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Cycling jersey, or will a cheap wicking t-shirt do the trick?

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Cycling jersey, or will a cheap wicking t-shirt do the trick?

Old 06-12-15, 09:52 PM
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Kertrek
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Cycling jersey, or will a cheap wicking t-shirt do the trick?

Are the cycling jerseys worth it? 'Cause I'd feel pretty vain spending over a hundred dollars to advertise the bike shop or some logo...just because it has pockets in the back, or just to look snazzy and let people know I'm a REAL cyclist. I have a few wicking t-shirts that look normal and are comfortable enough to sleep in, and didn't cost much. Is there any point to spending a buttload of money on jerseys, aside from them having some pockets in the back? I always have my hydration pack with me, so I don't need pockets.

Last edited by Kertrek; 06-12-15 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 06-12-15, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
Are the cycling jerseys worth it? 'Cause I'd feel pretty vain spending over a hundred dollars to advertise the bike shop or some logo...just because it happens pockets in the back, or just to look snazzy and let people know I'm a REAL cyclist. I have a few wicking t-shirts that look normal and are comfortable enough to sleep in, and didn't cost much. Is there any point to spending a buttload of money on jerseys, aside from them having some pockets in the back? I always have my hydration pack with me, so I don't need pockets.
Some cycling jerseys have elastic around the waist, this can prevent air from getting up underneath and parachuting your shirt up and slowing you down.

Otherwise, I have found keeping my wallet and keys in the pocket of a jersey slightly less likely to pop out accidentally than in the back pocket of my shorts, and less annoying than having it slapping in my front pockets. I know some riders keep that stuff on the bike itself, in a seat pack or rack or even a backpack, but I'm too absent minded to trust myself to remember where I put it if I did that.
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Old 06-12-15, 10:16 PM
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A wicking tee would work just fine. Shorter rides I often wear a cotton tee. Longer rides I wear a jersey because I like the pockets. But I'd never spend $100 on one. You can get them on sale for $25 or less if you aren't looking for fancy names or logos.
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Old 06-12-15, 10:33 PM
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As you noted, they have pockets. They also have zippers which are really nice to have in summer. They have tight sleeves so they don't flap around in the wind. They are cut longer in the back and shorter in the front so as to fit properly when you are in a riding position, rather than just standing around. And some jerseys have reflective material, which is nice if you ride in the dark.

Is that worth it? It is for me. I don't know about you.
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Old 06-12-15, 10:46 PM
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Who says you have to spend hundreds?

Men's Bike Jerseys - Road & Mountain | Backcountry.com
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Old 06-12-15, 10:47 PM
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Yeah, what caloso wrote...

You can try one on sale or discounted on eBay and see what you personally think. I wear cycling kit when riding is the goal in and of itself. When I'm riding as transportation, then I wear regular or non-cycling specific clothing.
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Old 06-13-15, 05:13 AM
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Of cause your wicking T-shirt would work just fine. I have even seen button down shirts that wick and plenty of jersey's that are plain colors and not billboards.
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Old 06-13-15, 05:31 AM
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I've purchased many cycling jerseys for at most $25 online at Nashbar and elsewhere (I particularly like the LG brand with the relatively roomy Genesis fit). They have advantages as noted above. Plus you can choose bright colors for better visibility if you want. No need to look like you are a Tour rider wannabe, all logo-ed up.
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Old 06-13-15, 05:58 AM
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I've never paid a fortune for jerseys nor do I have billboard jerseys except my Texas jersey and I scored it on sale for 50 bucks. A moisture wicking tee will do fine as well, I've ridden countless miles in Adidas athletic fit golf polo shirts because I have a ton and they look nice. The jersey pockets on the back are so nice though.
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Old 06-13-15, 06:05 AM
  #10  
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You don't need special cycling clothes to ride a bicycle....Not worth it unless you're doing a racing event or riding with some club which has a special dress code.
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Old 06-13-15, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
Are the cycling jerseys worth it? 'Cause I'd feel pretty vain spending over a hundred dollars to advertise the bike shop or some logo...just because it has pockets in the back, or just to look snazzy and let people know I'm a REAL cyclist. I have a few wicking t-shirts that look normal and are comfortable enough to sleep in, and didn't cost much. Is there any point to spending a buttload of money on jerseys, aside from them having some pockets in the back? I always have my hydration pack with me, so I don't need pockets.
Over the last 2 years, I have picked up a number of Bontrager Solstice Jerseys. I bought mine in Black/Green, Hi lighter yellow, white/Black, and Red/Black. They retail for $50, but I have picked them up for $25 to $30 on sale at LBS, usually late in the season. The Solstice is relaxed fit, which I like because I can wear both the XL and the XXL (no need to go all the way up to 4X) They are pretty basic, styles and color schemes, and the fit is more real world than the race fit of other models. And they have all the features of the smaller, racier models. Half zip, back pockets, reflextive bits built into the jersey, and elastic at the bottom so even if the cut is relaxed, the back of the shirt won't fly up while riding.

And, you can rock the real cyclist look without feeling like a racer wannabe or walking billboard.Bontrager Solstice Short Sleeve Jersey - Trek Bicycle Superstore

All that said, you can just go with a technical T shirt. It doesn't have the elastic waist, the zippered front, or the back pockets, but it will work. I do find, however, that back pockets are nice.
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Old 06-13-15, 06:06 AM
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Also may depend on what other activities you do. I have one plain jersey, for riding my road bike with minimalist seat bag. For my commuter bike I have ample pannier storage, so I just where one of my many multi-use wicking shirts. For short commute I just hop on with whatever I'm wearing at the time
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Old 06-13-15, 07:09 AM
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I commute 9 miles each way with occasional long rides on the weekends. I always carry my backpack, either on the back rack , or on my back depending on which bike. After 25 years I have settled on light, long sleeve cotton shirts for hot dry weather. They get damp and cool me off in the dry Colorado climate. I will also wear polo shirts or t-shirts if it is overcast. In the winter I wear long sleeve cotton t-shirts with turtle necks in layers under a nylon jacket when it gets real cold. Almost all of my bike apparel is clothing that has become to shabby for normal wear. This winter, as I plan to push my low temp limit back down to 10F and return to riding in snow and ice with the purchase of studded snow tires, I will pick up some wicking wool under things. I remember icing up in the bad old days before bikeforums came along. BTW...if you are riding...you're a real cyclist.
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Old 06-13-15, 08:33 AM
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I got my understated jerseys with no logos or loud colors from Sports Authority for around $25, less on clearance or when they have a buy get one 50% including shorts.
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Old 06-13-15, 08:54 AM
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I need some new riding gear and I plan to buy some wicking T-shirts in high vis colors so drivers can see me better.

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Old 06-13-15, 09:03 AM
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I just wear regular wicking shirts, mostly for money reasons. I can find the m in sale for 5-10 dollars sometimes. One thing I do is get ones that fit tighter than a regular t-shirt so they don't flap around...I wear them with black cycling shorts. I always carry an under saddle bag, so phone and keys can go in there...bottles in bottle cages...I don't miss the pockets. I don't usually ride long enough to need food...if I do, I can unzip my saddle bag while riding...
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Old 06-13-15, 09:06 AM
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I think there are a few factors that influence the fact that I wear wicking t's instead of jerseys.

1) It is hard to find jerseys large enough for me at a reasonable price

2) I tend to average about 10-12 mph, not fast enough that tighter fit is going to impact my ride much.

3) I ride with an under seat bagtro hold tube/tools etc It is large enough to hold a few things so I don't need pockets

4) If I am riding for more than about an hour, I tend to also put a trunk bag on my rack, so I definitely don't need pockets.

So, it is really dependent on what you need, and how you prefer to ride.

I usually ride with short sleeve wicking t's from alertshirt.com since they have my size cheap.
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Old 06-13-15, 09:06 AM
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While a wicking t-shirt is likely quite adequate, a real cycling jersey does have some advantages. Besides the previously mentioned pockets and zippers, a cycling jersey is usually cut differently from a t-shirt, with a longer back to keep you covered when riding in the drops.
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Old 06-13-15, 09:15 AM
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I love cycling jerseys so much, I wear one when taking a walk! I love the pockets!

But I only have 2, purchased on 1/2 price sale at my local bike shop. I think they were around $25 each with the sale. As soon as I come home from a ride, I handwash my jersey & shorts in a bucket, spin-dry them, and hang them to dry fully. The fabric dries so quickly, I only need 2 sets, even if I ride every day. One to wash & one to wear. Could probably do fine with 1 set, even. I've come home from a ride at 8pm, wash & hang the clothes, and they're dry in the morning.
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Old 06-13-15, 09:21 AM
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I see plenty of people out riding in ill fitting cycling jerseys. They might as well be wearing a tshirt. Wear what works for you. I like quality cycling clothing that fits properly just for the fact that it serves it's intended purpose for longer rides & saves my bony butt.
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Old 06-13-15, 09:37 AM
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Wiggle has a few styles under the dhb brand for $12-20, I've got 4 and they're great for my use
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Old 06-13-15, 10:59 AM
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Those back pockets on cycling jerseys would be completely useless to me.. I ride with a backpack or messenger bag and my cargo shorts have plenty of pockets to keep stuff .
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Old 06-13-15, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Those back pockets on cycling jerseys would be completely useless to me.. I ride with a backpack or messenger bag and my cargo shorts have plenty of pockets to keep stuff .
A lot easier to pedal long miles with stuff tucked away your back jersey pockets than jostling around in your cargo shorts. If you ride with a backpack, I guess you are covered. Me? I hate riding with a backpack.
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Old 06-13-15, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I hate riding with a backpack.
Same here. Your butt takes a pounding as it is; why add to the weight, and the higher center of gravity can make the bike harder to control. If you have to carry something, put it on a rack.
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Old 06-13-15, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Kertrek View Post
Are the cycling jerseys worth it? 'Cause I'd feel pretty vain spending over a hundred dollars to advertise the bike shop or some logo...just because it has pockets in the back, or just to look snazzy and let people know I'm a REAL cyclist...
I gotta say it - Most of the cycling jerseys I've seen are hideous. I wouldn't be caught dead in most of the jerseys I see guys wearing on the road. You're wise to avoid them.
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