Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Riding with compression socks/tights?

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Riding with compression socks/tights?

Old 05-04-20, 09:16 PM
  #1  
cormacf
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, WA
Posts: 297

Bikes: Lynskey Sportive Disc, Giant Omnium, Felt Breed

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 10 Posts
Riding with compression socks/tights?

The older I get, the more I appreciate compression socks after a long ride. I have subs long rides coming up in the next few years - - an Everest in 2021 and PBP in 2023, if all goes well.

Does anyone have thoughts on wearing compression socks or tights DURING a ride? I'll be riding 24-plus hours in a row in both cases, so I'm guessing I should give it a rest every
​​​​ few hours?
cormacf is offline  
Old 05-05-20, 08:27 AM
  #2  
easy49
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I do and I see other riders wearing them too sometimes. For me it's not optional due to circulation issues. I wear high compression knee high socks from the time I get up in the morning till bedtime. Hard to find sporty looking ones in the compression I need. Garneau had some that are discontinued.
easy49 is offline  
Old 05-05-20, 08:38 AM
  #3  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 6,264

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2427 Post(s)
Liked 1,123 Times in 825 Posts
I generally think compression a bad thing while riding. I want my blood to have free access to my leg muscles. Socks are about the only thing I wear that are a tad more than snug enough to move with my body and not rub.

Compression stuff might be useful for muscles that were strained or injured until they heal. All IMO of course.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 05-05-20, 01:03 PM
  #4  
sch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Mountain Brook. AL
Posts: 3,867
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 266 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 80 Times in 62 Posts
FWIW pro riders entire getup is 'compression' and the general consensus is that compression garments facilitate
active endeavors and do not restrict blood flow and improve performance. I do have some compression knee
high non-medical grade socks I wear in the 45F to 60F range for warmth. I also have some sun sleeves that are
compression that are tight for 15' then I don't notice any more.
Would I wear compression shirts/jersey/bibs/shorts: no, but that is personal preference only and I have so much
cycle specific clothing from my acquisitive phase '96-'05 that I will never use it up.

Last edited by sch; 05-05-20 at 01:08 PM.
sch is offline  
Old 05-05-20, 01:24 PM
  #5  
Iride01
Hits [ENTER] b4 thinking
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 6,264

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2427 Post(s)
Liked 1,123 Times in 825 Posts
Do you know for certain it is compression? And how much? While many marketing terminology uses compression in their descriptions, it seems the desirable fit that I read about from so called experienced sources is generally described as form fitting and snug enough to move with you. Admittedly I'd be hard pressed to find sources to show you though, but that's what I've gleaned from articles I've read over the years.

I feel that I do much better in a cycling shorts and anything on my legs if it's only snug enough to move with me. Not compress me.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 05-05-20, 05:48 PM
  #6  
SethAZ 
Senior Member
 
SethAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,394

Bikes: 2018 Lynskey R260, 2005 Diamondback 29er, 2003 Trek 2300

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 564 Post(s)
Liked 329 Times in 181 Posts
I often wear my compression socks while riding. I've got various ones, from ones that only cover half my foot and go up to the end of my calves and look like pantyhose-type material and are meant to be worn under something else, up to full-coverage socks that go from the toes up to nearly my knees, and can be worn alone as normal socks.

I've got circulation issues from varicose veins in my legs that make this a good idea. I don't always wear them, but I should, and if I don't and sit down all day at my computer I'll often notice some swelling in my feet and ankles by the end of the day. If I wear them I don't. The nearly knee-high ones aren't as comfortable to wear as just normal socks, but for a long ride I just put them on anyway and get on with it. I don't feel it's hampered anything. Pedaling a bike does seem to keep the fluids pumping well enough to avoid the fluid pooling in the feet/ankle area, but I know if I wear the compression socks it'll keep it that way.

Where I really notice the swelling is either after being seated for hours on end, or if I'm on my feet all day. If I stand up and walk around from time to time it's less of an issue. When I fly in an airliner I always wear them, because that's just DVT waiting to happen, and thanks but no thanks to that.

Anyhow, not everyone needs compression socks, but if you need them you need them, and I see no reason not to wear them. It's not like most folks with varicose veins or other circulation problems are competing in UCI-sanctioned events where they'd be banned. I'll be wearing mine more often than not.
SethAZ is offline  
Old 05-05-20, 06:56 PM
  #7  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 17,339

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2894 Post(s)
Liked 807 Times in 605 Posts
My wife has the foot-swelling issue and wears compression socks that come to just below the knee during the day, except when she's riding. She tried it and it made her feet cramp, probably lack of circulation, lactate buildup, whatever. For sure they're good after a ride and when flying. There have been some studies done with compression garments for recovery, result was maybe 10% improvement. Some ultra-runners wear them, but I've never seen them on a cyclist other than my wife trying them a couple times.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Old 05-05-20, 10:53 PM
  #8  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 5,062

Bikes: Day6 Semi Recumbent "FIREBALL", 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 869 Post(s)
Liked 370 Times in 247 Posts
NO PHYSICAL ISSUES but I ride with Compression Calf Sleeves. 20 hours -- 307 miles -- age 66 and no issues of cramping or tiredness. Also worn during 5Ks to Marathons AND biking/marathon in my IRONMAN events.
OldTryGuy is online now  
Old 05-07-20, 04:55 AM
  #9  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,358

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3987 Post(s)
Liked 1,777 Times in 1,139 Posts
Yup, I've worn various length and snugness (?) compression hose for bike rides and even all-day use when my legs are bothering me. Subjectively, yeah, they seem to help. By "help" I mean "feels good."

People differ over whether it translates to improved performance. I can't say I've been consistently faster or stronger with compression hose. But it "feels good," and for me that makes it worthwhile on some longer rides.

Same with shorts and bibs. I can wear medium or small in most shorts and bibs and usually prefer the compression of the small, although they tend to run shorter in the leg length, about midway between my knee and hip rather than closer to the knee according to current trends. My shorts and bibs lengths tend to fit like 1960s-'70s cycling shorts. Subjectively, the compression seems to help my thighs on harder workout rides -- less muscle burning, fewer cramps.

My only problem with compression is my little toes are extremely sensitive to loss of circulation from pressure on the tops of my feet from socks or shoes that are too tight. So I have to be sure the socks, shoes and insoles/inserts are compatible. Usually I find out about 30 minutes into a ride when my little toes start stinging, then get numb.
canklecat is offline  
Old 05-10-20, 07:47 PM
  #10  
cormacf
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, WA
Posts: 297

Bikes: Lynskey Sportive Disc, Giant Omnium, Felt Breed

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 10 Posts
Thanks, all. I just did 45 miles with 4000 feet of climbing on Zwift, wearing a lightweight compression sock on the leg that gives me trouble. Worked like a champ, and no soreness in the one bulgy vein that normally gets me! I'm going to look into the sleeves OldTryGuy uses. Any links to product you like would be appreciated.
cormacf is offline  
Old 05-11-20, 11:20 AM
  #11  
OldTryGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 5,062

Bikes: Day6 Semi Recumbent "FIREBALL", 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 869 Post(s)
Liked 370 Times in 247 Posts
Originally Posted by cormacf View Post
Thanks, all. I just did 45 miles with 4000 feet of climbing on Zwift, wearing a lightweight compression sock on the leg that gives me trouble. Worked like a champ, and no soreness in the one bulgy vein that normally gets me! I'm going to look into the sleeves OldTryGuy uses. Any links to product you like would be appreciated.
I have worn these for 5K to Marathons, biking and marathon in 2 Ironman Florida triathlons and tens of thousands of biking miles. Machine wash and hang dry. Started to show wear last year so extremely happy and only calf length since feet require nothing. Tried with feet and DID NOT LIKE.

ZENSAH >>> https://www.zensah.com/products/compression-leg-sleeves
OldTryGuy is online now  
Likes For OldTryGuy:
Old 05-11-20, 11:31 AM
  #12  
MadKaw
Senior Member
 
MadKaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 160

Bikes: 1977 Raleigh Super Course, 1993 Trek 8000, 2016 Diamondback Haanjo Comp, 2018 Marin B-17, 2018 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 11 Posts
I don't wear my compression socks while riding as I believe that the muscle action is enough to pump my blood sufficiently. I do wear them when working in the office, driving the car for long periods, or flying.
Anyway, after writing that, I asked myself whether I was right... so I did a couple minutes research. There are lots of articles touting the use of compression garments while exercising... from people selling compression garments. I did find, however, a serious study: Compression Garments and Exercise: No Influence of Pressure Applied from NIH.
MadKaw is offline  
Old 05-11-20, 11:31 AM
  #13  
cormacf
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Newcastle, WA
Posts: 297

Bikes: Lynskey Sportive Disc, Giant Omnium, Felt Breed

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 10 Posts
Thanks! Ordered!
cormacf is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.