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Old 03-17-08, 09:07 AM   #1
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Best Cycling Clothing Selection: Boston?

Friends,

What store(s) in the metro Boston area have the best selection of brands, styles, sizes for cycling clothing?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-18-08, 06:36 AM   #2
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Wheelworks has that reputation among the dudes I ride with. My LBS in Holliston has a small, carefully chosen selection that has always worked well so maybe not the lowest price but great value.
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Old 03-18-08, 06:55 AM   #3
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Hi, Sherborn -- Thanks for the tip. I sometimes find Wheelworks a little lacking in the selection department (and those prices -- oof!), but, til now, I may have only looked for specialized things like knee warmers (only one style/brand in the store). Right now, I'm getting ready to go spend my birthday money on some tights and long- and short-sleeve jerseys. I've tried the Web places, but for clothing, it's dicey, I find.
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Old 03-18-08, 07:01 AM   #4
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Check out steepandcheap.com they have good stuff sometimes (got castelli tights and ls shirt for cheap)
, the other place is REI (Framingham). I got shoes there last week and noticed their clothing selection is pretty good. Lot's of PI stuff.
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Old 03-18-08, 07:09 AM   #5
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Excellent, Spartan -- my wife actually works in Framingham, so I could combine a lunch with her with a trip to REI -- something I've been meaning to do anyway! Thanks for the tip.

I'm going to try to shop local for the clothes, to get a better fit (and -- to a lesser degree -- because it supports local businesses).
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Old 03-18-08, 07:15 AM   #6
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Excellent, Spartan -- my wife actually works in Framingham, so I could combine a lunch with her with a trip to REI -- something I've been meaning to do anyway! Thanks for the tip.

I'm going to try to shop local for the clothes, to get a better fit (and -- to a lesser degree -- because it supports local businesses).

If you join REI last I checked they were having a 20% of members sale if you had any big purchases in mind. They also offer bike maintenance classes.
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Old 03-18-08, 03:32 PM   #7
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If you join REI last I checked they were having a 20% of members sale if you had any big purchases in mind. They also offer bike maintenance classes.
Thanks for mentioning that -- I'll be sure to check and see if my membership is current (it's been a while!).

I've thought about their bike maintenance classes too. I've heard they're great. Right now, to save money (I'm about to finish grad school), I'm teaching myself bike repair, with Howard Zinn's book.
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Old 03-18-08, 06:29 PM   #8
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The membership is lifetime so you should be all set and the basic class is free, the mechanics class is 75$ for members.
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Old 03-19-08, 04:54 AM   #9
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Hi, Sherborn -- Thanks for the tip. I sometimes find Wheelworks a little lacking in the selection department (and those prices -- oof!), but, til now, I may have only looked for specialized things like knee warmers (only one style/brand in the store). Right now, I'm getting ready to go spend my birthday money on some tights and long- and short-sleeve jerseys. I've tried the Web places, but for clothing, it's dicey, I find.
Despite this, they still seem to have the best selection in the area. You're right about the prices, as they tend to stock the best items from each line they carry, and charge msrp (at least until clearance time comes). For shoes, jerseys, shorts, bibshorts, and gloves, they are the best, IMO.

For tights and long sleeve jerseys, REI is a good choice. I've not been to the Framingham location, only the store in Reading. Brands seem limited to PI, Sugoi, Cannondale, and Novara. I also like to buy nutrition products there, as they have a wide selection, and rapid turnover to prevent accidentally buying out-of-date stuff (I always check dates, as I've been burned in the past).

The store I really miss is Decathlon. They carried lots of cycling clothes, and had sales often. Alas, they pulled out a couple of years ago. When my Decathlon-branded tights die, I'll be in the same boat as you are now.
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Old 03-19-08, 06:54 AM   #10
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You guys rock -- great info. Thanks!
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Old 03-19-08, 07:40 AM   #11
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I admired Decathlon and REI for carrying bike stuff; pretty happy too until I bought at a small LBS with only msrp, good stuff (Grace, Holliston). Jacket, booties and tights are far superior value to Decathlon or REI. My wife usually manages to bite her tongue when I angst over $25 then spend 500 hours using the item. I've ridden 2200 miles, ~130 hours since November 07. My toes and legs are far, far more comfortable than past winters; $0.20 per hour* for that improved comfort? Okay, esthetics are nicer too. I can think of times I'd pay $25 for an hour less discomfort. There is a Spitzer joke in there someplace but I'm not going there.

According to my wife's best value perspective: Simple Life, Decathlon, Ski Market, REI, International Bike then top 3 are: Landrys, Wheelworks, and Grace. Now I don't dare tell her how much I spent on my Serrota frame.

*ytd. It goes to 10c then 5c based on projected wear and quality of manufacture. Don't even talk about comfort.
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Old 03-19-08, 07:43 AM   #12
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You know don't be afraid to spend some money on good (read that as durable) clothes. I have a pair of elasticized wool tights (Descente), that I purchased as a teen back in the 70s. And all I remember about them (at the time) was that they were freaking expensive as hell. I still have them and still ride with them probably 100+ days a year. I think I got my moneys worth out of them!

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Old 03-19-08, 01:48 PM   #13
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Wow! I am impressed. My Bell Helmet and Detto Pietro shoes have worn away; only my toe clip straps and Brooks B17 have survived.
If I had the same, the elastic would have a freaking hell of a time if I tried to fit in something I wore in the 70s.
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Old 03-20-08, 04:10 PM   #14
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My toes and legs are far, far more comfortable than past winters; $0.20 per hour* for that improved comfort? Okay, esthetics are nicer too. I can think of times I'd pay $25 for an hour less discomfort. There is a Spitzer joke in there someplace but I'm not going there.
Excellent point, and one that Zac echoed firmly. I will be shopping tomorrow, and I'll be looking more toward quality than value, thanks to you guys.

And the joke about the Spitzer joke was funnier than the Spitzer joke would have been.
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Old 03-21-08, 08:37 AM   #15
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I'm teaching myself bike repair, with Howard Zinn's book.
You might want to get your Zinns straight, before you attempt bike repair under the tutelage of a left-wing historian


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Old 03-21-08, 09:06 AM   #16
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You might want to get your Zinns straight, before you attempt bike repair under the tutelage of a left-wing historian
I would also say that if you want a bit of progressive politics to go with your bike maintenance knowledge, you could take mechanics class at Bikes Not Bombs. I went through their 5 session program and found it to be really helpful. Made it easier to parse a lot of stuff in the Road Bike maintenance boke.
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Old 03-21-08, 12:38 PM   #17
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Sounds like a very cool class. Several shops offer classes.
I like mixing bikes and politics. Some how burning energy on a bike and having to pause while cranking up a hill keeps taboo subjects on a more even, open minded keel.

Now politics during repairs, particularly when the derailleur cable is just a little short, drop a screw on the dirty garage floor, round off my favorite allen wrench then lose my place in either Zinn, may not be the best time to add fuel to the fire.
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Old 03-22-08, 08:31 AM   #18
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You might want to get your Zinns straight, before you attempt bike repair under the tutelage of a left-wing historian
Beautifully funny and sadly true. Guess my Cambridge colors are showing.

My only excuse is grad school dementia and early-onset middle age-itis.
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Old 06-28-08, 07:54 AM   #19
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Folks, here's an update to this wonderfully useful thread.

On Thursday, I stopped by Wheelworks, as I do every couple of weeks, to pick up a few things. While there, I shopped for a short-sleeved jersey. I found little that was different from what had been there for weeks, and that selection was unsatisfactory to me. Granted, they have some gorgeous stuff if you want to pay $100-200, but that is way beyond my reach right now. I demurred.

Yesterday, my wife and I headed out to REI Natick for some camping gear (we'll be at Bar Harbor end of July for a week!). While there I shopped for jerseys. I hadn't been to their store before, b/c this thread led me to stick with Wheelworks for clothing for the last few months. I have to say, I was very impressed with the jersey selection on the low-to-mid-price range, and the quality was quite acceptable, maybe even better than acceptable.

I can't speak to other clothing needs at REI (tights, shorts, jackets, etc.), because I haven't looked yet. But for those of you on a budget and looking for (at least) jerseys, do yourself a favor and head out there. I don't have half the miles that most on this thread do, but it looks to me like jerseys are one item you can scrimp a bit on (especially if you also have a few nice ones). The low-priced ones have lasted just fine for me and my friends, look fine, and keep us plenty cool.
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Old 06-29-08, 06:04 AM   #20
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if you don't mind shopping off-season, and especially if you have any interest in stuff for runners, city sports' basement on bromfield st in downtown boston sometimes has really good deals. it's just one of those places where if you go once, you might not find anything, but if you go 3 times, you might find what would amount to a few hundred dollars at full price on clearance for 40 or 50 bucks at most. i have a closet full of winter gear that i got there at probably a fifth of retail, and a plain descente jersey that was about $10.
city sports on boylston does not have a basement, unfortunately.
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Old 06-29-08, 08:27 AM   #21
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if you don't mind shopping off-season, and especially if you have any interest in stuff for runners, city sports' basement on bromfield st in downtown boston sometimes has really good deals. it's just one of those places where if you go once, you might not find anything, but if you go 3 times, you might find what would amount to a few hundred dollars at full price on clearance for 40 or 50 bucks at most. i have a closet full of winter gear that i got there at probably a fifth of retail, and a plain descente jersey that was about $10.
city sports on boylston does not have a basement, unfortunately.
ooh, thanks for the tip. I work in downtown but have never really checked out that City Sports branch (I usually just drop by the Harvard Square one, which doesnb't have any clearance sections that I could see)

hey, BR, enjoy Bar Harbor! planning on taking your bike on the carriage roads? getting up early to ride up to Cadillac Mountain makes for a great climb, imho.
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Old 06-29-08, 09:11 AM   #22
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SW, thanks for the bon voyage... we're really looking forward to it.

I am contemplating leaving the bike at home. a) My wife doesn't get much free time with me when I'm not obsessing about my next ride. b) I could use a rest week now and then to re-charge the body and the passion. c) Also, I'm not sure about stowing the bike when we're out and about. We're just going to have a Civic with us, and taking it in and out of the car various times a day to keep it safe doesn't appeal to me, nor does leaving it locked at the campsite. Anyone have experience with this?

As you can tell, I'm not yet convinced about leaving it at home...
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