Same problem when I started. You will soon learn that the bike specific clothing is far better.
You can start with mountain bike shorts and jerseys. They tend to be a bit more lose in fit. In the summer, you'll die in cotton.
Cycling Shorts and Jerseys are way more comfortable and functional.
Lots to choose from at Performance and Nashbar, and you don't need to spend a fortune.
No reason to be embarrassed or self conscious.
Don't worry about what people think.
Get what fits and go have fun riding. People will think, hey that guy has the right idea; he is riding and exercising and he's having fun.
Go for it!
Wear whatever you feel comfortable with. Down the road when you're riding longer and longer, the more sense it'll make. People wear jerseys and lycra shorts not because it looks cool, but because it works really well. You might want to look into a pair of MTB shorts which are baggy but a lot more comfortable than regular shorts. If you want a jersey (pockets are handy) check out Nashbar Essential jerseys - pretty nice and inexpensive when on sale (and if not, wait a day).
Wear whatever you're comfortable with. If the tight things make you feel self-conscious, wear something else. The cycling shorts, with their padding, are practical, but you can wear baggy things over them, or you can wear mountain biking shorts that have both layers. If you're going to do long rides, ordinary shorts alone are likely to get uncomfortable.
T-shirts are fine if that's what you like. The wicking fabrics are nice, but you won't die in cotton. The pockets in the back of cycling jerseys are handy, but you can get looser jerseys that have them, if the tight ones aren't what you want.
Check into a pair of cycling under briefs. I saw them on the Performance Bike web sight. They are a pair of boxer briefs with the cycling padding. You then just put your shorts over the top. Only 19 bucks. I have been in the same boat but have dropped 45 lbs. over the last year. I can now actually see a jersey in my future. I do still prefer the baggier shorts in regards to style. Just my thing.
This reminds me of when I started RBing last year. I just dont have the stones to wear the shorts yet. Waaay too self conscious for now. I know Ill end up doing it this year especially in the Cat 5 races I want to enter. Doubt they will let me run it without the right gear. Like was said I use the MTB shorts and the bike jersey. Im starting slow. Dont want mortification to stop me from RBing. Some of us take longer than others to get comfortable with ourselves in the full gear.
MTB shorts are where I started too. Watch the sizes for bike specific clothes too. They are cut to be tight fitting even for average folks so expect to jump up a size or three from your usual street size. Euro sizes on ebay takes some real experience.
Even dept store like Target have wicking running jerseys. They also typically have loose unfitted bottom hems.
I wear these bike clothes on family bike rides where I spend more time off the bike than on. I seem to blend in better on the playground.
It's a tough call - wear what feels comfortable even if not optimum, or wear what works best and feel like everybody is stareing at you.
I say, wear what you feel most comfortable in until you loose the poundage, then look into spandex and euro-jerseys - which not only look cool once you've trimmed down, but actually make you "feel" faster, even if you aren't!
You should fall in love with cycling and not let fashion issues keep you off that bike...it IS about having fun and feeling better, right?
i ended up buying shorts/bib and a tight jersey. I will wear them underneath baggy clothes...
yeah, everyone will know that I'm a big guy, but I don't want them to have all the details that come with the tight bike clothes.
i appreciate everyone's advice. my bike will be ready tuesday and i am planning on devoting myself to it. I am very excited about this bike being a critical part of my plans to change some of my core behaviors.
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