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Vintage bike restored, now I dug out my vintage clothing...

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Vintage bike restored, now I dug out my vintage clothing...

Old 08-03-09, 04:35 PM
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Chombi
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Vintage bike restored, now I dug out my vintage clothing...

I guess my question is, is any of this 20+ year old bike apparel still usable?

I was able to find a few articles in my storage bins this weekend:

1) One Bellweather polypropelene bicycling jacket.
2) One Descent jersey in Seven-Eleven colors.
3) One pair of wool tights by Performance.
4) One Pair of Bellweather bicycling shorts.
5) One Pair of Sergal bicycling shorts.
6) One Austro Daimler Jersey.
7) One pair of Castelli gloves in Renault/Gitane colors.

They all look like they are in good condition, but did the technology on clothing advance enough that I should really relegate these items to the museum of my bicycling past?? I'd really rather not keep spending on bike stuff, at least until I really get back into it to justify the expense (Damn, the new stuff's really expensive out there!)....Or would I just look like a dork in these older style "duds".

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Old 08-03-09, 04:57 PM
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Sure! Are they still in good shape? As long as the elastics are good, and there's no holes where there oughtn't to be, why not?
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Old 08-03-09, 04:59 PM
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I just brought some stuff out of retirement.

On the polyprop. stuff, sometimes it gets gooey, check the inside and out. Its the watershield coating that goes.

The shorts should be good. Check the chamois, even if its a synthetic one, they do wear out. I retired a pair for that recently.

The other stuff, well, if it still fits, be proud that you can still fit in stuff from 15 years ago.

Some of the new materials are very good in hot weather. but the problem with them is that I try to have one layer below, just more protection if you go down.

I do think the helmets are better today with some concerns, don't care for the kooky colors, and don't like the big aero pin or duck tails. I think they could cause your head not to rotate with the rest of you in a spill, no scientific testing on that, but just consider the shapes.

Alas, I had to set aside half my stuff, more meat and fat in the shoulders and arms.

Now my problem is to locate reasonably nice attire in plain colors, and fully black shorts... I don't need to look like I just got dropped from a pro race.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:59 PM
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I frequently wear vintage cycling clothes. I draw the line at helmets, however -- I am not going back to a "hairnet," even the heavily padded Kucharik I used before I got my first hard shell, a Bell Biker.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:04 PM
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My cycling-specific attire is fairly basic. It consists of a pair of cycle clips which I use to keep my trouser turn-ups out of the chain. I think they cost me about five shillings nearly forty years ago. Were I to spend hundreds of pounds on modern cycling gear, any additional pleasure arising therefrom would be severely compromised by the thought of what else I could have spent it on.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:52 PM
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I do have it covered on the helmet side....

I recently bought myself a Bell Euro Delirium model helmet to use. I know I still have my old Avenir foam helmet with the lycra covering somehwere in my garage, but I think that it's not safe to use anymore after all these years. The Bell Delirium is supposed to be an MTB helmet, but I could not tell the difference from other Bell road helmets and other brands, except that the Deliriumd does have a visor, which fortunately is removabel, if I don't want to use it.
I think "repechage" is correct about the Bellweather polyprop jacket. It looks kinda OK at first glance, but it seems to have lost all its shape and it's pilling badly and feels thin in many areas, maybe making the material less effective for wicking away moisture from the body. The front shell also does not seem to be as moisture and wind resistant looking as I remember it when it was brand new. It might be too far gone to wear. I'm also almost afraid to wear the Descent Seven-Eleven pattern jersey though. I'm thinking that the nice jersey might start falling apart as soon as I wash it, specially all the nice rubberized painted on Descent chevron graphics it has on its sleeves. Same with the Austro Daimler jersey. Maybe I'll just wear them for cool weather rides over thin thermal turtlenecks, so I avoid exposing them to too much wear. Never really liked the later "splashy" designs and colors for jerseys, but I did notice that more basic graphics are starting to come back in some way....there might be hope in finding something new that I like.
BTW, how do you guys like those spacey looking synthetic chamois I see in the newest biking shorts (Specialized)? Do they work any better than the real chamois padding??

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Old 08-03-09, 06:14 PM
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I still have a hairnet around someplace, but I wear the Bell Biker (white with red trim). Somewhere there is a wool jersey with pockets in front and back. I'm looking for shoes with slotted cleats. (size45)
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Old 08-03-09, 06:40 PM
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When you said vintage bicycle clothing I pictured cotton t-shirts, cut-offs and a headband instead of a helmet. Look at pictures from RAGBRAI in the mid-70s, Bikecentennial in '76, or any other big group ride before Jane Fonda's workout tape came out around 1980. That's when "soccer moms" hit the bike clubs, with kids in tow and helmets and activity specific clothing required by all.
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Old 08-03-09, 06:57 PM
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For the most part I have discarded my old cycling gear except for the cleated shoes (Detto Pietro and Sidi) for use with toe clips, straps and caged pedals on my vintage rigs and some nice wool winter gear. The leather chamois was very unhygienic as compared to modern synthetics and awful when wet, the old hard helmets offered poor protection and the hairnets were just decoration (although I've kept my old Cinelli in my bureau drawer as a keepsake), most of the wool shorts and jerseys have lost their shape and some were just plain uncomfortable. Of course, like many of you, I have "filled out" over the years, especially in the midsection. I never had a lot of pro team clothing, because I always belonged to a racing club and wore our team clothing.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:37 PM
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When I recently pulled my bike down from the garage roof after 15 years, the only thing I still used of my old gear were some very old leather palmed Avocet gloves and my Giro Air Attack helmet. That helmet was expensive in 1992, and there's nothing wrong with it now. Everything else seems to have shrunk while it was on the shelf... My nice gel gloves are hard as rocks while the then discarded leather Avocets are softer than they ever were. I do still have some padded skivies that I wear under cargo shorts that are OK. I used to have some nice chamois lined cargo style shorts, but the new non-racing looking shorts all seem to be made of thin clingy stuff rather than comfortable normal looking material.
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Old 08-04-09, 07:24 AM
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Dang it!, checked my wool tights closely and it looks like some moths had gotten to it. It has a few tiny holes in one area that could get worse if I used the tights. I might still save it and cut it down to become leg warmers instead.....Oh well...

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Old 08-04-09, 07:46 AM
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i sport my 1986 7-Eleven jersey 2x a week on the local club rides.

modern-day fabrics are far more
1. comfortable
2. lighter
3. handle sweat better
4. fit nicer

that being said.... if ur just cruising around, then they will do u just fine.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bikerosity57 View Post
Sure! Are they still in good shape? As long as the elastics are good, and there's no holes where there oughtn't to be, why not?
I still wear my wool cycling clothes. I've kept them in a cedar chest for the 30 years I had them, so no moth holes. Some areas are wearing a little thin. I had John Kucharik replace the elastics in a couple pairs of shorts and the chamois in another, so they feel pretty good. I still prefer wool tights over modern synthetic tights.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
Dang it!, checked my wool tights closely and it looks like some moths had gotten to it. It has a few tiny holes in one area that could get worse if I used the tights. I might still save it and cut it down to become leg warmers instead.....Oh well...

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You can probably fix those holes if they aren't too plentiful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nY1jTVyBE0
I wouldn't try this with poly tights, btw.

I have a mix of old and new; one of my favorite jerseys is a wool one I bought in the late 70's. It looks pretty well beaten, but that's part of its charm.
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Old 08-04-09, 10:17 AM
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I still wear wool jerseys I bought in the seventies. They're a little tighter now than they were back then, but not uncomfortably so.
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Old 08-04-09, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by smorris View Post
and my Giro Air Attack helmet. That helmet was expensive in 1992, and there's nothing wrong with it now.

The foam deteriorates from being exposed to UV light and ozone and while it may look OK it won't protect you as well in an accident. I would rather ride without a helmet knowing that I have to be careful than ride with a 17 year old helmet and think I was protected. Helmets can be had for reasonable amounts you should put that one on the shelf.

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Old 08-04-09, 12:30 PM
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Hmmmm, just realized after reading the tag on the AD jersey that the thing's made from 100% acrylic. No wonder it kinda stunk when I used it on long rides back then. Acrylic's not really the best material to deal with sweat. I guess it won't be part of my gear anymore too. The Descent Jersy's a little better with polyester and cotton blend material. Interesting too to find out that the Descent jersey was made in Japan back then. I don't think they even make cycling jerseys for world export at all anymore.

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Old 08-04-09, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RapidRobert View Post
When you said vintage bicycle clothing I pictured cotton t-shirts, cut-offs and a headband instead of a helmet
I had images of something like this

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Old 08-04-09, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by vjp View Post
The foam deteriorates from being exposed to UV light and ozone and while it may look OK it won't protect you as well in an accident. I would rather ride without a helmet knowing that I have to be careful than ride with a 17 year old helmet and think I was protected. Helmets can be had for reasonable amounts you should put that one on the shelf.

vjp
I understand that, and have retired a few motorcycle helmets over the years. This particular helmet has been in a closet for about 15 of those intervening years, though, so I expect it has retained a good deal of its strength. Plus, I'm aware that it isn't 100%, and don't always use a helmet anyway. So wearing it is probably better than none at all, but not as good as a new one. I can work with that. Thanks for the reminder, none the less.
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Old 08-04-09, 02:00 PM
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I've used/retired quite a few MC helmets myself over the years too. Most MC helmet manufacturers consider a 5 year max for using helmets in regular "normal" riding conditions, with a bit shorter lifespans of around 3.5 years for cheaper polycarbonate shelled models, because of UV damage.
I think shells on most older "Giro" type bicycle helmets do not really factor into their lifespan because shells on these were really non-existent (mostly lycra covers), so all the protection/stregnth is really derived mostly from the white expanded foam bodies. So, if the foam was kept form UV all this time and dents tears and cracks were avoided, the helmet should still give the rider most of it's intended designed-in protection to the rider. Although some chemical "outgassing" of the foam material during storage could still occur and result in a form of deterioration anyway. plus, a rider should make sure that the retention system (straps and buckles) are all in good nick.
I noticed that today's bike helmets seems to derive some of their stregnth from the thin blown plastic shells that they have over the expanded foam. I think these newer ones could actually be more sensitive to the effects of aging because of this, specially if that thin blown shell is exposed to a lot of sunlight.
If anything's sure to deteriorate on a helmet it's the soft open cell type foam padding that they line the interiors with on MC helmets and to some extent, bicycle helmets. They usually deteriorate (turn to dust or melt) after about ten years regardless of how you store/take care of the helmet.
JMOs

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Old 08-04-09, 06:24 PM
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The shell on a modern helmet is not so much for strength ( day to day handling, sure) but to make sure that the helmet does not stick on impact but slides. The design of the openings is for venting and of course as a crumple zone.

Now that I think of it, it is usually pretty easy to tell if a helmet is past it's "best before" date, but I can understand manufacturers wanting to cover themselves.

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Old 08-04-09, 06:33 PM
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I don't fit in any of my Jerseys and my wife tossed them when I wasn't looking. Still have my Diadora shoes but the leather is coming off the sole.

I do wear my Spenco gloves from 1986 every day.
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