Author Topic: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay  (Read 1772 times)

Tinker

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Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« on: March 07, 2019, 11:51:39 PM »
Since moving to my first job, I've had to take a train to work in wintery freezing and below freezing temperatures.
I considered getting a fat bike, but the expense doesn't make sense when weighed up to 4, maybe 5 monthly train tickets a year and not even being all that certain about riding such a bike on ice and compressed car track snow.

Now, with spring looming around the corner and my first few rides done when the sun peeked out more than usual, i've come to wonder about another concept: cycling tights and jerseys.

Just a few years ago I would for sure rather have dropped dead than be caught cycling in "Speedos", but with a commute more than 4 times as long and limited (precisely one shower) opportunities to freshen up once there, I wonder if a cheap cycling kit like btwin to change in and out of would be advantageous compared to any old clothes.

Perhaps of note: I don't really have sports clothing in general either, one short and one long jogging pants and no dedicated shirts or anything.

seemsright

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 08:03:05 AM »
I am in the camp of have the gear that you need. If clothing for a activity makes that activity simpler to do..get the clothing.

I am not a gear head but I like to have what I need. It sounds like you are a minimalist and you need to be talked into buying things. I am not here to tell you what to buy. But a Jersey and a pair of bike shorts or bike tights will just make longer bike rides more comfortable...do you NEED the stuff to bike ride NO...but they are sure a hell make it better.

I am a martial artist...Gi pants make kicking easier...do I need them No...but for a cheap investment to make the activity more enjoyable I do.

GuitarStv

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 08:23:56 AM »
Go further, faster, more comfortably, and with less effort.  Cycling clothing - YAY!


I fought against cycling clothing for a long time.  In the summer going 13 miles each way in regular sports shorts meant that I would get bad chafing and then couldn't cycle as much.  Last year I comfortably rode a hundred miles in the rain with proper cycling gear.  It's a big difference.  After a few years of this, it feels weird to get on a bike not dressed like a superhero.  (I've also grown to be a big fan of clipless pedals/shoes for riding as well.)

Price doesn't matter as much as fit does.  You want something that is snug enough that it doesn't move around without being so tight it cuts off circulation.




Also, as an aside - gi pants don't make kicking easier.  It's easier to kick when you're naked.  Gi pants make a nice snapping sound when you kick, and are (arguably) more aesthetically appealing than a wildly swinging block and tackle undercarriage.  :P

robartsd

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 09:09:29 AM »
I wear baggy cycling shorts with a removable liner when the weather is warm enough. I use the liner under warmer clothes as needed. No special cycling tops for me yet.

fell-like-rain

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 09:16:38 AM »
I feel like the advantages are pretty minimal for the average commuter. I bike to work year-round and have never worn anything besides jeans or cotton shorts, and havenít noticed any issues. (Including one summer where my round-trip was 30 miles). If I was a Sunday rider doing centuries, thatíd be a different thing, but street clothes are generally fine for shorter distances.

Ultimately, you should use your own experience. If you try it and you experience chafing/discomfort, get bike shorts. If you donít, donít.

FINate

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 09:51:39 AM »
If your commute is vigorous enough to work up a sweat then opt for biking clothes.

I also resisted the tight cycling clothes for a long time. Finally gave in due to chafing and general uncomfortableness. Wow! What a difference. Tight (but not too tight!) keeps...ahem...bits in the right place while preventing chafing. And the material wicks like nobody's business keeping you cool and relatively dry while sweating.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 10:16:25 AM »
Whilst I'm sure there are some actual advantages, like appropriate padding and wicking, cycling gear does rather make one look like a complete douche. I have particular hatred for the gear that tries to make it look as though you've been sponsored. And I particularly hate when folk in that gear congregate in sleek multi-wheeled twat-packs. It makes me hate my own species.

bacchi

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 10:47:50 AM »
I only wear cycling gear for long, day, rides. Riding downtown or to the grocery store? Regular shorts and t-shirts. Both of my bikes also have cage pedals rather than clipless.

CNM

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 10:57:18 AM »
It really depends on your commute and your comfort.  I like to wear padded bike shorts when I'm riding for more than, say, 30 minutes at a time to avoid or minimize saddle soreness. 
But it doesn't necessarily help with staying fresh, which seems to be your main concern.  A complete change of clothes (including underwear & socks), a hand towel to wash your face, some time to cool down and stop sweating, and maybe dry shampoo are probably the best ways to stay fresh post-workout absent a shower.

GuitarStv

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 11:04:52 AM »
Whilst I'm sure there are some actual advantages, like appropriate padding and wicking, cycling gear does rather make one look like a complete douche. I have particular hatred for the gear that tries to make it look as though you've been sponsored. And I particularly hate when folk in that gear congregate in sleek multi-wheeled twat-packs. It makes me hate my own species.

Fortunately, cyclists are used to the jealousy that their obvious superiority engenders.

Tinker

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2019, 12:19:47 PM »
Thanks to all of you for your input so far :)

If your commute is vigorous enough to work up a sweat then opt for biking clothes.

I also resisted the tight cycling clothes for a long time. Finally gave in due to chafing and general uncomfortableness. Wow! What a difference. Tight (but not too tight!) keeps...ahem...bits in the right place while preventing chafing. And the material wicks like nobody's business keeping you cool and relatively dry while sweating.
It's a hilly 16km, with 220/280m down/up. I've managed to ride the more downhill way in 45 minutes at my current train-pampered level of fitness and ended up soaked, mostly where i carried a backpack.
I'll probably stash clothes at work and not carry a bag in proper commuting season, but either way i'm not planning to take my sweet time getting around.

In all honesty, i hate commuting. I consider it unpaid working time, the less of it there is the better.
I've got a cycling app (first region free to fix you on, hah!) telling me the way uphill should be doable in 40 minutes or less once you put some miles into your legs, and i'll be doing my very best to beat that ASAP.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 12:21:56 PM by Tinker »

robartsd

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2019, 12:31:30 PM »
... and ended up soaked, mostly where i carried a backpack.
I love being able to put my things in a bag on a rear rack instead of having a backpack for various reasons, but especially this one.

SweatingInAZ

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2019, 03:18:23 PM »
... and ended up soaked, mostly where i carried a backpack.
I love being able to put my things in a bag on a rear rack instead of having a backpack for various reasons, but especially this one.

Yes! A rack and baskets are the best! My ride is an easy flat 5km each way, but a rack lets me stave off some of the heat biking year-round in Phoenix. Backpacks just trap sweat and keep it from doing its job.

In my experience, 'mountain biking' clothing is less obvious than road biking. The shorts have a padded liner, but baggy cargo short exterior. Mountain biking shoes have clips, but rubber tread touches the ground rather than the metal clip.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2019, 06:28:39 PM »
Whilst I'm sure there are some actual advantages, like appropriate padding and wicking, cycling gear does rather make one look like a complete douche. I have particular hatred for the gear that tries to make it look as though you've been sponsored. And I particularly hate when folk in that gear congregate in sleek multi-wheeled twat-packs. It makes me hate my own species.

Fortunately, cyclists are used to the jealousy that their obvious superiority engenders.

Hahah, you lot do look like another species when you're in a pack and going around corners at speed. Kind of reminds me of schooling fish.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2019, 07:11:32 PM »
My ride is only 15 min so I donít need special clothes. Iíve been told by experienced long distance riders that it makes a huge difference on your crotch and ass and since those parts are important, if youíre traveling for a bit, be as comfortable as possible.

mountain mustache

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2019, 06:29:46 AM »
If I'm pedaling more than 2 miles, I wear cycling kit. The clothing is more wicking, and keeps my work clothes clean/dry. I am lucky that my commute now is only 1 mile, so I never have to wear a kit, but I used to commute 10-15 miles, and I always wore cycling bibs. I can't imagine riding 10-15 miles without a chamois, no way! But, I also train/ride another 15 hours a week, so my sit bones could not deal with being sore from a 6 hour ride and then sitting on a saddle for a commute in jeans. ouch.

You don't need anything expensive or complicated, but it needs to fit correctly. Too big, and there will be chafing, too small and you will feel constricted. I like bibs, because I hate waistbands (who doesn't??) and they should be tighter than you *think* you want them, because they will stretch out. You don't need any special jersey/shirt, just a wicking running/hiking shirt will do. If you get a proper pair of cycling bibs, then you can wear baggy hiking shorts/running shorts over them, and a regular wicking shirt, and your sit bones will thank you for the chamois, and you won't feel conspicuous and super "kitted out"

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Cycling Clothes, yay or nay
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2019, 09:34:55 AM »
My first husband had padded liner shorts that he wore underneath regular shorts. He was partial to stopping for treats on a long bike ride and didn't want to look too goofy.

I have cheap cycling shorts that are not liners. As a lady, I find it convenient to bring a lightweight skirt to pull over the shorts.