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From Baggy's to Lycra

dancookdancook Posts: 333
edited May 2010 in Commuting chat
Could anyone explain to me the benefits of wearing lycra, compared to baggys (shorts + tshirt)

I'll start with aerodynamics, whether or not it'll counter my hairy legs I don't know.

But I was probably more interested in sweat/heat and how often they need washing?

It's cool in the mornings and I get to work fine, but in the evening cycling home I get on a sweat and my t-shirt goes straight into the laundry, will it be the same with lycra?

What other reason is there to wear lycra?

And whilst I'm still on the mountain bike, should I not bother?

Cheers
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Posts

  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    Lycra dries quicker, so I can get a whole week out of my shorts and cycling top. Usually change my short sleeved base layer every couple of days.

    I think the baggies would not dry as quick, but have better cargo options, so keep them for MTB adventures.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • dancookdancook Posts: 333
    Lycra dries quicker, so I can get a whole week out of my shorts and cycling top. Usually change my short sleeved base layer every couple of days.

    I think the baggies would not dry as quick, but have better cargo options, so keep them for MTB adventures.

    Thanks, what is the a difference between you 'cycling top' and 'short sleeved base layer' ?

    isn't the cycling top short sleeved? why do you have two tops on :)
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,301
    Hairy legs have negligible aerodynamic effect, but flapping clothes certainly do add drag.

    I always wash all my kit after a single use. I carry a courier-style bag, so my back always gets sweaty, and the padding in your shorts DEFINITELY needs washing after every use as you should wear lycra shorts 'commando'. If you don't, you'll get some nasty sores down there, plus the shorts will ming beyond the telling of it (you can't really turn them inside out either).

    EDIT: I obviously sweat more than Wallace1492. Or... no, I'm sure he's the very model of personal hygiene.

    I'd say lycra is cooler than baggy stuff, and doesn't have that cold soggy feel that a sweaty t-shirt gets. Also, there is less chance of chaffing as it's close fitting. Lastly, lycra shows off a well toned leg better than baggies (see DDD's thread for further discussion of attracting attention on a bike), which is good for your self esteem.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    dancook wrote:
    Lycra dries quicker, so I can get a whole week out of my shorts and cycling top. Usually change my short sleeved base layer every couple of days.

    I think the baggies would not dry as quick, but have better cargo options, so keep them for MTB adventures.

    Thanks, what is the a difference between you 'cycling top' and 'short sleeved base layer' ?

    isn't the cycling top short sleeved? why do you have two tops on :)

    I have a bright coloured, long sleeve jumper that I wear at the moment, still can be a bit chilly up in Jockland at 7am, though its getting a bit much for the commute home. I wear thin wicking layer below - 2 reasons, 1. Helps with the chillier mornings, and 2. it gets soaked in sweat, thereby allowing me to get a week out of the jumper and changing base layer (almost) every day.

    Will probably go short sleeved next week.....
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • dancookdancook Posts: 333
    rjsterry wrote:
    Hairy legs have negligible aerodynamic effect, but flapping clothes certainly do add drag.

    I always wash all my kit after a single use. I carry a courier-style bag, so my back always gets sweaty, and the padding in your shorts DEFINITELY needs washing after every use as you should wear lycra shorts 'commando'. If you don't, you'll get some nasty sores down there, plus the shorts will ming beyond the telling of it (you can't really turn them inside out either).

    EDIT: I obviously sweat more than Wallace1492. Or... no, I'm sure he's the very model of personal hygiene.

    I'd say lycra is cooler than baggy stuff, and doesn't have that cold soggy feel that a sweaty t-shirt gets. Also, there is less chance of chaffing as it's close fitting. Lastly, lycra shows off a well toned leg better than baggies (see DDD's thread for further discussion of attracting attention on a bike), which is good for your self esteem.

    I guess you hand wash your gear? Maybe I should think about that then.

    I'm trying to work out how I would do this...

    Would I wear lycra to work, then put normal clothes over the top when i get here - or completely change, and then change back when I leave.

    Then hand wash the lycra every evening?
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    rjsterry wrote:
    Hairy legs have negligible aerodynamic effect, but flapping clothes certainly do add drag.

    I always wash all my kit after a single use. I carry a courier-style bag, so my back always gets sweaty, and the padding in your shorts DEFINITELY needs washing after every use as you should wear lycra shorts 'commando'. If you don't, you'll get some nasty sores down there, plus the shorts will ming beyond the telling of it (you can't really turn them inside out either).

    EDIT: I obviously sweat more than Wallace1492. Or... no, I'm sure he's the very model of personal hygiene.

    I'd say lycra is cooler than baggy stuff, and doesn't have that cold soggy feel that a sweaty t-shirt gets. Also, there is less chance of chaffing as it's close fitting. Lastly, lycra shows off a well toned leg better than baggies (see DDD's thread for further discussion of attracting attention on a bike), which is good for your self esteem.

    I do go commando. Shorts not usually minging or soaking, thats why I can get a week out of them, unless the dirt from the road is bad. I shower after each leg of my journey, and dry shorts on radiator/drying rail. Do a "sniff" test most days as welll....... on the shorts....
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • dancookdancook Posts: 333
    I notice 'bibs', is there much difference between them and just shorts?

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/dhb_K ... 360048230/
  • KiblamsKiblams Posts: 2,423
    dancook wrote:
    I notice 'bibs', is there much difference between them and just shorts?

    I beleive that you get two handy straps that go over your shoulders and keep your nipples warm.

    If you want to address a heat/sweat issue when riding and you don't want to expose yourself to children daily; you might want to look at using wicking layer clothing.
  • dancookdancook Posts: 333
    Kiblams wrote:
    dancook wrote:
    I notice 'bibs', is there much difference between them and just shorts?

    I beleive that you get two handy straps that go over your shoulders and keep your nipples warm.

    If you want to address a heat/sweat issue when riding and you don't want to expose yourself to children daily; you might want to look at using wicking layer clothing.

    i'm actually liking the idea of lycra, as long as it wasn't something that was going to make me hotter - which seems to be the case, it'll reduce the drag and all the ladies will love me.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,301
    dancook wrote:
    rjsterry wrote:
    Hairy legs have negligible aerodynamic effect, but flapping clothes certainly do add drag.

    I always wash all my kit after a single use. I carry a courier-style bag, so my back always gets sweaty, and the padding in your shorts DEFINITELY needs washing after every use as you should wear lycra shorts 'commando'. If you don't, you'll get some nasty sores down there, plus the shorts will ming beyond the telling of it (you can't really turn them inside out either).

    EDIT: I obviously sweat more than Wallace1492. Or... no, I'm sure he's the very model of personal hygiene.

    I'd say lycra is cooler than baggy stuff, and doesn't have that cold soggy feel that a sweaty t-shirt gets. Also, there is less chance of chaffing as it's close fitting. Lastly, lycra shows off a well toned leg better than baggies (see DDD's thread for further discussion of attracting attention on a bike), which is good for your self esteem.

    I guess you hand wash your gear? Maybe I should think about that then.

    I'm trying to work out how I would do this...

    Would I wear lycra to work, then put normal clothes over the top when i get here - or completely change, and then change back when I leave.

    Then hand wash the lycra every evening?

    No, machine wash on 40 degrees (non-fast colours wash) with no fabric conditioner. I have a 10 month old, so haven't got time to hand wash anything. Wallace1492,it seems I AM a much more sweaty person than you (+ London is usually a lot warmer than Glasgow). No way I'd even chance a sniff test even though I shower after every leg as well, and on a warm day, when I get home I am directed straight to the shower by Mrs RJS with a look of mild disgust. I'd definitely change out of the lycra during the day, but that also would depend on whether you are a sweaty herbert like me, or more like W1492.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,301
    Oh, and with a well padded pair of shorts, you shouldn't be exposing anything you shouldn't.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • essex-commuteressex-commuter Posts: 2,188
    I don't tend to sweat that much (except when racing) but I can't imagine wearing a pair of lycra shorts more than once. I go commando on the way in and wear the unerclothes I've worn during the day on the way home (under my shorts of course!).
  • dancookdancook Posts: 333
    Ok so i'll have to use my initiative whether to hand wash each night or machine wash once a week!

    thanks for the info guys, seems odd asking I guess - but it's quite an investment.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,301
    Ah, I see what you meant about hand washing. The littl'un generates enough laundry to justify running the washing machine every day. Getting two or three pairs of shorts (once your happy that you like them) is a good way to remove the necessity to wash them every night.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    rjsterry wrote:
    Ah, I see what you meant about hand washing. The littl'un generates enough laundry to justify running the washing machine every day. Getting two or three pairs of shorts (once your happy that you like them) is a good way to remove the necessity to wash them every night.

    Actually that's a not a bad idea, I hand wash my kit every night I use it - plus having spares is always a good move.

    WIGGLE! :D
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • MonkeyMonsterMonkeyMonster Posts: 4,628
    edited May 2010
    I find I deal with sweat better in lycra in that is usually in contact with skin and thus can then evaporate more easily out into the air.
    3 pairs of shorts on rotation too [edit] - ie not having to wash something everyday for those that think I wear them more than once between washes *jeez*
    Le Cannon [98 Cannondale M400] [FCN: 8]
    The Mad Monkey [2013 Hoy 003] [FCN: 4]
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    oh come on people.

    clean undercrackers every day....yes even if they don't stick to the wall. You are not a teenager any more.
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • dancookdancook Posts: 333
    cee wrote:
    oh come on people.

    clean undercrackers every day....yes even if they don't stick to the wall. You are not a teenager any more.

    :) Yes you are right, knowing you go commando in them was new to me - I wear clean underwear everyday - so it's the same thing.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    If you have multiple pairs then problem solved!

    Personally I get two wears out of my shorts. That's approx 2, 2.5 hours in the saddle (if I'm riding further or longer I'll wash them that day). But in honesty, unless you don't wash often or if someone ELSE is sniffing your gusset with regularity, who's really going to be offended?
  • dancookdancook Posts: 333
    biondino wrote:
    If you have multiple pairs then problem solved!

    Personally I get two wears out of my shorts. That's approx 2, 2.5 hours in the saddle (if I'm riding further or longer I'll wash them that day). But in honesty, unless you don't wash often or if someone ELSE is sniffing your gusset with regularity, who's really going to be offended?

    Your mother! :)

    I suppose it very much depends if you plan to wear them all day under your clothes too.
  • hooliohoolio Posts: 139
    I find bib shorts comfier as they don't need to grip you around the waist. I tend to wash them daily with Woolite in the machine, and use Assos cream as well as it has antibacterial properties as well as reducing friction.

    When I moved over from baggies the comfort was something of a relevation. I felt a bit self concious initially, but once you realise that peds and motorists just see you as another one of those cyclists (same as before), you just enjoy the comfort.

    DO IT.
  • rich_erich_e Posts: 389
    One of the other major benefits of lycra, which I've not see anyone else mention yet, is that you don't get any hang ups.

    If I'm wearing any of my baggy shorts, I quite often may get them caught somewhere on the saddle. It's not much fun when this happens when the lights change and you have a que of traffic behind you.

    With lycra, because it's skin tight, you don't get any hang ups. When you put your bum on the saddle, you know you are doing just that.
  • NGaleNGale Posts: 1,866
    my only advice would be stick with black or dark blue lycra. White on any man is a bit startling :shock:
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men
  • NGale wrote:
    my only advice would be stick with black or dark blue lycra. White on any man is a bit startling :shock:

    And in the rain you'll frighten the livestock!

    Oh, and don't try to squeeze into a smaller size than necessary, for the above reason too.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 44,556
    Remember that if you stick with baggies they will easily last a week without washing as long as you wear underkeks (advisable to to stop anything getting trapped) :wink:
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • notsobluenotsoblue Posts: 5,838
    If you're selfconscious about wearing lycra, you can always wear overshorts on top!
  • essex-commuteressex-commuter Posts: 2,188
    I look fantastic in lycra. Nobody else thinks so but I don't care.
  • CafewandaCafewanda Posts: 2,788
    NGale wrote:
    my only advice would be stick with black or dark blue lycra. White on any man is a bit startling :shock:

    Seconded.
  • Matt the TesterMatt the Tester Posts: 1,319
    Cafewanda wrote:
    NGale wrote:
    my only advice would be stick with black or dark blue lycra. White on any man is a bit startling :shock:

    Seconded.
    i look good in white thank you very much 8) :wink: :P
    Coveryourcar.co.uk RT Tester
    north west of england.
  • itsbruceitsbruce Posts: 221
    Hmm. So who thinks they'd look good in these?

    41mMolTe%2BuL._AA300_.jpg[/img]
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