Do you really need to wear bike sporting wear ?

adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
311
277
83
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Ube -shi, Yamaguchi-ken
I like seeing the pictures here on Media, and one thing that I've noticed is that everyone is wearing biking sport wear. Do you folks feel out of place if not dressed like that while on your bike?
 

stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
617
605
123
Cycling specific sportswear is lightweight and comfortable so is good for cycling in summer but wear whatever you are happy with. When I started, I wore my running stuff.

Oh, if you didn’t know already, shorts and regular underwear get sweaty pretty quick on a bike. When that happens, you get chaffing, which is painful. That’s why most cyclists wear Lycra bibs (shorts) and no underwear.

It sounds to me that you’ll be doing light touring. I’d just search for that on on google to see the kinds of clothes people wear for touring and go for that look. I’m sure it’s very relaxed/casual.

Nb. This person says they had no problem wearing regular canvas shorts so maybe you don’t even need Lycra.
 

adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
311
277
83
66
Ube -shi, Yamaguchi-ken
Cycling specific sportswear is lightweight and comfortable so is good for cycling in summer but wear whatever you are happy with. When I started, I wore my running stuff.

Oh, if you didn’t know already, shorts and regular underwear get sweaty pretty quick on a bike. When that happens, you get chaffing, which is painful. That’s why most cyclists wear Lycra bibs (shorts) and no underwear.

It sounds to me that you’ll be doing light touring. I’d just search for that on on google to see the kinds of clothes people wear for touring and go for that look. I’m sure it’s very relaxed/casual.

Nb. This person says they had no problem wearing regular canvas shorts so maybe you don’t even need Lycra.

Thanks Stu. Just now checking out the website. I sure get a lot of extra help on the forum by asking questions of being a cyclist.
One thing is for sure, this summer will be very hot, already 32c in Yamaguchi and its only 8 am.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
838
541
123
42
Yes. Sports wear is functional clothing, built for a purpose. In the beginning you will get away with running shorts and T-shirts. For light touring that’s just fine. But make sure the shorts are breathable (many cheaper shorts aren’t, and I caught an infection once) and do not rub.
 

adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
311
277
83
66
Ube -shi, Yamaguchi-ken
Yes. Sports wear is functional clothing, built for a purpose. In the beginning you will get away with running shorts and T-shirts. For light touring that’s just fine. But make sure the shorts are breathable (many cheaper shorts aren’t, and I caught an infection once) and do not rub.
That I'll have to check into. I know jock itch is no fun during the hot season or any season. But what's the best material then for the summer cut-offs?
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
838
541
123
42
Good running shorts will be fine, just make sure to have plenty of ventilation. You will be sweating a lot in your nether region, so you will need it. But I'd start with the sports clothing you have and then upgrade bit-by-bit.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
3,936
2,165
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
I'd echo what others have said about clothing. It's perfectly possible to ride in jeans and a T-shirt, or a business suit, and I see many people doing so every day on the streets of Tokyo.

Cycling-specific clothing - ultimately, what racers wear - is designed to allow maximum performance - harder/faster/stronger/longer - while minimizing clothing-related discomfort.

If you start riding a lot, you will probably fairly quickly long for padded shorts, or at least padded undershorts.

Three other things I'd mention, for the sake of completeness:

Eyewear Even if we're not riding fast, a stone thrown up by a vehicle or a strike from an insect or tree branch can easily injure or damage an eye. If you don't normally wear spectacles, a ¥1000 yen pair of sunglasses from MUJI or Uniqlo is fine. If you don't want sunglasses, clear safety glasses or pollen-guards for people with allergies are available from hardware stores or drugstores.

Shoes Millions of people ride bikes in running shoes, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, each push of the pedal consumes some energy in compressing the shoe sole rather than propelling the bike forward. Most sports shoes have quite soft and flexible soles, which is great for absorbing impact from running and jumping. In contrast, good shoes for cycling have hard, stiff soles. This maximizes the transfer of power from your legs to the road, via the pedals and the rest of the drive train.

Gloves I always wear them. Road rash on the palms is really painful, debilitating, and takes a long time to heal :-(
 

hat and beard

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
361
351
93
Boso
For what it’s worth, I’ve done 150+km days sans cycling shorts with no problems whatsoever. I’ve done a ten day tour entirely chamois-free, in fact!
If you want to go casual, good quality synthetic or light merino wool underwear (not cotton!) and running shorts work great.