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  1. #1
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    Cycling Jerseys. Who Needs 'Em?

    I can appreciate the need for having a wicking material against the skin during cold weather. However I am having a hard time understanding why a cycling jersey is necessary in the hot weather. Aside from the convenience of the pockets, why does everyone wear one. Why not wear no top at all or just a cheaper cotton garment?

    Is this just a fashion deal or what?

    BTW, I own several Long Sleeve cycling jerseys which i love in winter but only have one Short Sleeve. Just trying to figure out if i should get more.

  2. #2
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    "Why not wear no top at all" - You have heard of sunburn haven't you? Plus, wearing any lightweight shirt is cooler than no shirt at all.

    "a cheaper cotton garment" - Cotton absorbs moisture and doesn't do as good a job wicking the moisture away from your skin as a modern jersey.

    Even in the summer time I wear a wicking t-shirt under my cycling jersey. I sweat a lot and find that this combination keeps me cooler by actively wicking the perspiration away from my skin during a ride.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stubacca's Avatar
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    It's all about the pockets!!!!

    I think it depends on how long you ride for and how much you sweat. I sweat a lot, and the wicking material helps draw the sweat away from the body and evaporate for cooling. When I wear a t-shirt on a hot day, it usually ends up saturated and is very uncomfortable. If you're only riding short distances or times maybe a t-shirt would work fine. I do a fair amount of my riding on roads, so I like the added visibility of a brightly colored cycling jersey. Makes me stand out from the surroundings.

    Cycling in a t-shirt is a disgusting experience for me, and me cycling without a shirt would be a disgusting experience for everyone else.

  4. #4
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    Second on the sunburn comment and second on the any shirt is cooler than no shirt. The sun hitting my skin directly keeps me much hotter than if I have a shirt reflecting sun away.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE
    "Why not wear no top at all" - You have heard of sunburn haven't you?
    I've also heard of a tan. I spend a lot of the summer without a shirt on. Once you get very tan it no you don't burn. I expose my skin in small stages so it gradually gets tan. I know, I know.....not healthy, blah, blah, blah......... IThe only time I have ever gotten burned on top of a dark tan is when I went to Mexico one summer. The sun was much more intense there.

  6. #6
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    Ever fall off? They offer some crash protection, decreasing (off)road rash, give me three places to put my stuff, help keep me cool, make me more visible so I don't get hit on the road, give my wife something else to get me.
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    I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.

  7. #7
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I wear cotton or a plane jersey material shirt. I hate wearing flashy clothing.

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    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    cotton in the summer heat of the midwest? what kind of crops do you have down there!!

    no shirt? what happens when you stop and go get a soda or water? no shirt, no service.

    when i bought my first nice jersey i thought <and still think> that it was the finest wardrobe upgrade i could ever make. have you ever rode 100+ miles per week in cotton? can you say chafed nipples?

    have you ever stopped after having soaked through a cotton T? no matter the weather, i feel chilled <even in 80+ degree weather>

    and the pockets....oh those sweet pockets....
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  9. #9
    seeking simple
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    I wear a shirt because I'm a female.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwinnbikelove
    I wear a shirt because I'm a female.
    Damn it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by schwinnbikelove
    I wear a shirt because I'm a female.
    That is one of the last rights the American Male has left. Won't be long and they'll have us all wearing brazieres. Then again if Janet Jackson makes anymore progress mayble all of the lassies will shed their tops?

  12. #12
    One knee is enough SchreiberBike's Avatar
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    Jerseys are nice, but they are probably the least significant clothing choice. Padded shorts make a huge difference, gloves, shoes, helmet, even socks are more significant.

    I only wear a jersey if I'm going long distances and/or need the pockets.

    If you're going to choose what to spend your money on I think a second jersey would be about the least bang for your buck.
    "The more you tighten your grip . . . the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

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    Quote Originally Posted by SchreiberBike
    Jerseys are nice, but they are probably the least significant clothing choice. Padded shorts make a huge difference, gloves, shoes, helmet, even socks are more significant.

    I only wear a jersey if I'm going long distances and/or need the pockets.

    If you're going to choose what to spend your money on I think a second jersey would be about the least bang for your buck.

    Sounds logical. I have just made the plunge into padded shorts. I can't say that I have noticed a HUGE difference. It certainly hasn't been the revelation that the Brooks saddle was. I have avoided the longsleeve speedos so far.

    I have just bought baggie shorts w/ pads and also bought a Nike cycling liner. I just can't bring myself to wear LS Speedos. I mainly only ride for an hour or two at a time. I think I will just use my one SS jersey as a test agains other cotton, summer type shirts.

    I wear a Nathan cycling/jogging high visiblity mesh vest at all times for visibility. My water bottles hold water and my seat pack holds other junk.

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    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    The wicking of sweat helps keep you cool.
    Having a top on keeps you from getting sunburn and some road rash protection.
    The tight fit helps with aerodynamics.
    The tight fit also reduces muscle shake, which causes fatigue.
    Pockets.

  15. #15
    bac
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    RIP, Thong-man!

  16. #16
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Oh god, how many times does that picture have to resurface!!


    In the summer, if it's not too humid, a synthetic wicking shirt leaves me feeling hot and dry in the breeze. Cotton holds on to the moisture and when a breeze hits, acts like an air conditioner.
    But if it's humid, I'm screwed.

  17. #17
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    I tried a few jerseys, even bought one. I hate them. My favorite top to ride in is a thin synthetic t-shirt by ex-officio.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  18. #18
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    There are alternatives to the cycling specific shirts. I prefer Patagonia's silk weight Capiline ****s. They aren't as gaudy, don't have pockets which I don't use and they hold up much better than typical cycling shirts in the woods. They wick as well as the best cycling shirts and they cost "only" $34.00 list. I was given a very nice plain cycling shirt. I find that it's as nice as Capiline, but the bulk of the pockets makes it less comfortable under my hydration pack for road cycling.

    Al

  19. #19
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    This thread reminds me of our old friend, inoplanetyanin, who rode across the country in cotton garments, without a single piece of lycra or polyester.

    i used to wear t-shirts, but the ones with big neckholes catch a lot of air and your shirt is left billowing in the wind. the shirttail also waves around in the wind. i guess it's not that aerodynamic, and also it's not terribly comfortable.
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  20. #20
    edk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger
    I can appreciate the need for having a wicking material against the skin during cold weather. However I am having a hard time understanding why a cycling jersey is necessary in the hot weather. Aside from the convenience of the pockets, why does everyone wear one. Why not wear no top at all or just a cheaper cotton garment?

    Is this just a fashion deal or what?

    BTW, I own several Long Sleeve cycling jerseys which i love in winter but only have one Short Sleeve. Just trying to figure out if i should get more.
    Sierra trading post - get a cheap ~$10 - $20 wicking NON cotton shirt.

    no shirt and cotton are such bad ideas. Cotton will soak through on even a mildly agrresive ride and no shirt seems like a less than modest idea, what would ladies do? (hmmm.... on second thought!). why not take advantge of modern clothing options when yo can get the stuff so cheap and it adds so much?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by edk
    Sierra trading post - get a cheap ~$10 - $20 wicking NON cotton shirt.

    no shirt and cotton are such bad ideas. Cotton will soak through on even a mildly agrresive ride and no shirt seems like a less than modest idea, what would ladies do? (hmmm.... on second thought!). why not take advantge of modern clothing options when yo can get the stuff so cheap and it adds so much?
    What is wrong with it soaking through? I mean when it is 100 degrees out I can think of nothing better than having a wet garment covering my torso, especially with a nice wind. I guess that is where I don't follow the logic. Obviously it is bad to get wet when it is cold, but getting wet when it is hot sounds like what you want.

  22. #22
    It tastes like burning! deliriou5's Avatar
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    ranger... you obviously don't live in a very humid area.... out here on the east coast, when it's 90% humidity, it don't matter if the wind is blowing 50 miles an hour.... it won't do a thing to cool you.
    The only true knowledge is knowing that you know nothing - Socrates

    Back on the bike!!

  23. #23
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    I like the $5.00 cool-tek or whatever they are called from that mart place. I wear 'em alone in the summer and under cotton in the winter for wicking. Do the trick at a price that can't be beat. Who needs pockets in the back when I got a rack trunk on the bike! YMMV

  24. #24
    Senior Member fujibike's Avatar
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    I like the fact that jerseys wick the sweat away, offer handy pockets, and come in a variety of patterns/colors that offer a great degree of visibility.

  25. #25
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fujibike
    I like the fact that jerseys wick the sweat away, offer handy pockets, and come in a variety of patterns/colors that offer a great degree of visibility.
    I say wearing a wicking jersey is better than going shirtless...Going shirtless, I have sensed the sweat pools more so, then when wearing a jersey. The wicking material like channels up the sweat. Not so bare naked.

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