems like the wild colors/lycra and neon helmet/shades are kinda out of place in a rugged mountain setting. Road cycling is much more appropriate for these kinds of styles, in my head anyway. I know the synthetic materials are a big help in many ways but how bout some cycling clothes with a toned down, more natural colored idea. And no I don't mean Camo.
    Earth tones would seem more inline with mountain biking in the woods or desert.

    My two cents.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Palafo's Avatar
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    I have two pairs of cycling shorts that look pretty much like regular shorts, and I have three jerseys. One is USPS blue with all the logos and crap, and I hate it. The others are much more
    nondescript. Often I just wear a T-shirt if I'm just bopping around
    town, and sometimes I even just wear regular shorts, without
    padding. I think most bicycle clothes look pretty stupid.

  6. #6
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    I generally wear the technical stuff too, but will hop on my bike in whatever I'm wearing to pop down to the shops, even wearing my sneakers on my spd pedals. I, like MichaelW, only wear plain coloured jerseys.

    I don't object to sponsor emblazoned bike gear per se. What I object to is paying over $100 for the priviledge of owning one. My brother races in a sponsored team and wears the garb they supply. This is perfectly cool with me (up to a point - please ask me how I feel about advertising if you want to ignite a real rant) as this is the nature of sponsorship contracts - they provide support, you advertsise their company.

    The point is that if I am going to be a mobile advertisment I want to paid damn well for it. If I'm going to look like a team racer, then I want to have earned the priviledge based on performance, not 'ability to pay' - any FRC has that.

    There is of course the argument that replica team jerseys are brightly coloured which improves the rider's visibility, but there are plenty of jerseys available that are equally up to the task that are not covered in company logos and actually cost a lot less that replica team gear (Netti, Ground Effect, MEC to name a few).

    And Jon T, I think what you're witnessing is roadie culture infiltrating the mountain bike scene. This was bound to happen when big money got involved and 'professional' MTB racing actually became professional. It's just a same that people can't separate 'racing' from 'riding'. Wear your regular clothes and ride your non-fashionable bike, and kick their butts on every climb
    Last edited by Allister; 09-03-01 at 07:18 PM.
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  7. #7
    SLJ 6/8/65-5/2/07 Walter's Avatar
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    Made the switch (reluctantly) to bike shorts back in the college days and now seldom ride w/o them. As my lower body looks (much) better than my upperbody in form-fitting apparel my vote is definitely in the "shorts/t-shirt" category.
    “Life is not one damned thing after another. Life is one damned thing over and over.”
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  8. #8
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    Team jerseys? No way Jose!

  9. #9
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I do not think the clothes make the cyclist. It is not necessary or should we feel compelled to wear team gear. In my area in the winter, we see professional teams tearing up our roads. We also have some local pro teams- level 3 teams.
    Have meet some of those members at cycle shops. They think their gear is really cool. I think so too. If you look cool,what is wrong with showing it.
    If you relate to one of these teams, it is no different from wearing their gear; as wearing the jersey of your favorite football team. When I have seen the Telekom team tearing up the coastal roads, I think wow. If I were 16 that would be my career goal. At least I do not think they were fake Telekomer's? Too many of them.
    I have ridden in Europe twice. That is where I purchased two team uniforms of teams with which I have favorite team members.
    What effected me, is the reaction of locals to seeing cyclists in team gear. They applaud you like you are a team member. \
    Also, here local race teams, show tremendous pride as a team. If I were that fast, I would wear their uniform with pride.
    Besides, If I were to go on a tour of France again, showing off the colors of the USPS team should have any fan of Lance feel a lot of pride. Besides, I think last years USPS uniform was really cool.
    Maybe, I am just too enthusiatic. In 1999, I saw the USPS team pass by at Vitre. That is when my cycling became zealous. I would not mind looking like that, but preferable on the team.
    Heah, Go Chargers. rather, I mean Lance.
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 09-04-01 at 01:34 AM.

  10. #10
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cyclezealot
    If you relate to one of these teams, it is no different from wearing their gear; as wearing the jersey of your favorite football team. When I have seen the Telekom team tearing up the coastal roads, I think wow. If I were 16 that would be my career goal. At least I do not think they were fake Telekomer's? Too many of them.
    This is a traditional way for a fan to show support for their team. This is something I would have absolutely no concern over if teams colours weren't littered with company logos.

    Football (I'm thinking Aussie Rules and Soccer here - not sure about the N. American code) used to have team colours that were instantly recogniseable, but utterly devoid of any sponsors logos. If I was given to fanatical support for a team, I would wear a replica jumper with pride, and happily pay the asking price.

    This has changed over the years and now football teams have sponsors logos on them - who are they playing for; the team or the company? Wearing one of these jerseys as a fan is now not just a show of support for the team, it is to be a billboard for the team's sponsors. That's not something I'd pay money to do.

    Professional cycling seems to be a slightly different animal from football. (Bear in mind that I'm no expert on sport, I just go on what I observe - please correct me on any points of order.) Cycling teams are named after their sponsors. These sponsors are not bike makers, or even necessarily have anything at all to do with the cycling industry other than the fact that they are the primary sponsor of a racing team. They don't have a geographical identity like football teams do (as much of a farce as that is). The team has no identity apart from the sponsor.

    As such it's impossible to separate the team from the company, so, unlike football supporters, who could conceivably buy a team jumper sans logos and still be recognised as a supporter of that team purely by the colour scheme, a cycling fan wanting to do the same thing in support of say, the ONCE team, is just some bloke in a pink jersey.

    So it's a tricky one. How do you support your favourite team/rider without becoming a mobile advertisement? Would the team colours be distinctive enough that they would be recogniseable even without the logos? Or do you just have to tell yourself that it doesn't matter (and maybe it doesn't and I'm reading too much into all this) and wear the jersey, ads and all?
    Last edited by Allister; 09-04-01 at 02:44 AM.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikebrat's Avatar
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    When I started riding a couple of years ago, I avoided all the cycling clothes 'cause I didn't want to look like a wannabe cyclist. However, rather quickly learned that there was a reason for the gloves, the shorts, the jerseys . . . so, for comfort's sake, I wear pretty much all the "techno-gear" now, though still go for simple, mono-colored jerseys.

  12. #12
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Allister. You know, you have greatly influenced me with your last arguments. I am not necessarily a corporate dog . Yet, of the 200 some pros in the class 1 teams, who will pay their salaries. There would be no sport if not for the corporate sponsors. I have not thought about your arguments until now. This is just what we expect in todays world.
    We might be lucky even if the government were obliged to support even the national cycling teams.
    I just equate wearing the teams jerseys with support of my favorite pro cyclists.
    On the other hand, teams like the defunct McCartney team wholeheartedly had the support of their corporate sponsors. Corporate ads can get obnoxious, yet some corporations do do good work and give generously to favorite causes; maybe not always out of real conviction, I know.
    Go Lance, Go Axel. My favorite pros.

  13. #13
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    On a cycling tour of the Pyrenees, we stopped by a church which had become a shrine to cycle racing. Tour winners had donated their jersies, which were on display. There were about 100 jersies on display, most of them old woolen ones from decades ago, but they all had the logo of the sponsor on. It was weird to see a church decked out with ads from French agricultural banks and German telecomunications companies.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Greg's Avatar
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    All the gear all the time.

    No bright colors or ads on my but+.

  15. #15
    Junior Member MollySol's Avatar
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    I'm with Chris L. on this one too- street clothes for the commute, cycling shorts & either a t-shirt or one of my 2 new technical-type tank tops I picked up on sale a few weeks ago. Once the weather gets cooler, I'm not sure what I'll do. What does everyone do for cool/cold weather riding?

  16. #16
    Senior Member neguypdx's Avatar
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    In the beginning, I was afraid to wear lycra and the jersey. I thought I would be an impostor, like a wolf in sheeps clothes (I think that's the cliche)

    But, now I am a convert. The lycra and coolmax jersey and socks make a huge difference in comfort when biking for more than a few miles around town.

    I gotta say that I totally avoid all advertisements on my body. I am not going to pay $$ to advertise some company, even if I like the team. They should be paying me to have there logo zipping by cars.

    I do like the more flashy colors of jerseys, since being seen is most important when it comes to oblivious drivers.

  17. #17
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    MollySol
    For fall riding, leggings over bike shorts, long sleeved jersey, and a windproof are fine. Mesh shoes can get a bit cold, so try and ride in enclosed footwear. Woolen socks , full gloves, a neck-warmer and head-gear can be used to fine tune insulation.
    For winter, add jersies more windproof leggings, better gloves etc. In your cold/dry Nebraska winters, you should go for windproof rather than waterproof tops. See what cross-country skiers do, cycling is pretty similar. Icebike.com is the place to go
    Underneath a windproof, you dont need rear pockets, so any technical wicking top does the job.

  18. #18
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Well. I do very much need to be seen on my tour of Big Sur next week. I have just thought, in the past I was supporting my favorite rider, by wearing team gear- sometimes. Well., I can say- I do have bright jerseys- so as to be seen w/o corporate logos.
    With your advice under "red jerseys", it looks like a good combination in riding the cliffs of Big Sur is blue cycling shorts and a neon green jersey, the only logo is 'Hind."
    The other bright jersey, hopefully- that will warn on-coming Ferrari's is a bright yellow and red jersey, that does have the work Mercury on it. Don't have to be corporate all the time.

  19. #19
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    On weekend rides I wear good quality lycra shorts and jersey. No team names, just the manufacturers logo (Pearl Izumi, REI, Louis Garneau, etc.).

    For my commute I wear comfortable lycra shorts and a T-shirt. Work clothes won't do since my commute is about one hour each way.

    When cooler weather gets here I'll be wearing arm and leg warmers or long sleeve jersey and tights.
    When it gets cold I'll add a windbreaker and/or jacket and maybe the car heater.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

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  20. #20
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Allister

    So it's a tricky one. How do you support your favourite team/rider without becoming a mobile advertisement? Would the team colours be distinctive enough that they would be recogniseable even without the logos? Or do you just have to tell yourself that it doesn't matter (and maybe it doesn't and I'm reading too much into all this) and wear the jersey, ads and all?
    Probably the latter here. I mean, all of my Manchester United shirts are emblazoned with the old sponsor anyway, since I haven't had the money to buy a new one since their sponsor changed last year. I must say that, when I am instantly recognised by other United fans (quite often at university it seems), the sponsor doesn't even get a mention.

    If anything, the sponsor distinguishes us from other teams that play in red (such as the evil *spit* Liverpool), but it's not something you really think of.

    Chris
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  21. #21
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RonH
    On weekend rides I wear good quality lycra shorts and jersey. No team names, just the manufacturers logo (Pearl Izumi, REI, Louis Garneau, etc.).
    Manufacturer's logos are an interesting one as well. I guess it's a lesser evil, but is it really necessary? Think of it like this - does Armani or Gucci put their logo on the breast of their suits? You'd think the wearers of these graments would want people to know what they are wearing, but sometimes it's simply enough to know that you're wearing good gear without broadcasting that fact.

    All my jerseys have the maker's logo on them, but at least it's small and fairly nondescript, and it seems impossible to avoid them short of making your own. Now, there's an idea: I did just buy my wife a nice new sewing machine...

    Allister

    ps. I wonder how I can remove the decals from my bike without ruining the paint
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  22. #22
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    I don't have any trouble with team kit. I don't think my Saeco jersey is going to encourage anyone to buy an espresso machine, and I doubt my Lotto jersey is going to be terribly effective advertising for the Belgian state lottery -- in Montreal. To a great extent, I see all those logos in much the same sense as those nonsensical English slogan t-shirts popular in Japan a few years back.

    Having said that, I think there's a long tradition of wearing your team's colours in many sports. I have a Montreal Canadiens sweater [three, actually], and I'll often wear it playing shinny at the local outdoor rink. I also have a NZ All Blacks jersey and a Hickory Crawdads baseball cap [I might even explain that some time]. I'm a fan of the sport of cycling -- as well as a recreational participant -- and, as with hockey, I'm happy to show the colours.

    The other thing to consider, of course, is that pro cycling is ENTIRELY supported by the sponsors. Lance, Cipo, Jan, the Pirate and all the others draw their paycheques [or in the case of Mercury-Viatel, don't] from their sponsors. No one makes money from ticket sales and only the UCI makes money from TV broadcast rights. With that in mind, it is advertising that PAYS for pro cycling, advertising and, to a much lesser degree, merchandising. It doesn't bother me that, by wearing the logo of an Italian coffe machine manufacturer, I am doing a small bit to support the sport I love.

    [Incidentally, the sport of bicycle road racing has ALWAYS been a commercial endeavour; it has not been recently commercialized.]

    Besides, some of these jerseys -- like Saeco, Lotto, Rabobank or even USPS -- are pretty nicely designed. And nobody is likely to mistake me for Cipo of Verbrugge.

    I draw the line at full kit, though. I would never wear a Saeco jersey with Saeco shorts [and all the rest]. That's really just too Fredly.
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  23. #23
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    In the beginning, I wore what I had (street clothes.)

    Now, I wear what I can afford for comfort.

    I am still limited by income. But it makes me very inventive...actually, I would love to look like a superhero (in spandex)! :thumbup:
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 09-04-01 at 06:01 PM.

  24. #24
    Mr. Cellophane RainmanP's Avatar
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    For most daily commutes I wear cycling shorts with light nylon shorts to break up the large outline, yellow or red Coolmax t-shirt, Coolmax socks. For weekend rides and some commutes I will wear a solid color Coolmax jersey. I wear Coolmax because in the heat and humidity of New Orleans Coolmax makes a HUGE difference. I pick up Coolmax stuff when it is on clearance at places like sierratradingpost.com, campmor.com and longscycles.com

    I own one beautiful team jersey - Panaria - because 1) little Julio Perez caught my fancy in the Giro, 2) I like the pretty colors, and 3) STP lowered the price enough that I could not pass it up. Not ready to wear it yet. Must get thinner and faster to give it the respect it deserves.
    If it ain't broke, mess with it anyway!

  25. #25
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Originally posted by velocipedio
    Incidentally, the sport of bicycle road racing has ALWAYS been a commercial endeavour; it has not been recently commercialized
    This is true. However, originally the racers were sponsored primarily (if not solely) by the actual bicycle manufacturers. The races were as much a test of whatever design was coming out of the factory as they were of the riders. Remember the old adage 'Win on Sunday, sell on Monday'. Doesn't really happen these days <sigh>
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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