Bicycling Wearing Apparel

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jmgradon, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. drewski

    drewski New Member

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    i wear Hanes 'cause that's what Michael Jordan wears.
     


  2. Corsaire

    Corsaire New Member

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    I wear a Bell helmet (bought on discount), padded biker's gloves after realizing are necessary when I started commuting and increasing my mileage to 50 miles on weekends (got numb hands, etc) as well as a padded underwear (20 bucks) by Damiano (?), Nashbar bike shoes (cheap ones on discount, 22 bucks).
    For summer: shorts over the padded underwear
    For winter: loose fit tough nylon hiking pants, parka or running Goretex jacket, pretty much my running / hiking gear applies to my bike gear, only the light stuff.
    I just hate those "leotards" looking bike apparel, which it sure donb't fit my personality.
    Corsaire ;)
     
  3. stevek

    stevek New Member

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    or they keep the prices inflated because of it.
     
  4. emily_in_nc

    emily_in_nc New Member

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    Cycling jerseys are actually very practical. In the back pockets I nearly always carry:
    1. cleat covers (yes, I am guilty of wearing cycling shoes, and yes, they make a big difference in pedaling efficiency and comfort as others have pointed out)
    2. a bandanna to blow my nose on (it runs when I ride)
    3. money (in case I want to stop at an ice cream shop or convenience store on a ride)
    4. a drivers license (for ID, just in case)
    5. snacks for longer rides
    6. a cue sheet if I'm on a club or organized ride.
    I used to use a fanny pack before I had any cycling jerseys with pockets, but it was less comfy, more distracting, and made me sweat a lot more.

    I don't wear race team jerseys but just plain or patterned ones from places like Performance and Nashbar. They are more form-fitting than a flapping t-shirt and thus more comfy to me since they are less distracting, and the fabric also wicks perspiration a lot better than cotton. The front zipper can also be raised and lowered as needed to regulate your temperature, which is a good thing on a long ride where the conditions may vary considerably from start to finish.

    I do some long rides, and the comfort, function, and usefulness of the cycling-specific gear is a big factor for me.

    And you may not have discomfort from riding in everyday shorts, but please realize that you are in the minority there. From being a member of numerous female cyclist discussion boards and a bike club member, most female cyclists (including me) have real problems if we don't have the padding in a cycling short. Different anatomies require different solutions. And I don't know many male cyclists who are willing to ride pad-free either. Most are pretty self-conscious those first few lycra-clad rides, but they get over any embarrassment really fast when they realize how much of a comfort difference it makes. Cycling shorts minimize chafing, abrasion, soft-tissue soreness, and saddle sores compared with regular shorts and undies with seams.

    So to the OP I say, please don't be a reverse snob with a disdain for all cycling apparel you consider unnecessary without trying it with an open mind. I started riding in regular shorts and t-shirts like so many new cyclists do and quick realized that there are actually very practical reasons for cycling-specific apparel's appeal.

    Emily
     
  5. Corsaire

    Corsaire New Member

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    So to the OP I say, please don't be a reverse snob with a disdain for all cycling apparel you consider unnecessary without trying it with an open mind. I started riding in regular shorts and t-shirts like so many new cyclists do and quick realized that there are actually very practical reasons for cycling-specific apparel's appeal. <<<<<<<<<<<<<

    While I appreciate the benefit and advantages of the Cycling Apparel, I don't deny it at all - all I'm saying is that it doesn't work for me, just don't. My running and hiking gear (GoreTex, WindStopper, Lifa layers, etc, etc, etc) provides with all those same benefits and advantages w/o the snuggness "leotard" feeling of the bike clothing.
    On bike gear I only wear, padded briefs, helmet, gloves, shoes for efficiency and that's it. Everything else is cross gear, I'm not into racing, cutting seconds here and there, I train the machine, myself for harder endeavors like climbing at high altitude etc.
    Corsaire ;)
     
  6. BeardedMonk

    BeardedMonk New Member

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    I have to say that I find this post hilarious. It's interesting to see just how important image is, as there have been quite a few people chime in about what does or does not constitute a serious cyclist, and the benefits of wearing sport specific equipment.

    I have to say that at the end of the day it should make zero difference whether a person is:
    a) serious or not
    b) wearing expensive clothing or not
    c) sporting appropriate gear for his/her ability

    The bottom line is whether you are enjoying yourself or not. Contrary to all the marketing and social pressures, the gear you wear should not define who you are. If someone who's never raced pulled up beside me with a $5000 bike and proceeded to fall over at an intersection, I'd be the first one helping them up, and I would think nothing of riding with them for fun. Likewise for somebody who was riding an ol' beater. I've met some great people that I wouldn't have had the pleasure of knowing had I been too judgemental.

    It's unfortunate that class conciousness has managed to creep into even our leisure activities. The notion that I should be looked at or treated differently because of my gear seems absurd. :confused:

    But don't take this too seriously, it wasn't supposed to be a rant, just an observation. Forgive me for sounding so ideological here.
     
  7. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Grifter, I love your attitude, and indeed your Post, you're so right!! My wife and I do the "Balboa to Sunset" run at least once a week, normally on a Sunday morning, I often goof off during the week and do it then too, it's fantastic...no-one to "take me out" with a Surboard while they wonder aimlessly across the beach road without looking....or one of the many people who walk their Dogs with a 20' "death leash"

    We've never riden on the PCH, the reason is, my wife rides a mountain bike...I'm actually looking for a few road bikers to ride with...I'm from the UK, and I have no friends that ride...

    :(
     
  8. Corsaire

    Corsaire New Member

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    I couldn't agreed more with Bearded Monk. You got it bro!
    Corsaire
     
  9. bikerchas55

    bikerchas55 New Member

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  10. bikerchas55

    bikerchas55 New Member

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    I can't figure why some folks equate Lycra with dorkyness??? I think it's a jealousy thing.
     
  11. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    I'm not really into much of the cycling gear-- although I do understand the attaction to it-- who wouldn't wish to be a little like Lance? Riding a bike in the USA makes you a total geek to 80% of the population away. So I never have a bad work about any other rider, their bike, skill level, dress, ect...

    I like biker shorts and gloves, but often wear rubber faced, cotton backed work gloves in cold or wet weather. Add a $14 dollar pair of rain pants and a couple of wool sweaters I bought at Goodwill and that's pretty much how I ride. I often wear biker shorts under a pair a jeans as well-- comfortable. Poly blend T shirts are better than 100% cotton.

    I'm also a tennie shoe with cages rider. Easier to walk around once I park the bike. I do hate being looked down on by wanna-be road racers totally tricked out, however. I got laughed at while riding home from the store the other day with a half case of beer and a 50 garden hose strapped to my rack-- it's kinda pissed me off, but, oh well.
     
  12. nickwill

    nickwill New Member

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    If you ride more than a couple of times a week, for any distance at all, you need cycle shorts.
    Cycle tops are comfortable, have convenient pockets, wick moisture, and dry quickly.
    If a jobs worth doing, its worth doing properly. If you are more comfortable, you will enjoy riding more, so you will ride more often.
     
  13. jmgradon

    jmgradon New Member

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    Well, I thank everyone for their comments. I can see that there is more to bicycling gear than just looks. The argument for padded shorts seems the best one to me (although I am not completely sure why this is better than padded seats). While I have not had any problems with my own posterior yet, as I stretch out my distances beyond 30 miles maybe I will long for some. That and padded gloves since my hands do get numb. But I still think a lot of people buy specialized clothing because they think its cool rather than utilitarian.
     
  14. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Don't let even us defenders of fancy gear tell you any different. Everyone's got appearences and personal style on their minds at least a little bit! I mean, come on. Did you shave this morning?

    Nothing wrong with wearing stuff you think is cool, so long as you don't behave like a turd around folks dressed like Communists.

    ;)

    Hey, good topic though, jmgradon.
     
  15. rek

    rek New Member

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    And even they have their own cycling jerseys now...

    http://store4.yimg.com/I/glorycycles_1767_15826995

    ;)
     
  16. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    See? There ya go.
     
  17. Zer0hmz

    Zer0hmz New Member

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    Wow...so is this what I'm to expect if I ever build up the courage to ride (or at least follow) a pack?

    Based on what I've read here (not everyone, but most posts), this is what it means to be a newbie:
    -Your first bike can't be a really expensive bike regardless of what your goals may be, cuz hey, you're a loser if it is.
    -You can't wear the appropriate clothing, because you're not riding 100 miles a week, so until then, you're a dork for doing so and you will be laughed at.
    -If you do ride 100 miles a week, but wear logo'd apparel then you're a dork for wearing the apparel even though it does benefit you, and your rides are "worthy" of it.
    -You can't wear the shoes/pedals, because as a newbie, you don't know anything about efficiency, so again, you're a dork for getting them.


    So I guess the serious riders are born that way, they never went through a learning curve, they bike, so they are, they're the only ones entitled to wear the holy apparel.

    Of all sports, I thought this would be one where people wouldn't discriminate and accept the newcomers. Come on guys, show the love.
     
  18. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Word, Zer0hmz. Word. I feel the love. All cyclists are glorious dorks, cultural learning curves be damned.

    I always over-dress when I ride, and I promise that my bike is more than I actually need it to be.

    The point, of course, is fun. One of my co-workers is a state and regional champ and she hasn't made a dime off cycling as a sport; it's a hobby.

    I think you'll find that most cyclists are much less concerned with the status of others than this forum illustrates.

    :)
     
  19. drewski

    drewski New Member

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    it seems like it's the people that aren't wearing cycling clothing that are discriminating, therefore only follow packs of dorks and losers.

    me, i don't care what you wear (though i wear cycling clothing), i just think they are utilitarian (sans logos).
     
  20. Allen H

    Allen H New Member

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    I don't see what's wrong with "looking the part". ("If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right", etc.)

    There's something about just putting on the gear that gets me ready and psyched to ride, I find. (Kinda like "putting on the game face" from team sports, I guess.)

    I may be less comfortable off the bike in lycra bike shorts, tight-fitting jersey, and goofy looking shoes - but hey, I already look dorky just wearing a helmet, which I'll ALWAYS do for safety, and I'm dressing for comfort ON the bike, not OFF it, anyway.

    I got to wait for awhile at the summit of a popular route (Skyline Drive atop Old Tunnel Road, for East Bay riders) yesterday for my riding partners, and I loved bike-watching and bike-gear-watching as the riders went by - I'm glad to see the range of gear people wear on semi-serious rides, and I rarely (if ever) think about who "deserves" what level of gear when I see them go by - how would I know, and who am I to guess or judge, anyway?
     
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