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Cycling clothing - John C. Kirk

May. 28th, 2009

12:40 am - Cycling clothing

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I've been cycling to work since last October, and my views on appropriate clothing have shifted a bit during that time. Initially, I'd just wear my normal work clothes (with high-vis waistcoat and helmet), but I'm now wearing a T-shirt for cycling and carrying my work shirt in the pannier, then changing when I arrive. That's partly because I seem to be sweating a lot more now; this is probably a combination of the weather, cycling further, and pedalling faster.

I'm now wondering about the lower half. When I use machines at the gym, I wear lycra cycle shorts: they're more comfortable, and a bit more absorbant. I'd be happy to wear them if I was cycling the whole way to work; I could either carry trousers with me, or keep them in a locker at the office. However, the problem is that I go part of the way by train; it's not so much that I'd feel self-conscious, but I don't want to offend any of the other passengers. One option would be to get "baggies", but I'd prefer not to buy any extra clothing at the moment, particularly since I'm hoping to slim down a bit (i.e. they'd become too big for me). Another option would be to put an extra layer on top (e.g. tracksuit trousers), but that would probably make me sweat even more.

So, what do the rest of you think?

Poll #1406810 Cycling shorts

What would you think if you saw someone on the train wearing lycra shorts?

Nifty
0(0.0%)
Meh
5(71.4%)
Ew
2(28.6%)

Comments:

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From:stagknight
Date:May 28th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC)
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If you have any light and shorter shorts, you can wear them over the top of the lycra shorts -- it won't add any significant warmth if they're pretty light and short, but they provide much more of a 'dressed' look (rather than an 'I stepped out of the house in my underwear' look).
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From:totherme
Date:May 28th, 2009 01:53 am (UTC)
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And if you have any old wrecked trousers - particularly cargo or combat pants - you can chop off the leg below the knee to construct what I believe the cool kids are calling "shanks".
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From:sammoore
Date:May 28th, 2009 08:40 am (UTC)
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Yep, go to a charity thrift shop and buy a pair of old cargo/combat trousers and cut them off at the knee. Probably cost you £2.

I've been doing the same for climbing trousers for years, means I don't worry about trashing them
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From:gaspodog
Date:May 28th, 2009 10:31 am (UTC)
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I thought a shank was something you stabbed someone up with...
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From:johnckirk
Date:May 29th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
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Thanks (to you and the others) - this sounds like a good idea. I'm not sure whether I have anything suitable at the moment, but if I can shift down from a 38" waist to 36" then I don't mind chopping up some of my current trousers to make shorts.
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From:ext_5743
Date:May 28th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC)
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I have a pair of these, which I got in Wiggle's sale, costing me about £30.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=9356

I have to admit to only rarely wearing Lycra shorts in public, although now that the weather is a lot warmer I think I'll be doing it more often. To be honest, I doubt anyone's going to be mightily offended by the sight of you in Lycra on a commuter train, and if they are you can call them a body fascist. But if you want to salve your conscience, wear any old pair of shorts over the top.

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From:johnckirk
Date:May 29th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure whether I could use the phrase "body fascist" with a straight face, but it's an amusing idea :)
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From:ext_5743
Date:May 30th, 2009 06:44 am (UTC)
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Yes, it is slightly OTT...
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From:rileen
Date:May 28th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
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I'd say "to each his/her own", possibly accompanied by an appreciative glance in some cases.
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