Change the Pace – bike

A Canadian just won the Giro D’Italia. The Tour de France starts on June 30 and runs to July 22. And of course the Olympics begin shortly after on July 27 with the first road cycling competition the very next day.

Needless to say, cycling season is upon us. If you’re getting into the summer cycling season, make sure you’re prepared.

  1. Invest in some proper cycling attire.
  2. Outfit your bike.
  3. Learn basic bike maintenance. (This is something I MUST learn how to do this summer!)

Although the last change the pace was about biking, I thought I’d do a mini series on the topic.  This one will focus on road bike attire.

Of course you can hop on a bike in any athletic wear and ride. It may not be comfortable or functional, and more importantly it may not be safe.

Some factors to consider when choosing clothes for your ride are where you are riding and how long you plan on being out there.

Comfort-wise, the best item you can invest in is padded shorts. I own two pairs- one with thick padding and one with a thin chamois. They may not be attractive, but you’ll regret not wearing a pair!

I wear the thick ones on the bike trainer and at the beginning of the season when I’m building up again. I wear the thin ones on all my short rides, on long rides once my butt is more adjusted to the seat, and for any races. My favourite shorts are Pearl Izumi Elite tri short.

The second most important aspect of proper attire is colour. Bike shirts are loud for good reason. When you’re cycling on a busy highway you want to be seen! Try to find jerseys, vests, and jackets that are bright, patterned, and/or have reflective strips on them.

Orange, blue and yellow with Hawaiian flowers? The cycling equivalent of a loud Hawaiian shirt!

Lastly, most cycling jackets and jerseys have awesome pockets on the back. They are so handy to carry your favourite fuel, your cell phone, and any extra cycling equipment you need to carry. If you’re looking for a new top, check to see if it has sufficient pockets to carry everything you need.

Highlighter yellow jacket with reflective strips? Again, loud.

You’ll also want to accessorize. Helmets, sunglasses, and bike gloves are essential. Go to a bike, triathlon, or sporting goods store and talk to them about finding the right helmet for you.

For riding, I wear Oakley Jawbones sunglasses. They are a bit bigger, which is good to block wind. They are vented to prevent the glasses from steaming up. And they have strong impact protection to prevent the glass from breaking if a rock hits you on the road. (Or a bee- those things hurt if you’re cycling fast!)

On any given spring or summer day I wear cycling shoes, dri-fit socks, shorts with a chamois, a cycling shirt (sometimes with a cycling jacket or vest on top), Road ID, Garmin, gloves, helmet, and sunglasses.

Downhill biking, mountain biking, cold weather riding, and cruising are all different. For optimal comfort and performance in any of these activities, you’ll want to switch up some or all aspects of your clothing decisions. Lets be honest- if I wore my bike shorts with full padding on my cruiser, it would be a laughable sight! 

What’s your must-have cycling wear? Do you choose workout clothing for comfort, functionality, or style? 

19 responses to “Change the Pace – bike

  1. I really want to get started with cycling this summer, but I just don’t have the cash to sink into a triathlon bike. My roommate has one, though, so I’m hoping she’ll let me borrow hers to use to train for one duathlon and sprint tri before I decide whether or not to make the plunge and buy my own!

    • Hopefully you can borrow it! I ride my road bike way more, and my husband actually just sold his tri bike and is using a road bike for the Ironman. Maybe you could look into getting a road bike instead?

  2. Cute/hot/strong! Learn basic bike maintenance – something I really need to be serious about, I always just go in a group and depend on others.

    Tri bikes are serious, no way am I there yet. I adore my Trek roadie though.

    Cannot wait for the Tour de France!! My fave!! I love Pearl Izumi, really peforms better than other brands. But I think the boys get all the cute bike jerseys! Boo!

  3. Yes, the brighter the better 🙂

  4. I never learned to ride a bike (hanging head in shame), but I’m looking forward to spin class this Friday. 🙂

  5. I bought a really ugly yellow jacket for cycling 100% for functionality – it’s bright, has a few zippered pockets AND the sleeves come off so I can wear it as a vest as I warm up. Definitely a great purchase but definitely not stylish!

  6. Yes to all of the above recommendations! I love the fun prints you get with cycling jerseys. My favorite of all time had a Ben & Jerry’s print on it! I’m like you–I have two good pairs of cycling shorts–that seems to get me through. The one thing I really need right now are some new cycling gloves! Mine are full of holes and worthless.

  7. We have a Pearl Izumi outlet less than 5 miles from my house. So dangerous!!! I can’t bike without my padded shorts and suncreen. I also love my gloves and bright colored tops, which are a mixture of cute and functional!

  8. Thanks for this post- I’m just getting into cycling so having a girl that is also concerned about looks write things like this is so helpful! Most things I find are boys who don’t care about anything except fit and function. Call me crazy, but I like to look semi-cute when I work out!

  9. love your gear! i am an oakley girl all the way! and i love sugoi cylcing pants.

    • I could buy Oakley’s every time I go to one of their stores in the States! Good thing we don’t have them here!
      My husband really like Sugoi bottoms, too. I may have to give them a try!

  10. Pingback: Change the pace – trail running safety | Change of Pace

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