The Love and Hate Relationship With Cycling Clothing
Cycling clothes. They can be the bane of our existence as a cyclist. We’re ridiculed because non-cyclists think we look funny in them. We’re self-conscious because of how we look in them (at least I am). I love cycling clothing. It’s functional and jersey designs can be pretty cool. I also hate it.
Do they make cycling clothes for real people?
So what if I can’t fit into the same tshirt I wore in sixth grade. What’s the big deal? You mean, as a cyclist, I’m supposed to fit into a pair of bibs or a jersey designed to look tight on my little sister? Seriously?
By real people I mean cyclists, like me, who are struggling to lose weight. Cycling is a great way to lose weight but the clothing manufacturers out there aren’t thinking about us when designing their spring lineup. I seriously think they use a telephone pole as a prop to help them determine sizes. If they’re designing European sizes then they use a 4×4 post.
That’s all in jest of course but I think the underlying argument is valid. Overweight cyclists have a hard time finding cycling clothes that fit. Then you take somebody like me who’s overweight, and short (only a 27.5″ inseam), and you’re screwed. There wouldn’t be a problem if we (I) were height-weight proportionate but that’s why we (I) took up cycling in the first place. Catch 22.
Are there cycling clothes out there that will fit? Yes, but it’ll be hard finding something that fits right. For instance, in order for me to find bibs that can compensate for my excessive girth I have to buy in the 3XL size which is usually designed for somebody really tall. That means the bibs are too long. It takes some experimenting and shopping around to find stuff that works.
Where To Find BIG Cycling Clothes
I know they aren’t popular among the ‘purists’ and ‘pros’, but Bike Nashbar has jerseys and bibs that fit me. I’m talking about the Nashbar brand clothing not name-brand stuff like Pearl Izumi, Cannondale, or others. One of my favorite pairs of bibs is a Nashbar brand. Catch their stuff on sale and you can get some good deals.
Performance Bike sometimes has some stuff that will fit too. I’ve got a good long sleeve jersey I got from them last year that’s great. Jerseys are easier for me to find though. Jerseys for big folks with cool designs are hard to find (there are some). Mostly expect to have your choices limited to solid colors. BikeJerseys.com seems to have a selection of cool big dude jerseys but I’ve never bought from them. I’ll have to do that and do a review. I’ve also recently discovered Aerotech Designs and will look at them too.
There are times I don’t feel like looking like a overstuffed sausage and wear a big workout shirt made by Russell Athletic. It’s comfy and cool. There’s no rear pockets or ‘style’ factor though.
I know most of you just want to tell me to deal with it and ride. I can understand that. You can say as much in the comments. If you’re like me though, and can’t buy your cycling clothes off the rack, perhaps you have some additional resources I haven’t listed above.
In the meantime, it’s back to counting calories and riding.
Feature image courtesy of n0seblunt.