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Road Bike Apparel

Old 03-26-16, 07:03 PM
  #1  
brando090
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Road Bike Apparel

One of the reasons I have yet to purchase any appropriate attire for cycling is due to the "stigma" or at least my perception in that this clothing is very skin tight. I understand the need for aerodynamics, but I'm not the type of guy that likes to be strapped into some skintight jumpsuit. I just finished watching a cycling video and was surprised to see loose apparel. Is there something I am missing?

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Old 03-26-16, 07:11 PM
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Besides these guys are on mountain bikes and not road bikes?
...not a thing.

But you can wear mountain bike apparel on the road bike.
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Old 03-26-16, 08:03 PM
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I'm amazed how often this comes up.... Unless you're in a parade, the appropriate thing to wear while riding is whatever works for you. For most of us (certainly for me), aero drag isn't a significant factor. Yes, of course it makes a difference, but at the speeds I ride, it's a difference of two seconds a mile. I'm a geezer now and just ride for fun, but I've ridden as many as 6000 miles a year, nearly all of it in mountain bike shorts and cotton T-shirts and a lot of it in old-style touring shoes with toe clips (I took the last set of clipless pedals off my bikes yesterday, because I wear size 16 shoes and they're impossible to find at a price I'm willing to pay). If you're racing, of course you want every advantage, but ordinary cyclists doing ordinary stuff don't need to get buried in Stuff.
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Old 03-26-16, 08:34 PM
  #4  
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Wear the clothes that are most comfortable for you.

A lot of riders like bibs but I like regular cycling shorts.

I wear mountain bike shorts for touring.
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Old 03-26-16, 09:13 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I'm amazed how often this comes up.... Unless you're in a parade, the appropriate thing to wear while riding is whatever works for you. For most of us (certainly for me), aero drag isn't a significant factor. Yes, of course it makes a difference, but at the speeds I ride, it's a difference of two seconds a mile. I'm a geezer now and just ride for fun, but I've ridden as many as 6000 miles a year, nearly all of it in mountain bike shorts and cotton T-shirts and a lot of it in old-style touring shoes with toe clips (I took the last set of clipless pedals off my bikes yesterday, because I wear size 16 shoes and they're impossible to find at a price I'm willing to pay). If you're racing, of course you want every advantage, but ordinary cyclists doing ordinary stuff don't need to get buried in Stuff.
Apologize for making another one of those "starter threads". Good to hear that I'm not alone with wearing regular clothing for cycling.
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Old 03-26-16, 09:31 PM
  #6  
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Define "appropriate."

Wear what makes you happy. Even if fitting in with the people you ride around makes you happy, that's fine.
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Old 03-26-16, 09:46 PM
  #7  
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Wind drag may be a factor if you're fast and have no partners for drafting. Or if you ride in a windy area. Snug fitting cycling clothing will matter if you ride fast enough solo in windy conditions.

But if you prefer more relaxed clothing it's available. Good enough for my average 12 mph speed, although on some recent windy days I can feel some wind drag on the clothing, but my upright bike's riding position is more of a factor.

I like the affordable Louis Garneau Genesis jerseys, which fit like a t-shirt but are made of exercise-friendly poly blend with rear pockets. And today I tried a first ride with some inexpensive Nashbar brand Lancaster "baggy" shorts (more of a relaxed fit, not really baggy). I've lost so much weight since last year my regular baggy shorts were way too big in the waist.

Nashbar, Competitive Cyclist and others carry casual fitting cycling clothes.
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Old 03-26-16, 10:40 PM
  #8  
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I really enjoy wearing the tight clothes. Makes me feel like a super hero. Seriously. Now, I don't look too bad in them for a middle-aged dude, but even if I didn't, it would stop me.

When I first started road biking, I felt like the OP, absolutely no way in hell I was going to wear that skin-tight stuff. Lol. Now I have a closet full of it. It just works better for riding, less turbulence and flapping around. Nice and quiet. (And that's the real reason I switched to real road gear.)

OP, once you try it, you might fall in love with it like I did. Just so much nicer to ride in for 3-4 hours+.
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Old 03-26-16, 11:05 PM
  #9  
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It doesn't have to be skin tight. Now the jersey I'm wearing should be a little bit tighter, and was a year ago, but I've lost weight and have decided to keep wearing the jersey loose-ish because I like it.

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Old 03-27-16, 02:00 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I'm amazed how often this comes up.... Unless you're in a parade, the appropriate thing to wear while riding is whatever works for you. For most of us (certainly for me), aero drag isn't a significant factor. Yes, of course it makes a difference, but at the speeds I ride, it's a difference of two seconds a mile. I'm a geezer now and just ride for fun, but I've ridden as many as 6000 miles a year, nearly all of it in mountain bike shorts and cotton T-shirts and a lot of it in old-style touring shoes with toe clips (I took the last set of clipless pedals off my bikes yesterday, because I wear size 16 shoes and they're impossible to find at a price I'm willing to pay). If you're racing, of course you want every advantage, but ordinary cyclists doing ordinary stuff don't need to get buried in Stuff.
Me too. Most road cycling attire is a bit more snug than a loose T Shirt, and it is by design. Cycling shorts fit like a second skin and are designed for comfort during long hours in the saddle. If you do mostly shorter rides, than you might not need cycling shorts. The Jerseys are designed to fit closer than a T shirt, the general idea being not just aerodynamics, but also the wicking properties of the material. And, when you put your stuff in the back pockets, the fit should be snug enough that your stuff doesn't jostle around in the back pockets.

That said, we all have our preferences. I simply cannot wear race fit road gear, no matter the size or the brand. There just isn't room for my middle aged stomach. On the other hand, club fit jerseys and even semi form fit work just fine. Personally, I cannot stand cotton T Shirts or shorts, even for shorter rides.
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Old 03-27-16, 08:18 AM
  #11  
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Loose apparel can flap annoying in the wind and loose shorts can chafe on your legs while pedaling. Form fitting lycra garments can often be the most comfortable on the bike.
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Old 03-27-16, 11:40 AM
  #12  
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Roadie kits do function well for hard cycling. At some point even a chubby guy won't care about the look when the function is better. Go on enough charity rides and you are almost guaranteed to see enough that makes you feel OK with how you look.

Performance and Specialized had "American" sized kits. Forget Castelli, I think even the european cyclists on hunger strike protesting global warming have a hard time squeezing in.

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Old 03-27-16, 11:52 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
Roadie kits do function well for hard cycling. At some point even a chubby guy won't care about the look when the function is better. Go on enough charity rides and you are almost guaranteed to see enough that makes you feel OK with how you look.

Performance and Specialized had "American" sized kits. Forget Castelli, I think even the european cyclists on hunger strike protesting global warming have a hard time squeezing in.
The Bontrager Solstice seems cut for American physiques. The XXL fits me a little loose, while the XL is a little snug. By comparison, the Pearl Izumi in XXL fits about the same as the Bontrager in XL. Nashbar seems to have some real world sizing as well. Though not the highest quality, the fit is pretty good, and you really can't beat the price if you get them on sale. I am fine with trying to save a few bucks on jerseys, though I do recommend spending a little more on higher quality shorts.
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Old 03-27-16, 12:01 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by brando090 View Post
One of the reasons I have yet to purchase any appropriate attire for cycling is due to the "stigma" or at least my perception in that this clothing is very skin tight. I understand the need for aerodynamics, but I'm not the type of guy that likes to be strapped into some skintight jumpsuit. I just finished watching a cycling video and was surprised to see loose apparel. Is there something I am missing?

If you ride enough, your perception may change. Most road cycling enthusiasts (and many cross country mountain riders) eventually come to realize it isn't that you are some kind of Tour de France racer wannabe wearing road kit. It mostly comes down to comfort on the bike. Loose cotton shorts and T shirts get heavy and damp with sweat and chafe. Tighter, more technical fabrics are designed to support your legs and wick moisture away from your skin. It doesn't necessarily need to be skin tight, but snug is OK.

Even my 14 year old, who hated technical wear just a few years ago now wears tight fitting technical shirts or jerseys when he mountain bikes in the summer, though he does prefer the looser fitting shorts. Why? In addition to the wicking properties of technical wear, loose fitting T shirts get caught on tree branches or overgrown bushes when he rides single track.
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Old 03-27-16, 02:25 PM
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When I got into this about a year ago I would think, "What's the point of wearing that stuff and getting all aero, and getting expensive bikes??? Isn't it about the workout? The LESS aero, the better the workout, right???"

But then I sort of accepted the fact that perhaps padded shorts would be the way to go...more comfort...but NOT those tight road shorts!

But then I accepted the fact that better/appropriate clothing (and bike) could make for LONGER and MORE PRODUCTIVE workouts, so I went with it.

I admit - the first time I put on the tight road shorts I felt a bit awkward and self conscious.
But like Wheever above, it didn't take long at all to be so into it that I really enjoy wearing the kit. I think my wife sort of likes it, too.


Something else...Last year we started going to crits in the local park. I thought some of the older guys looked totally ridiculous after their race...all sweaty with their shirts unzipped and bellies hanging out.
But I've come to learn that old/fat/whatever - many of these people are VERY good cyclists.
...still would prefer if they kept their shirts zipped, though.
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Old 03-27-16, 02:52 PM
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cycling-specific attire is designed to be functional.

wicking jerseys with pockets to carry stuff, chamois-lined shorts to prevent chafing, stiff-soled shoes that accommodate pedal cleats, etc etc...

even the hard-core anti-fashion set eventually figure out that a wife-beater, gym shorts, and canvas high-top shoes are simply not going to perform as well.
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Old 03-27-16, 03:24 PM
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Fortunately, I don't ride fast enough that loose clothing slows me down.
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Old 03-27-16, 06:17 PM
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Wear what feels comfortable, & let the posers drop money on the costumes who can't keep up.
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Old 03-28-16, 05:14 AM
  #19  
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Wear whatever you want. Be comfortable. It's your bike and your life.
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Old 03-28-16, 06:21 PM
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I wear loose shirts. They are synthetic moisture wicking shirts, but loose fitting just like a t-shirt. I find tight fitting shirts to be extremely hot. Sure they are against your skin to wick the moisture away, but I produce twice as much moisture because I am twice as hot than when wearing just a loose shirt. I'm going to sweat no matter what and no matter what the temperature is (I sweat like crazy in 35 with my loose synthetic shirt and a light windbreaker like jacket unzipped the whole way.)

Shorts on the other hand are very nice to have even with the fact that I am hotter with them. Wearing regular shorts with cotton underwear just doesn't cut it. I only have 1 pair that I only wear if I know I am going to go out longer than an hour and a half (my normal daily ride is an hour and a half.) I do wear them underneath a pair of regular cargo shorts. I have stuff in my pockets usually as I don't always have the bag on the bike rack (hybrid bike). If I am going for a longer ride, I have the trunk bag on the bike as I carry extra water in it and toss my pocket carry in the bag as well, but I still have my phone in my shorts pocket as I use the GPS for knowing where I am and where I want to go often.
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Old 03-28-16, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by brando090 View Post
One of the reasons I have yet to purchase any appropriate attire for cycling is due to the "stigma" or at least my perception in that this clothing is very skin tight. I understand the need for aerodynamics, but I'm not the type of guy that likes to be strapped into some skintight jumpsuit. I just finished watching a cycling video and was surprised to see loose apparel. Is there something I am missing?

It's the hip hop "G" look finally arriving to cycle town
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Old 03-28-16, 08:40 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by brando090 View Post
One of the reasons I have yet to purchase any appropriate attire for cycling is due to the "stigma" or at least my perception in that this clothing is very skin tight.
Wear what you want! But you don't have to look hot and fit like Machka (post #9 ) to wear "the uniform" either. Her picture makes me look like a fat old slob... but I still enjoy my cycling as much as anyone else I've met. For me the cycling kit is all part of the joining in on the fun.
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Old 03-29-16, 04:43 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
Wear what you want! But you don't have to look hot and fit like Machka (post #9 ) to wear "the uniform" either. Her picture makes me look like a fat old slob... but I still enjoy my cycling as much as anyone else I've met. For me the cycling kit is all part of the joining in on the fun.




And I also find that the cycling kit is all part of the fun.
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Old 03-29-16, 05:20 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
cycling-specific attire is designed to be functional.

wicking jerseys with pockets to carry stuff, chamois-lined shorts to prevent chafing, stiff-soled shoes that accommodate pedal cleats, etc etc...

even the hard-core anti-fashion set eventually figure out that a wife-beater, gym shorts, and canvas high-top shoes are simply not going to perform as well.
Hey, you just described my June, July and August cycling "kit." LOL!!

Well, maybe about 10 to 15 years or so ago. Now I wear padded mountain biking shorts and a jersey of some sort. The padded shorts came along first in my cycling wardrobe change. Got tired of all kinds of skin issues "down there," so I decided to try real cycling shorts. Didn't like the way road shorts looked on me back then as I was kinda overweight. A friend suggested the MTB type shorts and I've been wearing them ever since, whether on the road, path or trail. The jerseys came along when I did a Tour de Cure ride four years ago. Discovered they are a heck of a lot more comfortable, and not to mention cooler, than a regular t-shirt.

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Old 03-29-16, 07:21 AM
  #25  
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Wear what makes you comfortable. If flappy shirts make you comfortable, wear those. If baggy shorts that ride up and catch the nose of the saddle, wear those too.
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