Getting into Gear for Will Bike 4 Food: What to Wear

By Sean Condon of Speed & Sprocket

WBF01Warm summer weather means plenty of opportunities to get outside and ride. To maximize your comfort, make sure to wear appropriate clothing while you train for Will Bike 4 Food. While standard issue athletic shorts and a t-shirt are fine for a few leisurely miles, there are many cycling-specific options that will make longer rides more enjoyable for you.

I know what many of you are thinking: “There’s absolutely no wayyou are going to get me into a pair of lycra shorts, even if my life depends on it!” Before I try to convince you, or give some other options, let’s talk about why. For many of us, skin tight clothing isn’t all that flattering. However, it is designed that way for a reason. The close compression fit provides support to your muscles, avoids fabric getting caught on the tip of your saddle, and ensures that the pad in the seat area stays where it is supposed to be.

If sporting visible lycra is a fashion faux pas for you, consider an undershort that you wear under your regular athletic shorts — something like Bellwether’s Premium Undershorts. Or, you can also buy normal looking shorts with a liner that provides the same comfort, such as their Ultralight Shorts. There are many brands out there who make these styles (Bellwether is just one example). And just like with any article of clothing, different brands will fit differently. Don’t be afraid to try on a few to find the pair that fits best. And remember — you do not wear underwear under padded bike shorts. Doing so can chafe your skin and make you rather uncomfortable.

WBF02At the very least, you want to consider wearing an athletic, sweat wicking, non-cotton top. Cotton is very uncomfortable when wet which is the last thing you want on a long ride. Modern wicking fabrics are magical and will help keep you drier as well as cooler.

If you want to up your game a step, look into some cycling jerseys. Contrary to popular belief, they DO NOT have to be skin tight. Many brands make different fits that you can try based on your build. Cycling jerseys are constructed using lightweight wicking material and are constructed with pockets built into the back that are really handy for carrying a plethora of stuff.

WBF03Riding on flat pedals with normal athletic sneakers is perfectly fine. Another great option is toe traps with straps that you can cinch down over your forefoot, which help keep your feet from sliding off the pedals.

While toe clip pedals do a better job of keeping your feet on your pedals, clipless pedals also provide the additional advantage of applying more power through your pedal strokes.

Keep these basics in mind when you are deciding what to wear for your next ride. As always, send any questions my way. My next column will cover what you should carry with you when you head out on the road. Until then, keep getting those miles in on your bike!