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Jersey / T Shirts / Tops for Cycling - Stop the Stench = Synthetics the Worst

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Jersey / T Shirts / Tops for Cycling - Stop the Stench = Synthetics the Worst

Old 10-11-15, 03:39 PM
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fthomas
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Jersey / T Shirts / Tops for Cycling - Stop the Stench = Synthetics the Worst

I use my bicycle as a primary means of transportation riding to the store, visiting friends, weekend or weekday pleasure rides and of course to get in my exercise.

Shoes / pedals - CrankBrothers platform pedals with light weight hiking shoes or ??? Quality synthetic socks and no odor problem. I have nothing against cleats, but for running around road cycling shoes are out of the question because you just can't easily walk around wearing them and mountain bike shoes would probably be the best since they are stiffer than my other shoes. Regardless, I do not have any specific shoe / sock problems.

Cycling specific shorts such as bibs, lycra shorts or mountain bike shorts are awesome, but I often find myself riding in walking/hiking pants. Fortunately my rear is comfortable with or without a chamois. I have no issues with wearing what happens to be the most convenient for the intended ride. No noticeable odor problems wearing cotton briefs / boxers under my pants.

On to shirts / jersey's, which is where I find a serious stench problem. I know it will eventually cool off here in S. California (it is 102 / 40 here today) and riding lately where I invariably perspire / sweat (women glow I think) a lot the mountain bike specific polyester "T Shirt" like jersey's I have are horrendous. Getting home and pulling off the jersey I am confronted with a horrendous gag producing odor. It does not matter that I shower in the morning and evening, use a quality anti-perspirant and the jersey's are washed in Tide and no fabric softener. The stench is unbelievable considering they have not been thrown in the clothes hamper to be washed in a day or two after being in the perfect environment to grow odor causing bacteria. The inexpensive Performance Bike synthetic mountain bike T Shirt style jersey's are the worst! I have tried baby powder, sports specific powder, etc. No help.

In years past doing a lot of backpacking and alpine style climbing I would never wear cotton and ages ago wore wool as my base layer and after a few years the base layer became synthetic treated with some kind of odor eliminating treatment (there are a number of different treatments). I could go days and still be able to live with myself.

What are the recommendations out there to avoid the stench problem with cycling jersey's - preferably mountain bike or commuting type stuff.
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Old 10-11-15, 03:44 PM
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Maybe this is part of the answer for the commuter, but it comes with a cost.

Office-Friendly Bike Clothing: Don't Sweat the Commute
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Old 10-11-15, 03:52 PM
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Expensive stuff like Patagonia has a low stink treatment of their Capiline polyesters..
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Old 10-11-15, 04:16 PM
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Wash your stuff with Borax. Yes, I'm serious. We use laundry detergent, Borax and a splash of eucalyptus in with the wash, and vinegar rather than softener.
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Old 10-11-15, 05:00 PM
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We use Borax, as Machka suggested, or Sport-Wash. There are a lot of detergents specifically for sport/gym wear that seem to do a good job of eliminating smells without necessarily attempting to cover them up with potent, worst(?) scents.
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Old 10-11-15, 05:04 PM
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Add a tablespoon of bleach to the water, make sure it's mixed well, then add clothes. It kills the stink without bleaching the fabric.
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Old 10-11-15, 05:07 PM
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Oh, and many antiperspirants contain aluminum oxides that cake permanently into the fabric. If you put it in the dryer, it's permanent. That caked aluminum oxide traps bacteria and stench.
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Old 10-11-15, 09:48 PM
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Borax is a great idea. Growing up in the country our work clothes were covered in manure, blood and other things that could only be cleaned with Borax. I'll have to pick some up. It should be great for killing the stink and hopefully it will help prevent it. Be a good boost to the detergent as well.
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Old 10-12-15, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by fthomas View Post
our work clothes were covered in manure, blood and other things [...]
Sounds like my typical weekend bike ride.
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Old 10-12-15, 08:13 AM
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Borax, definitely borax. Oxy stain removers deoderize well also, but wear out spandex/stretchy fabrics. Try them at half the recommended strength, and be sure to add them before the clothing, so they dissolve quickly.
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Old 10-12-15, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by slimyfrog View Post
Sounds like my typical weekend bike ride.
The life of a Bicycle Cowboy.
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Old 10-12-15, 04:11 PM
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A touch of TSP--say a 1/4tsp for starters--and see how that works. Borax and vinegar are good too.

Laundry detergents sure went up the spout when the phosphate wuz removed.

A BigBox paint aisle should feature some. A paint store certainly.
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Old 10-13-15, 02:24 PM
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When you shower, make sure you use an anti-bacterial soap. It's the bacteria that usually cause the smell.

GH
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Old 10-13-15, 02:30 PM
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Jersey / T Shirts / Tops for Cycling - Stop the Stench = Synthetics the Worst

Cotton... unless it's freezing cold.

Amazing how the leisure industry has made so many people believe they need $100 t-shirts

lmao
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Old 10-13-15, 02:33 PM
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Sweat doesn't stink, the bacteria and their waste products do. Therefore if your jerseys stink, then you still have bacteria in them.

I use simply Tide detergent. No antiperspirant, nor other body chemicals. My jerseys only stink if I wear them twice without washing.
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Old 10-13-15, 02:36 PM
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Despite sweating like crazy, my jerseys have never developed lasting odor problems even during extended tours where I often have not been able to wash them except when I shower.
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Old 10-13-15, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Sweat doesn't stink, the bacteria and their waste products do. Therefore if your jerseys stink, then you still have bacteria in them.

I use simply Tide detergent. No antiperspirant, nor other body chemicals. My jerseys only stink if I wear them twice without washing.
+1. See my post #16 in this thread.
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