To Kit or not to Kit

It’s the modern hipster flex… everybody wants to pretend they’re a cyclist but too cool for cycling kit.

Back in the real world, these dudes showed up to shop rides and get dumped out the back of the C group and then got bitter.

Wear your kit, don’t worry about the too cool kids that wanna pretend they’re doing centuries in tims and khakis.

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I commute daily on the bike in regular clothes. I keep the effort pretty low, and bring a spare shirt if I’m going to get sweaty. But I also live very close to where I work, so it maybe isn’t representative of most people’s idea of commuting (~10 minute bike ride).

Rides for fun in good weather are almost entirely in full kit. I like the pockets on the jersey to hold my phone and keys which don’t fit in my saddle bag that’s stuffed full of tubes/tools. I also find that good jerseys are very comfortable and work well. During the winter if I’m wearing a jacket for the whole ride I ditch the jerseys and go with some sort of sporty top under the jacket (usually a thin long sleeve wool shirt). I find that seems to work better in the cold for me and my winter bibs and jackets all have pockets that work well enough that I don’t need the jersey.

I don’t get the cycling clothing hate, but I also don’t get the “normal clothing” hate. Like others have said, ride what you want.

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If you wear all black shorts/bibs, every top matches!

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For commuting (when I get the chance to - typically have to drive kids around so I take the car) or going for a leisurely ride with the kids, or cycling just to get around, I generally wear normal clothes, too. It’s just more practical for a ten, twenty minute ride at an easy pace. My office is also 5 minutes of mostly downhill from my house.

However, going for a “proper” ride - be it a weekday training ride, the long weekend ride, a group ride or race, getting dressed up in proper kit is just so much better.

I was kind of hesitant myself when I started riding, too, but you try one thing, then another, and soon you’re clad in lycra head to toe and wondering why didn’t you do it sooner :grin:

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I wear a full kit although it is usually mid-priced so that I can afford more than one. I never wear regular clothes. Not because I don’t like them but because I sweat so much that any normal shirt (cotton, etc) is a soggy mess within 5 minutes. Plus I like the pockets to hold my phone, ID, etc.

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I wear cycling kit in winter to go running, ski touring, xc skiing etc. im continuously amazed that those sports never figured out that rear pockets are much nicer than jacket pockets, bumbags or rucksacks.

For MTB I tend to wear old road kit as destroying nice new stuff by plastering it in mud seems wrong to me.

For road, anything that isn’t baggy with a bit of colour/ design as there is no point in training to go 10w faster then giving away the gain.

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Ummmm, if I’m doing intervals, it’s most likely on the home trainer, and yeah, I’ll do that in a cheap, baggy Target baselayer or a football jersey.

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On my runabout, which is used for commuting etc - whatever clothes for the destinations. On the roadie, full Lycra as I like to have some speed, better on-body storage and comfort too. Don’t gaf what other people really think of my appearance.

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But at the same time as all of the above, things like this are an abomination and needs to be stamped out early and killed with fire;

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The only kit I have a strong negative feeling about is white bibs that have gone threadbare. :face_vomiting:

Ugh. Unsustainability for the Australian market only.

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It’s interesting isn’t it, that someone is more likely to harm us with a motor vehicle if we are wearing lycra…quite a sad set of circumstances!

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Here’s my take. This is cycling: we have people riding $10k Pinarellos 20km’s to cafes. We wear funny tight clothing and sometimes get up at stupid-o’clock when many adults haven’t touched bikes for years. I’m not saying throw logic out the window, but we aren’t normal haha. In theory aero stuff for slow rides makes sense because it’s over a longer time as well.

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@Hugo_Young, So true. I get up at 5:00 every Wednesday and 5:30 every Saturday to ride in circles on a partially closed road with other MAMILS :laughing: :scream: (I’m 37, am I middle-aged already ?)

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[quote=“Hugo_Young, post:33, topic:2879, full:true”] In theory aero stuff for slow rides makes sense because it’s over a longer time as well.
[/quote]

(Turtles now furiously shopping online for skinsuits :turtle:)

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Is that true, like actually been proven out in a study? I wouldn’t be shocked just based upon anecdotal experience with some of the attitudes of some on the road but that’s pretty crazy all the same.

No I don’t think it’s been proven, just my opinion and experience points that way.

Here in Australia, a buddy was telling me about a guy who was going the opposite way in a car when he was riding. The guy turned around for no reason and chased him down. Got ahead of my friend, blocked the road and got out of the car. Said to him ‘let’s fight’…for no reason other than he was on a bike. WTF??? He talked to the guy and calmed him down but that is just complete madness.

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There was some study about it.
The reasons were to be found in the drivers’ psychology: if you see a chap riding in normal clothes it’s easier to consider similar to you (“could be me/my father/my sister/my friend”); whereas one of us dressed up like the cycling ninjas/superheroes/extremely handsome/lycra clad would be more easily considered part of a different Species: the STRANGER who’s better to run over

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Absolutely agree with this.

5 minute ride to post box, I just jump on my bike in whatever I’m wearing at the time.

Any kind of exercise intent, then it’s a reasonable priced kit to deal with the sweat and prevent any chance of chafing.

If anyone asks me why cyclists wear Lycra I just say look at swimming. You wouldn’t go swimming in your normal clothes, you wear specific swimming costume* So it’s just the same for cycling, clothes for the job.

I admire people who can commute in normal clothes and look as fresh as a daisy. I’d look like I had been caught in a storm.

  • post ignores naturists who do everything naked :grinning:
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Shorts are a must to preserve the tenders. Sometimes, in warmer weather, I prefer a tight-fitting cotton t and a string bag. However, if you choose to do likewise, it is worth noting that lycra shorts and a t-shirt is apparently the current fashion among young females.