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Jsnyd
06-18-2011, 06:32 PM
So i just got home from REI, I love that store and suprised I got out before I had a hole in my back pocket. I bought a pair of cycling shorts(black), bright yellow jersey and a nice white helmet. Does it take some getting used to when wearing that stuff? I feel a little out of place. I've worn spandex while playing sports but usually under a uniform haha. I feel a little silly. I checked out the normal looking shorts with chamois but they are so baggy and punk looking. Maybe i will wear gym shorts over them? Is that acceptable?

RESTONTODC
06-18-2011, 07:49 PM
Yes, it's acceptable but it might be too hot during summer. You also can try the MTB shorts if you're not comfortable in spandex.

When I started cycling, I bought the cheap Performance Bike cycling clothes. But when I tried on the Gore or Pearl Izumi clothes, I would never go back to wear the Performance stuff. The Performance chamois and fabric was too thin. It doesn't keep thing tightly in place. Finally, I have to throw them out. There are other good cycling cloth companies out there but Gore and Pearl Izumi have the reasonable price.

I would research and invest on the good cycling clothes. It would performance better and last for years.

Rick

Jsnyd
06-18-2011, 08:46 PM
Yes, it's acceptable but it might be too hot during summer. You also can try the MTB shorts if you're not comfortable in spandex.

Thanks Rick,
I guess I just didnt like the selection on MTB shorts that REI had. They looked a lot like skateboarding shorts. The shorts and shirt I bought are made by Novara, both on clearance so the price was right.

-Jon

StopMeansStop
06-18-2011, 09:14 PM
You can buy mostmstuff on amazon and get the best prices. And yes, the more expensive stuff is worth it. Your privates will thank you for it.

RESTONTODC
06-18-2011, 10:11 PM
You can buy mostmstuff on amazon and get the best prices. And yes, the more expensive stuff is worth it. Your privates will thank you for it.

When you figured out your size, buy them online. 90% of my shopping is online.

When I'm not really sure about a Gore or Pearl Izumi item, I would buy it from performancebike website and ship free to the local store. If I don't like it, I can return to Performance store without the return shipping cost.

acc
06-18-2011, 11:18 PM
Yes, it is hard not to feel odd at first. The neon colors for starters, the strange way everything fits takes getting used to. I agree about the quality suggestion. I had cheap stuff to begin with and it looked fairly bad and felt worse. When I started wearing a better grade of shorts it made a big difference. The more you ride the more accustomed you become to the look. I just came back from a weekend at a race track and it seemed odd to me that the men did not shave their legs. That will be your next step...:D

Happy trails,
ann

Greenbelt
06-19-2011, 01:40 PM
I wear those ultralight running shorts over my padded bike shorts. The jogging shorts have a useful pocket for when I'm carrying my backpack and jersey back pockets less accessible.

Jsnyd
06-19-2011, 05:34 PM
Here's my next question. Is all this unnecessary if all I am doing is commuting and starting a new hobby? I have almost paid as much for my outfit then I have my bike. I dont want to be "that guy", but I can see how it could happen often.

CCrew
06-19-2011, 05:41 PM
I just came back from a weekend at a race track and it seemed odd to me that the men did not shave their legs. That will be your next step...:D


LOL. Be careful, it's a slippery slope too! :)

But as to whether it's necessary, no it's not. But having the accessories designed for the sport does sometimes make it more pleasurable. If you don't like tight lycra however there's always the MTB stuff, which works too.

Greenbelt
06-19-2011, 08:33 PM
I have almost paid as much for my outfit then I have my bike.

True, gear costs some but it also seems to last forever. Just don't skimp on the bright colors and don't forget to get good lights!

acc
06-19-2011, 10:11 PM
Yes, bright colors matter. We all want to see you around for very long time. Bright, garish colors, they work to keep you safe. And please get the best lights you can. Every precaution you can take to make you visible is worth it. Look for sales on clothing (kits) in August. Consider bib shorts. And comb through Dirt's post on saddle sores.

Yes, it is a strange world. Welcome.

ann

OneEighth
06-20-2011, 06:44 AM
When I finally got back into cycling as a commuter, I dusted off my early 90's mtb and my mid-80's road bike and went the minimal gear route---e.g., my old motorcycle messenger bag, cheap pedals and shoes, mtb shorts, and whatever t-shirt and baseball cap were at hand.
Among the first things to go were knobby tires. The rest of the mtb followed shortly on. The 80's road bike lasted a bit longer, but it, too, inevitably went the way of its cousins, the dinosaurs. (Which is to say it got donated.)
Before long, I was putting together a new bike roughly each year and was buying expensive bib shorts, expensive shoes, and good pedals. I think I still have the baseball cap somewhere, but that got replaced by cycling caps (which I now dutifully cover with a good helmet).
The progression wasn't lighting fast, but, nonetheless, I wasted a lot of money on half-steps. You have to find your own comfort/performance level---my only advice to you would be to take it slowly or you will end up spending as much for two or three sets of shorts that you will never touch again when you could have bought a nice pair of bib shorts instead (assuming, of course, that the bibs will make you happy).
Good luck.

Dirt
06-20-2011, 07:55 AM
I have almost paid as much for my outfit then I have my bike.
That just means it is time to buy a new, much more expensive bike. ;) (TOTALLY JOKING THERE!)

See how those shorts and that jersey feel for you. Generally the roadie clothes are kinda funny looking, but they are truly functional... especially when it is very hot or very cold out.

You'll know you're a bit around the bend when you start to like the look and feel of cycling clothes... when you're comfortable wearing them in public... when you actually feel odd walking around in jeans. I think there's a 12-step program for that.

DismalScientist
06-20-2011, 08:05 AM
Looks like I am permanently on step 2 of my 12 step program to becoming a bike commuter. :p

Jsnyd
06-20-2011, 08:15 AM
I think there's a 12-step program for that.

There must be haha. I think the largest hurdle will be commuting in an area where no one else owns a bike. I will keep in mind all of my friends in the forum. I might go on a group ride or over at Mt Vernon on the weekend to at least see others out. Thanks for all the informational posts, especially yours on saddle sores Dirt. I scan the forum for articles like that constantly, soaking up as much as possible, keeping myself "in the loop".

Dirt
06-20-2011, 08:25 AM
Looks like I am permanently on step 2 of my 12 step program to becoming a bike commuter. :p

I'm obviously pre-step 1. I can stop buying bike stuff any time I want. ;)

PotomacCyclist
06-20-2011, 09:19 AM
Good bike (or tri) shorts are important for longer rides. (Not as important for 5-min. CaBi or beach-cruiser rides.)

But bike jerseys are not necessary if you aren't as concerned about speed. I do a lot of training for triathlons but I wear regular tech running shirts on most rides. I find them more comfortable and I don't care so much about aerodynamic clothing in training rides.

If you have a really long commute or you just want to help cut down on the time of the commute, then tighter-fitting jerseys might help.

CCrew
06-20-2011, 11:46 AM
Before long, I was putting together a new bike roughly each year and was buying expensive bib shorts, expensive shoes, and good pedals.

Please share the secret of only lusting/buying a new one once a year! :)

Jsnyd
06-20-2011, 12:19 PM
Without posting a new thread, can I ask about shoes? I have pedals, cleats and am waiting to pull the trigger on a pair of shoes. I was told not to buy online until I've gone into a shop and tried them on. Should I do this? It's much easier to just buy them now. If I know they are good shoes and have a good idea what size to order. Is it worth the effort?

OneEighth
06-20-2011, 12:26 PM
I think that trying on a number of different shoes before ordering is a very good idea. I also think that shopping through places that have free return shipping is a good idea if you are going online. endless.com comes to mind, but their Sidi selection is a bit limited at the moment.
Don't underestimate the stress you will put on your feet if you ride regularly and hard.

Joe Chapline
06-20-2011, 12:26 PM
Without posting a new thread, can I ask about shoes? I have pedals, cleats and am waiting to pull the trigger on a pair of shoes. I was told not to buy online until I've gone into a shop and tried them on. Should I do this? It's much easier to just buy them now. If I know they are good shoes and have a good idea what size to order. Is it worth the effort?

I'm new to bike shoes, too, and buy most things online. I bought shoes online and had to return them. The sizes are inconsistent from brand to brand and tend to run small for what they list as the U.S. size.

Jsnyd
06-20-2011, 12:51 PM
I'm looking at Sidi now. There are some great prices on pricepoint.com, guess I will try some on somewhere first to get a size and then order online if its cheaper. I wish I lived closer to some shops. Suitland doesnt have much :p

brendan
06-20-2011, 01:05 PM
I did my first couple of years of (my recent return to) bike riding, including my first couple of century rides, using standard pedals with nylon clips and cross-training shoes. Went to powergrips for a while, esp. for winter riding with my hiking boots and double wool socks.

With that said, padded shorts and a non-cotton top are essential. Tops designed for cycling make it much nicer: bright colors and even prismatic reflective material for traffic, pockets on the back and venting (including a partial or full front zip). Cheap sunglasses are fine to deal with sun, bugs, debris and wind. Gloves to fight off numbness and for grip on long rides. And a helmet.

But mostly: just keep riding.

Brendan

acc
06-20-2011, 01:17 PM
Definitely spend some time trying on shoes. The sizing seems to be different among the various brands. I just picked up a pair of white Giro Espadas that are an entire size larger than what I usually wear. These are better than my god-awful hideous starter pair, they are merely regrettably ugly. But they feel great.

Happy trails,
ann

Dirt
06-20-2011, 02:00 PM
I'm a buy local kinda guy. I buy on-line for emergencies or for things that are impossible to get locally. That is especially true for shoes. I may pay more for them, but I am sure they fit perfectly and I reward a shop for their great customer service.

I often feel like I'm in the minority in doing that. Some vintage stuff is really only available on eBay. Some Euro clothing is only available on-line. Some eclectic winter clothing/items are not normally stocked locally because there are relatively few of us that ride year-round.

Greenbelt
06-20-2011, 03:24 PM
My bike shop is fairly small, but if you know what you want they can order almost anything. Oftentimes I've gone in and just told them what I wanted, and they'll search their catalogues until they find it exactly right, then order it. They've ordered me helmets, headsweats, etc. when I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. And they usually end up stocking the stuff, because they figure if I'm willing to be fussy and get exactly what I want, then it's probably a pretty important thing to have available. Good bike shops actually appreciate that kind of input, and want to make sure they order stuff that people actually want to buy.

Jsnyd
06-20-2011, 03:37 PM
I really should buy local. I go against my economic beliefs a little when I buy online. I wish it wasn’t so easy to do it! My local shop is pretty small and I am not sure about their customer service just yet but I think I will stop buy and test the waters. After all, Sidi does name them as a product carrier.

PotomacCyclist
06-21-2011, 12:34 AM
I don't remember if this was mentioned, but a bento box is a nice and inexpensive addition to any bike. It's simply a small polyester fabric container that attaches to the top tube and the head tube with velcro straps. It's a very convenient holder for a temporary tire boot patch, antiseptic wipes, Kleenex pack, ID, keys, gels or other small items. It's more comfortable than putting a lot of stuff in a back pocket. They have a fold-over top that closes with velcro. Some versions have waterproof tops so your items don't get soaked in rainstorms.

They usually sell for $15 or less. You can move the bento box from bike to bike easily. You can use it for items that you need to grab quickly, unlike items that you store in an underseat bag. It really makes riding a lot more convenient and comfortable.

Jsnyd
06-21-2011, 07:03 AM
[QUOTE=PotomacCyclist;4871]I don't remember if this was mentioned, but a bento box is a nice and inexpensive addition to any bike.QUOTE]

Thanks PotomacCyclist, I will check that out. Any thing that can take the backpack off me.

Dirt
06-21-2011, 07:57 AM
I'm fortunate to have two local shops that stock most of what I'd like. They also have PERFECT customer service.

When I read comments like "I'd buy locally, but my shop doesn't sell what I want and their customer service stinks" it definitely does NOT make me wonder why people buy on the Interwebs. If my local shop sucked, I would have serious problems supporting them. I went through that for years. I remember ordering a King headset from Metropolis (my local shop back in the day). They charged me $40 over MSRP, they required 100% payment before they'd order and there were no refunds. When it arrived 6 weeks later and it was the wrong color, I was told "Take it or leave it. You're not getting your money back." Am I surprised that shop is no longer around? NOPE!

Buying locally is not an easy choice to make for many. Like I say, it is a very easy choice for me.

This is an interesting thread! Thanks for contributing.

Pete

CCrew
06-21-2011, 08:43 AM
I'm fortunate to have two local shops that stock most of what I'd like. They also have PERFECT customer service.

Love to know who they are.

I have three local to home. One charges sometimes double list price for small items. Other (my favorite) stocks little for current bikes, but need that small off the wall part and they'll dig it out of a parts bin. Third is great, they do killer fittings, but they're fairly high end, Pinarello, Parlee, Moots, etc and a bit rich for my blood. Bit rich for the area these days too, look to be struggling but may just be perception. Unfortunately as a result I buy a lot off the internet.

-R

Dirt
06-21-2011, 09:40 AM
Love to know who they are.
Conte's and Bonzai have me covered for high end stuff. Conte's has proven perfect at ordering stuff that they don't stock. I haven't tried Bonzai for that. I try to be polite about having them order things. There are some items that are a pain for them to deal with. If it is something that takes a lot of effort on their part, and gets them little or no margin on, I will mail-order that. I'm open and ask them if it is something fits into that category. They've always been honest. Sometimes dealership requirements and minimum orders complicate things for a shop.

I've never tried to special order something through Bonzai, but I have no doubt that they'd handle it well.

When I need something really weird for my rather odd bikes, I've found Bike Club in Falls Church usually has it.

Those three shops make it so that most of my on-line or ebay buys are for vintage stuff.

Honestly, I don't worry about price very much when I'm shopping for bicycle stuff. If something is really expensive, I usually wait and buy it later. I make sure that my workhorse bikes are a) pretty much bomb-proof; and 2) with spares at my shop for most common items that do wear out. That makes it so I almost never have to order something and have it arrive before the weekend. I plan ahead pretty well.

Jsnyd
06-21-2011, 09:40 AM
This is an interesting thread! Thanks for contributing.

Thanks for all the responses, everyone! I've learned so much already and have barely been out on the street.

PotomacCyclist
06-21-2011, 10:51 AM
I don't think anyone pointed out the difference between road bike shorts and triathlon shorts. Regular road bike shorts tend to have a thicker pad than tri shorts do. Some like this but some don't. I bought a couple of regular bike shorts when I first started riding as an adult a few years ago. I found the pad to be too bulky for my liking. I switched to triathlon shorts with the thinner pad. It provides enough comfort for me without that diaper feeling of the bike shorts. I haven't touched the bike shorts in about two years now since I switched to tri shorts.

Some find that tri shorts don't offer enough padding for longer rides, but I've managed to do many long rides in tri shorts. (My longest ride was over 100 miles in the tri shorts.)

Unless you try both, it's hard to say which will work better for you. See how it goes with your current bike shorts. If you find the pad to be too bulky, then you may want to look into getting some triathlon shorts.

Mark Blacknell
06-21-2011, 11:57 AM
I remember ordering a King headset from Metropolis (my local shop back in the day). They charged me $40 over MSRP, they required 100% payment before they'd order and there were no refunds. When it arrived 6 weeks later and it was the wrong color, I was told "Take it or leave it. You're not getting your money back." Am I surprised that shop is no longer around? NOPE!

That was the one in Shirlington, no?

~

And yes, please buy local from decent shops. (And note the *decent* part of that. No need to support bad businesses.)

RESTONTODC
06-21-2011, 02:21 PM
And yes, please buy local from decent shops. (And note the *decent* part of that. No need to support bad businesses.)

I agree that we need to support the local shops but it's hard sometimes. To support it, my recent bike costs me about $400 more but I also get free fitting and 1 year adjustment.


I also able to get the Performance bike to do some price matching.

consularrider
06-21-2011, 02:27 PM
I'm fortunate to have two local shops that stock most of what I'd like. They also have PERFECT customer service.

When I read comments like "I'd buy locally, but my shop doesn't sell what I want and their customer service stinks" it definitely does NOT make me wonder why people buy on the Interwebs. If my local shop sucked, I would have serious problems supporting them. I went through that for years. I remember ordering a King headset from Metropolis (my local shop back in the day). They charged me $40 over MSRP, they required 100% payment before they'd order and there were no refunds. When it arrived 6 weeks later and it was the wrong color, I was told "Take it or leave it. You're not getting your money back." Am I surprised that shop is no longer around? NOPE!
Pete

And I thought it was because the owner died. Although, I have to give them some credit for some good service for me when I was first in the area and my options were Big Wheel (or whatever the name was of the store in Lyon Village at the time) or the shop on the Georgetown side of Key Bridge (I'm not sure which of the two current ones it was then). I used them all for what they could provide.

StopMeansStop
06-21-2011, 09:53 PM
I suggest OP skip getting shoes and pedals and use sneakers and the plastic jobbers that came with the bike. Get used to your ride before you start messing around with locking in.

baiskeli
06-22-2011, 12:18 PM
That was the one in Shirlington, no?

Yeah, with another shop on Capitol Hill. The actual reason it closed was the owner died.

Jsnyd
06-22-2011, 02:15 PM
I suggest OP skip getting shoes and pedals and use sneakers and the plastic jobbers that came with the bike. Get used to your ride before you start messing around with locking in.

Good idea StopMeansStop. Itll be a great way to really feel the difference when I put on the clipless.