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Lycra on tour?

Cycling DaveCycling Dave Posts: 79
edited October 2008 in Tour & expedition
Hi folks.

I'll be touring from Prague to Athens next year and I would like to dress less like a bike racer this time.

I know the benefits of lycra in relation to keeping cool and the lack of chaffing on the legs, but is there a shorts and teeshirt combo out there which would keep me cool?

Posts

  • nunnun Posts: 434
    I use some padded underwear like Andiamo, a pair of lightweight shorts, or if you are rich take a look at the Rapha touring shorts and on top a microweight Smartwool zip T-shirt. Another tip for keeping cool is to wear a bandana soaked in cold water around your neck.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Why not just wear a pair of shorts over the lycra?

    I have some nice mesh liner shorts from Sugoi but I've heard mixed reviews about current models - still could be worth checking out. Sugoi are SFAIK the only people who sell liner shorts separately from the outer baggy shorts.

    I'd avoid cotton t-shirts and go for a merino - they stay surprisingly cool going up hills and surprisingly warm going down the other side.I swear by my Ground Effect Ristretto sleeveless top. Ground Effect do other nice bike-specific tops. Otherwise if you want to avoid the biker look completely there are reasonable quality merino tees around: try Icebreaker or Howies.

    Smartwool is a combination of merino and synthetic which manages to feel like synthetic, and generally sells for the price of good-quality merino- seems like the worst of both worlds to me but some people seem to like it.
  • nunnun Posts: 434
    andymiller wrote:

    Smartwool is a combination of merino and synthetic which manages to feel like synthetic, and generally sells for the price of good-quality merino- seems like the worst of both worlds to me but some people seem to like it.

    You're wrong about the composition of Smartwool T-shirts, they're 100% merino wool.
    But, yo're correct that the way to go is merino wool.

    https://www.smartwool.com/default.cfm#/ ... 20Zip-T%20)
  • pneumaticpneumatic Posts: 1,989
    If I am spending 6 hours a day in the saddle for 10 or more days in Central or Southern European Summer temperatures hauling luggage over some pretty spectacular terrain, the last thing I worry about is what I might look like. My primary concern would be comfort and, for me, lycra = comfort.


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    nun wrote:
    andymiller wrote:

    Smartwool is a combination of merino and synthetic which manages to feel like synthetic, and generally sells for the price of good-quality merino- seems like the worst of both worlds to me but some people seem to like it.

    You're wrong about the composition of Smartwool T-shirts, they're 100% merino wool.
    But, yo're correct that the way to go is merino wool.

    https://www.smartwool.com/default.cfm#/ ... 20Zip-T%20)

    Happy to be corrected. I was going on the basis of some smartWool socks I bought a few years ago which were/are a mix.
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    I vote for wool as the best stuff on tour.

    When it's hot and you are moving the wind goes through it so you are cool. The sun is kept off your skin ( I always wear long sleeves, you can pull them up if you want) by a well insulating layer. Unbeatable sweat wicking to stop the skin feeling wet.If the sun goes down you put on the windproof and then the warmth of wool really works, even a thin layer.
    After several days the pully will not smell too bad.I have been known to last a week just washing the armpits occasionally.The second wool top is kept for best or to add if you are cold.You still need to wash yourself of course. I prefer to keep separate trousers for off bike wear so the day-wear shorts are lycra.I never wear fly-scoops.

    Ground-effect do some good wool with a tougher outer layer cycle-specific tops that are also ok for the evening.The sizes are generous. If you fill the rear pockets with heavy stuff they descend to hit your knees, so just put the hanky and wallet in there.I have used thin wooly pullies with or without windproof for most cycling for years.
    http://www.groundeffect.co.nz/product-d ... ER-MER.htm
    http://www.johnsmedley.com/shop/product ... &qs_sid=82
    just to show what I mean .

    TerryJ
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman

    http://s189.photobucket.com/albums/z122 ... =slideshow
  • priorypriory Posts: 743
    Raleigh Eclipse, , Dahon Jetstream XP, Raleigh Banana, Dawes super galaxy, Raleigh Clubman

    http://s189.photobucket.com/albums/z122 ... =slideshow
  • One of the best bits about touring is being allowed to dress from head to toe in lycra - why would you choose anything else! :lol:
  • mandiemandie Posts: 218
    I would stick with the lycra as far as shorts are concerned. While I have nothing against baggies, and wear then regularly, I have yet to fid a pair that are truly comfortable if you are riding more than about 50 km.
    We\'ll kick against the darkness \'till it bleeds daylight
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    mandie wrote:
    I would stick with the lycra as far as shorts are concerned. While I have nothing against baggies, and wear then regularly, I have yet to fid a pair that are truly comfortable if you are riding more than about 50 km.

    Ah you've just not met the right pair of baggies.
  • why on earth would anyone want to wear baggies, particularly on a long tour?!
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    why on earth would anyone want to wear baggies, particularly on a long tour?!

    Why on earth would anyone not wear baggies -especially on a long tour? The next thing you'll be saying you don't have a peak on your helmet.
  • I don't. Why does anyone have those? they don't serve any purpose. Is it just a 'yoof' fashion thing?
  • GyatsoLaGyatsoLa Posts: 667
    There are lots of decent shorts that can be worn over lycra. Gore and Pearl Izumi have some nice superlightweight ones that don't cost as much as the Rapha ones. for singplespeedexplosif (isn't that a Unit?), the reason for wearing baggy shorts on tour is that they have these things called 'pockets', which you'll find are very convenient. Another advantage of shorts on tour is that you can use very light mesh inners (Swobo make some) which are much cooler in hot weather than lycra.

    I'd second merino, although if its a very hot weather tour maybe light synthetic baselayers would be better. Definitely avoid cotton - not comfortable, and takes too long to wash and dry. Remember that light synthetic baselayer t-shirts weigh a lot less than cotton (and merino, for that matter).


    BTW, the confusion about Smartwool comes with Sportwool (which most manufacturers use). Smartwool is a processed merino, Sportwool is a merino/polyester mix. The latter is not quite as nice as merino, but is tougher and lasts longer. I would just use merino as a baselayer on tour, it is too delicate for an outer layer. Polyester/Merino mix's are very good on tour as they have lots of the advantages of merino but are more long lasting. I know a few people who have toured with Rapha's sportswool cycling tops and found them very convenient.
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