Author Topic: What do you wear?  (Read 867 times)

navrig

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What do you wear?
« on: April 22, 2022, 01:33:54 PM »
I am a roadie venturing into touring with a couple of (very) short tours this year and a 3 month, 60th birthday extravaganza next year.

I am slowly amassing kit for credit card touring but was working on the assumption that I would just wear my road cycling kit.  Then I thought I should perhaps get some of the fantastic advice and experience of the people on this forum, so far my questions have been answered with loads of great advice.

Typically I wear a pair of lycra bibshorts (commando) and a lightweight short sleeve cycling jersey with the pockets on the back.  I have the usual close fitting waterproofs, wind proofs and gilets.  My long tour is around the med April - June so I expect it to be warm although I will take a base layer and a long sleeve merino top which I can wear in the evening.

I don't have any issues walking about shops and cafes in lycra taking the view that at 59 if I can cope with my body then so can everyone else.  The bibshorts are obviously racing kit with some fairly colourful branding on black lycra.

What does everyone else wear?

mickeg

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2022, 02:30:05 PM »
I camp, not credit card tour.  I try to keep up on laundry by doing sink laundry, thus try to minimize my clothing as much as I can but want to have enough that I am good for rainy periods where I can't hang laundry in the campsite.  After a shower at a campground, I usually switch to normal clothes, my bike clothes might be hanging on my clothesline.

I am in USA, so social norms here are likely different where you are.  I have also toured in Canada and Iceland.

What I bring is of course dependent on expected weather.  My Iceland tour, I did not bring anything with short sleeves.

I like to have clothing that is bike specific, and other clothing that is "normal" clothing.

Bike specific stuff (jerseys and jackets and helmet cover are high visibility color):
Jerseys (2), might have long and short sleeve, might have both short, etc.
Bike shorts (1), mountain bike style with pockets.  Usually have thin wallet in a zippered pocket and small multitool in pocket.
Bike pants (1) convertible to shorts with pockets.
Thin neck gaiter if it might get cold (near freezing).
Bike gloves (half finger).
Bike gloves (full finger), the ones I like also convert to mittens with a pocket over the fingers.
Rain cover for helmet.  Also often wear in dry cool weather to keep the wind off top of head under helmet.
I have a long sleeve jersey that is full zip, thick enough to provide some insulation, I use that as a jacket when cool over other clothing.
Bike windbreaker.
SPD bike shoes.  I have several pair, which I bring is in part weather related.  (I use pedals that are SPD cleat on one side, platform on the other so I can use either pair of shoes on bike).
Rain covers for shoes. 
Ear band for insulation over ears under helmet.

Both on and off bike:
Socks (4) that work both on and off bike with either footwear.
Most bikers I know do not wear underwear under their shorts, but I do, Exofficio brand briefs that are quick dry after washing. (4)
Rain jacket (1) that has hood, never use the hood on bike but nice to have in campsite.
Rain pants (1), long enough that they do not pull up above shoe covers when I pedal.  I do not like ones that slide down, I use suspenders with them, I am probably the only one that uses suspenders for that.
Polartec vest (1), orange in case I want to use on bike.
Down vest (1), almost never used on bike but often used in campsite, yellow.  If I expect it to be warm, might only bring one of these vests.

Off bike:
Thin stocking cap for cool weather.
Shirts (2), travel type so dry quickly.  Might be long or short sleeve depending on where I go.  I usually use shirts that have a zip pocket that is passport size.
Pants (1), nylon to dry quick, might be convertible to shorts.
Maybe shorts (1) if going some place warm.
Not clothing, but will mention anyway, three or four bandanas, might have a runny nose, use for hot pad when cooking, etc.  Can be used for first aid.  Cotton.
Shoes (1 pair), might be hiking shoes or trail runners.  If I expect to go somewhere wet, Merrill Moab waterproof hiking shoes.
Often bring a pair of sandals to use as shower shoes or occasionally in campsite, but if you are indoors, that is probably not needed.

I am old enough that I need reading glasses for close up, have sunglasses and also a yellow pair of glasses that have reader inserts so I can see my GPS on the bike.  Sometimes bring two pair sunglasses, gray for sun and brown tint for overcast, in addition to yellow for rain or fog.

Not clothing, but a rain cover for saddle is important if you have a leather saddle like I do. 

Not clothing, but I think a rear view mirror is important, I like one on my helmet, a friend of mine prefers one mounted on a pair of glasses.  Both of these allow you to see behind without taking your eyes off the road, but another friend of mine prefers one on end of is drop bars, but if you have one there you need to take your eyes off the road and might have luggage on the back that blocks view.

Did this from memory, probably forgot a few things.

Everybody is different, I am sure you will not find anyone else that has this list.

A friend of mine wears normal clothes on the bike on bike tours, part of that is that he does not want to bring any excess clothing and he thinks two sets of clothes is extravagant.  He wears a high vis vest on his bike.  He also avoids UV as much as possible due to skin cancer concerns, so he often wears long sleeves in hot weather.

I have used arm warmers and leg warmers, have given up on them.  Instead I invested in some convertible bike pants and long sleeve jersey.

While I often avoid riding in rain near home, when on a bike tour that may not be as practical.  Thus, I rarely wear my rain gear when home but often do when touring.  So, keep that in mind when you shop for rain gear.

Have a great time.

If the three month tour would include camping, bring a clothesline, a flat drain stopper for sinks because campgrounds often do not have stoppers for sinks, etc.  Even if all indoors, be ready to do sink laundry and have a plan for drying out clothing, such as drip dry in the shower, etc.

navrig

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2022, 04:12:52 PM »
Thanks Mick - great reply.  Some useful advice there.

energyman

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2022, 08:49:47 PM »
A really comfortable saddle then you don't have to wear those padded u/pants.  (Assuming of course you wear u/ps)

martinf

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2022, 07:45:43 AM »
My list for a month's tour, not camping, using hostels and hotels:

Clothing worn on departure.
1 long-sleeved thin Merino baselayer.
1 pair wool/nylon mix socks.
1 pair cycling bib shorts.
1 pair leg warmers.
1 pair old-fashioned leather cycling shoes with thick soles, heels and no holes. For use with toeclips/toestraps. OK for walking around town.
1 Sam Browne reflective belt.      
1 pair half-finger cycling mitts.
1 helmet.
Cheap security spectacles (look like cycling glasses) with corrective patches so that I can read maps.

Spare clothing and raingear.
1 pair cycling bib shorts.
1 synthetic short-sleeved T-shirt.
2 pairs cycling bib tights.
1 Paramo Quito rain jacket.         
1 pair OMM Kamleika rain pants.
1 pair neoprene shoe covers.
1 Merino bonnet, goes under helmet if cold.            
1 pair thinsulate ski gloves (full finger for cold weather).
1 pair evening trousers (lightweight Craghopper Kiwi trousers).
1 long-sleeved lightweight Merino baselayer.
2 long-sleeved medium-weight Merino midlayers.            
3 nylon boxer underpants, worn under tights or evening trousers but not under cycling shorts.
3 pairs wool/nylon mix socks.

Clothing care.
Tube of special soap for washing Merino.
Black shoe polish, old toothbrush and rag for cleaning cycling shoes.

I washed the cycling shorts I wore most of the time nearly every night, the rest of the stuff as needed.

This was OK for an october tour in Spain, with temperatures ranging from about -2 degrees C (early morning in the mountains) to over 30 degrees C.

Coldest temperature
- I wore cycling shorts with cycling tights over them, 3 layers of Merino on upper body, Merino bonnet under helmet. I could have added the breathable rain jacket and pants, plus shoe covers if it had got any colder.

Leg warmers were useful for cool mornings, easier to remove than change from tights to cycling shorts when the temperature warmed up.

Camping
For camping with the possibility of near 0 centigrade temperatures, I add my lightweight insulated jacket. Synthetic insulation not down as the latter is more of a nuisance if it gets wet. And a second pair of shoes for when the first pair get soaked, even if it doesn't rain wet grass can soak leather shoes. And if it rains for more than a couple of days I use a hostel or hotel so that I can wash and dry clothing.

JohnR

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2022, 10:04:29 PM »
The nearest I've done to a bike tour is a 3 week supported LEJOG. I use baggy shorts with these underneath https://www.marksandspencer.com/3pk-sports-trunks/p/clp60528205 plus a leather saddle. The Endura Hummvee zip-off trousers are worth considering as they can be used off / on the bike if it's cold and as shorts in warmer conditions (but perhaps a bit thick if it's hot) and have a decent set of pockets. Showers Pass also sell a range of shorts https://showerspass.co.uk/collections/mens-shorts as well as other clothing. As noted here http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=14229.msg109015#msg109015, sandals are my preferred footwear for the summer half of the year with / without socks depending on temperature. Waterproof socks can not only protect against wet conditions but also cold.

I use layers for the top half with anything that may be the top layer having a hi-viz colour. I've got a thin but non-breathable jacket which travels with the bike and will keep out heavy rain but is sweaty. If longer periods of wetness are expected then I'll carry an orange Endura MTR shell jacket which isn't very heavy or bulky but has excellent water resistance and breathability. I bought it at clear-out pricing last year and the nearest current equivalent appears to be the MT500 jacket. A waterproof jacket is best paired with something to keep the upper thigh area dry. Rainlegs https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rainlegs-Black-Waterproof-Protector-Large/dp/B001SEQRCM are an option for this. Shorts with water repellent treatment will keep out drizzle or a brief shower but not real rain. Waterproof but breathable shorts such as the Endura MT500 are an option for a wet day when waterproof over-trousers are too warm.

The Mediterranean area in April is vulnerable to grotty weather which hits the news from time to time when it's colder and wetter than UK. I spent two years working on the north coast of Egypt and a passing depression would be heralded by a hot wind from the south and then followed by what felt like an arctic blast.

PH

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2022, 01:34:26 PM »
Most of the basics have already been covered, but really it's a case of trial and error - there's the stuff you like riding in, then what you'd be happy to wear when not riding, with anything that covers both a bonus.  The gravel bike trend has greatly improved the range of cycle specific clothing that wouldn't look out of place in any casual setting.  Add to that the technical non cycling clothing from the likes of Rohan, that is reasonably good for cycling in and it's possible for me to tour without any clothing that's single purpose.
The two bulky decisions are padded shorts and clipless pedals, I no longer tour with either though if it was a high mileage challenge sort of tour I'd probably take a pair of padded undershorts to use if I felt the need. Not using clipless pedals means I don't bother with another pair of shoes.
The other big question is how tolerant you are to putting dirty clothes back on and how frequently you can be bothered with laundry. For a couple of weeks you can get away with rinsing stuff out every day or two and there isn't much that doesn't dry overnight in a hotel room (Learn the wringing clothes out in a towel technique) I travel with two base layers (T shirt, undies, socks) I wear a set for 24 hours, evening, sleep in them, ride the next day, shower and change into the other set. Other layers will get washed as and when needed, if at all. That's just about doable for a couple of weeks, I think if it was going to be any longer I'd have to add a third set. But as I said this stuff is personal choice, I toured with someone who takes enough clean clothes for a week and then spends an evening washing it all (Or finds a laundrette, or a B&B that will do it)
Thing is - if you get it wrong it isn't a disaster, I've carried stuff I haven't needed, also bought socks along the way and even a jumper from a charity shop!  I also bought some cheap sandals in Glasgow at the end of a wet Scottish tour when the shoes that had been wet for a week started stinking as they dried, I was sat on the train from Oban wondering what the smell was before realising it was me!  very embarrassing!!

If I were to recommend one item:
I have a real dislike of wet feet, I have decent waterproof shoes but wouldn't want to wear them all the time so they don't come on tour.  I've tried waterproof socks with varying success, the latest from DexShell will be in my future touring kit.   

mickeg

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2022, 08:39:37 PM »
... the latest from DexShell will be in my future touring kit.   

The different options have different thicknesses.  And I prefer to wear liner socks inside.  So, make sure you get what will fit right inside your shoes.

mickeg

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2022, 08:42:06 PM »
...A waterproof jacket is best paired with something to keep the upper thigh area dry. Rainlegs https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rainlegs-Black-Waterproof-Protector-Large/dp/B001SEQRCM are an option for this. ...

Thanks for posting.  I had been thinking about getting Rainlegs, saw them recommended on a different forum.  Now that I see a recommendation here, that made me feel better about ordering a pair.

PH

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2022, 12:44:16 AM »
... the latest from DexShell will be in my future touring kit.   

The different options have different thicknesses. 
Thanks for pointing that out, I was considering a second pair, so I'll have to choose with care. 

martinf

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2022, 07:08:14 AM »
I had been thinking about getting Rainlegs, saw them recommended on a different forum.  Now that I see a recommendation here, that made me feel better about ordering a pair.

I have Rainlegs, but I don't use them for touring.

I found them useful for commuting when the weather was warm enough to use shorts (about 10°C). For me, Rainlegs worked best in heavy showers, keeping most of the runoff from my waterproof jacket off my thighs.

Now that I am retired I use them for day rides in warm weather when showers or heavy rain are forecast.

In light rain in warm weather I don't bother, I just get damp.

mickeg

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2022, 11:01:26 AM »
I had been thinking about getting Rainlegs, saw them recommended on a different forum.  Now that I see a recommendation here, that made me feel better about ordering a pair.

I have Rainlegs, but I don't use them for touring.

I found them useful for commuting when the weather was warm enough to use shorts (about 10°C). For me, Rainlegs worked best in heavy showers, keeping most of the runoff from my waterproof jacket off my thighs.

Now that I am retired I use them for day rides in warm weather when showers or heavy rain are forecast.

In light rain in warm weather I don't bother, I just get damp.

Thanks for posting.  I ordered them yesterday.

I anticipate in cold weather using full rain pants with shoe covers.  But was thinking about  that in between point when it is too warm to wear full rain pants but still too chilly to get wet and then get chilly for hours.

I anticipate that they are not the best answer, without full leg protection my shoes will still get soaked.  Getting my shoes soaked is something I really try hard to avoid on a tour, but when riding near home, I have other dry shoes available if a pair gets wet.  I do not know if I would bring the RainLegs on a tour or not, but I was thinking more for use near home, or possibly might use randonneuring.

Near home, if the probability of rain is so great that i would bring my rain pants along, I generally choose to not go biking at all that day.  But the RainLegs are small and easy to bring along.  There might be some days that having the RainLegs that I could bring along just-in-case make the difference between riding that day and not riding.

If they do not work out, that is one more thing to donate to a charity later.

geocycle

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2022, 01:34:37 PM »
I go for baggy shorts or endurance multi sport longs and baggy technical t shirts, these can be mixed and matched with ‘evening attire’ and a fleece top.  I usually have a pair of long trousers with me as well. I don’t do padded shorts at all now.  Shoes are the tricky thing for me.  I use goretex spd shoes which are great, but if they get wet theycan ruin your evening.  I usually take a spare pair of shoes that are light and packable. I have single sided spd pedals so I can use the flats if needed but prefer to be clipped in.
 

JohnR

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2022, 02:13:38 PM »
Near home, if the probability of rain is so great that i would bring my rain pants along, I generally choose to not go biking at all that day.  But the RainLegs are small and easy to bring along.  There might be some days that having the RainLegs that I could bring along just-in-case make the difference between riding that day and not riding.
That's very much my philosophy. Rainlegs are good to have available should, on a summer day, one encounter a very big shower as they prevent getting a very soggy pair of shorts. The elastic straps mean they aren't particularly comfortable but make a good pairing with the lightweight sweaty waterproof jacket: Use while it's raining, allow a few minutes to dry and then put away.

As already noted, sandals are my summer solution for soggy footwear. It appears that the Eager waterproof overshoes which open completely at the back (and hence very quick to put on / take off) are no longer available. I bought mine a couple of years ago.

martinf

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Re: What do you wear?
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2022, 10:27:01 PM »
I anticipate in cold weather using full rain pants with shoe covers.  But was thinking about  that in between point when it is too warm to wear full rain pants but still too chilly to get wet and then get chilly for hours.

Yes, proper rain pants and shoe covers for less than about 10°C. And on tour if prolonged heavy rain, even if warmer.

But for local use in warmer weather, Rainlegs work well for me, except for the shoes, which eventually get soaked if it rains a lot. As I use toeclips, sandals aren't an option, but using racing-style lightweight leather shoes with holes for aeration (and drainage!) combined with thin socks (or no socks at all) is OK because I can change shoes when I get home.

With Rainlegs, if it rains heavily and continuously my cycling shorts eventually get wet behind where the Rainlegs don't cover them, but I find it no worse than the buildup of sweat I get with proper rain pants.   

I anticipate that they are not the best answer.

I don't think there is a best answer that covers all possible conditions. I like wool clothing (merino) because it feels warmer than synthetic when wet and mostly use long-sleeved merino tops, even in hot weather. But finding shorts and tights in wool isn't easy here, so I use the standard lycra bib shorts and tights.