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Stinky Commuter Clothes!

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Stinky Commuter Clothes!

Old 08-02-12, 08:37 AM
  #26  
kangchen
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I don't share the view but I've seen it expressed enough that I think I can explain the reasoning in a fair manner.

The anti-spandex view falls into two basic camps (with some overlap).

The first is that wearing spandex to your work place doesn't show the proper degree of modesty. I believe women are given a more leeway when it comes to this than men are.

The second is that in the U.S. cycling as a sport has had a detrimental influence on cycling as transportation. Basically it would be better if people wore normal work clothes. If weather doesn't allow for that, then at least one should wear clothing they would wear while just out and about. That would make bicycle commuting seem more accessible to those who are turned off by the thought of wearing spandex.

Again, I don't share the viewpoint, but there it is.

This discussion comes up now and then in the commuting the forum. In the road forum the discussion is whether or not to shave your legs (for men). There's a group in that forum that believe that wearing cycling shorts with unshaven legs is just wrong. This is another group that believes that men shouldn't be shaving their legs period.

My take is that no matter what you wear or whether you shave or not, somebody will look down on you for it. So just do what works for you.
Gotcha ... the second argument particularly makes sense and it's good to know them in case it comes up in conversation.
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Old 08-02-12, 08:48 AM
  #27  
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When riding, I just wear polyester gym clothes. Sometimes I wear a liner short under it, but sometimes it's just plain cotton boxers. I change everything at work, and with the shower right before riding, I never get any complaints.
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Old 08-02-12, 08:52 AM
  #28  
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Kangchen, while you are fully encouraged and welcomed to hang out with us, I also realize that there may be some subjects that you might feel a bit skittish of discussing openly. When and if that does happen, then this might be of interest. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Women-s-Forum
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Old 08-02-12, 08:54 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by kangchen View Post
Gotcha ... the second argument particularly makes sense and it's good to know them in case it comes up in conversation.
Sure.

For me personally, I'll wear regular clothes or workout/cycling clothes depending on distance and intensity. When my commute was less than 2 miles, I wore regular clothes. When it got to be 6 miles each way I decided I wanted to make it part of my exercise regimen so I wear cycling shorts with a wicking t-shirt. If I'm going on a group ride after work, I substitute a cycling jersey for the shirt .

I don't worry that my clothing choices might make commuting seem less accessible to somebody else. There are plenty of people who ride in normal clothes and I figure any adult is capable of making their own decisions when it comes to what to wear.
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Old 08-02-12, 09:04 AM
  #30  
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I wear cycling specific shorts under regular shorts because I am modest. However, f I go on an extended ride in the summer I will ditch the regular shorts but carry them in my bag so when I dismount for going into a store I can slip them on.

this is also a great way to deal w walking past colleagues at work

cycling shorts fit under anything but I prefer thin lined trishorts by Zoot - got them from Amazon. I was sure to get a large enough size so that they were comfortable. I've got a 38-40 waist so use the XL size. also the Zoot has a regular height waistband as opposed to many other trishorts which have low cut waists.

there's a place I stop that gives cyclists in general a dirty look when they come in to purchase drinks or snacks regardless of what they are wearing. I don't know what their problem is though. It's not just me either, it's to anyone wearing cycling clothes.
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Old 08-02-12, 10:02 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Kangchen, while you are fully encouraged and welcomed to hang out with us, I also realize that there may be some subjects that you might feel a bit skittish of discussing openly. When and if that does happen, then this might be of interest. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Women-s-Forum
Thanks, no1mad!
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Old 08-02-12, 10:04 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I wear cycling specific shorts under regular shorts because I am modest. However, f I go on an extended ride in the summer I will ditch the regular shorts but carry them in my bag so when I dismount for going into a store I can slip them on.

this is also a great way to deal w walking past colleagues at work

cycling shorts fit under anything but I prefer thin lined trishorts by Zoot - got them from Amazon. I was sure to get a large enough size so that they were comfortable. I've got a 38-40 waist so use the XL size. also the Zoot has a regular height waistband as opposed to many other trishorts which have low cut waists.

there's a place I stop that gives cyclists in general a dirty look when they come in to purchase drinks or snacks regardless of what they are wearing. I don't know what their problem is though. It's not just me either, it's to anyone wearing cycling clothes.
Guess a lot of it has to do with location/culture of the area! Here in NYC I don't think anybody really cares what anybody is wearing but this is a good reminder to think about how I may affect others outside of this area.
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Old 08-02-12, 10:17 AM
  #33  
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I read an article on a new shirt (part merino wool, part synthetic fabric) that a guy wore for something like 6 months without washing & it still didn't smell. Here's the link if you're interested:

http://gearjunkie.com/athletic-t-shirt-merino-cocona
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Old 08-02-12, 11:13 AM
  #34  
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I like my mt bike shorts. Looks good, plenty of ventilation, and not too tight.
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Old 08-02-12, 11:18 AM
  #35  
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I have no issues with smelling clothes, after i switched to a higher quality bike specific clothing. you can always get nice jersey and shorts on sale for cheap. I ride a little more than 20miles each way in humidity and heat during summer, no issues. Since jersey fabric is very fast drying, i once in a while wash it in a shower on super sweaty day. It dries very fast.
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Old 08-02-12, 11:23 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
My take is that no matter what you wear or whether you shave or not, somebody will look down on you for it. So just do what works for you.
+One Trillion!!
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Old 08-02-12, 11:50 AM
  #37  
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Pearl izumi's liner/shorts (MTB type or not) are comfortable and also offer hip pockets of varying sizes.

IMO the best way to keep yourself (and your clothes) from being overly smelly is to ride at an easier pace. A couple months ago I started following the 'slow is the new fast' approach described here: http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/art...yclists-28838/ (get faster by taking it easy? Oh heck, why not!), and it's allowed me to gradually get myself up to what I feel is a comfortable pace w/o pushing my heart rate up. My main goal was to be recovered enough in between frisbee practice and harder bike rides by taking everything else easy, but the added benefit has been that I can get to work almost sweat-free. I know there's a lot of people here who have long rides and want to make a workout out of their commute, but with a relatively short commute this could be worth looking at.
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Old 08-02-12, 01:57 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by kangchen View Post
Thanks, all! Lots of great advice here. Been off the bike this week because of a back injury but next week I'm back on and can't wait to try all of these ideas out.The showering beforehand and wearing wool is mind-boggling but makes plenty of sense.

I haven't observed any kinds of criticism about wearing spandex before so this was my first experience of it. I hear you, tjspiel but I'm curious about nashcommguy's (and anybody else who agrees with him) view. What's so bad about it? I've worn spandex since high school when I was a rower so I'm pretty comfortable with it and know that I'm not killing anybody's eyes (otherwise I wouldn't be in it). Before I hit the showers at the gym I'll do some lifting so it feels situationally appropriate since I'm riding to the gym first.
You may not have observed any criticism, but I can assure you it's there. Personally, I have no problem with it. I've had cycle-commuting co-workers over the years who wear spandex bottoms w/o a trace of self-consciousness. Hey, good for them. And you. I just happen to have drawn a different conclusion in 25 years of cycle-commuting.

My use of the term 'full kit' was wrong in this context. I get that. I was simply referring to the combo of a cycling jersey, padded lycra shorts, poly-pro cycling socks, clipless shoes, matching helmet, etc. All of which I wear. The only difference is that I wear a pair of mtb shorts as well. And it's simply in consideration of my co-workers. That's it. There was no intent to 'look down' on the OP.

So, there it is. My best explanation. No intent to offend or judge.
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Old 08-02-12, 02:04 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by various styles View Post
Take them in the shower with you to wash. Then hang them up to dry and if they don't dry by the time work ends, no worries you have nice cool clothes to wear on the hot ride home.
+1

Rinse them out in the shower in the morning then roll them in a towel and step on it - that will get rid of most of the moisture - then hang in your office to dry.
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Old 08-02-12, 02:10 PM
  #40  
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LOL... Cbadrider your tag-line quote is incongruous with your post.
I had to do a double take... :-)
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Old 08-02-12, 02:15 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by kangchen View Post
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and commuting on bike (been 3 months now). A friend suggested I post my question on here.

I ride to and from work and, as of now, am just wearing compression shorts, sports bra, and a cotton or North Face moisture wick shirt. I'm a naturally sweaty person so even though it's just 6 miles, I'm pretty soaked by the time I arrive. I change and shower at the gym and then hang my clothes on a hanger under my desk to air out. I love commuting on my bike but the problem is that by the time the day ends and it's time to go home, my clothes STINK.

It's not that big of a deal but it is slightly uncomfortable (sometimes the clothes are still damp) and it particularly sucks if I have to make a stop b/w work and home (store, appointments, etc.) and I have to be that stinky person. Plus, on particularly bad days, the smell might waft up from under the desk and who knows who in my office thinks I'm gross!

Any suggestions on how to air out clothes? I'm thinking about investing in some bike shorts but not sure about shirts, bras, etc.

Thanks!
I think I am getting this right. Your bike clothes, not your work clothes are smelling? Right?

Easy fix..

When I commute, I ride my bike clothes, compression shorts, shirt, etc. However, I am not a smelly person. Ha. I keep 3 changes of work clothes at work. I take a wash off when I get to work and change into my work clothes. Now for you, if you are that smelly person, all you have to do is have about 2 to 3 changes of BIKE CLOTHES at work. That means you don't ride the return leg home with the same BIKE CLOTHES. Like me, every week, I changed my work clothes to a new set, or take them home on the weekend, and bring them back clean at the beginning of the week. Also, for you, if your bike clothes that you wore to work are smelly, get a plastic bag and put them in, then seal the bag. The odor will not come out..

In summary, keep 3 sets of bike clothes at work, seal up the clothes that you wore in the morning, change the sets every week.. Done deal...
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Old 08-02-12, 02:23 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by yetsukeng View Post
I have no issues with smelling clothes, after i switched to a higher quality bike specific clothing. you can always get nice jersey and shorts on sale for cheap. I ride a little more than 20miles each way in humidity and heat during summer, no issues. Since jersey fabric is very fast drying, i once in a while wash it in a shower on super sweaty day. It dries very fast.
Hmmm.........I'm 100% sure that if I rode 20 miles to work I would probably get booted back out when the stench floats over the top of my cube like a green cloud and infects the rest of the office.
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Old 08-02-12, 02:46 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
You may not have observed any criticism, but I can assure you it's there. Personally, I have no problem with it. I've had cycle-commuting co-workers over the years who wear spandex bottoms w/o a trace of self-consciousness. Hey, good for them. And you. I just happen to have drawn a different conclusion in 25 years of cycle-commuting.

My use of the term 'full kit' was wrong in this context. I get that. I was simply referring to the combo of a cycling jersey, padded lycra shorts, poly-pro cycling socks, clipless shoes, matching helmet, etc. All of which I wear. The only difference is that I wear a pair of mtb shorts as well. And it's simply in consideration of my co-workers. That's it. There was no intent to 'look down' on the OP.

So, there it is. My best explanation. No intent to offend or judge.
Not offended! Thanks for letting me know your rationale behind that opinion. Will keep this in mind.
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Old 08-02-12, 03:08 PM
  #44  
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Don't overdress for your commute....wear the minimum layers appropriate for the weather. That will allow the air to wick sweat and dry the clothing as you're riding. New change of clothes every day. Proper bike shorts and jersey might help. A good pair of mid-to-high end bike shorts and a good jersey will dry while hung within 90 minutes in a climate controlled environment. Make sure that they are properly hung dry before throwing into the hamper each day.

Personally, I have like 15 pairs of bike bibs and SS jerseys, plus another 10-15 different ones for different weather; to use between the weekdays and weekends (35-50 mile rides). yeah, it's overkill, but that's just me.
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Old 08-02-12, 03:25 PM
  #45  
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^^^ All of the above...or:

I'm not a smelly person, but I do sweat like a pig. A spritz of this stuff and a small fan will take care of it by the time you're ready to head home.
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Old 08-02-12, 03:42 PM
  #46  
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Count me in as another vote in favor of the following:
Pre-ride shower
Washing clothes when you arrive and take a shower. (Rinse and wring out as thoroughly as is practical)

The merino wool seems to be highly recommended too, but I don't have much experience with that. Another tip that I picked up from a friend is to soak your shirt and tech-material clothes before you ride out. You can do this by: rinsing them in the sink, rinsing in your pre-ride shower, wearing them in your pre-ride shower.

Personally, I like to take a brief cool rinse-off shower with my compression shorts and shirt on and then I put on some plain gym shorts over that (since I only wear bike shorts for long rides and compression shorts show more than bike shorts :-p ) and ride out. As a female, you probaby don't even need the shorts to go over your tights. It's great because it keeps you cool so that you don't sweat as much on the ride and have less sweat stinking up your clothes. It's a bit of a shock to do the cool water and all, but it definitely helps delay the onset of stink in your clothes until you get a chance to wash them. Most of the women I know consider a shower I'd call "comfortable" to "cool" as "freezing" though, so if you're a sissy about cold water, this may not be the method for you. :-p I've also heard that cold water helps prevent stink from setting into your clothes better than warm water so if you rinse your clothes after a ride, use cool/cold water.

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Old 08-02-12, 04:35 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by muu View Post
Pearl izumi's liner/shorts (MTB type or not) are comfortable and also offer hip pockets of varying sizes.

IMO the best way to keep yourself (and your clothes) from being overly smelly is to ride at an easier pace. A couple months ago I started following the 'slow is the new fast' approach described here: http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/art...yclists-28838/ (get faster by taking it easy? Oh heck, why not!), and it's allowed me to gradually get myself up to what I feel is a comfortable pace w/o pushing my heart rate up. My main goal was to be recovered enough in between frisbee practice and harder bike rides by taking everything else easy, but the added benefit has been that I can get to work almost sweat-free. I know there's a lot of people here who have long rides and want to make a workout out of their commute, but with a relatively short commute this could be worth looking at.
If I ride slower and sweat less it shortens my transition time once I get to work. But I don't have access to the shower that you do either.
One thing I do at home that hasn't been mentioned is to spray my bike clothes with a mixture of water and vinegar after rinsing them out. It helps cut the smell without going down the laundryroom to do a load a wash.
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