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Should I worry about how clothing is perceived on to the wearer?

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  • JDOG
    replied
    I’ve been “seriously” cycling for a long time. I actually used to race (Cat. 2) but now do long, kind of fast club rides on the weekend. While matchy-matchy is a thing, it can go horribly wrong. Just look at Ostroy. In my experience, Assos is nice but way overpriced for that niceness. There are plenty of brands that match the quality for a lot less. Rapha is overpriced and is super trendy. I compare it to Ralph Lauren back when it was better quality. Much of Rapha apparel is made in China. Most of Santini, for example, is made in Italy, the heart of cycling. Also, comfort is most important. $300 bib shorts or $400 bike shoes aren’t worth anything if they aren’t comfortable and you dread wearing them.

    There is some truth to the idea that your “kit” can look as outrageous as possible as long as your legs do the actual talking. Some garish bike apparel is also partly designed for visibility.

    When the club ride meets at the parking lot, some outfits get comments but not usually. It would take a lot to get people to remark on an outfit. Bikes get much more attention. A $12,000 Pinarello or even a $7,000 Specialized will get way more attention than your kit. Heck, my Masi generates more conversations that someone’s Rapha jersey with its minimal design and discrete branding.

    Ultimately, dress the way you want but in stuff that helps you perform at your best. As with regular clothing, tone down crazy or bright patterns with a more subdued piece, like pair whatever jersey you fancy with black or navy shorts. Or set off the kit (calling it a “kit” is kind of pretentious too) with a pop of bright gloves or crazy water bottle cages (supacaz.com). I’m happy to guide you through the maze of cycling style. Hmmm, maybe I should start a Dappered spin-off…

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  • DocDave
    replied
    I ended up purchasing a kit that has minimal to no branding on it. So far, the kit is very comfortable and I'm happy with my purchase.

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  • Hebrew Barrister
    replied
    Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post

    LOL! Where's my "can of worms" emoji? Okay, so on the first bit, the "Fred" look is never good, typified by the overweight middle-aged white guy who looks like a stuffed sausage in his cycling kit. But at least that guy is getting out there and riding. I'm pretty conflicted about e-bikes. Instinctively, I don't like them. I adore the simplicity of bicycle gearing and the ingenious machination of converting human energy into rapid movement. E-bikes seem completely antithetical to that ideal. They feel like a cheat, both out of either having to pedal and out of having to comply with motorcycle regulations. Having said all that, I certainly see e-bikes' utility for commuters and enabling people with disabilities to ride, so I don't want to get too down on them. In fact, they are a great transportation and recreation option for a lot of people. But fat guys in cycling kit not pedaling up hills ruin it for everyone.
    E-bike seems like a great way to get through a crowded traffic ridden downtown area while getting to ignore motorcycle regulations. I have to imagine that's the main use case.

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  • Pborkstrom
    replied
    I have a OCLV 5200 road bike. I personally was never a fan of the sponsorship outfits, but if you have a slim, tall build, it could look sweet.

    I do F3 workouts and I post in Ranger Panties and a size too small shirt. That to say - if you have the confidence, you can wear what you like. Wear the cycling gear, and don’t let the cycling gear wear you.

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  • tankerjohn
    replied
    Originally posted by mark4 View Post

    This reminds me of the other guy you don't want to be: I saw a guy in spandex padded biking shorts and a tech fabric bike jersey - not the high end racing stuff but still, stuff built for breaking a sweat - out for a ride...on an electric-assist bicycle. He's going up an incline without pedaling. He looked like he could use exercise, but wasn't getting much or any...my theory was his wife keeps nagging him to get some exercise because the Dr. said he really needs to, so he gets this bike and goes out looking like he's actually going to be pedaling, but uses it in electronic mode for most or all of the "ride". The wife probably doesn't even know it's an electronic bike. Not sure why else a guy wouldn't just wear street clothes to tool around in electric propulsion mode.
    LOL! Where's my "can of worms" emoji? Okay, so on the first bit, the "Fred" look is never good, typified by the overweight middle-aged white guy who looks like a stuffed sausage in his cycling kit. But at least that guy is getting out there and riding. I'm pretty conflicted about e-bikes. Instinctively, I don't like them. I adore the simplicity of bicycle gearing and the ingenious machination of converting human energy into rapid movement. E-bikes seem completely antithetical to that ideal. They feel like a cheat, both out of either having to pedal and out of having to comply with motorcycle regulations. Having said all that, I certainly see e-bikes' utility for commuters and enabling people with disabilities to ride, so I don't want to get too down on them. In fact, they are a great transportation and recreation option for a lot of people. But fat guys in cycling kit not pedaling up hills ruin it for everyone.

    Leave a comment:


  • DocDave
    replied
    I don't own any Assos stuff but the feedback provided by JT10000 is pretty much what I consistently hear. Might be time for me to look in to investing in a pair of Assos bibs.

    Leave a comment:


  • JT10000
    replied
    Originally posted by facelessghost View Post

    Sooo ... Rapha or Assos?
    I was thinking exactly that. And about to add "Assos is perceived as for people with money and bad taste." "Rapha is for people with money and good taste, or who at least can tell who else has good taste and wants to emulate them. But you do you."

    PS - I have a couple pair of plan black Assos shorts and OMG they are so good.....

    Leave a comment:


  • ZoeScott
    replied
    I do actually suck at cycling wearing, however I'm planning to buy a bike, so maybe I'll need some of those things you'r4e speaking about now

    Leave a comment:


  • mark4
    replied
    Originally posted by tankerjohn View Post

    Okay, so I think you should step back and evaluate your goals in cycling and how this kit would help or detract from what you want to do. Are you working/training/trying to go faster? Does the kit help? Well, if its better made or fits more comfortably than your current cycling clothes, than yes, it should. I wouldn't discount the psychological effect either. Look fast = feel fast = BE fast. There's a strong motivational factor to not being the guy with the fancy kit getting dropped. On the otherhand, if you aren't training for speed and just want to go out and ride your own pace for fun and/or exercise without being hassled by douche bags who think every roadsign is the winning sprint of the Tour de France, then maybe the go-fast kit doesn't help. Find another quality brand with a more restrained aesthetic. If your cycling goals are more social in nature, than you should absolutely assess whether this particular kit will help you fit in or stand out in your tribe, depending on how you want to relate to your peers. Do you want to wear what everyone else is wearing or be the guy who cuts against the grain? With this kit, or any other cycling gear, if you like the fit and feel good wearing it, than wear it with confidence and don't worry. Haters are gonna hate; that's just a fact of life. And if you're still worried about a random guy blowing by you...well, he (or she!) was going to blow by you anyway, even if you were wearing board shorts and a t-shirt. Are you even ever going to see that guy again? You do you.
    This reminds me of the other guy you don't want to be: I saw a guy in spandex padded biking shorts and a tech fabric bike jersey - not the high end racing stuff but still, stuff built for breaking a sweat - out for a ride...on an electric-assist bicycle. He's going up an incline without pedaling. He looked like he could use exercise, but wasn't getting much or any...my theory was his wife keeps nagging him to get some exercise because the Dr. said he really needs to, so he gets this bike and goes out looking like he's actually going to be pedaling, but uses it in electronic mode for most or all of the "ride". The wife probably doesn't even know it's an electronic bike. Not sure why else a guy wouldn't just wear street clothes to tool around in electric propulsion mode.

    Leave a comment:


  • DocDave
    replied
    Yeah good question facelessghost I don't own any Assos stuff either. I do hear/read good things about them though. I also see how much $$$ they Assos is too.

    Leave a comment:


  • facelessghost
    replied
    Originally posted by DocDave View Post
    The kit I am looking at has a good reputation for quality however the perception of the kit/company by some in the cycling community is people who wear the kit are a) pretentious b) care more about looks than riding c) wear the kit to flaunt their purchase.
    Sooo ... Rapha or Assos?

    Leave a comment:


  • tankerjohn
    replied
    Originally posted by DocDave View Post
    Thanks for the link JohnR


    tankerjohn Ah cycling goals. That's a loaded question. On the one had training and riding faster is always a goal. On the other hand, getting out on the bike and just enjoying a nice ride is great too. The whole kit deal is something I think that other cyclists deal with too. Going on the bike forums you can always come across threads where people are talking about kits that fit, styles the like, etc.

    I guess the important thing, as we've stated on the thread here, is to get something that I like and am comfortable in. Otherwise the kit won't get worn and the money will be wasted.
    LOL! Well, you could wear the kit for races and "go-fast" rides and something else for sub-maximal efforts.

    Leave a comment:


  • DocDave
    replied
    Thanks for the link JohnR


    tankerjohn Ah cycling goals. That's a loaded question. On the one had training and riding faster is always a goal. On the other hand, getting out on the bike and just enjoying a nice ride is great too. The whole kit deal is something I think that other cyclists deal with too. Going on the bike forums you can always come across threads where people are talking about kits that fit, styles the like, etc.

    I guess the important thing, as we've stated on the thread here, is to get something that I like and am comfortable in. Otherwise the kit won't get worn and the money will be wasted.

    Leave a comment:


  • tankerjohn
    replied
    Originally posted by DocDave View Post
    And I guess that's what worries me. I'm decent on the bike. By no means junk, but at the same time I can hold my own. That's not to say I don't get passed by some guy who doesn't look like he isn't working while I"m struggle to maintain decent watts output. Anyway...

    I am concerned about wearing a kit, some guy thinking that I think I'm all that, and then blowing by me. If that makes any sense. I know. The world of cycling is ridiculous.
    Okay, so I think you should step back and evaluate your goals in cycling and how this kit would help or detract from what you want to do. Are you working/training/trying to go faster? Does the kit help? Well, if its better made or fits more comfortably than your current cycling clothes, than yes, it should. I wouldn't discount the psychological effect either. Look fast = feel fast = BE fast. There's a strong motivational factor to not being the guy with the fancy kit getting dropped. On the otherhand, if you aren't training for speed and just want to go out and ride your own pace for fun and/or exercise without being hassled by douche bags who think every roadsign is the winning sprint of the Tour de France, then maybe the go-fast kit doesn't help. Find another quality brand with a more restrained aesthetic. If your cycling goals are more social in nature, than you should absolutely assess whether this particular kit will help you fit in or stand out in your tribe, depending on how you want to relate to your peers. Do you want to wear what everyone else is wearing or be the guy who cuts against the grain? With this kit, or any other cycling gear, if you like the fit and feel good wearing it, than wear it with confidence and don't worry. Haters are gonna hate; that's just a fact of life. And if you're still worried about a random guy blowing by you...well, he (or she!) was going to blow by you anyway, even if you were wearing board shorts and a t-shirt. Are you even ever going to see that guy again? You do you.

    Leave a comment:


  • JohnR
    replied
    Originally posted by DocDave View Post
    Very true about buying something I will be comfortable in. Even from a non-cycling perspective I have bought clothing in the past I thought I'd like. But of course I wasn't comfortable in the clothing and ended up not wearing it. The same thing applies to cycling gear.

    The challenge with cycling gear, at least for me, is finding gear that isn't covered in logos.
    I'm not a cyclist but have always been fascinated (astounded, might be a better word) by the styling of the kits. Somehow I came across this brand, which seems far less obnoxious: https://www.giro.com/c/mens-bike-apparel

    Leave a comment:

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