Martin Roberts wrote:
> I'm very much a casual/leisure cyclist but I'm thinking that I should get some cycling-specific
> clothing. I'm not a racer (yet) so I think I'll look silly in brightly coloured lycra. Instead I
> go to the shops and make relatively leisurely trips eg for exercise. I'm thinking, therefore:
> - baggy shorts
> - summer-weight top
> - light jacket for rain, pref bright colour for visibility
> - a warmer top for autumn/spring
> What brands/products should I be looking at? I've seen stuff in the cycling comics but what do
> people *actually* wear?
I take pains to avoid cotton, especially in the groinal regions, as it can get very unpleasant when
mixed with sweat. So its padded cycling shorts under baggy shorts. The cycling shorts I got in
France, so I've no idea what brand they are, but they were cheap and they are good. The shorts are
cheap polyester ones so they dry quickly. If I need to look normal when I arrive in the summer, I
stick a pair of lightweight trousers in the bar bag to change into when I get there. I did also pick
up a pair of "cycling briefs" in Halfords sale recently, but I can't recommend them, due to the
cotton problem I mentioned earlier (no wonder they are getting shot of these). But I do recommend
cycling shorts for any journey of any significant duration. Get some which wash easily and dry fast.
My summer weight top is also my winter weight top - a plain dark blue Pearl Izumi microfible
polyester cycling jersey I picked up half price in a sale. Even though its the same design as
a "lycra lout" jersey, the plain dark colour means it just looks like a polo neck shirt to
In the same sale, I got a Pearl Izumi Zephyr lightweight jacket in dark blue, light blue and white,
with plenty of reflecting stuff on the back and arms. Packs into its own pocket when not in use. I
use or carry it all year round. I'm not convinved the Pearl Izumi stuff is worth the list price, but
it does work for me. The standard thing I have been recommended to use for this is the Karrimor
Vail, but this doesn't have the reflective stuff, although I have seen it half price at a certain
internet bike shop recently.
For winter riding, I've got some nylon overtrousers - the ones with an internal mesh, so they don't
get too sticky. Also, to keep the upper half warm, I grab whichever fleece comes to hand as I'm
leaving the house.
Don't forget gloves, glasses and sunscreen.
In general, this lot allows me to turn up at any pub in London looking reasonably normal, and not
too dishevelled, sweaty or uncomfortable, at any time of year, having beaten all the other forms of
transport available to regular mortals.
For really short journeys like 2 miles to the local supermarket, I don't go for specialist clothing,
or a specialist bike for that matter - I go for the Shopping Bike (soon to have gears, too, thanks
to Bob Fleming)!.