Splurge when I can: tires, helmet, tubes, shorts/knickers/pants, summer wicking tops, base layers, have the LBS work on my bikes when I'm out of my comfort zone.
Save: I sew my cool weather tops out of cotton jersey. I don't sweat as much this time of year, so I can make this work. Also made a hi-vis hooded fleece jacket w/reflective accents. Incorporated a lot of features that were lacking on the pricier duds. Saved a ton of cash, can customize the fit to my bod, and still look decent.
On the To-Do List: handlebar pogies, wool shoe covers and helmet ear muffs (all from thrift store felted sweaters); recover an old CL In-Step trailer w/blaze orange fleece and build a new floor to haul cargo.
Sure, my home-sewn stuff isn't quite as good as a $120 Pearl Izumi jacket, but it does the job and my budget is happy.
Baselayers are very important for comfort. They are designed for both cool and warm weather. A good base layer aids in the wicking abilities of the jersey which allows you to stay cooler on warm days and warmer on cool days. Regardless of the distance of my ride or the temp the base layer is with me.
Overall the articl is great, but I would disagree on two points, tubes and helmets. I am a firm believer in higher end tubes, especially seamless ones. I have always used these and had great success. I purchased 10 tubes from a very well known company and had all 10 tubes fail either at the seam or at the valve stem in less than 4 months. I purchased the seamless ultralight Victoria tubes and haven't had one failure in 6 months.
I also disagree with the helmet article. Yes, helmets meet ASTM certs, but there are huge differences from big box store helmets and IBD helmets. Lighter helmets and more vents equals greater comfort, also I like the idea of crash replacement programs. Not to mention it is your head we are talking about.
Fitness Minutes: (84,404) Posts: 6,727 9/15/11 7:11 P
I usually keep one or two pair of really nice shorts for long rides and less expensive ones for the rest of the time. As far as tubes go, I got some store brand tubes from a store that I won't name but when I used their tubes I got flats all the time. In general a tube is a tube but there are a few lemons out there. High performance tires wear faster than moderately priced tires. Higher performance is partly achieved by using thinner and softer rubber that wears faster. Like shorts I keep a pair of value tires on my daily wheels and high performance tires on my Sunday best wheels. Purple casings? I've been out of the biz for a while but I never heard that purple casings were more supple. The best tires I tried are Veloflex and they had gum colored sidewalls and carcas. Also, I always found kevlar bead tires harder to mount rather than easier. Like the article says for a long time I always bought the cheapest helmet that fit me. I always have been satisfied with them but last time I was in the market I made the mistake of trying a Giro Pneumo. So light, airy, and comfortable that I gave my plastic some use that day. I'm not convinced you have to spend several C notes on sunglasses. Over the years I made money selling expensive Oakley, Bolle, and Rudy Project shades. Back before Greg LeMond first wore Oakleys in the Tour de France we were perfectly happy without sunglasses or with the drug store variety. Just about any sunglasses you find today absorbs UV rays including cheapies.
I think the chick in the last photo 1. doesnt need a good base layer when it is 75 and sunny. 2. shoulda probably put on that Team Discovery jersey she was told to buy a few clicks back, and 3. should really rethink the splurge on the good base layer and buy a helmet.
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