With the heat really ramping up here in Texas I decided late last week that I should start investing in some sleeveless cycling jerseys to maximize the ventilation. The no-sleeve design would also help me get some sun on my pasty looking upper arms. So I set off Saturday to visit some local bike shops to see what I could find.
Richardson Bike Mart was my first stop because I was up near it due to attending a WordPress conference on Saturday. I’m still totally blown away every time I walk into this place and Saturday was no different. They’ve got everything and the store is just huge. I headed over to the clothing section to check out the selection. In no time I found a sleeveless jersey that looked pretty good. It was pretty plain and red/gray in color. I don’t believe there were any designs on it. Just a plain jersey. My memory could be failing me though after the trauma I received from looking at the price tag. They wanted $100 for it. I just shook my head and moved on. Now I remember why I don’t come to this store. I did try on a few helmets since I’ll be needing one and found that I basically need a medium in any style which is good info if I find a good deal online. Alas, I couldn’t resist the temptation to have a look at the new bikes. I kept my sticker shock to a minimum and just casually browsed around looking at all the carbon fiber rigs. I pulled one or two out to see how they felt and was totally blown away by how light they are. Maybe some day.
After suffering the head trauma over the price of a sleeveless jersey I decided to call it a day and just head home.
Sunday afternoon I decided to drive down to the Performance Bike store to see what they had. They had some more affordable solutions (down to $19.99) but nothing in my size. Unfortunately, I still need a 3XL so I don’t blind everyone on my rides due to the site of a massively overweight dude trying to perform a hydrostatic test on a jersey. If a zipper popped off it could kill somebody. I did pick up a 3-pack of head bands for $4. I was willing to spend $4 on the head bands but not willing to spend $18-$22 on a skull cap or similar variant. The sweat band worked pretty good during my Sunday evening ride.
Well, by this time I was thinking I wouldn’t find a sleeveless cycling jersey. Then I remembered that Walmart had some workout clothes and thought I would go check them out. No, they aren’t cycling clothes but you gotta do what you gotta do.
I stopped by Walmart and headed to the men’s section. The brand of workout clothes they carry is called Starter and they had several styles of sleeveless workout shirts to choose from. And they had some in my size. I settled on a while/gray mesh type (you can’t see through it) that supposedly has some kind of wicking capability to it. For $8 I was willing to try it. Here’s the shirt on the Walmart website where it’s actually only $5 on clearance.
I road yesterday evening for 18 miles and the shirt performed remarkably well. It’s not a cycling jersey so it doesn’t have a zipper, rear pockets, cool logos/designs, or elastic at the waist but it did the job very well in my opinion. I was cooler in that shirt than I’ve been in any cycling jersey I’ve had. I will admit that the cycling jerseys I’ve owned aren’t top of the line so I may just not have experienced a quality cycling jersey. Did I probably look like a wannabe out there in my $8 Walmart sleeveless jersey? Probably. I really don’t care what other folks thought of it. I was comfortable and didn’t have to shell out $100 for a jersey.