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Gear, when gear isn't an option

Old 06-24-09, 10:49 PM
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velocipede d
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Gear, when gear isn't an option

Hey, I am new to this road bicycle gig. I am also out of funds. Without the option to get that cool, tight, form fitting gear, what are some common alternatives that make the ride as comfortable as possible?
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Old 06-24-09, 10:55 PM
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Go to your local thrift shop and pick up tights (often found in the women's section), and whatever you can find to fit you in merino wool.
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Old 06-24-09, 10:59 PM
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Really? Women tights? I don't know.

Merino wool seems like a good one! Thanks.
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Old 06-24-09, 11:15 PM
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Take Machka's advice with a grain of salt. She now lives on a sheep station in Australia. Gets the wool for free, she shears, spins and knits it herself
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Old 06-24-09, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by velocipede d View Post
Really? Women tights? I don't know.

Merino wool seems like a good one! Thanks.
Well, tights like what you'd wear to the gym, not tights like what you'd wear under a dress.

And merino wool is great ... soft and warm. Just go ask about it in the Winter Forum.

If you're somewhere warm right now, however, you might want to see if you can find anything in a "coolmax" type of synthetic wicking fabric. You can occasionally find such things in places like thrift shops or Walmart.



And ignore Eclectus ... I suspect he is very new to sports (especially cycling), and he hasn't got a clue.
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Old 06-25-09, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
And ignore Eclectus ... I suspect he is very new to sports (especially cycling), and he hasn't got a clue.
I don't think that's true. I could have medaled in pearl-diving had the Olympics Committee not persistently refused to sanction the sport.

On cycling, it might interest you know I've been riding with only ONE training wheel for the past 6 weeks.

Moderator note: Fixed that diving terminology for ya )

Last edited by chipcom; 06-25-09 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 06-25-09, 06:11 AM
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Good lord. Nice way to derail a thread.

You can pick up some cheap polyester workout gear at Target or Walmart. Form fitting they are not.
If you want lycra you can look at performance bikes or nashbar for some cheapies. Maybe even sierratradingpost.com.
Or just ride in what you have. There is no law against riding a road bike in baggie shorts and a t-shirt.
If your bum is having issues you could pick up a pair of padded underwear at performance.
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Old 06-25-09, 06:28 AM
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What kind of riding did you plan to do?
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Old 06-25-09, 06:35 AM
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Srsly-

For warm weather-
•I generally wear Aerotech Designs shorts and pro shorts. At $25 to $35 a pair they are a great bargain for quality cycling apparel. (Compared to $65+ for "name brand" shorts)
•I'm a big fan of the off-brand Under Armour compression shirts from Wal-Mart too. They wick sweat pretty well and cradle my beer gut like a hammock when pedaling in the aero postion. (I wear a loose t-shirt over them).
• Watch Chainlove.com religiously and you can get some nice gear for cheap.

In the fall/winter:

• Wal-Mart sells thermal tights in the hunting/sporting goods section that are 1/10th the cost of "cycling" tights.
• Motorcycling stores such as CycleGear sell gloves, balaclavas, and other cold/wet weather gear that is less expensive than "bicycle specific" stuff but the headgear is still designed to fit under a helmet.
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Old 06-25-09, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
Good lord. Nice way to derail a thread.

You can pick up some cheap polyester workout gear at Target or Walmart. Form fitting they are not.
If you want lycra you can look at performance bikes or nashbar for some cheapies. Maybe even sierratradingpost.com.
Or just ride in what you have. There is no law against riding a road bike in baggie shorts and a t-shirt.
If your bum is having issues you could pick up a pair of padded underwear at performance.
+1, Target is a great place to shop. Look for the C9 stuff there.
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Old 06-25-09, 09:17 AM
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Look closeout sales; REI had wicking tees for $3 a piece last summer.
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Old 06-25-09, 09:48 AM
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Or you can ride in what you have on now,unless you have to make a fashion statement.Works for me the last 32 years.
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Old 06-25-09, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Eclectus View Post
Take Machka's advice with a grain of salt. She now lives on a sheep station in Australia. Gets the wool for free, she shears, spins and knits it herself


Here in Sydney we don't have that luxury, we hunt the kangaroos that often hop down the main street in herds, and skin them to make our clothes and saddle covers..... at least we don't have to worry about dropbears, the street lights frightens them away.
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Old 06-25-09, 05:42 PM
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Also have a look through the Positive Experiences with Cycling-Related Businesses thread stickied in this forum ... at least two of the businesses I mentioned have low prices, and businesses that others have mentioned may as well.

https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/257790-positive-experiences-cycling-related-businesses.html
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Old 06-25-09, 06:09 PM
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My son just wore a tank-top undershirt, then went bare-chested for rides of 2-3 hours last week. Nice tan! He's 6'2'' 175, so it works.

When the last of this belly fat is gone, I'm gonna do that. Course I'll have to tuck the skin flap in. Not that it would look bad, but its turbulent flapping in the wind would impair my aerodynamics.

For gals, bathing suit top, jogbra or any thin shirt will work. Merino or synthetic if not too warm out.


He did complain cargo short weren't workin. A pair of $50 entry-level Izumis cured that. Padded short/underwear is good, unless you take only short rides, and then a cushy saddle is perfect
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Old 06-26-09, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by velocipede d View Post
Hey, I am new to this road bicycle gig. I am also out of funds. Without the option to get that cool, tight, form fitting gear, what are some common alternatives that make the ride as comfortable as possible?
You can ride in whatever you like but some certain types of clothing will work better than others.

First of all Cycling shorts. They need not be expensive and can often be found in the sales bin. Only problem is that the "Cheaper" shorts are not as comfortable as the Quality versions- but they will work better than ordinary shorts. Cycling jerseys and if it is hot- get a wicking Material in a T Shirt. Cotton gets cold- unless it is very hot. Wicking "T's" can be found at a lot of sports shops and even Wally Mart.

Shoes- Use trainers- but only those with a firm sole. Flexible soles will hurt after not too many miles.

As to the rest- A waterprrof top that is not too heavy-but cheap ones will not breath and make you wet from the inside- so plenty of ventilation or an easy pull Zip to cool down with. Any old sweatshirt if it is cold and I have used the thick tights in cold weather aswell.

And in the winter over here- I will wear anything to keep the wind/wet/cold out- providing it works. But luckily I have been riding long enough to have all the proper Clothing I need for all the weathers. All I need to do is find the Warmer weather so I can ditch the long johns occasionally.
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Old 06-26-09, 05:26 PM
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Remember, cycling gear is built for cycling position. If you use other gear (lycra) that isn't meant for cycling, it won't fit right when riding. It might work for a while, but won't be comfortable.
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Old 06-26-09, 06:09 PM
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Amazon has some incredible deals at times. I just picked up a bunch of nice jerseys for under 20 bucks each...

Also, I wouldn't be against wearing the Nike Fit running tops they always have at TJMaxx for cheap.

-spence
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Old 06-26-09, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
Or you can ride in what you have on now,unless you have to make a fashion statement.Works for me the last 32 years.
Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
Or just ride in what you have. There is no law against riding a road bike in baggie shorts and a t-shirt.
These gentlemen speak the truth.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:05 PM
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chainlove.com has super-cheap closeouts and overstocks. They put stuff on for 10 minutes or until it sells out. (If it doesn't sell out, it comes back up later.) You can sign up for alerts, useful if you are online a lot.
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Old 06-26-09, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by velocipede d View Post
Really? Women tights? I don't know.

Merino wool seems like a good one! Thanks.
who's going to know they're women's tights when you're wearing them?
The merino IS a good idea. I have a couple of wool jerseys, about $90-$100 apiece three years ago, and they're almost indistinguishable from the merino shirts (like polo shirts) I bought at a thrift shop for less than $5.
I do most of my riding in T-shirts, especially now that every jack@ss in the world with a bike dresses like a superhero. You don't need full Lycra to ride to Starbucks; I did three centuries and dozens of 50-mile rides last year in cotton T's.
It's nice to have a pair of real bike shorts, but if you can't afford them, look for shorts without seams between you and the saddle. The padding in bike shorts isn't there for the cush, it's mainly to prevent chafing. You can also get padded bike underwear (Andiamo is one brand) from places like REI for about $25 and wear them under anything.
The best, strongest rider I know is a shop owner in his 50s, about 6'6" and 230 pounds, who rides a singlespeed mountain bike with slick tires in jeans and running shoes or light hiking boots. He jams up a notorious 7-mile, 3000-foot climb faster than all but a few of the local heroes, then takes a thermos out of the basket on his handlebars and enjoys a cold drink while he waits for the rest of us. Just go ride the bike, don't worry about the gear.
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Old 06-27-09, 09:53 PM
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I have 3 or 4 sets of bike shorts that I picked up at yard sales.

Ive also had good luck for some types of gear at target / walmart stores.
patch kits, bike gloves, speedos.

ebay and craigs list work well too
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