Newbie clothing/pedal questions

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jump_at_the_sun, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. jump_at_the_sun

    jump_at_the_sun New Member

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    Hey all,

    I've found some pretty useful information about equipment so far on this forum, but I still need some tried-and-tested advice!

    Here's my riding situation: 25km each way to work and back 5 days a week, then I usually do a nice long jaunt on my weekend. I ride a 2010 Specialized Allez-Sport. My commute is mostly on a bike trail but there are sections with lots of intersections and all-way stops.

    Firstly, pedals. I have "death-pedals" (toe clips and all) that came with the bike and I really need those changed out. I thought cleats were my only option but I've recently learned about magnetic pedals, which release your foot if you tug on them hard enough (ie: during a fall, a fast stop etc). Has anyone tried these? I'm not great at doing track stands, btw.

    Secondly, clothing. I ride in my work clothes (jeans & t-shirt) but the spandex jocks keep giving me disapproving looks. What kind of clothing is appropriate for what kind of riding? Would a bib and jersey be overkill for my situation?

    Thirdly, Sunglasses. I ride with normal Oakleys (100% debris protection) but they block my view enough that I'm straining my neck in the drop position. Do cycling glasses have a better field of vision?

    Any $0.02 are much appreciated! It goes without saying that I will try before I buy, but I want my search field narrowed down a bit
     
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  2. nbfman

    nbfman New Member

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    Never heard of magnetic pedals, though I wouldn't be surprised if they exist. For commuting, you might consider something like a Shimano SPD pedal, where the cleat is small. You can get shoes that work like normal walking shoes, and the cleat sits recessed in the middle of the sole.

    You can also find riding clothes that look like normal clothes, except they have things like padded lining in the pants and are shaped to be comfortable for riding. This type of wear allows you to ride comfortably without having to look purely like a road rider. I wear such clothes when I expect to be parking the bike and walking around places like shopping malls for long periods of time. Depending on where I worked, I could see myself wanting to not arrive in tight fitting wear, hobbling through the halls in road cleats, etc. But this is purely personal.

    Sport-specific sunglasses are worth getting for sure. I have Oakley M Frames, and the field of view works great. Lots of other good choices out there, too.
     
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    I have pretty much the same distance and given that I have the ablity to change & shower at work the choice of riding in bike gear is pretty much a given. In fact, w/o the shower option I wouldn't be commuting by bike.
    And as long as it's not too sweaty/torn/dirty I'll ride in any clothes that are functional for its purpose. High-visibility colors preferred.
    Pedals are mostly a matter of habit. Straps on a route with many full stops would annoy me immensely, as they always wobble around when you try to put your foot back in.
    I think every one riding with SPDs have at least one embarrasing slow-motion topple from missing to unclip at a stop in their history. Usually, what's most bruised is your ego.
    There's not much of a learning curve to them, and they're well worth the effort.
    Haven't tried magnetic ones, and am so pleased with regular SPDs that I'm not particularly keen to try something else.
    I need glases with prescription lenses, so bike/sports specific glasses isn't relevant to me.
     
  4. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    I went from your standard Look pedals to these - Speedplay. Good stuff, IMO.
    Do what's comfy, forget the snobs.

    I have a shorter commute, but unless I'm going to pound out some pre-work miles, I usually just ride to work in shorts and a t-shirt. Do what's comfortable; obviously, if you don't have a place to change and put your gear, that's a factor as well.
    I have horrid luck with shades so I'm usually buying the 3 for $30 from Sunglass Hut...however, usually I'll go for max coverage to keep debris/rain out, and try them on to make sure that you've got a good view.
     
  5. Revds

    Revds New Member

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    Okay...

    As far as pedals goes, check out the two-sided Shimano or Welgo pedals... cleat one side, and a flat surface for when you wear regular foot wear on the other. They run about $40.

    Clothing... sure, forget the spandex unless you have a change of clothes at work, which I do at times. I recommend you look into buying a decent pair or two of padded cycling undershort? Lots of guys (and gals?) use padded cycling undershorts, so they can at least look professional. Serious long-distance cyclists wear them too, and then wear cargo shorts over top.

    Glasses... haven't a clue.

    Revds
    North Bay, ON
     
  6. jump_at_the_sun

    jump_at_the_sun New Member

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    Thanks, the SPDs look promising!

    This cracked me up, but I think I'm just the person to run errands in that kind of getup.

    Also love that these come in polarized. Do they ever fog up on you?

    Ditto with shower and change room situation. I'm one step closer to buying some lycra now for sure; I just needed to justify it somehow!

    Those are wild and sound too good to be true! No fumbling, really? Really? I need to try a pair.
    The truth is, I'm not so comfortable at the end of day 5 when my feet are slipping off the pedals and I just want to stand up to give my poor bottom a breather. My patience is wearing thin for my current setup for sure.

    Another great suggestion! Thank you! Are they hard to clip into though? Do you have to spin the pedal around to get the right side?

    You wouldn't kid about the North Bay part, would you? I'm from Kirkland Lake/Matheson but relocated to an island where biking season is year round.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for the tips! I've got my short list just in time for a weekend at the LBS.
     
  7. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    I don't know if I'd say "zero" but it's pretty minimal. The cleats still make you walk like a retarded penguin off the bike though.
     
  8. jump_at_the_sun

    jump_at_the_sun New Member

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    You don't know that I don't walk like that anyway :p
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Re: work and the lack of facilities for showering, I have two words: baby wipes.
     
  10. jump_at_the_sun

    jump_at_the_sun New Member

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    You're one degree classier than I, my friend. I've done paper towel "baths" but baby wipes would actually do some cleaning!

    I do have access to a private bathroom (shower, toilet etc) even washer and dryer, although I do manual labour and being unshowered isn't the biggest crime.
     
  11. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    First off, why do you care what some dude in spandex thinks of you? Think about what every passing motorist thinks of him. Maybe it makes him feel better to frown at you. You shouldn't worry about what some "wanna-be pro" poser in a matching spandex "Trek" uniform thinks of you. He's tacky, and he's laughable. He's probably the same loser who's been trying for years to master the art of urinating off his bicycle while riding, just so he can feel like a pro.

    The above doesn't go without saying there's anything wrong with padded shorts, because they do offer a large level of comfort. I'm just as guilty of wearing padded shorts/liner as the next cyclist, but nobody's ever going to see mine. I'm not into being in public, looking like "Wolverine." I wear mountain biking shorts over my padded shorts; some which come with liners already sewn into them, regardless if I'm on a road bike or mountain bike.

    As for sunglasses, they are very important. Cycling eyewear will sit closer to your face, and also keep bugs and other debris out of your eyes. Hit "Performance Bike" for a pair. My wife and I got ours for about $27 per pair, and they came with 3 interchangeable lenses; tinted, clear, and blue, I believe.
     
  12. jump_at_the_sun

    jump_at_the_sun New Member

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    Oh you have no idea how hard that made me laugh. I mostly care because I know I look like a motley rider with my crummy chucks and farm clothes, and I feel sorry for them when I pass them in my getup :D. And motorists out here are good and used to spandex jocks - everyone wears it even on their daily commutes.

    Thanks again everyone for the great advice! Went down to the LBS knowing a lot more than I did about all this a few days ago and picked up some pedals and shoes to begin with. Clothes will have to be ordered because they didn't keep female-shaped biking shorts in stock.
     
  13. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    Glad I could make you laugh! :D

    Do yourself a favor, and if you're going to wear spandex, just make it the plain black variant. You don't want to go out in yellow and be mistaken for "Wolverine." ;)
     
  14. cutegirl

    cutegirl New Member

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    I have a shorter commute, but unless I'm going to pound out some pre-work miles, I usually just ride to work in shorts and a t-shirt. Do what's comfortable; obviously, if you don't have a place to change and put your gear, that's a factor as well.


     
  15. jump_at_the_sun

    jump_at_the_sun New Member

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    It's true, although I wouldn't mind if motorists thought I could cut deep gashes into their cars with a swipe of my nails. Besides, yellow would soooo clash with my bike.
     
  16. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    Get a matching uniform! We all know that once you're sportin' team colors, you pick up an average of at least 4 mph on top of your previous max speed on the inclines! Get the matching shoes and gloves, and you'll be a prime candidate for a Top 10 finish in the Tour de France!
     
  17. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    So, what we're learning is that apparently how other cyclists look and what they're wearing is a great tool for passing judgement! Awesome! Who knew that judgement could be so facile!
     
  18. GT Fanatic

    GT Fanatic New Member

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    Awesome! Pull up a chair and you can learn, too! That way, then you can copy what everyone's already told you and take credit for it like you usually do! Sounds like a plan!

    It didn't take much to pass judgement on you. Just reading your posts was enough for most.
     
  19. jump_at_the_sun

    jump_at_the_sun New Member

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    Yup! As far as I'm concerned, I just need to be decked out head-to-toe in matching colours and I'll be a great cyclist; none of that "practicing safe riding" or "training" stuff.

    Come on, everyone knows you go faster if you match your bike. In all seriousness though, everyone's always checking out what someone else has; what kind of bike? Which components? There's constant judging among cyclists, some of which are elitists, and they won't even give you the time of day if you're not riding at least an entry-level bike with proper accessories (as in no saddle bags or racks; having proper footwear & clothing etc).

    I love riding for the sake of riding but couldn't get any advice in my area, save from the LBS, about getting into a regular riding group or dappling in racing. I fear the main reason was not looking the part, because I sure hold my own compared to other riders in terms of endurance and speed.

    [/end rant]
     
  20. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Obviously. It must be that way because perceptions are always true.
     
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