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  1. #1
    Senior Member marvelous's Avatar
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    Bicycle clothing

    I would like to know if anyone out there does ultra long distance rides without wearing spandex. Am I the only one? I go for being casual when I ride as much as I go for riding fast. I've even been known to wear polo shirts and khaki shorts on century rides. Anyway if you don't you should. I also wear mountain biking clip less pedal shoes that you can walk in. If you ever happen into a winery along your travels or wish to partake in some fine dining with friends it's really nice to have on traditional attire.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    No, you're not the only one.

    And telling experienced cyclists what they "should" wear is a little bit presumptuous ... most of us have experimented with a wide range of clothing and know what works for us in a variety of situations, environmental conditions, etc.

    Your polo shirts and khaki shorts would never have worked on some of the winter centuries I've done, for example.

  3. #3
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    Nothing wrong with wearing what you wear. The only problem is when cotton gets wet, ie from sweat, it takes a lot longer to dry then polyester, thus you could get a chill depending on the temp outside.

    If you want cheap biking clothing, you can at least get 100 polyester jersey's from Walmart for about $12 and they work as good as the expensive LBS boutique stuff; they fit a bit loose but I find loose fitting jerseys to be cooler anyways. Shorts though is a different problem, you need to spend money at an LBS or a web store to find a good shorts with padding and paneling; again though I find mtb shorts to work better for me even though I too ride a road bike, because they have a looser fitting and don't have that Spandex look and they last longer.

    In the winter time...I dunno know, I hate riding when it's below 30 and or there's snow or ice on the roads.

  4. #4
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvelous View Post
    I would like to know if anyone out there does ultra long distance rides without wearing spandex.
    You can certainly wear whatever you want. Lycra cycle shorts help avoid saddle sores and don't flap around in the wind, tight lycra is supposed to help muscle performance too.

    MTB gear may be a good option if you're self conscious.

    What do you mean by ultra long distance?

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    What do you mean by ultra long distance?

    Based on his original post, I'm guessing he thinks of centuries as ultra long distances.


    You can wear whatever you want on that sort of distance ... I've ridden half centuries (80 km) in a bathing suit and beach shorts ... when you do get up to ultra long distances, you might want to consider some other options. That said, I know a guy who rides 1200K randonnees in gym shorts ... that works for him.

  6. #6
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    And of course if you feel inadequate in cycle shorts you can try a sock or two down the front.

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    Thank you for posting your question and answer in the first post.

    The remaining thread is useless, he will always wear what he wants anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Based on his original post, I'm guessing he thinks of centuries as ultra long distances.
    That said, I know a guy who rides 1200K randonnees in gym shorts ... that works for him.
    Ouch! I mean even with a jock strap I would be in pain riding that long in gym shorts, and jock straps are uncomfortable for long riding, I tried that combination back when I first started racing...did I say ouch already?

  9. #9
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Machka's right . There is no should. Do as you want. Long distance to me, makes dedicated clothes all the more important. Cause, when in the middle of a long tour, you don't want a sore butt. Plus, the heat factor, dedicated clothes are all the more important. Long rides and clothes that don't breathe, no thanks. To hell with with other people think . I'm on the bike for maybe five days. Be comfortable if bike clothes is what it takes.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






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  10. #10
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    I often arrange for friend to meet me at a winery half way through a double century so we can partake in fine dining. A few electrolyte tabs in the pinot helps with the cramps.

    Actually seriously, this is one of my fav shirts as I can go out after the ride. More for touring that "ultra".
    http://www.torpedo7.co.nz/products/N...ramerino-Shirt

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    Ouch! I mean even with a jock strap I would be in pain riding that long in gym shorts, and jock straps are uncomfortable for long riding, I tried that combination back when I first started racing...did I say ouch already?
    He's a very experienced long distance cyclist. I rode with him on the RM1200 and have met up with him on several other 1200s along the way. He organized the 1200 on the east coast of NA this summer ... in the Washington DC area.

    I suspect he rides a Brooks saddle, but I'm not sure.

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    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvelous View Post
    I would like to know if anyone out there does ultra long distance rides without wearing spandex. Am I the only one? I go for being casual when I ride as much as I go for riding fast. I've even been known to wear polo shirts and khaki shorts on century rides. Anyway if you don't you should. I also wear mountain biking clip less pedal shoes that you can walk in. If you ever happen into a winery along your travels or wish to partake in some fine dining with friends it's really nice to have on traditional attire.
    Ever been caught in the rain wearing cotton?
    Even better: Ever been caught in the rain IN THE MOUNTAINS wearing cotton?

    In my case, thankfully it was only cotton socks, but that was the last time.

  13. #13
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Ever been caught in the rain wearing cotton?
    Even better: Ever been caught in the rain IN THE MOUNTAINS wearing cotton?

    In my case, thankfully it was only cotton socks, but that was the last time.
    Why didn't you just stop at the nearest winery and sit in front of the roaring log fire?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I suspect he rides a Brooks saddle, but I'm not sure.
    I have a couple of Brooks myself, and I would still not ride any of those with just gym shorts...but obviously he can and that's great, only wish I could!

  15. #15
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Wear whatever you want. If it makes you happy, that's all that matters. But please don't harsh on anyone else's fun....

    I've never had an issue being served in a nice restaurant or winery wearing typical road gear. Take the cleats off before you walk through the door and you're good. (Wood floors and cleats don't go well together.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by marvelous View Post
    I would like to know if anyone out there does ultra long distance rides without wearing spandex. Am I the only one? I go for being casual when I ride as much as I go for riding fast. I've even been known to wear polo shirts and khaki shorts on century rides. Anyway if you don't you should. I also wear mountain biking clip less pedal shoes that you can walk in. If you ever happen into a winery along your travels or wish to partake in some fine dining with friends it's really nice to have on traditional attire.
    I like eating at a nice restaurant with normal attire too, but I don't like it when said attire is encrusted with sweat from 50 or 100 miles of strenuous riding. I also don't like wearing out my SPD cleats by walking on hard surfaces. My preference? Packing spare clothing that you can change into when you aren't riding. There's a certain joy in putting on a fresh shirt before sitting down to a nice meal.

    But that's my preference. Which is mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    But that's my preference. Which is mine.
    I'm thinking it's also the preference of the restaurant management and all of it's customers.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I carry running shorts to slip on over my snug bike shorts so I am less self conscience in grocery or convenience stores. I also carry a light vented cap to cover my gross head when I take the helmet off. These are just personal choices that I wouldn't suggest be required for other riders. In addition, I sweat too much to wear regular clothing and certainly never anything khaki which would change color when wet.

    I don't wear a logo jersey - but I do wear synthetic shirts for exercising because they don't show the sweat and because they let the water dry off my body. For example - cotton would jest get wet and stay wet.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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