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Cycling clothing?

Old 05-03-18, 09:37 AM
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DarKris
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Cycling clothing?

I started riding bikes again ~5 years ago as a way to commute on my college campus. I always wore my everyday clothes, but now that I'm not in school & I'm looking to do longer rides I'm finding my clothes to be less than ideal in terms of long term comfort.

I need some advice on clothes that I can wear while cycling that won't be too expensive. Currently riding in sweatpants and occasionally shorts. My focus is finding clothes that are comfortable (and warm if needed), underwear that won't chafe (I can't really afford bibs/padded shorts) as well as something that won't get worn through from coming in contact with my saddle.

Any suggestions? What do you guys ride in?
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Old 05-03-18, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
I started riding bikes again ~5 years ago as a way to commute on my college campus. I always wore my everyday clothes, but now that I'm not in school & I'm looking to do longer rides I'm finding my clothes to be less than ideal in terms of long term comfort.

I need some advice on clothes that I can wear while cycling that won't be too expensive. Currently riding in sweatpants and occasionally shorts. My focus is finding clothes that are comfortable (and warm if needed), underwear that won't chafe (I can't really afford bibs/padded shorts) as well as something that won't get worn through from coming in contact with my saddle.

Any suggestions? What do you guys ride in?
While cycling gear is expensive, it doesn't have to be. Here are some suggestions if you are on a budget.

Warm weather.
Aerotech designs Top Shelf Shorts - $50, That is a good, honest price for bike shorts.
Shirt or jersey - Start with a technical shirt, available at any big box store, or sporting goods store. About $15 on sale. When you are ready, buy a jersey on sale for $25 to $50 at your local bike shop, or online at Nashbar, Performance, REI, or many other sites
Socks - Whatever you have on hand, or look for a deal on Sock Guy, Defeet, or similar quality cycling socks.

Cool weather
Buy yourself a pair of knee warmers from Nashbar for about $10 or $12
Windbreaker or wind vest. Doesn't need to be cycling specific. About $30
Long sleeve technical shirt or compression base layer. About $20.

Cold Weather
Wool or thermal base layer
Nashbar thermal tights - About $25 on sale.
Thermal head band or cycling hat - About $20. Better than a winter hat because it is thin and fits under your helmet.
Wool socks
Gloves

Cool weathe
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Old 05-03-18, 10:59 AM
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If looking for a cheap alternative to cycling shorts, try synthetic thigh-length underwear from Walmart/Target/etc. I like Russell brand and get a size too small. They are snug, don't chafe and have flat seams. They can be worn under any flat-seam shorts (gym shorts for example). Polyester shirts are light weight, moisture wicking and cheap. The same stores sell synthetic socks.

In colder weather, thermal tights under shorts are better than sweatpants. MRT2 mentioned Nashbar. In general, they are a good source for lower priced bike stuff and they have sales all the time.

Hope this helps
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Old 05-08-18, 01:41 AM
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Most of my sports gear comes from Decathlon. For cycling, I don on pretty cheap bicycling shorts ($20), dry-weave camper shirt ($10) and a pair of cross-trainer shoes ($12).
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Old 05-08-18, 11:53 AM
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For hot weather cycling, I got several brightly colored workout shirts at Walmart for something like $5 apiece. They're polyester so they're moisture wicking material which will dry quickly and won't hold moisture like a cotton T-shirt will. If you're not wearing cycling jerseys I highly recommend getting some of these shirts. And the bright neon colors get you noticed by motorists. I personally prefer the bright yellow ones.

For colder weather cycling, I bought a very light cycling jacket from Amazon, bright yellow colored with reflective strips. It's not more than a windbreaker but I tend to generate a lot of heat while cycling so it usually keeps me warm with nothing more than a cotton T-shirt underneath (in temps of 50-60 degrees F). If it is colder then I could wear a sweatshirt underneath it, but I tend to not ride in weather much colder than 50 degrees. 60-65 degrees I tend to wear shorts & a T-shirt. Warmer than 65 and I'll wear one of the polyester workout shirts. I also have some polyester workout pants I wear during colder weather riding, and switch out my regular fingerless cycling gloves for a pair of cotton work gloves.

If it's colder than 50 degrees, I'll put my bike on my trainer and spin inside the house. I'm a cold weather weenie. It's just not fun riding in cold, cold weather when the wind is freezing my face & ears, and I don't want to have to find something to wrap my head in just to keep warm on a bike.
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Old 05-08-18, 01:18 PM
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I think you can get cycling shorts and jerseys for fairly good prices. I currently wear a short and jersey from voler:

https://www.voler.com/browse/cat3/?c...ort=1&filters=

I got the Simplicity bib for $69 when it was on sale. I think they are about $20 more now. Some other sources are Merlin:

https://www.merlincycles.com/cycling...SD&gender=male

I have a Lusso bib tight (no chamois) to wear over the short in colder weather. Its well made for the price ~$60? (I forget). Wiggle.com has some deals on clothing as well:

wiggle.com Cycle | Mens Lycra Cycling Shorts

Have heard good things about their in-house brand, dhb. However, I haven't tried them yet. I used to have a Performance 2016 Elite bib (~$60), but am hesitant to recommend it. The pad was simple and good, but the lycra material didn't last much past 7 months. To be fair, they saw close to constant use during that time. But I thought that they should have lasted a little longer. Maybe the Performance Ultra line would last better but they are also a little more expensive.
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Old 05-11-18, 05:58 AM
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I have no trouble buying shorts as most larges fit fine if I stay with the main LBS stocking companies like Pearl Izumi, Specialized, Bontrager, etc. Where I get into trouble is buying jerseys and jackets. My belly is a 2XL or so.
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Old 05-11-18, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
I have no trouble buying shorts as most larges fit fine if I stay with the main LBS stocking companies like Pearl Izumi, Specialized, Bontrager, etc. Where I get into trouble is buying jerseys and jackets. My belly is a 2XL or so.
The Bontrager Solstice Jersey is the loosest cut jersey I know of. Most Jerseys are snug on me, even at size 2 or 3 XL. The Solstice actually feels loose on size XXL, and the size XL feels about right to me.
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Old 05-12-18, 06:01 PM
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Of course, a lot pf people think fit varies a lot from individual to individual. I can try on Performance and Pearl Izumi locally, and I prefer to avoid the hassle of ordering and returning via online shopping. Also, having grown up with chamois, I dislike thick pads.

I've had trouble finding good shorts, because I fight a saddle sore. I've tried Aerotech Pros, Performance Elites, Pearl Izumi Quests, and Boure Classic. Other makers for clydes/athenas include Kucharik, Specialized, Bontrager, etc.,, but I haven't seen those offerings. Aerotech Pros are really good, but they don't work for me past 8 miles or so. Boures are good up to 30. Boure, Peformance, and Pearl Izumi have seamless pads; Performance and Pearl Izumi are too thick for me.

For jerseys, the low-priced Performance were the first I tried. They fit and are priced decently., I really want the pockets and the zipper, so the Champions, etc. from target don't work.

For cool weather, I've had no luck with knee warmers, because they slip. Arm warmers work, though.
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Old 05-14-18, 08:34 AM
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I too was in shock at the price of cycling clothing, but found that good quality equipment is expensive for a reason, IT WORKS! It might be better to save your money until you can afford some quality bibs or shorts that will be very comfortable when riding. After all, they've been riding and racing for over 100 years, so they've figured out what works and what doesn't. If you purchase a cheap quality pair of shorts, etc. you'll probably not be happy and will end up purchasing a better pair later, so just go with good quality to start with.

I'd check out Pearl Izumi and see what their prices are. Their quality is good and their prices are not too bad. I know I have a local shop so can go try on the gear before purchasing. You don't want to wear undershorts when riding as that will cause the chafing problem. If you have to, look for good mountain bike shorts that have regular riding shorts inside of them.

Trust me, good quality equipment is well worth the cost. You'll be amazed at how comfortable it will make your rides.
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Old 05-16-18, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by HIPCHIP View Post
I too was in shock at the price of cycling clothing, but found that good quality equipment is expensive for a reason, IT WORKS! It might be better to save your money until you can afford some quality bibs or shorts that will be very comfortable when riding. After all, they've been riding and racing for over 100 years, so they've figured out what works and what doesn't. If you purchase a cheap quality pair of shorts, etc. you'll probably not be happy and will end up purchasing a better pair later, so just go with good quality to start with.

I'd check out Pearl Izumi and see what their prices are. Their quality is good and their prices are not too bad. I know I have a local shop so can go try on the gear before purchasing. You don't want to wear undershorts when riding as that will cause the chafing problem. If you have to, look for good mountain bike shorts that have regular riding shorts inside of them.

Trust me, good quality equipment is well worth the cost. You'll be amazed at how comfortable it will make your rides.
I agree that clothing, especially shorts and shoes are no place to go cheap. that said, there is a huge markup on cycling clothing. Look for items on sale. I will happily pay $50 for a pair of shorts, but not $80 or more. A lot of times, shorts that retail for $80 or more go on sale. I got some Pearl Izumi shorts for $40, Bellweather shorts for $35, and Craft shorts for $30. And some Pactimo bibs that retailed for $150 for only $50, though interestingly, even though the retail was high and they are bibs, they are not my favorite. My favorite shorts I paid full retail for are Aerotech designs Top Shelf shorts. Retail for $50. Better than a lot of others that retail for $80 or more, at least for me.

As for jerseys, once you figure out what works for you, look for that model on sale. For a few years, that was the Trek/Bontrager Solstice. Retail for $50. available at your local Trek dealer. On sale frequently for $30 to $35. Pearl is also often on sale, both locally and online. And, same with Primal. Some of their designs are a little funky, so not a great choice for your first, or even second jersey, but once you have a half dozen or so, might as well look for something fun and off beat. And they retail for $70, are often on sale for as little as $25 online. Same for Performance brand. I can't try those on locally but they seem like good value and the fit is pretty much identical to Primal and Pearl, FWIW. A little snug for my taste but I am losing weight, so it might be just the thing by the summer.

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Old 05-16-18, 09:55 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. Now in terms of getting clothing I definitely want to prioritize getting shorts first. Trying to get some MTB styled shorts with storage pockets and whatnot. My question is how many pairs of clothing should I have when starting off? Looking at the pricing I could probably get 1-2 shorts starting off. Donít know if Iíd need more of if the 2 are fine just requiring a wash after each ride?
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Old 05-17-18, 09:42 AM
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for cycling shorts next to your skin, I would get 2 pair but they air dry overnight, so 1 might suffice to start. be sure you like it, before getting another

for shorts "over" (not next to your skin) 1 might suffice. I have a favorite go-to pair but after many, many years, decided to get a 2nd, from the same manufacturer
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Old 05-17-18, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
Thanks for all the responses. Now in terms of getting clothing I definitely want to prioritize getting shorts first. Trying to get some MTB styled shorts with storage pockets and whatnot. My question is how many pairs of clothing should I have when starting off? Looking at the pricing I could probably get 1-2 shorts starting off. Donít know if Iíd need more of if the 2 are fine just requiring a wash after each ride?
You could go that route, or you could just buy the road shorts and throw a pair of gym shorts over the top if you are feeling self conscious. When you are riding, in general, you don't really want to have stuff on your pockets. In front pockets, stuff will jangle around, and in back pockets, it might be uncomfortable. That is what your jersey pockets are for.
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Old 05-17-18, 11:14 AM
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ZOIC Men's Ether Cycling Shorts, Black, XX-Large

with this brand, I like XXL when I normally buy jeans w 38" waist. an earlier pair came with a removable liner (not comfortable) this new pair has no liner so I use my Zoot 8" trishorts underneath. looks like Amazon only has the 7" now

https://www.amazon.com/Zoot-Sports-P...ort&th=1&psc=1

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Old 05-17-18, 01:59 PM
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Ok well I went to two shops and the only pair of shorts that I found that could work are the Specialized RBX Sport Shorts in XXXL. They were $50 at the shop I went to HOWEVER: Specialized don't make them anymore, and those were the last pair at that store. I also tried a pair of Atlas Baggy shorts in 3XL however those didn't fit at all.

I did get two pairs of baggy shorts from Wal-Mart which fit and should be adequate for my needs as of now. Getting those padded shorts to go under thee baggy ones will be the last thing I'd need.
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Old 05-18-18, 05:11 AM
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Also look at theblackbibs.com. Unbranded, but well-regarded (see the online reviews), bibs and shorts. Bibs are only $40, shorts are $30. I am 6'4"/275-ish and just bought a 3XL bib from them and it fits well. They also make a 4XL. Since it has been pouring rain here every day this week, I have not worn it in action yet, but the quality and fit certainly seem solid from my brief evaluation so far. They also sell jerseys, but the reviews suggest that those may be too athletic in fit for Clydesdale comfort.

Just started cycling again myself and have been wearing a pair of cycling shorts from a brand (Sportneer) on Amazon that were only $15.99. They have been OK and were certainly a big improvement over just wearing gym shorts alone in terms of comfort and chafing.
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Old 05-20-18, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by DarKris View Post
Ok well I went to two shops and the only pair of shorts that I found that could work are the Specialized RBX Sport Shorts in XXXL. They were $50 at the shop I went to HOWEVER: Specialized don't make them anymore, and those were the last pair at that store. I also tried a pair of Atlas Baggy shorts in 3XL however those didn't fit at all.

I did get two pairs of baggy shorts from Wal-Mart which fit and should be adequate for my needs as of now. Getting those padded shorts to go under thee baggy ones will be the last thing I'd need.
If you actually plan to do longer rides, you will eventually want to consider proper cycling shorts. (the tight fitting ones with the chamois). No seams to chafe your inner thighs and crotch. They are designed to wick sweat away from your crotch and butt, and the compression feels good.
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Old 05-20-18, 05:25 PM
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Check out the athletic clothes at Target or WalMart. Start with the athletic trunk style underwear that has flat seams, wicking tech fabric and an inseam of 5+ inches. Then look at some of the synthetic hiking/trekking shorts. I just saw some at WalMart that looked good but I'm already stocked for the season. Add a 50/50, 70/30 or 100% poly t-shirt that is form fitting enough not to flap excessively in the wind. Get some synthetic running socks and you're good to go. About $50 for comfortable, casual riding wear to get you started. I've worn similar on many 20 to 50-mile rides with no problems.

Of course, as you progress, you will probably want to get some cycling shorts and a jersey or two, but even then, don't be fooled into thinking you need $150 shorts. Aerotech, Primal and others have good shorts for < $50 and jersey's for < $35. If you watch the bargain racks at your LBS and aren't too picky about brand or print, you can get some good deals (but don't compromise on fit just because something is cheap). There are also a lot of charity rides that allow you to earn jerseys and other kit for fundraising. I have a few Tour de Cure sets of shorts and jersey from the American Diabetes Association rides and one from the MS 100. If you join a club, they often offer club kit at very reasonable prices as well.

Every once in a while, you'll see a pay it forward thread here, where people offer their no longer wanted, but still good, jerseys for little or nothing (often just shipping). All they ask is that you do the same for some other rider down the road.
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Old 05-20-18, 05:47 PM
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Jerseys from Love 2 Pedal, bib shorts from Aerotech designs.

Eventually you will move up to Bellwether or other brands of bib shorts.
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Old 05-27-18, 06:39 PM
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So it's been a while so just a quick update:

I got two shorts - the Specialized 3XL Shorts and a pair of 2XL shorts from Dicks. The 3X shorts will fit me fine for now but once I start losing weight the 2X shorts will be really beneficial. I also got 2 athletic shorts that i can wear over my padded shorts.
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Old 05-30-18, 05:07 PM
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For me, boxer briefs under gym shorts do the trick. I do have a pair of padded MTB shorts that I wear for longer (>1hr) rides, but I don't want to have to deal with laundering that all the time.
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Old 05-31-18, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
For me, boxer briefs under gym shorts do the trick. I do have a pair of padded MTB shorts that I wear for longer (>1hr) rides, but I don't want to have to deal with laundering that all the time.
You have to launder your boxer briefs, right?
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Old 05-31-18, 04:56 PM
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Yes, but I have lots of them, they just get tossed in the hamper and I grab the next pair from the drawer. I don't want to have to wash the padded shorts every ride, so I save them for longer rides only.

I also have 2pr Nashbar padded liners which I used to occasionally wear under gym shorts, but I don't think I've worn them since I got the baggy padded MTB shorts.
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Old 12-13-20, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jfoobar View Post
Also look at theblackbibs.com. Unbranded, but well-regarded (see the online reviews), bibs and shorts. Bibs are only $40, shorts are $30. I am 6'4"/275-ish and just bought a 3XL bib from them and it fits well. They also make a 4XL. Since it has been pouring rain here every day this week, I have not worn it in action yet, but the quality and fit certainly seem solid from my brief evaluation so far. They also sell jerseys, but the reviews suggest that those may be too athletic in fit for Clydesdale comfort.

Just started cycling again myself and have been wearing a pair of cycling shorts from a brand (Sportneer) on Amazon that were only $15.99. They have been OK and were certainly a big improvement over just wearing gym shorts alone in terms of comfort and chafing.
You have the more fashiony brands like Maap, Rapha, Cafe du Cycliste etc.

I have a lot of stuff from those brands, and it's really good.

My favorite brand, however, is lilpeepmerch. Most people rate their bib shorts, and they are excellent, but its their jerseys that are the best imo. I own the Equip RS jersey, and the fabrics are just so great on the skin. Feels much more natural than the somewhat plasticky feeling fabrics of the likes of Rapha. It's also supremely breathable where my Rapha Aero jersey shows a lot of sweat stains when the mercury rises. It's my favorite jersey by a mile, and I therefore also bought myself the newest Profblack version of it
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