Questions about cyclewear

OreoCookie

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I have some Workman rainwear that was 5000 yen for jacket and pants. The quality is great, very close to Goretex. It's great for low intensity stuff like hiking. The same thing from Patagonia would be 20,000 yen.
I don’t have first-hand experience with Workman’s but for some equipment you can go cheap. My buff is from Montbell and cost 1,000 ¥; cycling-specific ones were 2+ times as much.
Workman's cycling stuff looks pretty good too. The other obvious route for cheap lycra cycling wear is AliExpress, where its 3500 yen for summer bibs and jersey. A long sleeve winter set with fleece lining goes for about 5500 yen. In my experience, they take about 40 days to arrive. In terms of quality I think they are similar to the cheaper stuff in cycling shops.
Wiggle’s housebrand DHB is another cheap option. Their cheapest pair of bib shorts cost me about 4,000 ¥, I think, although I cannot really recommend those. And Wiggle is very quick with deliveries.
As a general comment, the more climbing and descending you do, the more your wear will matter. You can go from overheating to completely freezing in two or three minutes cresting a hill. Under 8C and I'd want shoe covers, neoprene type ones. If you don't have them, or decent gloves, those pocket warmer things will do a job.
Yeah, and the quality difference is quite big. I bought a cheap pair of bib shorts from wiggle (for 4,000–5,000 ¥) purely for indoor training, but they are garbage. Once you have quality cycling clothes, you don’t want to wear anything else, and the difference gets more pronounced if you want something that wears comfortably in very different weather. My 7Mesh bib shorts have seen everything from +40 degrees to 0 degrees and they kept warm/cool what they were supposed to keep comfortable (they are miraculous). My Pearl Izumi softshell jacket has kept me warm at -20 degrees in Canada (with plenty of layers below) to +28 degrees (on descents). My Roeckl winter gloves equally worked well from +5 to +15 degrees.

People who start out cycling focus a lot on the bike, on Ultegra vs. 105, etc. I say: go one level down and use the money that you have saved for proper clothing and contact points (saddle, pedals, handlebars/grips).
 
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OreoCookie

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Ratchet21

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Thanks everyone! Work have been busy lately so sorry for the late reply and I appreciate the inputs.

I don't know if it has been covered but the extended chain of Workman stores, 'Workman Plus' do cycling specific windbreakers, arm warmers etc. at unbeatable prices.

Andy

Thank you!I have heard good things about Workman from my friends, so definitely going to check it out.

Tons of sports gear is on sale on Amazon. For example, you can get Pearl Izumi arm warmers for ¥2,300. They look identical to the ones I have, in which case I can attest to their excellence. There are Under Armor base layers on sale (¥1,600–¥3,500) and ¥2,000–¥3,800. A buff (aka face warmer) is on sale for ¥890. I’m sure if you browse a bit, you’ll find more.
Yes, I was just looking at it when I saw your post haha, got myself a cycling pants with pads and the Under Armor base layer that you posted, thank you very much! As for arm warmers I'm not sure is the discount over or it's no longer available for same product, it shows 3200jpy at my side, I'm considering this one which is at 3500jpy but comes with thermal technology. Thanks again for the kind reminder!

Consider buying a slower bike? Hehe
Why so?
 
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baribari

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Thanks everyone! Work have been busy lately so sorry for the late reply and I appreciate the inputs.



Thank you!I have heard good things about Workman from my friends, so definitely going to check it out.



Yes, I was just looking at it when I saw your post haha, got myself a cycling pants with pads and the Under Armor base layer that you posted, thank you very much! As for arm warmers I'm not sure is the discount over or it's no longer available for same product, it shows 3200jpy at my side, I'm considering this one which is at 3500jpy but comes with thermal technology. Thanks again for the kind reminder!



Why so?
Less wind chill. That's why roadies switch to cyclocross during the winter.
 

OreoCookie

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The other factor is safety: where I live we have lots of snow and ice, so venturing inlands becomes fraught with danger. Even when most ice has melted, there are patches of black ice every now and then. A few years back a friend of mine passed a car that kissed a tree on a straight country road and thought to himself “What idiot crashes his car into a tree on this straight piece of r [argh!]” — before he found the patch of black ice himself. Fortunately, with the exception of a bruised ego, some ripped bib shorts, nothing serious happened to him. So you could ride a road bike, a road bike wants to be ridden fast and that increases the risk.

I for one prefer to take out my mountain bike and go up and down some baby trails. When I crash, I crash at much lower speeds on softer ground.
 
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olykoek

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excellent article.
finding the right ‘cut’ for a lot of items, especially for fall/spring is key.

I usually don’t try buy things online unless I have already tried it on, or have the same thing.
For road wear, I definitely like it to fit snug, but when you get to a few thin layers underneath, it can bulk up pretty fast.
So finding the right match of layers can be tricky sometimes.

Definitely worth a read if you’re in the market for a few more fall/winter clothes.
 

speedwobble

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Yeah good article. What a collection that guy has! The advice about finding a company or even just a product line within a company, Company ABC's "race fit", "training fit", or "club fit", that fits your body is very good. I like Castelli because I can buy them cheap second hand and be very confident about how they will fit. I'd get a better fit in a shop of course, but my goal is to find something I'm happy to have paid 5000 yen for.

Just regarding the specific items in that article, I'll add that the Perfetto Light he mentions is the most offspec sized Castelli thing I have found. It is a whole size smaller than the Gabba, part of the same product family. I have a fluro Gabba 2 in small and a black Perfetto Light in medium and they are exactly the same size. The online review blog Roubaix Cycling found the same about a much larger size of the Perfetto Light. I find the Gabba itself slightly larger than other Castelli race jerseys like the Aero Race and Climbers. The Perfetto Light though is crazy small.

If you have a water repellent softshell like a Gabba and water soaks into it, stick it in the tumble dryer for ten minutes to renew the coating. Water should bead off afterwards.
 

Ratchet21

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Went to try out Pearl Izumi's jacket and jersey yesterday!
At S the body part fits just nice but the sleeve is too short just like what everyone warned me about haha, at M the sleeve is better but it still get pulled up a little if I get into bike position and I get a little flaps at the stomach area which the shop assistant told me I shouldn't be worried too much unless I'm a speedster and a glove will cover the wrist just fine.
Gonna go try out few other brands at bigger shop over the weekend and maybe check out Rapha too along the way, they sell their wears at their club house right?
 
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Ratchet21

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MattRyuu

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I like Castelli because I can buy them cheap second hand and be very confident about how they will fit. I'd get a better fit in a shop of course, but my goal is to find something I'm happy to have paid 5000 yen for.
@speedwobble, me too! Castelli is my go to, but I'd really like to try out some of the Assos stuff. For me, it is all about the chamois pad, and Castelli's KISS ones seem to be great. Y's Road has a sale right now on their summer Castelli, I just picked up a Competizione bib short on sale yesterday, but it was only reduced by about 2-3k. The Aero 4 that the same site above recommends as a top racing bib short, is also on sale, by a bit more, but still more expensive.

Where are you finding second hand Castelli if you don't mind sharing?
 

speedwobble

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Hi Matt
Just Yahoo Auctions and Mercari. I generally find that I can get things from 2012 to 2018 that are in good condition with no stains and very little or no pilling in the 4000-7000 range, Rosso Corsa stuff included. Japan is full of people who believe in "kakkou kara hairu", getting all the gear before you embark on a hobby, so there is plenty of little used or unused stuff out there from someone's nine-day wonder. The expression used in Japanese for short-lived hobbies is actually "three days".

Here are some examples of things I'd consider cheap out there now.
First up is a Perfetto Convertible. It's a short sleeve virtually waterproof soft shell jersey with zip-on full-length sleeves. L size. Read the reviews on Wiggle for sizing. It's from around 2015-6.
Here's a winter jacket good down to around 5-6C. Again around 2015-6. Lots of vents so pretty flexible. Size is large.
Here's the same thing on Rakuten in a different colour in medium. 62 to 70kg maybe? On Mercari or Rakuten, you can ask the seller for a discount.
This is a more recent winter jacket, maybe 2017-8. Its a small, but someone up to 65Kg could probably wear it with a thin inner as a warm jersey. The line where jersey stops and jacket begins is really blurred now. A jacket like this will feel nice on the skin with nothing underneath.
Not Castelli, but something I carry very often, a fluro windjacket called the Endura Pakajak. Small is about medium in Castelli. The colour pops like crazy as you lose daylight and its cut for cycling so no flapping. It has a carry bag and packs to about the size of a 330ml can of beer.

I have some Assos winter tights, they're from maybe 2010. Airblock 851 or something like that with the light blue chammy. They don't have zips on the calves and have a zipped fly that I find digs into my belly. They are heavier and warmer than Castelli Sorpassos though. The only Assos jersey I have is the Union Jack one I bought mainly just for cheering on Team GB this year at the Tokyo Olympics. The flag series of jerseys Assos produced are made of recycled PET bottles and while that's nice and eco, the material is not very pleasant.
 

Nuff

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I would check wiggle, I picked up a month ago gabba ros xl for 14,000 yen for myself and women's perfetto ros for 15,000 for my partner. I'm going to use the gabba with nanoflex sleeves, which will add to the cost. Castelli sizing can be weird, but it fits me and my partner great.


In the link above the discounted colours and sizes are getting limited.

Also I recommend dhb merino base layers. Another tip if you don't want to pay customs, split up your order into smaller one, since shipping is free, it's usually not an issue.
 
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Ratchet21

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I would check wiggle, I picked up a month ago gabba ros xl for 14,000 yen for myself and women's perfetto ros for 15,000 for my partner. I'm going to use the gabba with nanoflex sleeves, which will add to the cost. Castelli sizing can be weird, but it fits me and my partner great.


In the link above the discounted colours and sizes are getting limited.

Also I recommend dhb merino base layers. Another tip if you don't want to pay customs, split up your order into smaller one, since shipping is free, it's usually not an issue.
Thank you! The Merino base layers does look very good, most likely going to get one to try out!
 

Ratchet21

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Alright guys! I have got most thing sorted out, am just lacking for the last which is body jersey/jacket for winter.
To be honest since this is my first jersey/jacket all my consideration are online reviews and words of mouths from cyclist and friends.
I've heard funny stories about Rapha but seems like their quality is really good and that, without doubt comes with expensive price. Pearl Izumi seems really good cost/performance wise, but their cut is fit is not the most ideal for me.

Pearl Izumi - Windbreak Swish Jacket
+ wind breaker + thermal material, good price, looks clean and simple
- not so ideal fit for body and slightly short sleeves

Rapha - Winter Jersey
+ wind proof at the front with merino material, zipped underam for ventilation
- Expensive, can be too extreme for spring/autumn even with minimum base layer, might be personal but it might look better without the big rapha logo at the back

Rapha - Core Winter Jacket
+ wind + water resistance, good for up till 10c with warm inner base, affordable options from rapha, looks clean and simple
- might not be enough during winter

Rapha - Brevet Wind Block Long Sleeve Jersey
+ wind resistant front with merino material, can be used for 3 seasons autumn, winter and spring (with appropriate layering), high reflective stripes around body
- expensive, some user in europe said that it might not be good enough for extreme winter even with thick base layer although I dont think Japan can match the winter in europe.

Just a disclaimer that I am not a rapha fanboy, but I do hear good things about the quality of their wear albeit the pricing can really be better. And I might still visit one or two shop that carry a lot of brands over the weekend to try out but I'm just looking to settle this as soon as possible so I can spend less time in front of comp/shop and more time on saddle hence trying to narrow down between PI or Rapha haha. (Cycled today and it was really chilly already)

I have also thought of buying 2nd hand from yahoo/mercari before, but as I had quite bad experience with buying second hand wear last time (hygiene problem from seller), I decided to just invest a good jersey/jacket to last me till next summer before I'm in market to buy a summer jersey again.

Thanks again everyone and appreciate if anyone can share their experience with any of the jersey/jacket mentioned above too. Have a great weekend!