Beginners clothing

Scrumple
Scrumple Posts: 2,665
edited August 2008 in Road beginners
Being new to road bikes, I have just recovered from the wedge spent on pedals, helmets, shoes and lights. Now, when my bike arrives, I have all but the clothing.

Now I need clothing to help me bike a 15 mile x2 return trip to work most days (until it gets really cold or I lie in bed dreaming of my car keys).

I am wary of buying stuff I will never use, or getting cheap stuff I will want to upgrade very quickly. Ideally, I want value for money pitched above casual user but below expert club rider. I'm after good, honest essentials. And I mean ESSENTIALS. I have no cash left for indulgence. I'm sure a lot of others will be in this position (especially due to cycle to work schemes).

I'm guessing decent shorts, and a decent rain jacket. But do I need socks, bike jerseys, layers? Can't I just wear running tops or T shirts?

What shorts / jackets / tops fall into my criteria? There so are many to look at it hurts! There must be a simple list of kit you must have... and some advice on which brands give the best value.

Thanks, as always.
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Comments

  • T shirts are a total no no.

    They get sweaty really quickly, and then just dont dry. They get cold and damp and stick to you. you will end up colder, and more moserable, more quickly than you can imagine in a t shirt.

    Essentials are *decent * padded cyclign shorts, but do try the odd looking bib style - anyone I know wearing them swears by them, but I'm a shorts man myself.

    Also whilst its still summer and warm, a decent top. You will be amazed how quickly they dry at the office so you can wear them home, and can breath through them. And conversely, if they get wet, they again, dry quickly where cotton stays damp.

    Socks you can probably get away with sports socks for the summer and autumn. Wait til winter to see if socks will be of any benefit at all to you.

    £25 for the top, and say £30 for the shorts will sort you out. And get 2 pairs of each, one for the wash and one for wearing - minimum. Despite drying, they will get smelly quickly if they dont get a wash every day you use them.

    Oh, and gloves - evne if for summer fingerless ones, but with a decent pad on the palm to cushion the ulnar nerve from wrist to thumb base.
    Bianchi c2c Alu Nirone 7 Xenon (2007) Road
    Orange P7 (1999) Road
    Diamond Back Snr Pro (1983) BMX
    Diamond BackSIlver Streak (1983) BMX

    Oh, and BMX is the *ultimate* single speed.
  • A pair of Bib shorts, these are some affordable nalini ones and I use them myself and they'll do you for going to work and back.

    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=C8185

    And an affordable jersey:

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/dhb_E ... 360036744/[/url]

    Some gloves:

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/Cycle/7/dhb_R ... 360031268/
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    I agree with all of the above.

    Bib shorts, Jersey and Gloves. Yes you do feel like a tw*t at first but my god bib shorts are soo comfortable.

    Also get some sunglasses. OK not much sun in tis country anymore but does keep the c*ap out of your eyes.

    P.S don't forget the Assos cream.
  • FJS
    FJS Posts: 4,820
    If you live near a Decathlon, they have really affordable and totally adequate basic cycling kit (bib short, jersey, gloves, foldable rain jacket)
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665
    edited August 2008
    Thanks for the above. I am not going for bib shorts, as I don't want the hassle if I am commuting. I may get some later if I take up riding as a hobby too.

    Can anyone recommend decent lycra shorts?

    Decathlon is nearby, but the website has little detail that can help with working out which of their offerings are best?! Anyone tried their shorts and able to give a real comparison?

    DHB Earnley at wiggle look good at £18. Seem to tick all the boxes?!

    Are there any other good value and good quality makes I should be looking at? As it stands DHB look like the ones I'll go for (at a best guess). They seem to have eveything I need at the cheapest price (8 panel, good materials). The next up are the Endura Coolmax, but they are £29. Am I paying the extra for the name, or are they really £10 better than the DHB? I'd pay more if I was getting a much better product, not just a badge!

    Cheers
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665
    Thanks, although it is how the decathlon shorts COMPARE to the other I'm curious about.
    Still keen to know if the dhb are much better, or if the Endura are worth the extra tenner...
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    I have a pair of Decathalon bibshorts, and normal shorts, the shorts have a sports pad in them, and the bibshorts have a competition pad.

    Both are very confortable and pretty hardwearing, think the shorts were around £15 and the bib was around £25. They are very comparable to my Northwave bib in terms of comfort and durability.

    I only seem to wear the shorts down the gym now, as I prefer bibshorts for on the bike, but both are very comfortable for long rides, and will be fine for short trips to work and back.
  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    Never tried the Decathalon stuff but the DHB kit is excellent vfm.
  • Here you are Nalini padded shorts (Not bib ones this time) and they're cheaper than the dhb ones:

    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=C1232
  • jonginge
    jonginge Posts: 5,945
    I've got some of the DHB earnley bibshorts (3 pairs actually) for my commute. They do the job well.

    FWIW bibshorts are no more hassle than normal shorts but are more comfy due to the lack of elastication at the waist. They also keep your kidneys warm :)
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • jswba
    jswba Posts: 491
    I wouldn't bother with the cheap shorts from decathlon. I found the extra money on the DHBs was well-spent. The pad is much better and the lycra thicker. The gloves aren't bad on my hybrid, but useless on my road bike.
  • heavymental
    heavymental Posts: 2,076
    If you're small, I have a basic jersey you can have for the cost of postage and a pint. I got it from Lidl ages ago but, well, I'm too much of a snob so didn't ever wear it. :oops: Fine for commuting though. Pm me if you want it.
  • I must admit, on the advice of my lbs, I just went with their recommendation for shorts - Santini.

    I was a little crestfallen to find as a uk medium, that I am an Italian XXl size!.

    A decent enough level of quality padding, well designed with no itchy sew seams. They were £35, and to be honest, for the price of a round of drinks for mates, why risk hours of arse hardship?
    Bianchi c2c Alu Nirone 7 Xenon (2007) Road
    Orange P7 (1999) Road
    Diamond Back Snr Pro (1983) BMX
    Diamond BackSIlver Streak (1983) BMX

    Oh, and BMX is the *ultimate* single speed.
  • ris
    ris Posts: 392
    i find that i would be more miserable without:

    good waterproof jacket
    waterproof trousers (if i don't have mudguards on the airnimal)
    padded shorts
    a handful of sports dryfit / climacool jerseys and baselayers
    waterproof socks
    gloves
    thermalite skullcap for winter

    given the current weather i consider my waterproof socks the best bit of kit!
  • patchy
    patchy Posts: 779
    Im a big fan of merino base layers for general commuting - a) they dry really quickly and b) they don't smell for aaaaages. i like howies, but they're dead pricey - ground effect do some nice stuff too though.
    point your handlebars towards the heavens and sweat like you're in hell
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665
    Some great ideas...

    Stuck between bib v shorts now. I was 100% shorts but I am wavering... I will only be using them for the commute, and weekend runs, NOT races or events. Does that make a difference?

    And, are the Wiggle DHB finchdean bibs really worth £60 when the DHB Earnleys are just £30?! They are obviously selling well if you look at the top page.
  • johnnyc71
    johnnyc71 Posts: 178
    Scrumple wrote:
    Some great ideas...

    Stuck between bib v shorts now. I was 100% shorts but I am wavering... I will only be using them for the commute, and weekend runs, NOT races or events. Does that make a difference?

    bibs are more comfortable - so if you like comfort - that's the way to go.

    And, are the Wiggle DHB finchdean bibs really worth £60 when the DHB Earnleys are just £30?! They are obviously selling well if you look at the top page.

    I have both of these bibs - the finchdeans are better quality - and represent good value for money.
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665
    Cheers...
    I always like posters who have owned all the items being asked about, and can give a real comparison.

    As for the WOOL post, I agree it is a really undervalued material. I have an innate mistrust of "modern" wonder fibres that are just plasticy sythetics. Wool is a true wonder fabric and I often wonder why it isn't more popular. Cost must be the answer?
  • Scrumple wrote:
    Some great ideas...

    Stuck between bib v shorts now. I was 100% shorts but I am wavering... I will only be using them for the commute, and weekend runs, NOT races or events. Does that make a difference?

    And, are the Wiggle DHB finchdean bibs really worth £60 when the DHB Earnleys are just £30?! They are obviously selling well if you look at the top page.

    Go for the bib shorts. Normal shorts might be a nuisance falling down while you won't have that problem with a pair of bib shorts. You'd be better off buying a pair of bib shorts for a little bit extra than buying normal ones, not liking them and wishing you'd got the bib ones and then spending more money on them.
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Scrumple wrote:
    Some great ideas...

    Stuck between bib v shorts now. I was 100% shorts but I am wavering... I will only be using them for the commute, and weekend runs, NOT races or events. Does that make a difference?

    And, are the Wiggle DHB finchdean bibs really worth £60 when the DHB Earnleys are just £30?! They are obviously selling well if you look at the top page.

    Go for Bib. They are so much more comfortable. With normal lycra shorts they get tight around your waist and can restrict you. No such problems with bibs. To be honest you forget that you are wearing them. Since you have to wear both types commando style it is no more hassle for you when getting changed at work. Just make sure you get so Assos cream.
  • Hornetto
    Hornetto Posts: 141
    Having just bought some shorts and a jersey online, I want to know what this Assos cream is. What does it do and how is it used? Do I really need it as a casual cyclist?
    Never argue with an idiot - they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience
  • heavymental
    heavymental Posts: 2,076
    No Hornetto. Probably not. I've never used it myself and haven't felt anything missing in my life. However, if you have a sore ars, maybe check it out.
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    Depends on how easily you get rubbed up the wrong way
  • richa
    richa Posts: 1,631
    This is Assos Chamois Cream
    assos-chamois-cream-main.jpg


    I used sudocream as it is cheaper, does the job and is also available from your local chemist. I also tend to use it mainly for longer rides as this is where the causes of saddle soreness - prolonged exposure to heat & sweat - are more likely to occur.

    img_sudocrem.jpg
    Rich
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 16,804
    Juju_uk_68 wrote:
    I must admit, on the advice of my lbs, I just went with their recommendation for shorts - Santini.

    I was a little crestfallen to find as a uk medium, that I am an Italian XXl size!.

    A decent enough level of quality padding, well designed with no itchy sew seams. They were £35, and to be honest, for the price of a round of drinks for mates, why risk hours of ars* hardship?

    why indeed?... my 2 pennys worth

    if i was starting cycling now but with what i know after ahem "cough" years of grinding milage I would budget clothing in from the start..

    ie don't work out a bike budget and go get the best bike you can for the money.. instead

    think best shoes (carbon soles) best lycra bib .. best all round jacket (a phantom or such) best jersey.... best best best... gloves arm warmers etc etc etc

    think 500quid+ on clothing.. you can get deals but aim high maybe don't get your winter season stuff till later or summer if starting in the winter..(its nearer than you think)

    then buy a bike with whats left

    a 700 quid bike plus 500 quid clothing > 1000 quid bike + 200 quid clothing especially for a beginner

    you will get more mileage into your legs with the extra comfort of high quality clothing than getting a bike 300grams lighter for a extra 300 quid.. and its the mileage that counts..

    riding in changeable conditions... don't worry If you have asseos climajet scrunched up to the size of a pack of playing cards in your back pocket...but that comfort will cost your the best part of 100 quid... is it really worth it?

    saving money on clothing will seem like a poor choice 2 hours from home on a hellish febuary morning... there will be times you will gladly part with twice the shop price for a certain piece of clothing if it was offered to you in the middle of some grueling winter training ride when old vendettas are being settled upfront..

    trust me.. I do not lie.. I was that sorry cyclist.
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    I have the DHB's, excellent pad and price, the rest of their stuff is great vfm too - I have the winter bib longs and they are brilliant.
  • Good post by Mididoctors.

    Looking back I think I've ended up spending more on clothes than I did on my bike. Not having a car and spending lots of time on my bike in town I eventually bought a pair of Endura Zyme 3/4 shorts to go over my bibs, which means folk don't look at you quite so funny when wandering into shops/cafe's/offices. You can buy them with clip in padded lycra shorts but bibs are a better fit all round, are more comfortable and can provide a bit of essential warmth/windproofing.

    I have a couple of Merino and synthetic baselayers. Both provide as much protection im but the Merino smell less :)

    I find the Dhb shorts jerseys and baselayers to be good value for money.
    ________________________________
    Roadie: Focus Cayo - FCN 4
    Commuter hack: Fixed Langster - FCN 5
    Winter hack: Battered Sirrus - FCN 9
  • FSR_XC
    FSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    For cheap cycling clothing that works Lidl have some from 21st Aug.

    No cycling shorts though.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50

    http://www.visiontrack.com
  • carl_p
    carl_p Posts: 989
    RichA wrote:

    I used sudocrem as it is cheaper, does the job and is also available from your local chemist. I also tend to use it mainly for longer rides as this is where the causes of saddle soreness - prolonged exposure to heat & sweat - are more likely to occur.

    img_sudocrem.jpg

    I use Sudocream as well. Just don't get it mixed up with Philadelphia Cheese though :lol:

    Take a couple of Cream Crackers with you and you'll have lunch sorted.

    Sorry. Silly moment.
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