What clothing for new cyclist please

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johnsmum
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What clothing for new cyclist please

Postby johnsmum » Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:45 pm

Hi Everyone

As you can see I am Johns Mum and John has just taken up cycling again as he approaches his 39th Birthday 8)

He has spent quite a lot of money on the bike but has no proper cycling gear as yet. He is trying to get fit and lose some weight and wants all his family to get out and about more on their bikes. (Has wife and 2 boys ages 5 & 8yrs). He is an active chap and helps out with local scout group and has volunteered to go on a charity cycle event next year some time so must get lots of practice in :shock:

I would like to buy some cycling clothes as a birthday present for him as I know his funds are limited....but where do I start?

I know very little about the activity but I'm guessing he would appreciate some sort of padded shorts??? gloves, hat etc.

Any advice on make or type would be great. He is very tall - 6ft 3 in, so big sizes are important.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Johnsmum

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Shadowduck
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Postby Shadowduck » Tue Dec 18, 2007 13:00 pm

Hi John's mum!

What kind of riding is John doing? The clothing he'll need for off road / mountain biking is quite different from that usually worn by a roadie. I'd be careful about buying him lycra and so on unless you're absolutely sure he won't feel too self conscious to wear it!

Possibly my best recommendation would be to get him some SPD clipless shoes and pedals (loads of threads on here about which are best), assuming he hasn't already got some - they'll make his pedalling a lot more efficient once he gets the hang of them and they're an essential in my book.

Good luck!
Even if the voices aren't real, they have some very good ideas.

johnsmum
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Postby johnsmum » Tue Dec 18, 2007 13:27 pm

Ah you see now I was telling the truth when I said I know nothing about cycling :oops:

He is a roadie (if thats what you call them :? )

He probably wouldn't wear the tight lycra outfits :lol:

He weighs well err um about 15 stone I think - I know I'm his Mum but there are some things you just don't know.

I was looking at the Wiggle website just now and think he would wear some of those padded cycle shorts (for under trousers) and maybe could use gloves and socks and maybe a jacket of some kind - but which is a good one. Waterproof or windproof? He looked absolutley frozen when I saw him recently.

Clipless shoes? will have to go and read up on them. He is a size 11 I think but he isn't into race riding or competitive stuff .....yet (but give him time I'm sure he will be!

At the moment it's just to get fit and for the family to be able to share an interest that they can all enjoy as his wife isn't into football or golf and gets left out of things at the moment.

Thanks for responding so quickly.

Johnsmum

Underscore
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Postby Underscore » Tue Dec 18, 2007 13:40 pm

Actually, if he's just getting back into cycling, I'm not sure that I would recommend clipless pedals and shoes as a gift at this stage. Assuming that his birthday is fairly soon, I would suggest that things to allow him to get out-and-about in the winter might be good. Gloves, jacket, etc.

Also, don't rule out lycra padded shorts as you can wear baggy shorts or long trousers (depending on the season) over them - this is likely to be a cheaper option than buying padded shorts and padded longs...

_

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Shadowduck
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Postby Shadowduck » Tue Dec 18, 2007 14:06 pm

johnsmum wrote:Ah you see now I was telling the truth when I said I know nothing about cycling :oops:

He is a roadie (if thats what you call them :? )

He probably wouldn't wear the tight lycra outfits :lol:

Well, as I'm also a non-competitive late-30s *cough* road rider who doesn't wear lycra I suppose I'm reasonably well placed to advise! :D
johnsmum wrote:He weighs well err um about 15 stone I think - I know I'm his Mum but there are some things you just don't know.

I'm a little under 13 stone now but weighed over 16 stone when I started cycling again, so that'll soon change!
johnsmum wrote:I was looking at the Wiggle website just now and think he would wear some of those padded cycle shorts (for under trousers) and maybe could use gloves and socks and maybe a jacket of some kind - but which is a good one. Waterproof or windproof? He looked absolutley frozen when I saw him recently.

I wear padded shorts under combat pants for longer journeys (>15 miles or so), if he doesn't already have some he'll probably appreciate them - the dhb ones from wiggle are basic but comfortable and do a good job.

The trick to keeping warm is layering. In winter I use combinations of...

T-shirt (fancy base-layer material to wick sweat away for long journeys, normal otherwise).
Pullover, nothing special.
Windproof / waterproof jacket - I'd only really recommend Gore-Tex or eVent based jackets, the cheaper ones either aren't waterproof enough or make you sweat like a sweaty thing.
Polar Buff - the world's most versatile headgear, apparently. Fits well under a helmet, if needed.*
Neoprene overshoes to keep the toes toasty
Gore-Tex ski gloves or normal cycling gloves depending on weather.
Layer of clingfilm over the helmet vents (if he wears one!) to keep the wind and rain out!
johnsmum wrote:Clipless shoes? will have to go and read up on them. He is a size 11 I think but he isn't into race riding or competitive stuff .....yet (but give him time I'm sure he will be!

I suggest clipless shoes / pedals as something that will make a real difference to his riding, whether or not he's competing - I'd recommend the mountain bike style as the shoes are much easier to walk in and the pedals are easier to use, there's no real reason not to use them on a road bike. Of course, if he's coming back blue from every ride some warmer clothing is probably more of a priority!
johnsmum wrote:At the moment it's just to get fit and for the family to be able to share an interest that they can all enjoy as his wife isn't into football or golf and gets left out of things at the moment.
Sounds like an excellent plan! I don't like football or golf either so his wife has my deepest sympathy... :wink:

*Helmet use is a bit contentious on here and I don't want to start any arguments!
Even if the voices aren't real, they have some very good ideas.

johnsmum
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Postby johnsmum » Tue Dec 18, 2007 14:46 pm

Excellent.......thank you sooooooo much.

I will get the padded shorts to go under his outer wear. I assume large or xlarge would be ok for his build, not sure if they come up very tight or not :oops:

And some gloves and socks.

Would like to get him a jacket - but think he would prefer to buy his own so will offer cash for that instead.

He has a beanie hat - think thats what he called it. I would prefer him to wear a safety hard helmet but that's not going to happen even tho he insists on the boys wearing them. I can hardly insist now can I - I'm only his Mum after all :roll:

I do admire him but to be honest the roads around here are full of narrow lanes with boy racers and I would rather he wasn't out on the bike but it's his choice and he is a man not a boy so I can only hope he will be fine. My grandsons mainly cycling in parks where it is encouraged and not on roads too much so I can relax a bit with them.

Cheers....off to shop now :lol:

johnsmum

Thanks so much , it was just the sort of advice I was hoping for.

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Shadowduck
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Postby Shadowduck » Tue Dec 18, 2007 15:20 pm

johnsmum wrote:I will get the padded shorts to go under his outer wear. I assume large or xlarge would be ok for his build, not sure if they come up very tight or not :oops:

They're supposed to be tight-ish, if the fabric isn't in contact with the skin it can't move sweat away. So long as they don't cut the blood off!
johnsmum wrote:He has a beanie hat - think thats what he called it. I would prefer him to wear a safety hard helmet but that's not going to happen even tho he insists on the boys wearing them. I can hardly insist now can I - I'm only his Mum after all :roll:

I do admire him but to be honest the roads around here are full of narrow lanes with boy racers and I would rather he wasn't out on the bike but it's his choice and he is a man not a boy so I can only hope he will be fine. My grandsons mainly cycling in parks where it is encouraged and not on roads too much so I can relax a bit with them.

Surely the problem there is the boy racers?

Either way, with or without a helmet*, his chances of a long, healthy life are significantly improved by taking up cycling. The chances of his becoming a road statistic may have slightly increased, but his chances of becoming one of the tens of thousands of middle aged men who keel over with heart attacks every year will be much reduced and it more than cancels out. 8)

If you want to do something to help safety-wise, get him a copy of "Cyclecraft" by John Franklin. If he follows it's advice, it'll make more difference to his safety than any helmet would!

*I wear one, but I respect the opinion of those who choose not to.
Even if the voices aren't real, they have some very good ideas.

Tom Butcher
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Postby Tom Butcher » Fri Dec 21, 2007 09:54 am

Watch the sizing on bike clothes - I'm between 12.5 and 13 stone but I can take anything from a L to an XXL in cycle clothing - lots of it is based on skinny italian racing cyclists - you can find sizing guides on some websites and if you google "size guide" or "sizing" and the make eg "giordana" or "assos" then sometimes you'll find them.

Shorts
Pesonally I'm into the lycra stuff but if he isn't I'd recommend a pair of MTB style shorts that finish just above the knee with an inner liner - not too baggy. If he gets keen then he can get some lycra shorts himself - they are more practical for long training rides.

Top
I'd pair that with a proper road style cycling top with 3 rear pockets - that's one big pocket across the base of the back divided into three. These probably cost around £40. Rear pockets are very useful for stashing a map, food,phone, mini pump, etc etc
Jackets/waterproofs are a difficult one - personally I hardly use one but if he's more of a recreational cyclist then a breathable one may be OK. If it was me I'd still go for a warm top rather than trying to get something waterproof - I mean if he isn't that serious then he probably isn't going to be doing 3 hours in the rain. So I just have a very lightweight foldable one I can stick in my back pocket - bright yellow is a good idea as if it's raining you can do with the extra visibility.

Headware
If he doesn't like wearing a helmet then what about a nice cotton racing cap of the type the pros used to wear pre-helmets - cost about £3 to £8 (well you can spend more but most are in that range) - Assos ones are slightly more generous size than some. For winter I just wear a wooly hat.

Gloves - a pair of winter cycling gloves - if it's very cold I have some normal wool gloves I just slip over the top - bit bulky but does sub zero. Fingerless mits are useful for summer - protect the hands, give them a bit of padding and look the part.

Try not to worry about the danger - it's not too bad - I do 7,000 miles a year and the worst injury I've had was messing about on a kids BMX and some ramps!

johnsmum
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Postby johnsmum » Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:31 am

Hello Tom

Thanks for such a comprehensive and helpful reply which I am going to print off and keep for future purchases.

As it was his birthday this week I did go on to wiggle.co.uk and bought a few bits to get him started and he was really over the moon with them. So far, have bought a windproof jacket (Gore Vision) Windproof gloves, padded under shorts, and 3 pairs coolmax socks.
The jacket and gloves fitted perfectly (lucky guess) but will have to wait to find out how the pants fitted :shock:

He has decided he will wear a helmet after all which I am pleased about and I have told him about the 'skull' cap hat they sell on Wiggle as it covers the ears and is designed to go under a helmet. I'm not sure I got the socks right but they will do for now.

He is the sort of guy who goes all out for anything he tackles and whilst time only allows for recreational cycling at the moment he will go for it full on. He is dong about 40 to 60 minutes per ride every other day at the moment and has met up with an old school pal who is also trying to lose some weight and get fit so has some company most trips.

I have suggested he join a club if there is one locally and he is going to make some enquiries. He was talked into being a Scout leader recently as the local group was on verge of closing due to lack of volunteers and as he had been in that group over 30 years ago he felt he would like to help out. It has sort of taken over all his spare time but I know he is loving it and so are his 2 boys who go on camping trips with him and the cycling will be very useful for the scout activities as well. His long suffering wife has been helping out with Beaver group for a while so all in all they don't get a lot of spare time.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice, it really is much appreciated and helped me out enormously. This really is another world altogether and I had no idea how complicated and varied all the 'gear' is. Thank goodness he already has a bike!

johnsmum.

p.s. can you recommend a gadget which tells you how many miles you have cycled and times etc?

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Shadowduck
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Postby Shadowduck » Fri Dec 21, 2007 13:21 pm

johnsmum wrote:p.s. can you recommend a gadget which tells you how many miles you have cycled and times etc?

I wouldn't necessarily agree with Tom that three hours in the rain is necessary before a decent waterproof is required (twenty minutes in a 2 degree downpour is more than enough!), but I don't think you'll go far wrong following his advice. The cycling jerseys with pockets in the back are nice, a cheaper alternative that doesn't scream "bikie!" when you're off the bike is a "bum bag" worn with the bag behind you.

For speed, time and distance information I use one of these but there are plenty of others available at various prices and everyone has a favourite.

Glad we can help you through the minefield a little!
Even if the voices aren't real, they have some very good ideas.

grayo59
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Postby grayo59 » Tue Dec 25, 2007 09:23 am

I smell a rat here!

I think Johnsmum is really John!

:lol:

johnsmum
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Postby johnsmum » Thu Dec 27, 2007 13:43 pm

:lol: Ha ha, no honest I'm not John and I hope he never gets on here as he would be so embarrassed to see me talking about him to a bunch of strangers. (note to self - think thru user name in future :oops: )

Can I just say he was absolutley delighted with his kit I bought him - following your kind advice. Got me lots of bownie points and hopefully the nursing home he will eventually be putting me in will be at least a 3* now :lol:

His wife bought him some lights and few other bits and he is actually off to the cycle shop today to get the helmet and spend even more money.

He has overdone the time spent on the bike, as I knew he would, and is suffering a lot of muscle aches and pains right now but hey ho...I'm only his Mum so what do I know :roll:

Thanks everyone for your help......maybe I will be back with more questions in the future and maybe he will come on here himself at some stage but please please don't tell him I was on here will you?

I know I can trust you.

johnsmum


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