Monthly Archives: May 2016
What they say: Unable to sell capes at least until we find a way to fly, TENSPEED HERO works up a sweat crafting gear for you to sweat in. We picture steep cliffs, hot tarmac, and breezy coasts as we design with primary colours and other ones, too. Always considering a cyclist’s swiftness and deft determination, if our small friend-based company had a board of directors it would be called the wheel of directors. Together in vibrant regalia, we aim to keep you awake and dreaming.
MACHINES FOR FREEDOM
What they say: “As my passion for cycling grows, the rides get longer, hills get steeper, and the clothes continue to pinch – rub – sag – squeeze – bunch in all the wrong places. I know they can be better. The cycling community has so many intangible qualities to offer women – fitness, community, accomplishment, adventure – we believe women need the right clothes to make those things possible. We’re here to bring women high-quality, high-performance, well thought-out apparel; and in the process, hopefully inspire a few more ladies to join us for a ride.
When I started to get serious about cycling, I became increasingly frustrated by how difficult it was to find great clothes. I’d pack for long riding weekends with my husband and while he was deciding which kits to bring from his vast cycling wardrobe, I was left scrambling to find enough to get me through several continuous days of riding. Then I finally reached my breaking point after 120+ miles and over 10k of climbing left me with several ‘issues’ that required me to take an extended break from my bike. And after talking to women in the cycling community it seemed these problems weren’t ‘just me’,
What they say: “Rapha creates the finest cycling clothing and accessories in the world. Designed without compromise for the most discerning rider, Rapha products blend optimum performance, the finest fabrics and modern style.
A passion for road racing means Rapha is more than just a product company. It is an online emporium of performance roadwear, accessories, publications and events, all celebrating the glory and suffering of road riding.
Everything Rapha does is informed by its passion for the glory and suffering that lie at the heart of the sport. From rides to events, from exhibitions to products, Rapha brings riders together to share this passion. We know that every ride can be an adventure, its own epic story. The compelling features and striking photography on the Rapha website help reaffirm the relationship our customers have with the sport they love.”
What they say: “Ride hard. Have fun. Do good.Nothing makes us happier than riding bikes with friends. Be it the freedom of the open road or the mystery hiding around the next turn on the trail, we are hooked on the possibilities that two wheels brings. We started this company out of the 2 wheeled (pun intended) desire to make jerseys that we wanted to wear and give back to the world we live in.
We hope that you feel proud to wear Forward goods out on your ride, not just because you look great wearing them, but because by buying our gear you are supporting sustainable manufacturing practices and charities working to make the world better.With every purchase, 10% goes towards a great cause and helps make the world a better place.”
The Specialized Ambassador kit is an awesome mix of pattern and colour. You can’t buy this one (gotta earn it!), but you can buy their other great kits here.
What they say: “Is your style all-out and race-ready? If so, you’ll find our SL collection to be just as obsessive as you. But what if you prefer to ride against the landscape, challenging yourself to long, epic days in the saddle? Well, that would be a perfect match for our RBX collection of cycling jerseys and bib shorts. You see, no matter how you ride, we have the clothing to compliment your needs. Whether it’s a fit that’s engineered for comfort or fabrics and cuts designed to make you go faster, our road bike clothing enhances your passions. Suit up. It’s time to ride.”
1. Don’t wear a personalized jersey
I get it. You’ve always wanted to play for your favorite team. Ever since you were five years old, you envisioned that the Los Angeles Dodgers were going to start you at first base. Well, they have this guy named Adrian holding down that spot, and his last name isn’t Smith, O’Leary, Simmons, or whatever your last name is.
If a girl has a personalized jersey, and she’s really hot, she’ll usually get a free pass on this one. Guys? Never. I’ll admit, I have a Miami Dolphins jersey with the #27 and Mackman on it. It was a gift from my father, and do you know when I wear it? Almost never, but if I happen to watch a game at my dad’s house when nobody else is around, I might bust it out. If you’re going to spend the money to have a jersey actually lettered and numbered for you, just pick the star player or a legend. You want something with staying power. Don’t go blowing your money on something you’ll regret.
To top it off, please don’t wear the whole uniform. Ronnie Woo Woo can get away with this, and that’s about it.
2. Don’t tuck your jersey in (aka Wilboning)
This just kills me. Jerseys are casual attire. Do you tuck your t-shirt in? Do you tuck your polo in (outside of a golf course setting)? Of course not (if you said yes, you should expect to stay single for a very long time). Athletes on the field tuck their jerseys in because they have to according to the rules of most sports leagues. It has a valid reason, and a correlation to performance, as well as preventing in jury. I don’t think you’re going to get hurt, and you sure aren’t having to perform much more than showing off your chugging prowess, so don’t tuck your jersey in unless you want to be the biggest dork in the room.
3. Wear a shirt under your jersey
I hate seeing this, and Greg Maddux did this a lot. He was also one of the best pitchers of his era, and he has license to do whatever is comfortable for him while striking guys out. It still looks stupid to have nothing under a sleeved jersey, and I don’t know many women that were drooling over his looks.
I think every jersey looks great with a ¾ sleeve, or raglan, shirt underneath. It works for every sport, but I realize for those of you in Texas, Florida, and Arizona it can get quite hot. In that case, a regular cotton t-shirt works just fine.
The one caveat here is basketball jerseys. Many people will wear them as tank tops in the summer. That’s fine, but make sure you put in some gym time first. ¾ sleeve t-shirts look great underneath basketball jerseys, and t-shirts are 50/50. You’ll either look okay, or you’ll end up looking like Patrick Ewing. Just be sure to color coordinate.
4. Get a jersey that fits you
I never understand why people think it’s okay to wear size XXL when clearly they’re a medium. This gets difficult with some football jerseys because authentic NFL jerseys seem to start at size 48. That’s already a size too big for me. You don’t have to have your jersey tailored, but you should know what size you wear. Jerseys are not flattering on most body types, so you make it worse when you go too big or too small. Just like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, get one that fits just right. If you have no choice, you can go one size above, but only if it’s the jersey of a sport that would typically involve shoulder pads.
5. Know your environment
There is a time and a place to wear jerseys. When you were a kid you could wear a jersey to school every day. You’re not in school anymore, and hopefully you’ve learned the art of timing. Are you going to a sports bar after work? Fine, throw on a jersey. Going to the gym? Heck no! Nobody wants to see you trying to bench press a measly 135 pounds while wearing a Ray Lewis jersey. Ray can lift a lot more than you, and you look just as dumb as the guy barely doing squats with the Superman t-shirt on.
Here are the acceptable times to wear a jersey:
- At a game
- At a sports bar
- At a party specifically for a sporting event (Super Bowl, World Cup, etc.)
- If your work decides to have a jersey-themed day for fun
- To outdoor events/festivals
- Inside your own home
- On a Monday if your team is playing on Monday Night Football
6. Shoes matter
This might be foreign to a lot of guys, but women do care about the shoes we wear. If it’s warm outside, flip flops and boat shoes are completely acceptable to wear with your jersey. For you sneakerheads, sneakers are okay as long as they’re fresh. You know those beat up running shoes you wore in last month’s Warrior Dash? Leave them at home. Go out and get some comfortable, crisp, casual shoes to wear so you don’t fall into this fashion disaster.
7. Don’t wear a jersey of a team that isn’t playing in the game you’re attending
Ever go to a Bears vs. Packers game and some tool four rows in front of you is wearing a Seattle Seahawks jersey? Why are you here?
Do I go to games where I have no interest in the teams playing? Sure, because I love sports, but I go in neutral colors.
The best way to avoid any scrutiny is to get an All-Star Game jersey. You can wear those to any game in the country, and nobody will give you flak for it. If you’re at the Super Bowl or at an All-Star Game, you have carte blanche to wear whatever team you’d like. This applies because at those events, every team has a representative (unless you’re a Browns fan), or you likely bought tickets without knowing who would be there.
8. Age matters…sometimes
I find it weird when someone is 65 years old yet they’re wearing a Robert Griffin III jersey. It’s a small quirk. As you get up in age, find jerseys that connects to the era when you first fell in love with sports. My dad rocks a 1969 Ray Nitschke jersey on Sundays. Now that’s pretty sweet! It shows you’ve been loving your team your entire life as opposed to having just discovered sports last season.
Bike-specific clothing makes for a comfortable ride whether you’re on the road, hitting the trail or commuting to and from work. These styles can help you perform better and ride longer!
REI’s new collection of urban cyclewear adds some city styling to your clothing choices. Here’s what to consider.
Cycling Jerseys, Shorts and Tights
You don’t need to squeeze into skin-tight spandex covered with corporate logos just for a trip to the grocery store.
A bike jersey of Lycra spandex or other form–fitting material reduces drag when you ride. Their technical fabrics enhance performance by wicking away sweat to keep you drier.
- Stand–up collar to shade your neck in summer.
- Front zipper for ventilation when your temperature rises.
- Shoulders cut wider for arms–forward comfort.
- Sleeves specially shaped for forward lean.
- Back pockets for easy on–the–go access.
- Longer cut in back for coverage when riding.
- Reflective trim or highlights for night riding.
Additional features for winter riding:
- Long sleeves for more warmth and coverage.
- Denser, heavier fabric weaves and a brushed lining to add insulation.
Shop REI’s selection of men’s cycling jerseys and women’s cycling jerseys.
These differ from street shorts primarily by 1) added stretch for full freedom of movement, and 2) a padded crotch liner to reduce friction and wick moisture. If possible, try several on to determine what padding style best fits your anatomy.
Road-bike short features:
- Panel construction: In the past, a greater number of panels (typically 6 or 8) correlated to a more comfortable fit. While this is still generally true, fabric technology has progressed to the point that the number of panels doesn’t necessarily mean “better” for everyone.
- Padded liner: A smooth, soft pad of “chamois” (actually made of synthetic) minimizes friction, wicks moisture, prevents bacterial growth and helps cushion bumps. It’s the most complex part of a bike short. There are a multitude of shapes, thicknesses and materials among brands and genders. Some guidelines:
- Multi-density, open-cell foam liners deliver high-end performance and comfort for long rides.
- Gel/open-cell foam liners offer greater recreational or mountain-bike cushioning but are less breathable on long, hot rides.
- Closed-cell foam liners offer good performance at a lower cost.
- Legs: Longer-cut legs and leg grippers prevent saddle chafing and keep shorts in place.
- Waist style: Most road shorts feature stretchy but non-adjustable spandex. A yoga-style cut offers less-restrictive comfort in some women’s styles.
Tip: All of the bike-short padding in the world will not make up for an uncomfortable or poorly adjusted bike seat. See the REI Expert Advice article, Bike Saddles: How to Choose for more information.
Other styles of bike shorts include:
- Mountain bike shorts: Sometimes called “baggies,” these have a loose outer short in addition to the spandex chamois liner. The waist is fastened by a button or hook-and-look patch. Pockets are also common. Choose these by their features and quality of construction, but also make sure the cut of the outer shorts feels comfortable and allows for full leg rotation and flexibility.
- Bib shorts: Popular with cycling enthusiasts but a comfortable option for any rider, these don’t have an elastic waistband that can restrict breathing. Worn with a jersey, they look like any other bike shorts.
- Skorts: For women, some brands make cycling skorts, where the spandex short is covered by a skirt. Skorts can be worn on the road, mountain or even around town.
Shop REI’s selection of men’s bike shorts and women’s bike shorts.
Bike Tights, Knickers and Leg Warmers
For cooler temperatures, you may opt for cycling tights, which cover the entire leg, or knickers, which cover the knee and above. Just like shorts, many tights and knickers come with a built-in chamois and should be chosen using the same guidelines for fit and comfort. Tights often include weather-resistant front panels and reflective detailing for dark, winter rides.
For layering purposes, some tights and knickers come without a chamois liner so they will fit over a pair of cycling shorts with no problem. Additionally, leg warmers are a handy cycling accessory that can be used on the fly to make a pair of cycling shorts into tights or knickers.
Shop REI’s selection of men’s bike tights, women’s bike tights and warmers.
The top 2 considerations when selecting a cycling jacket: Will it keep me warm? Will it keep me dry? Some styles will do both, but keep the following in mind:
How warm is “warm”? The jacket you select for winter riding in Chicago will probably be different than the one you’d use for winter riding in Phoenix. But don’t overdress; you’ll warm up from exertion during your ride. Jackets for maximum warmth will protect you against the wind and offer some insulation, mostly in the front and arms.
Is rain in the forecast? Get a waterproof cycling jacket. These provide a longer back and sleeves cut for a forward lean; some offer an oversized hood that fits over a helmet. Most offer minimal insulation (which can be offset by layering) and are less breathable than other jackets, but they will keep you dry on a long, wet ride.
Not sure what to expect? For mild winter conditions, look for a waterproof/breathable or water-resistant jacket. These are also lightweight and offer wind protection; stow in a pocket or pack when not in use. Some cycling jackets can be converted into a vest via zip-off sleeves. These are suitable for year-round use.