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Bettybryan
05-25-2011, 04:03 AM
I think it looks a little silly if you are cycling on the street instead of in a special event. But cycling in normal clothes, sweat is a problem. It made me embarrassed last weekend. Do special cycling clothes needed for a non-specialty rider? What’s the difference between the cycling clothes and normal sport clothes?

5555624
05-25-2011, 06:16 AM
"non-specialty rider"?

To me, it comes down to where am I going, when am I going, and what am I going to do when I get there.

If I am going to ride around doing a few errand, like getting a haircut, going to the Post Office, stopping for lunch, and going to the drugstore, I'd probably wear regular clothes. It's a bunch of "short" rides, stop and go, and I might not sweat as much. Commuting to and from work? Longer rides and bike clothes. The time of year mattes, too. In the winter, I'd probably wear cycling tights when cycling to the grocery store, but in hte summer, I might wear regular shorts.

The bottom line is wear what you're cmfortable wearing.

acc
05-25-2011, 06:29 AM
Welcome, great questions and observations. I was wondering the same thing about a year ago.

The last thing I wanted to do was pull on skintight Lycra shorts and wear jerseys that made me look like a human NASCAR. But my sit bones complained so I caved about the shorts. The padding is a huge help and there is no chaffing or rubbing, a good thing when you make the same motion several thousand times over the course of a ride. Buy black, like a bathing suit the color hides a multitude of sins. And like a bathing suit you don't wear anything underneath the shorts -- yes, I gasped too when I heard that. If you ride around long enough you will see men wearing other colors besides black and their shorts invariably become transparent when they sweat, I always feel uncomfortable when I notice that and avert my eyes. Honest.

The great advantage of bike jerseys is visibility. The loud colors make you visible to drivers and other cyclists. If you are like me, you're saying to yourself, "But I ride mostly on the trails." Yes, I felt that way until I was hit by a car in a crosswalk. Now neon yellow and green are my favorite colors of all time. The other big advantage are the pockets in the back. I could carry around the entire contents of my purse if I wanted to. I carry my phone with my driver's license and a $20 in one pocket, a bag of peanut M&Ms in another, and my bike tool and keys in the third. I can even roll up my windbreaker and stuff that in one of my pockets if necessary.

I sweat like a small barnyard animal and my bike clothes keep me comfortable. If you look for end-of-season sales, you will find affordable clothing. But until then, a good pair of bike shorts and one or two jerseys should be enough. Have fun.

Best wishes,
Ann

jrenaut
05-25-2011, 07:56 AM
Another option, at least for a shirt, is just inexpensive general athletic shirts. I have a couple Champion t-shirts that I got from Target (http://www.target.com/C9-Champion-Training-Top-Navy/dp/B0040QNV2Y/ref=sc_qi_detaillink) for less than $15 that wick moisture and don't start to sag when they're wet. They don't have the advantage of the pocket in back, but I almost always have a backpack on, anyway, so that isn't a big deal for me.

I'm starting to look for summer-weight pants that won't get caught in a chain, but won't get me dirty looks when I walk into the building at work before I get a chance to change.

eminva
05-25-2011, 08:20 AM
I assume you want to look like you don't stick out among non-cyclists? Because there is no team kit too garish not to be admired by your fellow cyclists. :)

Depending on how much you want to spend, there are some high end bicycle clothing manufacturers that make technical gear in somewhat more subdued designs (I'm thinking Rapha, there are probably others). $$$$

You could go the route of my brother the mountain bike enthusiast -- he wears sunblock technical t-shirts and baggy shorts over his bike shorts. You could blend in with a crowd in that (see REI, Sierra Trading Post). $$$

You can also get plain jerseys that don't have team names or bike store names, etc. plastered all over them (see Sierra Trading Post). $$

If you are a female and don't like going about in bike shorts, you could get a couple of stretch minis (terrybicycles.com) to put on over your shorts. $$$

Liz

CCrew
05-25-2011, 08:36 AM
And remember the biggest rule of specialty bike clothes... you look more odd the further away you get from the bike :cool::cool:

But, like the others, it really depends on what you're doing and where you're riding. I commute a lot of miles... I wear lycra. The jerseys I have great fun with though.

Here's the one I'm wearing today....(albeit not in an xxxl) http://www.love2pedal.com/Items/Item.aspx?SKU=su.oldfart.3xl&caSKU=su.oldfart.3xl&caTitle=Old%20Fart%20Cycling%20Team%20Cycling%20Je rsey%20Mens%203XL%20XXXL

jrenaut
05-25-2011, 08:42 AM
You can also try Bonktown (http://www.bonktown.com) and ChainLove (http://www.chainlove.com) - they sell all sorts of cycling accessories, Woot-style. You might have to keep watching for a few days or so before something you want comes around, but they have great deals.

chris_s
05-25-2011, 08:49 AM
On short errands around town, I wear "normal clothes" (t-shirts and cargo shorts). On my commute or on longer riders, I wear these baggier style bike shorts (http://www.amazon.com/Pearl-Izumi-Canyon-Short-Medium/dp/B004ELBX8Y/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2WPQUQ8YTA4Y0&colid=2QSPZTYK9396B), and those same Champion Wicking Shirts from Target that jrenaut mentioned. I bought mine in fire engine red for visibility.

acc
05-25-2011, 08:51 AM
Oh what a great site, love the pirates! (@ CCrew)

Another piece of clothing I should mention are bandannas worn under helmets. I didn't catch on to this at first. And once again, along with the god awful shoes, not exactly the most attractive look. But they help keep the sweat from dripping down into my eyes. Another little feminine tip I figured out was to wear waterproof mascara. I see no point in taking off makeup in the afternoon before I ride, it just adds one more step to the process.

Best wishes,

Ann

brendan
05-25-2011, 09:09 AM
I concur with the suggestions of blaze/fluorescent green/yellow/orange tops for anywhere you're going to be cycling with or intersecting with traffic. I have a couple of these that I wear 99% of the time (w/ pockets & side/underarm venting - in "killer yellow"): http://www.amazon.com/Canari-Mens-Commuter-Cycling-Jersey/dp/B002UBU8U4

I also concur with the suggestion of using general wicking activewear tops in a pinch, but I'd avoid black if you're going to be out in traffic (mine's red+grey).

I have a 16? 17? year old set of REI-brand double shorts I still wear most of the time for general cycling. Crotch/Seat padding, lycra on the inside layer and nylon shorts on the outside. It even has front zipper pockets, which I don't know if you can find any more. I wear underwear with them, even though you're not supposed to, just in case I need to wear them for more than one day w/o washing.

I only go standard lycra shorts if I still can't get the wash done in time, or for road bike training.

Brendan

CCrew
05-25-2011, 12:17 PM
wear waterproof mascara. I see no point in taking off makeup in the afternoon before I ride, it just adds one more step to the process.


Oh, I always wear my mascara and find a bit of rouge works wonders (grin)


On the serious side, like the bandanna idea there's a product out there called "headsweats" that come in a variety of designs that I wear all the time since my bald head is a sweat generator and needless to say gets some strange tan lines from the helmet vents.

StopMeansStop
05-25-2011, 06:23 PM
I wanted to avoid looking like looking like a d-bag wearing all of those fancy clothes, but after getting some unpleasant chafing I caved and got some padded Lycra shorts. Well worth it. They also make padded Lycra underwear which you can use under street clothes.

I also find those biker shirts with the back pockets very handy for carrying stuff like your phone and wallet. Fortunately I found one in white without all that goofy advertising crap that people wear.

jrenaut
05-25-2011, 06:40 PM
They also make padded Lycra underwear which you can use under street clothes.
Are you sure the padded underwear is intended for biking?

baiskeli
05-26-2011, 12:57 PM
Another option, at least for a shirt, is just inexpensive general athletic shirts. I have a couple Champion t-shirts that I got from Target (http://www.target.com/C9-Champion-Training-Top-Navy/dp/B0040QNV2Y/ref=sc_qi_detaillink) for less than $15 that wick moisture and don't start to sag when they're wet.

Beat me too it. The fabric is key. Cotton grabs sweat, but then it won't let go of it. Synthetics are much better.

baiskeli
05-26-2011, 12:58 PM
I wanted to avoid looking like looking like a d-bag wearing all of those fancy clothes, but after getting some unpleasant chafing I caved and got some padded Lycra shorts. Well worth it. They also make padded Lycra underwear which you can use under street clothes.

I also find those biker shirts with the back pockets very handy for carrying stuff like your phone and wallet. Fortunately I found one in white without all that goofy advertising crap that people wear.

+1 on both of these.

baiskeli
05-26-2011, 12:59 PM
Are you sure the padded underwear is intended for biking?

Depends.

(Get it?)

jrenaut
05-26-2011, 03:01 PM
Depends.

(Get it?)

Yeah, I just wish I didn't.

Joe Chapline
05-26-2011, 05:54 PM
I just bought a used road/racing bike for long rides. I've been riding hybrid bikes for many years without special clothes. So far, I haven't gotten used to the rock-hard saddle that came with the bike, or the more expensive, rock-hard saddle I bought to replace it. So I caved in and bought padded shorts. Like I say, I'm new to road bikes and I'm sure there's a reason for doing it this way. But I wonder if I could market a line of furniture to cyclists; all metal slats and hard wood. And a corresponding line of clothing with furniture cushions sewn to it.

SteveTheTech
05-27-2011, 06:19 AM
I wanted to avoid looking like looking like a d-bag wearing all of those fancy clothes, but after getting some unpleasant chafing I caved and got some padded Lycra shorts. Well worth it.


Agreed, it couldn't make 10 miles without wanting to quit.

I hit up the REI outlet. http://www.rei.com/outlet/search?cat=22000003&page_size=29&hist=cat%2C22000003%3ACycling&pageSizeRedirect

Currently I'm using a Cannondale set which is very similar to a male bathing suit. It is the best single piece of clothing I own, totally worth it! Cycling jerseys are brilliant. REI was having a sale on Pearl Izumi when we purchased

Also gloves with gel insoles and a synthetic terry cloth material between the thumb and forefinger for wiping sweat are worth every penny.

I'm a 200lb 6' tall guy and finding my sit bones was quite uncomfortable but after many small adjustments and equipment changes has made it much better.

Road bikes just keep wanting more money, then when you ride longer you need gels and other "food" items...but IMO it's still worth it.

Cheers,

acc
05-27-2011, 07:27 AM
Joe, it's not just sadistic saddles. This is a sport where Power Bars pass as food, the average BMI of a serious cyclist seems to be approximately 6, the jerseys make us into human NASCAR displays, we eat bugs and laugh about it, I won't even get into the leg shaving discussion, and we dodge traffic for diversion. Oh yes, we are a well adjusted lot. But I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Happy trails,
ann

Mark Blacknell
05-27-2011, 07:32 AM
Things that all riders who decide they want to go more than 20 miles (or 20mph, regularly) eventually come to realize:

1) The upright position of a hybrid works against you. It can be overcome, but it will always be more work.
2) Padded saddles are no good. Soft padding squishing soft bits = no blood flow. Find a hard saddle that fits, and you'll end up more comfortable (and efficient). This is perhaps the hardest thing for new/advancing riders to accept. But it's true.
3) There's a point to closely fitting cycling clothing - and no, it's not to look like a 20lb sausage in a 5lb casing. Rather, it's more efficient (sense the theme, here) as you have less flapping in the wind, better transfer of heat/sweat, and an easy way to carry the basics in back pockets.

Some take longer than others to come around to this. Also, bib shorts. Trust me.

Joe Chapline
05-27-2011, 07:42 AM
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes. -- Henry David Thoreau

acc
05-27-2011, 07:43 AM
Oh yes. Bib shorts. I'm definitely behind those. ;-)

ann

Brock
05-27-2011, 07:48 AM
+1 for bib shorts. Fat guys, take note: WORTH IT. I wasn't going to bother investing in them (I had regular bike shorts that I'd wear under gym shorts, since no one wants to see a fat guy in spandex) until I read another thread (maybe on the Q&A site (http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/)) wherein one big fella recommended them to another. And that fella was right.

CCrew
05-27-2011, 09:10 AM
, I won't even get into the leg shaving discussion,

Hollon, aren't you a woman? We have to explain this to you? Thought it was a birds/bees discussion!! LOL

Funny story though... Went in last year for my shoulder reconstruct (deer + W&OD - Long story) and when they were prepping me for surgery they put these monitors around both ankles. Nurse didn't even flinch... says "swim or cycle?" I said "yeah, cyclist. Why? " She says "only guys I see coming in here with shaved legs are either swimmers or cyclists - but it makes my life so much easier because I don't have to shave them for the monitors!"

acc
05-27-2011, 12:24 PM
Speaking as a former nurse, it would take WAY more than a man's shaved leg to make me flinch. I might have to put my shoulder into getting enough leverage to get your stilettos and fishnet hose off, but even that wouldn't make me blink.:D

I came from the swimming community and the big differences I notice are:
1. There is less shaving in cycling
2. It's still Lycra, but more material
3. Swimmers talk about technique the way cyclists talk about the specs on their bikes
4. Cyclist hair is less green (no chlorine damage)
5. There seems to be less devotion to weightlifting
6. There are no ugly shoes in swimming

Happy Trails,
ann

CCrew
05-27-2011, 01:08 PM
Speaking as a former nurse, it would take WAY more than a man's shaved leg to make me flinch.

Oh, funny. When our daughter (now 18 ) was just barely walking we had to take her to the ER because she forcefully inserted a bead up her nose. The Dr that took it out (and it was a feat!) asked if he could keep it. I asked why. He said he had a collection of things that he had removed from people. I was told I *really* didn't want to know some of the items in the collection.

The one thing he would admit to was a full size light bulb. I didn't ask for more.