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What do you wear while riding?

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What do you wear while riding?

Old 03-09-20, 11:58 AM
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Sertsa
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What do you wear while riding?

Hi. I've been considering clothes options when riding and wondering what those of us who are larger tend to do. Preferably I'm hoping for decent, all around options that aren't terribly expensive. I'm also hesitant to look at clothes in bike shops, as I still have a ways to go in losing weight and...well, I'll guess most of us have experienced looks and giggles when shopping for clothes and sporting goods.

Personally I also avoid shorts, as even when I finally reach my goal weight I'll still be self-conscious about scars (and a compression sock). As I hope to trail ride I'm also looking for some protection from limbs and thistles without being too hot.

I'm guessing jeans will get far too hot and retain too much moisture. And I understand loose-fitting boxers can cause chaffing.

So what do you use? Sweatpants and loose t-shirts? Khakis? Hoodies? Lycra?

Thanks.
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Old 03-09-20, 12:33 PM
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Depending on your exact size, there's a good chance that bike shops won't have anything in your size, anyway. Bicycle-specific and athletic type clothing can be had in larger sizes, but, sadly, it will be almost all mail order and you'll have to do a lot trying on and shipping back and forth. It's the curse of larger people.

You can get cycling-specific bottoms (with pad) in 3/4 length and full-length. You can also buy compression "sleeves" that go from just above the ankle to mid-thigh that you would wear with regular bike shorts.
I wear Under Armour Heat Gear compression bottoms over bike shorts for cooler weather (up to about 55 F),and I almost always wear a pair of lightweight nylon shorts over bike shorts for a more "conventional" look. And a plain synthetic t-shirt...I don't really feel like I need cycling jerseys.

A lot of this is going to depend on how comfortable you are with your body (i.e. how close-fitting the clothes are and how much skin showing), but the one thing I think it's important to emphasize is that you wear some sort of sport- or performance-oriented synthetic fabric. There are long-sleeved and long-leg options designed for warmer weather. Jeans/sweatpants/hoodies will definitely trap way too much heat and moisture and make you miserable.

You don't mention your gender, but Aerotech Designs in the US sells Men's sizes up to something like 5XL and 4XLT, I think. For reference, I'm 6'2" and 295# and I find the size L bike shorts at Aerotech to be the right fit for me, even though the size chart points to an XL based on measurements. Not sure about women's sizing. I've heard of a UK shop, "Fat Lad" or something like that, but I haven't done any business with them.

In short (pardon the pun) I think cycling-specific bottoms is probably a good investment, anything else is more about fit, fabric and personal comfort and doesn't need to be "bicycle clothing".

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Old 03-09-20, 12:51 PM
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Depends, if I'm just going out to ride, even if its a training ride I just wear shorts and a shirt, if its colder I've got leg warmers that go from the shorts to the ankle and a tighter fitting hoodie to wear. If its cold, or colder and I'm heading out for more then 30 miles I put on cycling shorts underneath with tights over and then shorts, cold days will include leg warmers under the tights and a long sleeve wool shirt under the t-shirt with a hoodie on top.
MTBing I wear shorts as well unless its a longer day then I have padded mtb shorts that are baggier and a t-shirt.
If racing then I do a cycling shorts and a tighter fitting shirt.
I haven't bought a new jersey since pre-kids days when I could fit an xl easily and even a large depending on fit. Now I've tried a couple of XXL and they were a little tighter then I'd like though I still fit xl shorts as I'm more of a muffin top, easily fit large pre-kids. I'm going to buy a couple of pairs of bib shorts this year since I hear they do a little slimming of the top which with a little weight loss should squeeze me into an XXL top I hope. Still only wear the jersey and shorts though when racing. One, I'm a little body conscious, two I've always just felt comfortable in khaki and cargo shorts; I don't find them too hot nor do I worry about aerodynamics when just riding and training, just means I can go faster when I'm racing, and three I'm too cheap to buy that much cycling clothing. Already spend enough on it for the wife and kids. Haven't worn jeans or jean shorts in 25 years since I was a teen, just always found them too tight and hot.
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Old 03-09-20, 12:54 PM
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Seconding the comment on bike bottoms. They avoid loose fabric that can catch on something (like a saddle when you're trying to mount it) and cause a crash, and they won't chafe like blue jeans.
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Old 03-09-20, 01:06 PM
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At my worst I was 5'8" and 238lbs (that's a horrible BMI) but I've always found bib-shorts to be the most comfortable thing to wear and have recently started to wear merino wool undervests (long sleeve at the moment) with a road jersey that's a good fit around my torso which invariably leads to getting the arms shortened

There's a bit of trial and error with sizes and I've got a couple of 'aspirational' jerseys that I'm hoping to get into during the summer.
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Old 03-09-20, 01:09 PM
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Bike shorts and jersey (lycra from head to toe).I've lost so much weight, i actually think I look good in it. (My husband certainly thinks so.)

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Old 03-09-20, 01:58 PM
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Bibs (shorts or tights), cycling jersey, half finger gloves.
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Old 03-09-20, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Sertsa View Post
Hi. I've been considering clothes options when riding and wondering what those of us who are larger tend to do. Preferably I'm hoping for decent, all around options that aren't terribly expensive. I'm also hesitant to look at clothes in bike shops, as I still have a ways to go in losing weight and...well, I'll guess most of us have experienced looks and giggles when shopping for clothes and sporting goods.

Personally I also avoid shorts, as even when I finally reach my goal weight I'll still be self-conscious about scars (and a compression sock). As I hope to trail ride I'm also looking for some protection from limbs and thistles without being too hot.

I'm guessing jeans will get far too hot and retain too much moisture. And I understand loose-fitting boxers can cause chaffing.

So what do you use? Sweatpants and loose t-shirts? Khakis? Hoodies? Lycra?

Thanks.
You aren't that big anymore, so don't worry, at this point you can find proper cycling gear and I doubt anybody will make fun of you.

I am 250 lbs now, but last summer i was over 300, and at other times I was in the 280s and 290s, and I have worn cycling gear for at least the last 15 years.

As for overall options at not too much money, not sure what your budget is. But the key is technical wear.

Shorts:
In summer, you really need to get used to wearing shorts. Tights will just be too hot. In cool weather, you can go with cycling tights.
It starts with good shorts with a built in chamois. You wear cycling shorts without underwear. The standard road shorts are tight fitting but designed to stretch and move with you as you pedal, and especially, to minimize friction.At this point you are probably between an XL and XXL depending on the brand. In some brands, you might have to go up to 3XL. I have had good luck with Aerotech Designs, Pearl Izumi, Specialized, and Gore, though I just bought a pair of Bontrager bibs.

Jerseys:
Cycling Jerseys are meant to be a bit snug, but not tight. The reason is, so your shirt doesn't flab in the breeze as you ride, or puff up like a parachute. Look for Club fit or or semi form fit, and not form fit or race fit.. Jerseys are made of a technical fabric with either a full zip or a half zip so you can cool off a bit if it gets hot. They also have back pockets so your stuff doesn't clank around as you ride. Some decent low cost options include Bontrager, and Primal. I used to get good deals on Nashbar and Performance brand, but that seems to have changed. You don't have to get a cycling jersey if you don't want, but I think it is worth it to get one or two jerseys. But in a pinch, you can get by with technical shirts.

Base Layer
As a formerly very large person, you might like the security of a compression base layer to regulate body temp, and to keep any loose skin from flapping around. Under Armour is very good, as is Craft. But honestly, I have a few off brand base layers I bought on Amazon and even Costco that also work OK. In fall, you can get a long sleeve base layer or even a Merino wool base layer. I wear my Merino wool base layer as an undershirt on really cold days when not on the bike.

There is lots of other stuff you can get, like a windbreaker or wind vest, but I think to get started, just get good cycling shorts, jersey, and one long sleeve and one short sleeve base layer. And maybe one pair of tights for cooler weather.

Last edited by MRT2; 03-09-20 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 03-09-20, 03:56 PM
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Bike shorts. Even at 350+. But then I also wear kilts. And shorts all year long, yes, even shoveling snow.

I also have cycling underwear for under regular shorts or sweats.

Now under 250, cycling shorts, bib insulated tights. Jerseys are a choice for road rides, but rarely on MTB rides.
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Old 03-09-20, 05:11 PM
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Sertsa
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Thanks everyone, this helps a lot. Most of what I'm getting so far is about everyone at least goes with performance-oriented bottoms. Do even those who commute use them and change before and after work?

I'll have to look more at the shorts and tights and see how comfortable I am with the scarring. And in general, signs that I used to be about double my size. And I'm still in the "obese" BMI range, but getting closer to leaving it.

On a related note, I was hoping to have a bike by now, but the shop owner who was going to get back to me once a part came in hasn't. So I'll likely take a trip to visit a former co-worker's family's shop. I also began pricing some clothing, tools, repair kits, and other accessories to figure an overall budget. Thanks again.
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Old 03-09-20, 05:18 PM
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Aerotech Designs

Seriously, I just got my first pair of bib shorts and can't believe I waited so long. Everything else I got (MTB shorts with separate padded undershorts) seem like a waste of money. If it makes you feel any better, I'm 5'7" and 272 lbs. Here is the specific ones I got: https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/atd-...ib-shorts.html

Yea, they are a bit pricey, but the comfort is definitely worth it! I paired those bibs with the following jersey (though you could easily just get a cheaper Under Armour-style wicking shirt instead): https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/big-...al-jersey.html
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Old 03-09-20, 05:28 PM
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FWIW

all of this is very dependent of the person

I am currently at 233 and I ride road bikes.

If I am just jumping on my upright/utility type bike for a quick errand (typically 3-5 miles round trip) I jump on with the gramicci shorts I am invariably wearing (and shoes...never flip flops or sandals)

i find that 8 to 10 miles of riding is my personal comfort limit max for anything other than bike shorts

I commute in (5 miles in 7 to 10 miles home) in bikes shorts and a non bike specific wicking top, shorts for comfort and total functionality (and not getting caught on the bike seat and making be fall in the parking lot..longstory), wicking top not bike specific as I use a backpack, spd shoes and pedals

Long rides on the weekend bike shorts and top, spd sl pedals and shoes

Voler has really good gear, especially when it is on sale like it is today https://www.voler.com/browse/cat3/?c...eid=7081f16438

Aerotech designs has large size and good balance of prices and quality https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/roadbikeshorts.html

for cheap wicking tops east bay id good just don't get compression tops https://www.eastbay.com/product/east...s/6858801.html

I am in california so don't have to deal too much with code first best thing is a windvest https://www.voler.com/browse/product/li/1010E71 I rode in at 47% with longsleeve shirt, windvest and lands end fleece vest

just rock shorts.... life is to short for tights
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Old 03-10-20, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by insignia100 View Post
Aerotech Designs

Seriously, I just got my first pair of bib shorts and can't believe I waited so long. Everything else I got (MTB shorts with separate padded undershorts) seem like a waste of money. If it makes you feel any better, I'm 5'7" and 272 lbs. Here is the specific ones I got: https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/atd-...ib-shorts.html

Yea, they are a bit pricey, but the comfort is definitely worth it! I paired those bibs with the following jersey (though you could easily just get a cheaper Under Armour-style wicking shirt instead): https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/big-...al-jersey.html
I'll second this recommendation. I have several of their jerseys and they are all great. I wear bibs from www.theblackbibs.com but I have heard great things about Aerotech's bibs too.
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Old 03-10-20, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sertsa View Post
Do even those who commute use them and change before and after work?
Depends on you and your commute. As my wife says, I break out in a sweat when I look at a bike. Five miles was OK in cool weather, but not warm or hot weather. My current 10 mile commute would leave me sticky and wet in any clothes. Better for me to wipe down (or shower, yay!) and change at the end of that commute/ride -- so I've built up a collection of activity-appropriate clothes for all weather conditions I experience.
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Old 03-10-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sertsa View Post
Thanks everyone, this helps a lot. Most of what I'm getting so far is about everyone at least goes with performance-oriented bottoms. Do even those who commute use them and change before and after work?

I'.
Yep. I keep shoes, pants and a belt at work and just take fresh shirt and undewear with me, so that back pack is smaller (of course change out pants on a regular basis)
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Old 03-10-20, 12:40 PM
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Thanks again, all. I was looking at a spring sale last night and ordered two pair of padded liner shorts, so at least I'll have those. Hopefully they'll fit, either now or soon.
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Old 03-11-20, 09:18 AM
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The comfort and practicality of a well-fitting pair of bike shorts are so superior to all the half-arsed other solutions that, for most, it immediately makes up for the feeling of being a sausage in a too-tight casing.. for most people.

When you walk into the grocery store after your ride, the self consciousness comes back, but there is a reason to use this less-than-flattering style of clothing for biking.
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Old 03-11-20, 09:35 AM
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I normally wear gym shorts and have several moisture wicking polyester shirts in various bright neon colors for visibility for everyday cycling. For longer rides, I might opt to wear a cycling jersey.
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Old 03-11-20, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I normally wear gym shorts and have several moisture wicking polyester shirts in various bright neon colors for visibility for everyday cycling. For longer rides, I might opt to wear a cycling jersey.
Same here , except for the cycling jersey .
For cold weather ( below 50 degrees for my old knees) I wear sweatpants under my shorts . Zip up sweatshirt with a florescent yellow polar fleece vest .
I wear Keen sandals 90% of the time . Yep even when itís cold .
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Old 03-11-20, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by kirby999 View Post
Same here , except for the cycling jersey .
For cold weather ( below 50 degrees for my old knees) I wear sweatpants under my shorts . Zip up sweatshirt with a florescent yellow polar fleece vest .
I wear Keen sandals 90% of the time . Yep even when itís cold .
Yeah, when it's cold (~60 degrees or less) I wear some gym pants, a regular cotton T-shirt (or a sleeved T-shirt) and a thin cycling jacket. That usually keeps me warm enough.
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Old 03-11-20, 02:15 PM
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I wear shorts or bibs, something with a comfortable chamois. I normally wear road bike shorts (nothing too loose). On top, I wear riding jerseys, I like the feel and they are designed to be functional for riding. I like the pockets in the rear of the shirts (the most important feature) and the wicking properties of the materials.

Just like a properly fit bike, make sure the clothes fits comfortably but not too loose. We always used to say around the shop, "if it doesn't fit or isn't comfortable, it won't be used" this applies to clothes and bikes.
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Old 03-11-20, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wilfred laurier View Post
the comfort and practicality of a well-fitting pair of bike shorts are so superior to all the half-arsed other solutions that, for most, it immediately makes up for the feeling of being a sausage in a too-tight casing.. For most people.

When you walk into the grocery store after your ride, the self consciousness comes back, but there is a reason to use this less-than-flattering style of clothing for biking.
+1000000
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Old 03-11-20, 03:08 PM
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I have a 72 yo non Clyde friend who rides with me on occasion. His everyday attire is his riding gear . Unless itís hot outside , that would be jeans and a button up plaid shirt . When it gets hot he switches to Bermuda shorts .
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Old 03-13-20, 12:10 PM
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Look into the fast drying fishing shirts at sporting goods stores. I find the loose fit to be way better than tight jersey on hot days (9 months of the year in Tejas). I like the coolmax extra long briefs from Duluth or the Starter branded poly compression shorts when they have them at Walmart. Cover them with cargo shorts or pants. I don't where bike specific shorts or jerseys anymore.
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Old 03-13-20, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
Look into the fast drying fishing shirts at sporting goods stores. I find the loose fit to be way better than tight jersey on hot days (9 months of the year in Tejas). I like the coolmax extra long briefs from Duluth or the Starter branded poly compression shorts when they have them at Walmart. Cover them with cargo shorts or pants. I don't where bike specific shorts or jerseys anymore.
Fast drying, moisture-wicking polyester shirts are a must on very hot days, when I'm not wearing a jersey. I learned my lesson early when I got into riding that cotton T-shirts are horrible to wear during hot weather. The cotton fibers hold the moisture in instead of letting it evaporate, and soon the whole shirt is soaked. Riding in the heat in a soaked T-shirt is worse than riding with a shirt that dries quickly. It seems counterintuitive, but a wet cotton T-shirt is hotter than a polyester quick-drying shirt. Not to mention having a wet cotton T-shirt hanging on your body feels miserable.
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