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  1. #1
    Senior Member fskywalker's Avatar
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    Compression Clothing For Actual Bicycle Riding (Not recovery): Recommended?

    Hi. A friend of mine suggested the use of compression knee / calf / ankle (etc) clothing to reduce the risk of cramps and fatigue on the legs during actual road cycling riding. I was reading information about Recofit (calf, full leg, etc) and Zensah products but the advertising seems to be oriented at recovery rather than actual riding. Questions are:

    1-Do you use such products for actual riding?
    2-If so, do you recommend them? Which brand and model?
    3-Are they suitable for hot and humid weather (Live in Puerto Rico, very hot and humid here most of the year; about 90 deg F and 90% humidity)

    Thanks,

    Francisco
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    I will stick with lycra shorts & jersey. No interest in any more clothing in hot weather.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  3. #3
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    id first look at nutrition. what are you using to fuel and replenish electrolytes?

  4. #4
    Senior Member fskywalker's Avatar
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    Hi. I typically use Gatorade /water and eat fruits or gel products while riding. I haven't had any cramp issues yet, just wanted to know whether this type of products are a good idea for cycling.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    I use compression tights under the bibs on super cold days and calve sleeves on coolish days, just to keep the legs warm rather than compression.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    Yeah, 2XU or CEP compression sleeves on my legs riding. This is due to incompetent deep veins in one leg, not for recovery or cramping. If I didn't have to, I wouldn't. Too hot.

  7. #7
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    From what I've seen, the only research which shows any real performance benefit from compression tights is... put out by the companies that make compression tights. There are some indications they might help a little bit with recovery. ( Compression Wear for Cycling Recovery and Performance | Bicycling Magazine )

    They don't appear to cause any harm, but I'd rather not wear an extra layer in a hot environment.

    I'd skip it during rides, and consider wearing them for recovery purposes if you're doing day-after-day efforts.

  8. #8
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    Runners use them while running; that's enough right there to put me off them.

    14921b51761cb503be6957bd1abc1326da746676cb583905e83a23639d1e0017.jpg


    Maybe after a ride, but not during. There's also those muscle stimulators that a lot of the pros use after a ride, in addition to their massages.

    I never thought knee-high socks would make a comeback. What's next, terry cloth headbands and <gasp> wrist bands?

    Last edited by bbattle; 06-22-14 at 05:17 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jkuper's Avatar
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    I saw a fair amount of RAAM riders in western Maryland over this weekend and many of them had compression calves sleeves on. I personally never wore them on the bike but I did for running a marathon. So maybe appropriate for endurance events
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  10. #10
    Senior Member fskywalker's Avatar
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    Guess the ones for the calfs would then be ok?
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  11. #11
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    Aerotech designs makes compression cycliing shorts.

    That being said, my genetic muscle makeup is mostly fast twitch muscles. No matter what I consume, it is a given that I will get cramps in endurance events. Flat centuries are no problem, but if it is a hard climbing ride my quads will cramp. If my pedaling technique is good, both the quads and hamstrings will cramp. Any running event over a 10k means that the hamstrings and calves will cramp at some point. If I put that final burst on to catch someone at the finish, the cramp comes on like clockwork. I just live with it.

    Men's Top Shelf Padded Bike Short - Long Distance Cycling Shorts

    Last edited by seypat; 06-23-14 at 10:38 AM.

  12. #12
    Junior Member ProfsrChaos407's Avatar
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    I understand the heat and humidity all too well OP. For being in Central Florida, it is blistering out there today and about 90-95% humidity.

    I wear a compression sleeve for my knees. The Copper Fit ones. I would prefer not to wear them and if I decide to ride without them, my knees pop on every rotation. The harder the rotation kick, the harder the pop. And my right knee is worst than my left. Which is rather amusing because it was my left that I dislocated several years ago. Go figure.

    Once I put the sleeves on, that popping stops.

    Have I noticed an increase in endurance during a ride or cramping issues? No, but, that may just be me.

    For the heat aspect. Just like everything else in a tropical climate, in a way you get used to it. A sleeve will not make or break it and make you feel hotter or cooler if your already burning up in Florida/PR heat anyways.

  13. #13
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    There is good research out there to support the use of the sleeves for recovery. I haven't seen any evidence that the compression helps while actually riding.

  14. #14
    Senior Member redcon1's Avatar
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    Please don't be the Tri-guy.
    Compression_calf_guard.jpg

  15. #15
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I know a couple of guys that use calf-high compression socks to help with various problems. I would view them as the solution to a problem, and if you don't have the problem, you don't need the solution. They're both 50-ish, into long rides and triathlons and such.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  16. #16
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    you crampers using sodium, potassium and magnesium?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  17. #17
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    Sometimes my Achilles tendon gets sore on long rides. I have some craft compression socks I have used on centuries before. The biggest difference I noticed is my Achilles tendon was not sore after the ride. My calves felt pretty good after the ride too.

    I don't wear them every ride. Sometimes I use them mainly for recovery.

    I don't think it would hurt to try compression clothing. It would probably make you warmer in hot and humid weather. Maybe someone makes compression clothing out of materials that would keep you cooler, like some sun sleeves do.

  18. #18
    Senior Member fskywalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the input. I think will give a try to Recofit full leg, if it turns out to be too hot to wear during cycling can always use it for recovery / air travel.
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  19. #19
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  20. #20
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    Makes me super happy to see another fellow Puertorrican around these boards!

    The only compression clothing that I know is made for cycling is the Giordanna EXO line. I know it is super expensive and not sure if worth it. I have the castelli Speed suit (compression bottom?) and I like it. Not sure if there is any actual benefit.
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

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