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Riding clothes

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Old 11-26-09, 08:09 AM
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RobE30
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Riding clothes

How many of you actually wear "spandex" riding clothes while riding? Lately I've been heading out (it's a little cold) wearing ski socks, shorts, long sleeve long underwear shirt and a bright colored T-shirt. I get quite a few looks from others riding (good grief! Look @ the homeless guy riding an old Peugot). Not that I really am worried about what they think, but is there a benefit to wearing the "fancy" stuff vs. my homeless sheik look?

On a side note, what bar wrap are you guys/girls using? My current rides have plastic bar wrap (peugot) and foam bar wrap covered by black electrical tape (Ross, which is comfy, but looks like crap). Brooks leather looks great but I can't rationalize the expense. Thanks
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Old 11-26-09, 08:31 AM
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My riding has always fallen into the commuting/touring/recreational category. Warm weather for me calls for slightly loose fitting khaki shorts and a polo shirt. I always have layered my clothing as the weather gets colder. Several sweat shirts under a nylon jacket, and layered sweat pants. You can always subtract a layer as you heat up, or add a layer as the weather cools down. A rear rack and pannier, or roomy handlebar bag, comes in handy. You can make this type of cycling attire look very neat and functional.
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Old 11-26-09, 08:34 AM
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No spandex will grace this bod!!.Typically, in warm weather I'll wear a pair of shorts, either cotton cargo shorts or a pair of nylon MTB baggies. T shirts and possibly a light wind breaker. Tennis shoes, short hiking shoes or a pair of sandles. In cooler weather I have a couple pair of old nylon wind pants that do the trick, top that with a long sleeve T shirt or mock turtle neck and a fleece pull over. I should also mention that I'll wear a pair of padded bicycling briefs beneath the shorts or wind pants.

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Old 11-26-09, 08:51 AM
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For shorts, I recommend these:

http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Mens-Touring-Shorts.html

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Old 11-26-09, 08:57 AM
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I have recently started to ride with a group and do 35 to 50 miles. There is no way I would ride without cycling shorts and a decent shirt w/ pockets on the back.
Even with a nice comfortable saddle the shorts make a huge difference on a long ride. It's weird but it kind of feels like you aren't wearing any pants and a cycling jersey wicks away the sweat instead of just soaking it up like a rag.

I am the only one with a steel bike, ('89 Schwinn Circuit w/ 9 speed) but I keep up quite well. There is one woman on a carbon Cervelo that said, "the chrome on your bike is so shiny".
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Old 11-26-09, 09:02 AM
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I really don't understand the anti "Spandex / Lycra" thing on this forum. It's sort of like taking the retro attitude to a day that really only existed in fantasy. Those high end racing bikes you collect were not originally ridden by guys in overalls. There is nothing new about cycling shorts and jerseys. I've been wearing cycling shorts for my entire 35 years of road biking. Those of you who actually wear cycling clothing know that it is extremely functional. I much prefer actually cycling in cycling clothing than anything else.

BTW, I am severely handicapped by the fact that BF is still broken and I can't start new threads, so all I can do is piggyback on others.

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Old 11-26-09, 09:09 AM
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I second the J&G shorts - they are US made, comfy, cheap, and durable. I've also been using their rain clothes for two years, going on three. I can't say enough good things about them.

Everything else is wool. I tried cotton and synthetics, but I get all sweaty and smelly. I have a few wool riding shirts, socks,hat, and gloves. I ride two or three times a week, and it's great not to have to wash clothes after every ride or horrify people when I get off my bike. Just like when I'm touring, I just wash them all in my sink, then hang them up to dry.

I'm sure the modern fabrics must work great for some people, but when I get where I'm going, I don't want to change or take a shower - I have things I gotta do.

For commuting, I wear my slacks, tie, wool sweater vest, hat, and, when needed, sweater and scarf. Not east coast, but out here it works.

I always where some cheap Shimano riding shoes that I blacked out with a magic marker to look office-y. The stiff sole is really great, especially after a couple hours.
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Old 11-26-09, 09:11 AM
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Plain cloths. I plan on picking up some nice shorts next summer. I dont do anything serious enough to need a full setup.
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Old 11-26-09, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
I really don't understand the anti "Spandex / Lycra" thing on this forum. It's sort of like taking the retro attitude to a day that really only existed in fantasy. Those high end racing bikes you collect were not originally ridden by guys in overalls. There is nothing new about cycling shorts and jerseys. I've been wearing cycling shorts for my entire 35 years of road biking. Those of you who actually wear cycling clothing know that it is extremely functional. I much prefer actually cycling in cycling clothing than anything else.

BTW, I am severely handicapped by the fact that BF is still broken and I can't start new threads, so all I can do is piggyback on others.
Some folks just don't like the look of spandex on themselves. I wear it and my 12 years old nephew laughs everytime we go for a ride together. After one such occasion, I told him with a smile, "you're next buddy."
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Old 11-26-09, 09:28 AM
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A good pair of bib shorts make you feel like your naked.

Excellent.
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Old 11-26-09, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Machin Shin View Post
Some folks just don't like the look of spandex on themselves.
Sounds like a personal problem. So why do they feel the need to seek validation?
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Old 11-26-09, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rfc View Post
sounds like a personal problem. So why do they feel the need to seek validation?
wtf?
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Old 11-26-09, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Sounds like a personal problem. So why do they feel the need to seek validation?
More like a personal preference. Who said they need to seek validation? I'm not sure I understand your question.
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Old 11-26-09, 09:56 AM
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I don't like the idea of needing to put on a special outfit just to go riding my bike.
Just want to tie up the pants cuffs, slip on a pair of sneaks & a helmet, and ride.
Well, and the gloves, and gotta go find the camera, and the sunglasses, and fill the waterbottle, and puff up the tires real quick.
That's enough as it is.

But I did get one of them fancy cycle jerseys cause it was on sale & it makes me feel pretty.



K-Mart leather cycling shoes : $10.00

Carhart bicycle pants : $32.00

Grateful Dead Jersey : Priceless!
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Old 11-26-09, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Machin Shin View Post
More like a personal preference. Who said they need to seek validation? I'm not sure I understand your question.
Actually, my question was rhetorical. I should have used one of these: .

And, because it is a national day of fellowship and harmony, I will restrain myself and not go on a pedantic rant about obesity in America.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
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Old 11-26-09, 10:02 AM
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There are different types of clothes to wear for different types of riding, riding conditions, personal preferences with regard to comfort, and the like. Spandex clothing never fit my riding needs, so I've never worn it. If I was doing long distance club riding I probably would have at least given it a try. The idea of the cycling jerseys with the rear pockets do make quite a bit of sense to me.
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Old 11-26-09, 10:03 AM
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This is a hugely interesting question for all the social/personal issues it raises. So, as for that, I think that at least here in the city, some of the resentment may come from how anti-social the spandex/lycra riders seem to be on the street. They are in a hurry or even pretending they are racing in traffic. Their behavior seems contrary to my whole schtick of urban riding: I'm generally going somewhere, not just out for a ride, but either way I try to be a part of the community out there and appreciate my environment. It is not a passive experience - at least once a week someone asks me for directions or for help with something. I say hello or at least nod or wave at other bikers. The spandex people, who invariably are wearing sunglasses move through the city as if they are encased in a car or something.

Of course I am generalizing.

I do wear bike shorts on rides longer than 25 miles or so and when touring. Generally I'll wear them under a pair of regular shorts if possible because I am vain but also I like having pockets.
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Old 11-26-09, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by HamboneSlim View Post
I don't like the idea of needing to put on a special outfit just to go riding my bike.
Just want to tie up the pants cuffs, slip on a pair of sneaks & a helmet, and ride.
Amen! This is a also why I refuse to even consider going clipless.
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Old 11-26-09, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by HamboneSlim View Post
I don't like the idea of needing to put on a special outfit just to go riding my bike.
Just want to tie up the pants cuffs, slip on a pair of sneaks & a helmet, and ride.
Well, and the gloves, and gotta go find the camera, and the sunglasses, and fill the waterbottle, and puff up the tires real quick.
That's enough as it is.

But I did get one of them fancy cycle jerseys cause it was on sale & it makes me feel pretty.



K-Mart leather cycling shoes : $10.00

Carhart bicycle pants : $32.00

Grateful Dead Jersey : Priceless!
Kind of looks like another uniform to me. Make no apologies for cycling clothing. It works, and the longer you ride the better it works. After so many years of wearing cycling shorts, I don't really even think twice about it or even about running post ride errands in shorts, i.e., driving kids to events, etc. My off day workouts involve a 10-15 mile loop to the gym for lifting, and I wear cycling shorts. I don't go commando at the gym, however. Don' want to scare anyone.
I do have my limits and exceptions:
1) No team jerseys or jerseys advertising cycling stuff.
2) I wear combinations of upper body wear, not all cycling specific. However, after many years, I have finally realized that cotton is not a good material for long rides.
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Old 11-26-09, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by RFC View Post
Actually, my question was rhetorical. I should have used one of these: .

And, because it is a national day of fellowship and harmony, I will restrain myself and not go on a pedantic rant about obesity in America.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
After stuffing themselves with food all, can you imagine packing those plump bods into spandex the day after thanksgiving? But then again, those calories do burn off quickly out on the road.
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Old 11-26-09, 10:09 AM
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Well depending on the age of your bike, to be period correct, you might want to wear woolen shorts, instead of spandex. Spandex didn't really catch on until the 80s (I think).
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Old 11-26-09, 10:11 AM
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Spandex bibs, ALWAYS. If it is cold, I just layer up from there.

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Old 11-26-09, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mos6502 View Post
Well depending on the age of your bike, to be period correct, you might want to wear woolen shorts, instead of spandex. Spandex didn't really catch on until the 80s (I think).
Good point. Mid 80's was my second and most formative stage of cycling. It also tends to influence my preferences in C&V bikes. It is really no different than the vintage muscle care market -- it changes with the advancement of us boomers. In other words, what was hot when you were 20?
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Old 11-26-09, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Spandex bibs, ALWAYS. If it is cold, I just layer up from there.

Yeah, I have four pairs of Cannondale bib shorts, 10 panel. Love em.
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Old 11-26-09, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Machin Shin View Post
Yeah, I have four pairs of Cannondale bib shorts, 10 panel. Love em.
I need to try bibs. I've heard that once you do, you won't go back. Also, I need new tights. Any recommendations?
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