To celebrate me finishing my first semester of ECE studies yesterday, I signed me and the Husband up for what will be our first century ride – excluding his Ironman exploits, of course! We’re doing the Surf City Aids Ride in Santa Cruz in September! I am super-excited about this new challenge. My bottom is a little more apprehensive!
Over the weekend, I’ll be working out a training plan for this, plus my next big half in November and a little hill climb I want to do over the summer, but it means that over the next three or four months I’m going to be ramping up the amount of cycling I’ll be doing. I have plenty of workout clothes so I’m going to try to buy as little additional cycling clothing as possible but there are a few things I do actually need.
In the past, I’ve worn simple padded shorts and running tops. Because I’ve ridden a touring bike with a rack on the back, I’ve been able to carry a nice big bag with me, and it’s carried most of my worldly goods.
But Margarita has no such rack. And my teeny tiny saddle bag means I have to wear something with copious amounts of pockets so I can carry all my stuff. In addition, I do need to woman up and learn to clip into my pedals, which means I need some cycling shoes. (These are the very epitome of ugly). I think these two items are all I’ll need.
But OH, cycling clothes are so VERY ugly.
I’ve always thought that cycling clothes are particularly dreadful. We’ve all seen overweight MAMILS (middle-aged-men-in-lycra) wearing the most horrific, lurid cycling clothes as they slog uphill on their bikes, and I’ve shuddered. NOT at the guys (I NEVER mock people getting fit) but there are some UGLY jerseys out there! The Fat Cyclist did an awesome post about it!!
This is a Colombian men’s cycling team.
Colombian ladies don’t get off any more lightly.
There are some HORRIFIC cycling jerseys out there for us girls. In fact, there’s a whole Tumblr devoted to bad women’s jerseys.
So I’ve been exploring companies that make NICE cycling clothes for women. I asked for recommendations on twitter and THESE companies were suggested, as people who make clothes that don’t make you die inside when you put them on.
Please note – some of these companies aren’t particularly cheap (nothing about cycling is particularly cheap) but they have sales. Also, none of these are affiliate links. No-one pays me to blog. If they did, I’d be spending it on a really nice cycling jersey.
It seems that all the cool California kids wear Coeur! They’re kind of like the Oiselle of the cycling/tri world but not as obnoxious. Their gear is seriously nice but slightly out of my price range so I’m hanging in there for the sales.
Recommended by Kristen, these guys have some cool retro-style jerseys. They also do ‘bundles’ where you buy the jersey and the shorts and get 16% off, which I find really appealing.
A Swiss company also recommended by Kristen, these guys deliver to the US and Europe. Their clothes are nice but their marketing is frankly so sexist that I’m boycotting them. This isn’t something I do often… but seriously! Once again, the Fat Cyclist nailed this on the head with this Open Letter To Assos. (You need to read this).
Despite spelling oestrogen wrongly, they have some good stuff. They also have a Game of Thrones inspired range! I would willingly spend a fortune for a GoT themed jersey, but it’s just unfortunate that the jersey named after my favourite GoT lady, Cersei, is so ugly. And why does the Daenerys jersey have fish on it?? DRAGONS is what’s needed. I would definitely buy a dragon-themed jersey!
Danielle recommended this company to me and I kind of wish she hadn’t, because their Wrapture jersey is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and it’s about three times my price range! Ever since seeing it, nothing else has compared.
I have one of their t-shirts and I love it, so I’m inclined towards some of their stuff. I like their Bike Love jersey but am not good with white. (I’m the girl who got dog poo on her wedding dress.
There are some great UK companies out there at the moment and these guys all deliver to the US.
These guys are my fave – I bought stuff from them before we moved out here. I really like their selection, they’re a lovely company fairly local to my parents and their sales are excellent. Also, I love the word ‘minx’.
Recommended by Rachel, I discovered these guys recently and their stuff is so stylish. They have some reasonably priced items and I want about half of what they have on the site.
Rapha is a very elegant, hipster-y British company who make very elegant and beautifully constructed (if slightly dull?) cycling clothes. Vulpine is another similar company and their founder is very funny on Twitter.
No idea what I’ll end up with.
Anyway. The summary of this blog post is:
- I’m going to be cycling 100 miles in September.
- I need a new jersey and some cycling shoes.
- Much of what’s out there is very ugly
Before I wrap this up…let’s take a few minutes to be grateful we’re not wearing this!
…and PS…check this out for a laugh.