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Budget tip for new riders: You don't NEED cycling clothes (well, except for shorts).

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Budget tip for new riders: You don't NEED cycling clothes (well, except for shorts).

Old 02-25-11, 01:22 PM
  #26  
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Render unto Lance the things which are Lance’s and unto God the things that are God’s - and being God I can tell you that the only time I wear bibs and jerseys anymore is when I am on the road bike doing roadie things...and sometimes not even then. I do like wicking materials and pants/shorts/boxers with flat seams or gusseted crotches tho.
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Old 02-25-11, 01:49 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by StephenH
I've ridden two or three 200k brevets or permanents in jeans, with tighty whities underneath
I winced just reading that.
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Old 02-25-11, 05:00 PM
  #28  
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IMO cycling clothing is only for the wanna be's and the true racer that need them.
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Old 02-25-11, 05:25 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Don in Austin
I don't wear cycling shorts. Plain Levi shorts work fine for me. I have put 112 miles on them in one day.

Don in Austin
I hope those pants were faded nearly white because after a few miles, saddle sweat can rear its ugly stain.
I like riding in street clothing however, my pants ruin from a sweaty tail so I wear poly-dex/span-ester pants then throw on a skirt when at work. Fitness clothing can be found on the cheap to keep within budget as I never pay full price for anything. I see the original posters point of view but I one must know that after quality items are purchased, it is cheaper to own them in the long run because they wash and dry easier than cotton.
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Old 02-25-11, 09:36 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Nightshade
IMO cycling clothing is only for the wanna be's and the true racer that need them.
I suppose that only racers and wannabees need anything more than a single-speed coaster-brake bike, too. Somehow, I knew the 'racer' epithet would come up eventually.
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Old 02-25-11, 09:42 PM
  #31  
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I have to have gloves...

...just like BlazingPedals...I buy "weightlifting" half-fingers, they're the exact same thing, minus the expensive bike brand-tag.

This is a big-box store tip as both are sold in the same store.

Last edited by JayButros; 02-25-11 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 02-25-11, 10:55 PM
  #32  
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Shorts are a must for me, but everything else is optional. I tend to sweat a LOT in the summer, though, so I do find that a breathable shirt or jersey is a must when it's 90+ out and I'm pushing myself. I don't necessarily need it to be cycling specific, but it's nice. I go for the cheaper plain ones. But I buy nice shorts because they REALLY increase my comfort. It has nothing to do with speed.
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Old 02-25-11, 11:53 PM
  #33  
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Are we really debating what people we donít really know or more than likely have never met wear or think about what we wear? Must be raining or snowing in a lot of states this week and we are stuck inside.
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Old 02-26-11, 07:42 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster
Are we really debating what people we don’t really know or more than likely have never met wear or think about what we wear? Must be raining or snowing in a lot of states this week and we are stuck inside.
It's usually the Tee-shirt crowd that seems to care what everyone wears. Maybe it's an insecurity thing.

My club of 1,000 has a large contingent of 12-15 mph riders, and almost all of them wear bike-specific clothing when they ride. If someone wants to wear cotton Tees, they're not derided, nor do they think the others are "wanna be's."
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Old 02-26-11, 08:06 PM
  #35  
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Cotton T-shirts aren't so good if you sweat a lot. It doesn't wick moisture like breathable shirts.
Does anyone have experimental or other evidence to support this? My experience has been the exact opposite.

If you put the corner of a cotton handkerchief into a glass of water, the cotton will soak up water over a considerable area outside of the small part in contact with the water. Does this so-called breathable material do likewise? Photos?
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Old 02-26-11, 08:49 PM
  #36  
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I think the issue is that while it will soak up the sweat, it doesn't allow it to dissipate very well and while talking about being hot, this can cause chaffing and while cold, it can end up making you colder. At least that's the general concensus on the matter. Others believe this to be false just like you do. https://www.velocitypress.com/Goretex.shtml

According to Dr. Farnworth; he maintains that the second most erroneous claim made by sportswear advertisers (besides the run-in-the-rain-and-stay-dry variety) is the entire concept of moisture "wicking."
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Old 02-26-11, 09:51 PM
  #37  
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To me, the words cotton and clammy are synonymous. It's not rocket science. Cotton holds on to moisture and insulates poorly when wet. This isn't a matter up for dispute. It's a fact. People have known about this for a trillion years. This is why backpackers wear polypro or wool instead of cotton.

Doubt it? Do an experiment yourself. Take a cotton t-shirt and a technical polyester shirt. Soak them in water. Wring them out best you can then put both in front of a fan. See which one dries completely first.

In the summer, I don't bother with rain gear when it starts pouring. Why? Because technical nylon/poly fabrics are still comfortable when wet. Riding in the rain in jeans and a t-shirt for any decent amount of time is a miserable experience regardless of whether it's warm out or not.

I can't for the life of me figure out why people get so self righteous about what other people are wearing on a bike. Who cares? Shut up and go ride your bike.

Don't most people when they start riding already assume that they don't really need special clothing? Is this a concern people have? Do they really think to themselves, "Gee, I'd like to go ride my bike but I can't afford to spend $200 on a pair of bibs and a jersey,"?

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Old 02-26-11, 09:54 PM
  #38  
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If it is really hot, the cotton can be good because of the fact that it retains moisture. Soak a cotton T-shirt in water at a public toilet mid-way through a ride, and the air conditioning effect of riding with the wet T-shirt can be quite nice.

But if it is cold, a wet cotton T-shirt can make you feel very cold and uncomfortable.
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Old 02-26-11, 10:19 PM
  #39  
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I love cotton. I doubt I would if I lived in one of the hot and humid states, though.

Went to Rocky Mount, NC in July a few years ago and I just can't comprehend how I endured my childhood in those conditions. the 98į/98% humidity with absolutely no wind was brutal!
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Old 02-26-11, 10:44 PM
  #40  
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Just some reasoning. Though I am not about to debate Machka about riding in wet T-shirts or Bathing suits.

https://www.examiner.com/running-in-baltimore/how-wicking-material-works
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Old 02-27-11, 02:32 AM
  #41  
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Besides my bike, I would say the best investments I've made for regular cycling are padded shorts and clip-in shoes. I have two pair of Sidi shoes that are at least 10 years old and both have held up extremely well despite a good amount of use. IMHO the clips have helped me avoid injury and maintain a more efficient pedaling cadence. I remember buying them and feeling dumb about paying so much but I've never regretted the purchase. I can't imagine riding without them now.

The shorts just make rides more comfortable. I don't even care that they look silly.

I actually often ride in a t-shirt but I find wearing a compression-type tech shirt under it keeps me cooler in the heat, warmer in the cold and dryer all around. Don't know about the science but it works for me.
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Old 02-27-11, 07:18 AM
  #42  
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I love cotton. I doubt I would if I lived in one of the hot and humid states, though.
+1 -- love cotton as well. Funny - people just parrot what they read on REI's website (or something) about how "cotton kills" in cold conditions, then they also add how you shouldn't wear it in the heat because it "feels bad" or something.

It can't be both. The same properties of cotton that are bad in the cold actually are great for cooling the body in the heat. The fibers contract when wet, and it retains moisture for a long time....this is great in hot summers. If you personally just hate the stuff, more power to you. Wear what you want.

If I were on an extended trek through Greenland, I might dress like those paid models on the cover of an REI magazine they send out in the Fall/Winter.

Wool is great - I just don't own much of it. I absolutely can't stand anything polyester or polypro. Yeah, it wicks. But it also doesn't breathe well -- causing you more sweat in the first place. Then after a couple of hours riding it's dry, but it smells like crap. Also, keep it FAR away from campfires and brush snags -- it's not durable at all.

Bike jerseys are ridiculously expensive for what they are. I also hate the pockets in the back -- much rather have my stuff in a basket or rack...or front handlebar bag.

Last edited by TurbineBlade; 02-27-11 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 02-27-11, 08:43 AM
  #43  
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I believe you should be more concerned about the poor SOBs that make your gear.
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Old 02-27-11, 10:56 AM
  #44  
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I have cycling-specific gloves and cycling-specific spd-compatible shoes. Other than that, I think that's it. My dad is a hunter, and I stole a lot of his under-armor shirts for added warmth in the winter.

It may depend on what kind of riding you're doing. I commute to and from work (9 miles round trip), and wherever else I need to go. It would be a terrible hassle changing out of bibs and jerseys everyday just to put on street clothes. In the summer I wear a tank-top (and sometimes go shirtless because I'm not scared), and when I get to my destination I take off the tanktop and put on a t-shirt.

My butt hurt during my first month of cycling, but eventually I toughened up and stopped being a baby. I've never owned a pair of cycling shorts in my life. (I've also never ridden more than 35 miles in one sitting, though). My $25 dollar, all-white saddle now looks like it is tie-dyed blue because I'm always in jeans, though.
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Old 02-27-11, 11:13 AM
  #45  
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seamless or seams where they are not felt, faux chamois, in a unpadded short are my base layer,
when I am on a bike tour, riding all day for weeks at a time.
The Cleanliness of them and the cleanliness of my skin in that region, are important
to prevent saddle sores and boils.

Those are unneeded for local transportation cycling,
where I live the outer layer, rain gear, is what matters a big chunk of the year.
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Old 02-27-11, 01:07 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog
You're not going to be any faster in a jersey than you are in a wifebeater.
Wifebeater?
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Old 02-27-11, 01:10 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by northerntier
Wifebeater?
Google image search for that one. PC police must be taking that word out of use. I know one apparel manufacture catering to girls calls them "boy beaters". Aww, cute.
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Old 02-27-11, 01:45 PM
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Wife-beater was a well-known term from the Midwest U.S. where I'm from, but most folks here on the coast don't know it either.

Basically - a cheap, usually white (sometimes greasy) tank top often associated with "less affluent" members of society, who apparently are often involved in domestic issues.
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Old 02-27-11, 02:03 PM
  #49  
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Wifebeater is falling out of use, and "Brando" is taking its place. STEELLLAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

Last summer during the dog-kicking humid weather we get sometimes, I experimented with wearing cotton tees over a very thin wicking shirt. It worked a treat! No chafing, and the tee held the sweat so the breeze could evaporate the sweat-- though how much evaporation takes place at 85% RH I couldn't say.

Never have had bike shorts. Got some funky callouses down there, too, and occasionally a really dandy ingrown hair. I just HTFU; pain is weakness leaving the body.
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Old 02-27-11, 02:18 PM
  #50  
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You don't need, to wear anything to ride a bike. ( well, some kind of shoes might be a good idea. ) I'm seriously considering a trip to vancouver to ride in the naked bike ride this Summer. On the rare occasions it is hot and sunny round here, I will sometimes try to get as close to that as possible, a pair of very light running shorts, and SPD sandals, maybe some gloves. This is OK up to an hour, but will usually be riding for 90 minutes, the discomfort takes a while to become bothersome. The shirt will usually go back on after 45 minutes or so, the legs take longer to absorb UV. The rest of the time its bib and jerseys, they just work better for me for any distance. They are usually plain but I'm not above buying a discounted set where the colors and logos look OK. I really wanted a set of those Lotto(?) team strip from a few years ago, basically blue with a multicolored square pattern across it, just thought it looked great.

Certainly agree with the idea that specialist stuff is unnecessary, but if you can afford it, and you're on the bike a couple hours ( or more ) a day, why not use the good stuff?
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