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Bang for the buck cycling kit

Old 04-27-21, 09:58 PM
  #1  
Melvang
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Bang for the buck cycling kit

Curious what brands I should be looking at for best bang for the buck circling shorts and jerseys. I know Rapha seems to be some of the better brands, but so pricey. Not discounting their quality, but what would you guys suggest for the budget minded. The other main brand I see a lot of for quality seems to be Pearl Izumi (I think that is the right spelling). Would this new a good starting point?

Side note, I shop on Amazon and eBay as little as possible.

Edit: thanks for the suggestions guys, ended up going with a pair of shorts from AeroTech.

Last edited by Melvang; 04-28-21 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 04-27-21, 11:06 PM
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Iíve got a lot of Pearl Izumi gear, and have bought it for my wife too; itís very reliable.

I got some Le Col bib shorts for Christmas and I love them. They have regular discounts on their website, so if you follow them for a bit youíll get some deals.

My go-to jersey is a Gore one I got from a discount rack at the LBS. Super lightweight, very comfortable in the hottest weather.
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Old 04-27-21, 11:58 PM
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I don't wear a lot of kit anymore, but I've always liked Louis Garneau's quality. Their District and Lemmon 3 jerseys are reasonably priced. For shorts and bibs, I buy Aerotech Designs. Really nice gear, made in Pennsylvania.
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Old 04-28-21, 02:16 AM
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Galibier. They make cycling clothing that works, looks good and is very keenly priced. Heir wet/cold weather stuff is amazing, designed for northern europe weather and really functions.

Their mistral foul weather jacket is a particular gem, warm, keeps out all but the heaviest down pours and can be had for 70 pounds ( currently 50 pounds on sale).

Their stuff stands up and often is better than brands charging 3 or 4 times as much.

I had a mix and match of brands but now it's almost all galibier as it just works.
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Old 04-28-21, 02:21 AM
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I'm partial to Voler. Don't confuse low price for value or bang for the buck.
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Old 04-28-21, 11:32 AM
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If you're not willing to shop Amazon then you are going to pay more for a kit, plain and simple. I can get you pretty well set up for next to nothing in price on Amazon, but going to a bike shop? Forget about it. The only suggestion I have without going on Amazon is to buy your cycling shorts from a bike shop, then go to places that sell clothes for wholesale and find 100% Polyester jerseys, those won't be cycling specific jerseys so no rear pockets, and they'll fit a bit loose, but they work just fine. Same with socks, just get pairs of inexpensive 100% polyester socks. Won't be a "true" kit, but they will more than get the job done.
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Old 04-28-21, 11:48 AM
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indyfabz
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
If you're not willing to shop Amazon then you are going to pay more for a kit, plain and simple. I can get you pretty well set up for next to nothing in price on Amazon, but going to a bike shop? Forget about it. The only suggestion
Buying cycling clothes is not a binary choice between Amazon and a LBS. See above re: Aerotech and Garneau, for example.
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Old 04-28-21, 12:03 PM
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caloso
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Voler
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Old 04-28-21, 12:15 PM
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Eric F
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I'm partial to Voler. Don't confuse low price for value or bang for the buck.
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Voler
What these guys ^^^ said.
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Old 04-28-21, 12:45 PM
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I've had luck on value with DHB and Ale on sale. I usually check reviews then stay on the hunt for stuff that's at a bigger % off when the seasons change. Like, I'll spend $60 on bib shorts late fall that were originally $130 "in season". Instead of spending $60 "in season" on something not quite as nice. Just gotta risk your body stays the right size to the next season.

I got the entrata Castelli shorts on sale, they're pretty good also.

The nicer stuff does last better also IMO. Maybe not the "climber ultra aero thin" stuff, but the stuff designed for hours of training rides and such.
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Old 04-28-21, 12:48 PM
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Twin Six has good selection from obnoxious to demure; https://www.twinsix.com/
I just heard about NeoPro which seems to be ridiculously well priced; https://neoprocycling.com/
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Old 04-28-21, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
What these guys ^^^ said.
I have a pair of their arm and leg warmers that are probably more than 15 years old. They have seen better days, but they have also seen countless miles, including out of tour. Talk about bang for your buck.
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Old 04-28-21, 01:11 PM
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Pearl Izumi Elite bib shorts and pants exclusively. I will never buy anything else. 10k miles on each of the three sets of bibs and hardly any wear, other than the black slightly fading from sunlight. But you aren't getting them for $60.
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Old 04-28-21, 04:28 PM
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I bought some jerseys from this place five years ago.

https://www.lightinthebox.com/c/cycl...9?prm=1.2.51.0

Very inexpensive. All still in good shape. In fact I just wore one of them for a 36 mile ride I just finished. They don't make them though, they just get them from other cheap sources.

For shorts, bibs, shoes, sun sleeves and a few other things, I'm happy with Pearl Izumi. Never tried any other so I my not know better. Ordering direct from their website is usually within a few dollars of the best price you'll find. https://www.pearlizumi.com/US/en
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Old 04-28-21, 04:44 PM
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I buy on sale, either direct (Pearl Izumi, Pactimo, Castelli, Gore) or through clearance at places like Sierra, Backcountry, REI. Before free international shipping requirements were jacked up due to the pandemic, Merlin Cycles and Wiggle/CRC would be good sources as well. TBH Pearl Izumi is often a noticeable step down from the others I named, but they make such a variety of stuff and are more often steeply discounted, so I've accumulated a lot of it.

Sierra will have some crazy good deals at times, although sizes will be sparse and some research is occasionally necessary to figure out which year's model would be for some of their stuff in order to find size charts. They carry PI, Castelli, Gore, and I saw Sportful earlier in the year.
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Old 04-28-21, 04:56 PM
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I am slowly realizing the best kit is the one that is durable and well made regardless of price. Bought more expensive items that did not last and lesser items that are well made. It all depends. I am moving away from road gear and drifting over to enduro gear because my early experience is it is better made.
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Old 04-28-21, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Buying cycling clothes is not a binary choice between Amazon and a LBS. See above re: Aerotech and Garneau, for example.
Well where I live there is nothing cheap in clothing at any of our 3 LBS's in town, nor was there any cheap clothing at the LBS in a nearby town where I bought my touring bike from, and I don't live in a ritzy town.
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Old 04-28-21, 06:15 PM
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AeroTech Designs shorts. I bought my first two pair of shorts prior to RAGBRAI 2016 and they are still in good shape. Beyond being durable, they are very comfortable and made in the USA. Moderate price. You can spend less and you can spend more, but you cannot spend more wisely.

https://www.aerotechdesigns.com/roadbikeshorts.html
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Old 04-28-21, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis View Post
Do they have a brand name on them? I've looked several times but haven't seen any specific names.
I thought they list the maker or brand in each jersey ad. But none that I recognize. Some of them have the brands name plastered across them, but I'm not much for being a billboard for free advertising. The jerseys tend to run much smaller than sizes here.

The organized rides I do keep me in jerseys too. They use Primal and Borah. Both seem well made and fit like you'd expect similar to normal shirt sizes for USA.
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Old 04-28-21, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Well where I live there is nothing cheap in clothing at any of our 3 LBS's in town, nor was there any cheap clothing at the LBS in a nearby town where I bought my touring bike from, and I don't live in a ritzy town.
He's telling you that there are other online purchasing options than just Amazon. I know it may not feel that way sometimes, but the internet is full of honest small retailers who do still offer selection and value for money. Several of them are named on this thread already.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Well where I live there is nothing cheap in clothing at any of our 3 LBS's in town, nor was there any cheap clothing at the LBS in a nearby town where I bought my touring bike from, and I don't live in a ritzy town.
Donít think you understand what I wrote. Itís not A (Amazon) or B (LBS), as your comment suggested. There are other options as noted. And the OP is looking for a bang for the buck, which doesnít necessarily mean ďcheap.Ē
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Old 04-28-21, 07:04 PM
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I buy all kinds of cycling stuff(and other stuff) at AliExpress(China w/o middleman(s)), often for 1/2 price of Amazon, but you have to wait 3-4 weeks. I bought a very nice cold weather jacket there that is perfect! just have to be careful with sizing.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:27 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I ended up going with the Aero Tech Enduro gel padded shorts. Having worked union since 07, being US made is a bonus for me.
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Old 04-28-21, 09:04 PM
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Voler to me, is the best bang-for-the-buck cycling kit. I have Rapha, Santini, Pearl Izumi, Castelli, Primal, Pactimo and Endura but Voler consistently offers very high quality for a more competitive price AND it's made in the USA. Look at the Sale page and you can get some really good bargains.

On the other-hand, my favorite cycling kit is Santini. Small Italian company, almost all their products are made in Italy and they sell really high quality, technical and cool looking kit.
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Old 04-29-21, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Melvang View Post
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I ended up going with the Aero Tech Enduro gel padded shorts. Having worked union since 07, being US made is a bonus for me.
Iíve met some of the guys from Aerotech Ė they show up at races around here and run aid stations. Great company. Good gear, too.
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