Bicycle attire

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Anonymous's picture

Just curious why tight fitting bike jerseys are so popular; is it bad form to wear a coolmax/drifit t-shirt with bike shorts in lieu of a jersey?

Anonymous's picture
Jeepy (not verified)

Tighter fitting is more aero - no flapping/parachute effect. Also those pockets in back are real useful. Nothing to do with form.

Anonymous's picture
Ori (not verified)
Think Transfer

A more (if not the most) important reason is that a tight fitting jersey is made to actively wick moisture away from the skin and facilitate evaporation. In other words, it keeps you drier.

In order to do that it requires close contact with your skin.

Eventually, the style will grow on you. The tighter, the better. Just don't stray too far from your bike when you're wearing one.

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

"It depends on how ""hard"" you ride, how far, how hot it is, etc. For example, a pair of shorts with a good pad (vs. a worn out one) can make the difference between 50 miles and 35. If you're comfortable with the riding you're doing in the clothes you're wearing, then don't let ""fashion"" stop you.

BTW, I suspect that there's an ""if you've got it, flaunt it"" element to tight gear."

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
it's all about the babes, dude...
Anonymous's picture
Peter Hochstein (not verified)
It's also about visibility

"With due respect to wool, the outlandish colors and designs you can print on synthetic fibers may one day save your life. Or they may have already saved it and you just don't know it.

Inevitably, whenever a motorist hits (and occasionally kills) a cyclist, the plea is, ""I didn't see him. He came out of nowhere.""

From his or her own point of view, the motorist may not be lying. You're not on most drivers' radar. They're looking for red lights, humongous trucks, elephantine SUVs, even compact cars. They're not thinking bicycle. Especially not skinny profile road bike. The victim isn't registering, even though the motorist may think he or she is staying alert.

It's like that weather report you tuned into on the radio. You listened for it, and suddenly realized after ten minutes of waiting that they just broadcast it and you didn't hear it because your mind was on something else.

Had the weather report been preceeded by a loud banging of drums and wailing of sirens, accompanied by a screaming announcer yelling,""Yo stupid, listen up, here comes your weather report!"" you wouldn't have missed it.

That's the function of a loud jersey, and the louder the better. It's the visual equivalent of ""Yo stupikd, listen up, here comes the weather report!"" complete with banging drums and wailing sirens.

Garish colors or outrageous designs are good. The more outrageous the better. I have one of a Martian holding a gear cluster. I've seen others including a skeleton on a bicycle flipping the world a bony bird, not to mention lizards, snakes, Mickey Mouse...well, you get it. The Richard Rosenfeld statue of liberty wearing a helmet was another example. Alas, the bicycle wheel over the Brooklyn Bridge is less outrageous, therefore less effective.

Remember, you're want -- want! -- drivers to notice you, even if they sneer.

You wanna dress conservative? Wear a pinstriped suit to the bank. Dress dull on your bicycle and you might end up squashed under several tons of Range Rover. And the driver will swear he didn't see you because you came ""out of nowhere.""


Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
33.5% praise

"Peter writes:

""The Richard Rosenfeld statue of liberty wearing a helmet was another example. Alas, the bicycle wheel over the Brooklyn Bridge is less outrageous, therefore less effective.""

Hmmmmm. One-half praise for my designs; two-thirds of my name right. 50% X 67%. That's 33.5%. I'll take it with thanks.


Anonymous's picture
Peter Hochstein (not verified)
I plead 50% guilty

Sorry about getting your name wrong, Richard. Put it down to long weekend fatigue. No apologies for the commentary on the Jerseys. The Statue of Liberty was a stroke of absolute genius on many levels. The Brooklyn Bridge is merely an appropriate design. Hey, even Babe Ruth hit some singles.
NYCC should never have abandoned the Statue of Liberty jersey, in my opinion.

Anonymous's picture
Ori (not verified)

"I couldn't agree more! A guy (or gal) on a bicycle is absolutely invisible, even wearing the loudest, most garishly colored jersey. You'd have to be a @#$%^&* X-mas tree for them to notice you, if you're luky. And that goes for pedestrians, as well as motorists. Even two or three riders together are invisible. Larger groups (6 or more riders) actually get noticed because of the overal perceived mass and the novelty of the sight (is that a race or something?).

Happens to me all the time: I'm zipping down 7th Avenue, car traffic gets ahead, light's still green, clumps or pedestrians start crossing the Avenue, looking straight at me, and keep walking across. I yell out at the top of my lungs ""COMING THROUGH!"" All of a sudden they see me, in my garishly colored jersey, ""coming out of nowhere.""

I have a theory and it goes something like this. We live in an environment of sensory overstimulation. Everyone has something to sell us and is trying to get our attention any way they can. More and more surfaces in our environment are becoming advertising media (parking meter posts and sidewalk projections are recent examples). Our natural response to overstimulation is to tune most of it out, except for what is truly important (golden arches) and what is life threatening (big semi headed your way). Most people (who don't bike) don't perceive a person on a bicycle as a threat and have no idea just how fast a bike can travel. The reason why the biker comes ""out of nowhere"" is because until that fateful moment, the biker is merely part of the busy ""background noise.""

I wonder if any psychologist ever did a study about this... but, I digress. Weren't we talking about jerseys?

Let's drop all pretenses and admit that we all love to dress like superheroes."

Anonymous's picture
Isaac Brumer (not verified)

"Is my solid lime or red (or even black) jersey less effective than a ""picture?"" Has this been proven? My own hunch is that ""I didn't see you"" is just a pathetic cop-out on the part of a motorist. Reminds me of the guy on the bus who spilled his latte on my wife & gasped ""F&*#, MY COFFEE!"" (""sorry"" would have been nicer.)"

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)

Modern, sublimated jeresys are all not garish. some are more sedate. And sublimation is a wonderful process, integrating the fabric and color into one design.

Wool is wonderful too. It does help to regulate temperature a bit. But, it retains it's moisture. Yes, it will keep you warm even when it is wet, but it's still wet and stays wet for a while.

Plus it can be a bit itchy, esp. when wet. Even Italian Merino. And it stretches out. Jeez, the back pockets can hang down to mid thigh if you over load them - esp. if/when the wool is wet.

But again, wool is a classic look.

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