Humour: Cycling clothes: The next generation
By Elden Nelson, aka The Fat Cyclist | Thursday, January 24, 2008 12.00am
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I'm very disappointed in cycling clothes. Now, I don't have a problem with the way they look - I suppose I've become comfortable with the inevitability of garish colours and circulation-restricting shorts.
No, my problem with cycling clothes lies in their function. Or, more specifically, in their lack thereof.
Consider, for a moment, what you demand from your bike. Every single part needs to be extremely light and strong, while interacting with other parts, withstanding multiple forces, absorb incredible impact, and perform other near-miracles of physics with every turn of the cranks.
As anyone who's ever ridden a truly nice bike can testify, your bike can make you a better rider. Instantly. Meanwhile, all our clothes do is prevent us from being naked.
And don't give me any of that nonsense about wicking anti-microbial seamless chamoises, either. That's all marketing nonsense and you know it.
I think it's time we expect as much from our cycling clothes as we do from the bikes we ride. Which is why I am happy to propose several new products I will soon be developing.
Do your current bike shorts bind into your waist, creating an appalling "muffin top" effect? In the place where your six pack should go, do you sell beer by the barrel?
My friend, SuperShorts are for you. Oh, sure, many bib shorts have a girdling effect, but that's just an afterthought. With SuperShorts, we use the strongest elastic money can buy, guaranteeing you an instant 3" girth reduction, or your money back.
But that's just the beginning of what these shorts will do for you. The upper body of the SuperShorts has been contoured and shaped so as to make it appear as if you had rippling pectorals and abs, instead of 15 pounds of flab.
That's right: not only will these shorts help you not look fat, they'll actually make it look like you have seen the inside of a gym.
Cyclists love their jerseys. Is this love due to the awful colours, the way the jerseys stink no matter how vigorously you wash them, or the way they cling to you in the most unnatural way possible? It's hard to say. One thing is certain, however. Those jerseys aren't doing everything for you they should be.
The Nutra-Jersey will change all that. Observing that your bike jersey has more contact with your skin than any other piece of clothing, we have infused a variety of nutrients into the fabric of the jersey itself. As you wear it, the power of osmosis will deliver your chosen fuel directly through your skin. Like a nicotine patch, but much, much bigger.
Cyclists have a wide variety of needs, so different blends of nutrients can be infused into Nutra-Jerseys. The initial palette includes:
The Enduro Rider: The jersey delivers a constant mix of carbohydrates and minerals, along with some protein. This is our baseline product, great for training and for weekend warriors. The jersey delivers 400 - 600 calories per hour, depending on jersey size
The Race Day: This jersey contains the same nutrients as the Enduro Rider mix, with a double-shot-worth of caffeine. Do not wear this jersey if you plan to sleep during the next six hours.
The Co-Ed: Designed for men who want to impress the women they're riding with. Delivers a mix of carbos, testosterone, and just a hint of mint, to keep your breath fresh no matter how long you've been riding.
The Pro: This jersey will make you ride 15% faster. Don't ask what's in it. Just don't.
But what you get out of the Nutra-Jersey is only half the story. The other half is what it gets out of you. While most jerseys merely strive to wick away your sweat, letting it evaporate away uselessly into the atmosphere, the Nutra-Jersey captures that water, filters it, adds a hint of lemon flavouring, and then deposits it in a leakproof plastic pouch, contained in your middle jersey pocket. Now, as long as you've got sweat, you've got something to drink.
If there's one thing cyclists can agree upon, it's that the current crop of chamoises has much to be desired. No matter how much chamois cream you apply, they all eventually become painfully abrasive. And then, if you don't remove your shorts and jump into a vat of alcohol immediately upon finishing the ride, you can count on festering nastiness I'd rather not even begin to describe.
All that is in the past with the Lubra-Chamois. As you ride, you naturally sweat. This sweat combines with the chemicals in the Lubra-Chamois to make its own chamois cream.
Yes, this is truly a miracle of modern science.
And the cream created by your sweat and the Lubra-Chamois is not just smooth. It's also anti-viral and anti-microbial. It, in short, kills all the nasty stuff growing inside your shorts.
Note: a Lubra-Chamois contains enough product to last for 250 miles. Do not, under any circumstances, ride shorts with a Lubra-Chamois, any further than this recommended distance. You have been warned.
How many times have you started a ride on a cold morning, wearing arm and knee warmers to fend off the cold, only to wish - as the day heated up - that you didn't have to remove and pack those bulky, annoying armwarmers and kneewarmers with you?
Well, with the new Degrade-a-Warmers, available both as knee warmers and arm warmers, you won't have to.
That's because as you begin to sweat, your armwarmers and kneewarmers - which are made entirely of corn starch - dissolve right off you. You put them on when you need them, and they melt away into a puddle of safe, non-toxic, biodegradable gelatinous goo on the road when you don't.
Note: Please be courteous and signal to the riders following you when these armwarmers / kneewarmers fall into the road, since they are approximately as slippery as grease on ice.
I've still got a few kinks to work out with some of these products - finding people willing to test them has been a bit of a problem, strangely enough - but I'm confident they're going to usher in an entirely new era in functional cycle clothing.
By all means, please get your credit cards ready.
Elden "Fatty" Nelson blogs as The Fat Cyclist, where he offers up brilliant ideas like this most days of the week.
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