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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-15-12, 06:40 PM   #1
TripleAce
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Importance of clothing while riding.......

Hi everyone, I just recently starting getting into riding a road bike for exercise. I not a pro cycler and my distance can range about 40-60km at a time.

Im not really comfortable wearing spandex shorts or the long ones but I want something that will allow me to move and stay cool as well. As for the shirt I currently just bought a pretty fitted 80% polyster and 20% spandex. it feels really good but pretty tight. The shirt I dont mind having it spandex material but was possibly looking for alternatives to spandex shorts of full leg.

My question is, how important is the right clothing for performance and comfort when the weather is from mild to hot. Also are there any alternatives to spandex shorts? Iv sometimes seen people wear the spandex shorts but also have like lose bike shorts on top?

Thanks all
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Old 05-15-12, 06:45 PM   #2
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Cycling specific clothing, i.e. the form fitting jersey and tight shorts/bibshorts with chamois, may look funny when you first start, but trust me, it's out of necessity and comfort when you begin to pile on the miles. So, do invest in some good bibshorts and jersey. It's important for your comfort.
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Old 05-15-12, 06:46 PM   #3
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+1 The proper gear can make a huge difference in your comfort levels on the bike.

Getting comfortable wearing the proper gear in front of friends and strangers alike can make a huge difference in your comfort levels off the bike.
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Old 05-15-12, 06:48 PM   #4
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Wearing clothing is important when you're riding, but there is a naked riding thread if that's your thing.
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Old 05-15-12, 06:55 PM   #5
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I ride all year round and I live in michigan,,,every so often I wear riding shorts,,but most of the time,,I ride in blue jeans,,blue jean shorts and a t shirt...I ride for recreation and excercise I dont need to spend 500 dollars on an outfit.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:03 PM   #6
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I ride all year round and I live in michigan,,,every so often I wear riding shorts,,but most of the time,,I ride in blue jeans,,blue jean shorts and a t shirt...I ride for recreation and excercise I dont need to spend 500 dollars on an outfit.
The best thing about denim is that when it's wet it's super comfortable, insulates really well, and evaporates moisture really quickly. Also, that seam up the middle rubbing against your crotch as you ride is just the bees knees.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:06 PM   #7
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The best thing about denim is that when it's wet it's super comfortable, insulates really well, and evaporates moisture really quickly. Also, that seam up the middle rubbing against your crotch as you ride is just the bees knees.
I especially like it during those hot climbing rides.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:09 PM   #8
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Bike shorts are like that for a reason. You are kind of on your own if you reject them. Use something that keeps your boys tight to your body (nothing like getting a nut pinched between your thigh and the saddle) and doesn't chaff your inner thighs. I've put regular shorts over bike shorts before.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:20 PM   #9
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biking oriented clothing for me consists of bike shorts (yes, spandex, thick spandex) and cycling shoes and cleats. everything else is ad hoc.

you can minimize exposure by wearing a medium fit cotton shirt outside your shorts and keep everything nice and neat with a small fanny pack. this will eliminate the necessity for a bike bag too. when you are off the bike the shirt will hide anything (or most of it) you don't want to be seen.

habitually seek the company of other cyclists. no visiting with non-cycling friends that might snicker.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:24 PM   #10
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If you are uncomfortable about spandex, start with a bike shorts under regular street shorts, like some folks do...and very quickly you'll realize that seams stat to hurt and wind catches the shorts etc, and you'll definitely ditch the outer shorts. Shorts or bibs are a must have for comfort. Period. Its just a question of time before your nether regions recognize it. Or just bite the bullet and invest in them from the get go and you'll be happy; and perform better too. Its not like 300lb NFL players like to be seen in spandex either...but it just is more comfortable/efficient. Sport-specific clothing and equipment exists for good reasons.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:28 PM   #11
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I ride all year round and I live in michigan,,,every so often I wear riding shorts,,but most of the time,,I ride in blue jeans,,blue jean shorts and a t shirt...I ride for recreation and excercise I dont need to spend 500 dollars on an outfit.
Here on earth, there isn't any need to spend $500 on an "outfit".
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Old 05-15-12, 07:32 PM   #12
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Im not really comfortable wearing spandex shorts or the long ones but I want something that will allow me to move and stay cool as well. As for the shirt I currently just bought a pretty fitted 80% polyster and 20% spandex. it feels really good but pretty tight. The shirt I dont mind having it spandex material but was possibly looking for alternatives to spandex shorts of full leg.
The shorts are the important thing (shirts not so much).

Maybe, you should look at shorts for mountain biking (not as tight fitting).

The tight shorts take a bit of getting used to. They really aren't embarrassing on the bike.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:34 PM   #13
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Spandex as sports gear is good. Spandex as a fashion statement? Not so much. In other words you wear it because you need it.

Just give in and put the stuff on. What is there to be uncomfortable about? There is a local watering hole that caters to "bikers". Both the spandex kind and the leather kind! LOL....Try walking into a bar full of bikers wearing your spandex sometime! No worries...my middle finger works just fine if someone makes a comment. Seriously man. There is a reason cyclist dress the way they do. Be proud!
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Old 05-15-12, 07:36 PM   #14
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I ride all year round and I live in michigan,,,every so often I wear riding shorts,,but most of the time,,I ride in blue jeans,,blue jean shorts and a t shirt...I ride for recreation and excercise I dont need to spend 500 dollars on an outfit.
Bike or no bike...no one wears denim shorts anymore. Unless you're a chick and we're talking Daisy Dukes...then forget I said anything.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:48 PM   #15
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+1 for mountain bike shorts if you're uncomfortable showing off your legs. Some of them have a padded stretch inner with a loose nylon outer, so they look almost like regular shorts. They should be comfortable enough for 40-60km.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:49 PM   #16
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.I ride for recreation and excercise I dont need to spend 500 dollars on an outfit.
Neither does anyone else. $20 Performance jerseys work as well as any others, and $50 gets you a decent pair of shorts. $75 for bibs.

My base layer is usually one of a bunch or Russell Athletic irregulars that I got for $10 apiece at Job Lot. Nice light wicking fabric, just like the Under Armor you'd pay 5x as much for.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:51 PM   #17
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The proper gear can make a huge difference in your comfort levels on the bike.
This.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:56 PM   #18
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I always wear clothing when I ride.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TripleAce View Post
Hi everyone, I just recently starting getting into riding a road bike for exercise. I not a pro cycler and my distance can range about 40-60km at a time.

Im not really comfortable wearing spandex shorts or the long ones but I want something that will allow me to move and stay cool as well. As for the shirt I currently just bought a pretty fitted 80% polyster and 20% spandex. it feels really good but pretty tight. The shirt I dont mind having it spandex material but was possibly looking for alternatives to spandex shorts of full leg.

My question is, how important is the right clothing for performance and comfort when the weather is from mild to hot. Also are there any alternatives to spandex shorts? Iv sometimes seen people wear the spandex shorts but also have like lose bike shorts on top?

Thanks all
first off, no one cares what you are wearing, WHILE you are cycling. Are you a diva, a look at me type? The spandex added to the lycra is to allow the material to move when you move and return to where it's supposed to be (ie, no pain from chafing that no one will ever see). So put on the right stuff and go for a ride. You want to look like an idiot, then go about your day NOT CYCLING while wearing cycling clothes. That's where the bluejeans trolls were headed.

The sooner you lose the hangups, the more you'll enjoy the activity. Again, no one is looking at you, no one cares at all.
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Old 05-15-12, 07:58 PM   #20
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The best thing about denim is that when it's wet it's super comfortable, insulates really well, and evaporates moisture really quickly. Also, that seam up the middle rubbing against your crotch as you ride is just the bees knees.
Before I was a "real" cyclist, I once wore jeans on a ride at about 85º, and I puked because I was so hot.
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Old 05-15-12, 08:03 PM   #21
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Give mountain bike shorts a try, they have a lycra padded liner inside a pair of regular baggy nylon shorts. Very comfortable and you can wear them into a store or restaurant without folks staring at you.
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Old 05-15-12, 08:45 PM   #22
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Embrace the Lycra while it embraces you. Your twig and grapes will thank you.
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Old 05-16-12, 01:46 AM   #23
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PAnother vote for mountain bike shorts; however, I have still yet to find a pair with a good inner liner and chamois pad. For short commute to work, I will usually wear sport compression boxer briefs underneath the MTB shorts. (On trails, I wear a good lycra road shorts under the MTB shorts; MTB shorts are very durable fabric that don't get torn up as easily by rocks and branches as spandex does!) MTB shorts are also designed for bike riding, so they are usually tighter through the crotch so you don't catch your shorts on the saddle, something that could easily happen in looser board shorts, basketball shorts, etc.

The main disadvantages of MTB shorts on the road are they are more of a wind sail, they are usually hotter on a warm day, and might cause chafing over typical spandex road shorts. When riding for fun instead of commuting, I always choose proper roadie bib shorts... Feels better and works the best.
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Old 05-16-12, 02:25 AM   #24
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I wear lycra/spandex shorts. I'm sure I don't look good in them. But they sure are comfortable and I found that the Performance Ultra fabric breathes really well. Black shorts won't look as bad as, say, bright colors. Black hides the guy-parts, if that bothers you.
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Old 05-16-12, 05:44 AM   #25
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1. Clothing is optional...as long as you are a hawt gal

2. You don't need cycling specific padded shorts. Some can't live without them, some like me can take em or leave em. For 90% of my riding I wear poly-blend or wool boxer briefs....the wool is kind of expensive, don't keep the boys in place as well and not as durable, you can get the poly-blend, flat-seamed Starter briefs at Walmart for like 10 bucks a pop...I think Target carries something similar as Champion brand, and there are tons you can find on Amazon. You can wear a any kind of short over them, but those with a decent wicking material, flat seams and a gusseted crotch are more comfy. Try Prana Mojos...they aren't real baggy so you don't have a problem catching them on your saddle.

If I want to dress up like a roadie to go play with roadies...I usually wear bibs.
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