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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been riding for years but recently have been looking at buying some clothing items. Need help here.

1. Shorts: You know they fit when: They need to be washed after every ride (y/n). Biggest mistake when buying: You need ____ (number) of pairs.

2. Jersey: save your money (y/n). Nice for every ride. Necessary for any ride over __miles. You know ir fits when: It has to made out of ______ (material).

3. Gloves: Opinion(s)

4. Helmet: I like my ______(brand) helmet. Stay away from ____(brand)

5. Anything else I should be thinking about? (I live in Texas so rides in 100 degree weather happens.

Thanks guys, Stamp
 

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I coulda did that myself
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I wash my shorts after every ride. Because of that life is pretty easy with a minimum of three pairs--more is always better. I have five pair right now but haven't bought shorts in a few years.

Jersey: I raced bikes in college and gave it up to running for many years thereafter. Running simply seemed like a more efficient use of exercise time. Now a middle ager, foot problems put me back on the bike and I'm really enjoying it. I have alot of the technical running shirts so jerseys arent really needed unless I decide I want the pockets. So far, I've made due without them but will probably buy a wool jersey or two this fall. I think a jersey is nice for 50+ mile rides, especially if you're going pretty hard. For hot weather, just avoid the cheap stuff because the polyester will breath about as well as a hefty bag.

Gloves: On wearing them--If you've ever had a spill where you naturally tried to catch yourself by putting your hands out to pavement or gravel, question answered. I like nalinis or any other glove that does not have too much bulk.

Helmet: Never had a problem with a bell. Until I do, I'll stay with them. Beyond proper fit, I suspect this is the easiest item to buy.

Socks: I like smartwool and can even wear them in summer. Wool naturally wicks. Very durable. It is more resistant to odor than most of the high-tech fibers. That said, over 100 degrees and I'd be looking at polypro, thermax, or some other gee-whiz synthetic.

Cycling cap: I shave my head because there isn't much left there anyway. To avoid a "vent tan" or burn, I always wear one under my helmet. The visor looks a little better for roadie than a visored helmet--shields better too.
 

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stamp adams said:
I have been riding for years but recently have been looking at buying some clothing items. Need help here.

1. Shorts: You know they fit when: They need to be washed after every ride (y/n). Biggest mistake when buying: You need ____ (number) of pairs.

2. Jersey: save your money (y/n). Nice for every ride. Necessary for any ride over __miles. You know ir fits when: It has to made out of ______ (material).

3. Gloves: Opinion(s)

4. Helmet: I like my ______(brand) helmet. Stay away from ____(brand)

5. Anything else I should be thinking about? (I live in Texas so rides in 100 degree weather happens.

Thanks guys, Stamp
1. No difference in fit pre/post washing... After every ride...depends on how much you like to do laundry. Minimum 2-3 pair.

2. Get one/some...nice for every ride...fits when snug, not baggy, not too tight...synthetic wicking material, definitely NOT cotton. Look for 2-3 pockets in the back.

3. Get a pair. I think Spenco's are the very best, but that's IMO, and they're pricey. Other than that, I prefer gel, but again, that's my opinion.

4. I like Giro. They're light & fit me well, but most any major brand is all right. Check for Snell rating inside helmet. Make sure it fits properly. When it's on & adjusted, if you put your hand on the brim & move it up & down, the skin on your head should move with the helmet. Same with moving it left & right.

5. Hot weather...look into getting something like Headsweats. It'll keep your head cooler & keep sweat from falling into your eyes. Also sunscreen...lots of it, and with a high SPF factor. Cycling socks. Coolmax material is nice.
 

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imo...

1. Shorts: You know they fit when: after 100 miles you don't even think about your shorts.

They need to be washed after every ride (YES- take 'em in to the shower with you, squish 'em around with your feet, hang up to dry).

Biggest mistake when buying: not trying the mid-priced Voler shorts. You need _2___ (number) of pairs.

2. Jersey: save your money-buy good jerseys for half price in the fall, three pockets are super handy, and a zip that works with one hand is the best. Nice for every ride. Necessary for any ride over _20_miles. You know ir fits when: it doesn't flutter at the shoulders when you are going over 40mph. It has to made out of __polyester or wool (expensive, nice, retro!)____ (material). Pearl Izumi Slice is nice, also Voler (again.) Wash the jersey same as the shorts- it'll be dry the next day, so you can get by with one jersey. Shorts may be damp, because of the chamois-- 2 pairs of shorts is a big step up from 1.

3. Gloves: Opinion(s): I always use gloves, and only for cycling. You wipe your palms on your spinning wheels, man! I found a small nail last week in my back tire, and pulled it out before it worked through. Saved one flat right there, end of discussion.

4. Helmet: I like my __Bell____(brand) helmet. Stay away from _this year's model of any___(brand)- last year's is just as good and 30% cheaper.

5. Anything else I should be thinking about? (I live in Texas so rides in 100 degree weather happens. Thin jacket, arm warmers, knee warmers... in case you get caught out after dark or in a rain storm... it can get real cold real fast.

If you don't want to look super racerly, mountain bike jerseys don't draw attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know if any of you that have responded to this thread have come back but I want to thank you, your suggestions were of great help.

I lucked out on some shorts and found a $60.00 pair of Pearl Isumi for 19.95 at a local sporting goods store. Then I purchase an entry level jersey for $29.00. Later, when I went to my LBS the owner talked to me about shorts and the difference in the entry level and the more expensive shorts, ie, the padding. Yesterday I rode for 10 miles and today for 20 and the difference in how I feel is amazinig. I am not sore at all. And the ride itself was really enjoyable and I wasn't ready to quit when I got home. Stamp
 

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Phenomenal advice for a guy in an equally hot, but far more humid climate. Thanks a ton fellas, looks like I'll be spending s'more money soon. For the meanwhile, I'll keep wearing my baggy t-shirts, umbro shorts, cotton socks, shaven head (with sweat in the eyes), and the one thing that I've got going for me: gloves. Thanks for the great contribution stamp, I've learned very quickly that I desperately need some chamois pants!
 

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stamp adams said:
I don't know if any of you that have responded to this thread have come back but I want to thank you, your suggestions were of great help.

I lucked out on some shorts and found a $60.00 pair of Pearl Isumi for 19.95 at a local sporting goods store. Then I purchase an entry level jersey for $29.00. Later, when I went to my LBS the owner talked to me about shorts and the difference in the entry level and the more expensive shorts, ie, the padding. Yesterday I rode for 10 miles and today for 20 and the difference in how I feel is amazinig. I am not sore at all. And the ride itself was really enjoyable and I wasn't ready to quit when I got home. Stamp
I think it was covered earlier, but I'd like to say 'ditto' on material choice- in hot weather polyester or some kind of specialty polyester like Coolmax only, no blends. For all its drawbacks polyester dries faster than anything else- that means evaporation, which means heat reduction when you’re working, not when you’re going downhill and freezing.

Personally, I like to wear a bowling shirt when riding. They come in 100% poly. They look a little old school. You don’t get a red neck. And when they flap in the wind it feels like you’re going fast. The cons- they’ll cost you a couple of watts, so not for racing- maybe for training. They don’t have big rear pockets. Some cyclists will look down their noses at you.
 

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Thanks a ton guys, just put in a nice order from Performance bike for 2 pairs of chamois shorts, some socks, butt rub, a head piece (sweat is a mofo), and a heart rate monitor. Thanks for the direction I found in this thread. Helped out a real novice. Never really ridden before but I've got 30 miles on my bike in the first 4 days of ownership. Couldn't be happier, and don't see this as being a fad. The sit bones don't even hurt after a 10 mile ride now. Only day 1 was harsh. Everything else has been wonderful. Looking forward to the joys of cycling with good equipment; socks, head piece, and shorts. Should provide for far less distractions and let me put in some harder time in the saddle.
 

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If I were to come up with a rule for the number of shorts to own, it would be a relationship between the number of times you plan on riding per week vs. how often you do laundry. I own four pairs of good shorts and a couple of other lesser quality shorts that I hold in reserve. My goal is to ride 5 times a week, and I do laundry at least twice per week, so it works out pretty well. Good shorts are damned expensive, so look for deals. Boure, a Durango company owned by cycling legend Ned Overend, has good stuff that isn't as outrageously priced as other companies.

Get yourself some good jerseys. You will not regret it. You don't have to get team gear or anything too fancy, but any wicking jersey is better than a cotton t-shirt. I must have 20 or more jerseys that I've accumulated over the years, but they fall into categories. I have heavy long sleeve jerseys for winter, and lightweight long sleeve jerseys for those not quite winter days. I have a lot more short sleeve jerseys in at least three different weights, because I ride a lot more in summer than winter. Some are also bigger and looser than others. I have enough choices that I can choose just the right jersey for the weather conditions.

Same thing for gloves. I have all kinds, broadly categorized as full-fingered or not. Different weights for different conditions. Sometimes, on our rides from the valley over the hill to the ocean, we'll start with short gloves in 90 degree temps, but bring along a pair of full-fingered gloves, because if it's foggy at the ocean, it's cold. I even have neoprene gloves I use when doing long descents on wet and frigid days. I bought a bunch of gloves on closeout from the Specialized website that I still use today. After three years or so of heavy use, they are finally starting to wear out, so that was a very good purchase.

Lots of other things to consider: arm warmers, knee warmers, tights and shoe covers. Arm warmers are a must, even in Texas. You can get real tights or tights you pull over your shorts. Shoe covers are great for cold weather riding. I have lightweight windstoppers and heavy duty waterproof neoprene for cold and wet days.
 

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I've bought shorts on sale over the years, so I probably have six or seven pairs now. I wear mountain bike shorts exclusively--they're just as functional, and nobody wants to see my butt in Lycra. I'd say two pairs is minimum, three better. Generally (but not always) wash after every significant ride, but no problems from going two or three rides without. They seem to last longer if you hang to dry, rather than using the dryer.
I rarely wear a jersey and NEVER a superhero team jersey. Most of my riding is in T-shirts or wicking "athletic" tops--CoolMax or whatever. You can often find those cheap ($12-$15) in places like Ross. I prefer slightly loose to skin tight, but many people disagree. I might, too, if I weighed 20 pounds less....
Gloves: I have two summer and two winter, because I lose them, but I buy them all the time. Really expensive ones don't seem to feel better or last longer than cheap ones, and I don't feel so bad when I can only find the left one. Try places like REI for cross-country ski gloves for winter--cheaper and warmer than cycling gloves.
My helmet experience is limited because I have a size 7-7/8 or 8 head. Some Bells fit, Giro doesn't, nothing labeled ONE SIZE will come close. I'm using Bells now; no issues.
 

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wrxdonkey said:
Thanks a ton guys, just put in a nice order from Performance bike for 2 pairs of chamois shorts, some socks, butt rub, a head piece (sweat is a mofo), and a heart rate monitor. Thanks for the direction I found in this thread. Helped out a real novice. Never really ridden before but I've got 30 miles on my bike in the first 4 days of ownership. Couldn't be happier, and don't see this as being a fad. The sit bones don't even hurt after a 10 mile ride now. Only day 1 was harsh. Everything else has been wonderful. Looking forward to the joys of cycling with good equipment; socks, head piece, and shorts. Should provide for far less distractions and let me put in some harder time in the saddle.
As for a head piece, not to beat a dead horse here, but make sure it's polyester. I've seen both Performance and Nash Bar selling cotton, and it doesn't dry fast enough. For hot conditions get one that ties in the back. The tails will blow in the wind and wick the moisture off your head, keeping you cool. For early morning and late afternoon rides try one of the Headsweats brand "Spin Cycle" pieces under your helmet. These have visors in case your helmet doesn't, and really keeps the sun out of your eyes.
 

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California L33 said:
As for a head piece, not to beat a dead horse here, but make sure it's polyester. I've seen both Performance and Nash Bar selling cotton, and it doesn't dry fast enough. For hot conditions get one that ties in the back. The tails will blow in the wind and wick the moisture off your head, keeping you cool. For early morning and late afternoon rides try one of the Headsweats brand "Spin Cycle" pieces under your helmet. These have visors in case your helmet doesn't, and really keeps the sun out of your eyes.

Thanks, based on the recommendations found here, I decided to purchase the following items:

2 pairs of cheapo shorts as they're my first pair, anything beats umbros and cotton underwear.


DriSmart shell with Transpor liner and mesh top. Whatever the hell that means... it's not cotton, and that's what's important!



Cat-1 piccolo; under the saddle storage.


Polar S150, because I believe that if you keep the heart rate up, the speed will follow.

 

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mohair_chair said:
If I were to come up with a rule for the number of shorts to own, it would be a relationship between the number of times you plan on riding per week vs. how often you do laundry. I own four pairs of good shorts and a couple of other lesser quality shorts that I hold in reserve. My goal is to ride 5 times a week, and I do laundry at least twice per week, so it works out pretty well. Good shorts are damned expensive, so look for deals. Boure, a Durango company owned by cycling legend Ned Overend, has good stuff that isn't as outrageously priced as other companies.

Get yourself some good jerseys. You will not regret it. You don't have to get team gear or anything too fancy, but any wicking jersey is better than a cotton t-shirt. I must have 20 or more jerseys that I've accumulated over the years, but they fall into categories. I have heavy long sleeve jerseys for winter, and lightweight long sleeve jerseys for those not quite winter days. I have a lot more short sleeve jerseys in at least three different weights, because I ride a lot more in summer than winter. Some are also bigger and looser than others. I have enough choices that I can choose just the right jersey for the weather conditions.

Same thing for gloves. I have all kinds, broadly categorized as full-fingered or not. Different weights for different conditions. Sometimes, on our rides from the valley over the hill to the ocean, we'll start with short gloves in 90 degree temps, but bring along a pair of full-fingered gloves, because if it's foggy at the ocean, it's cold. I even have neoprene gloves I use when doing long descents on wet and frigid days. I bought a bunch of gloves on closeout from the Specialized website that I still use today. After three years or so of heavy use, they are finally starting to wear out, so that was a very good purchase.

Lots of other things to consider: arm warmers, knee warmers, tights and shoe covers. Arm warmers are a must, even in Texas. You can get real tights or tights you pull over your shorts. Shoe covers are great for cold weather riding. I have lightweight windstoppers and heavy duty waterproof neoprene for cold and wet days.
Amen on the different glove weights :thumbsup: Nothing ruins a ride faster than cold hands, and hot hands aren't that much better. I go from nylon backed fingerless gloves for heat, to gore-tex wind proof, water proof, thinsulate insulated hunting gloves for winter (not great for shifting- and people do look a bit funny at the camo pattern, but my hands are toasty), with a couple of different weights in between. The light weight ones are a compromise, because in my one recent crash I managed to tear up the front and _back_ of a set of full coverage gloves.
 
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