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Indoor cycling attire

PETE GLADDEN
Pete’s World

Published: November 29, 2021

If you happen to be one of the multitude of people who will be cycling indoors during the upcoming winter months, well, there’s something you just might want to consider, something that could make for a really great indoor cycling experience as apposed to a really gnarly one, something as simple as wearing the proper indoor cycling gear.
Now I’m not going to give you my worn out sales pitch about wearing real cycling shoes for indoor workouts - that’s a given.
Nope, I’m going to take it a step further and suggest that if you’re going to be serious about indoor cycling then you just might want to invest in a pair of indoor cycling specific shoes in addition to some quality breathable indoor cycling clothing.
Yes Hank & Henrietta it’s the 21st century, and time to hang up those gym shorts, running T’s and tennis shoes that you’ve been cycling in for umpteen years. It’s time to step into some real indoor cycling duds this season.
Look, indoor cycling occurs in a hotter environment compared to outdoor cycling, especially when there’s a total lack of air circulation to assist in the sweat evaporation process. So in such greenhouse conditions it’s just as crucial wearing the proper cycling attire as it is staying well hydrated.
So let’s start the conversation off in the foot department. And like I said, if you’re going to be invested in indoor cycling this winter, like doing several classes/week, then it’s well worth investing in indoor-specific cycling shoes. Indoor cycling shoes, as opposed to many outdoor shoes, are constructed specifically to give your feet an opportunity to breathe in the hot and humid indoor cycling environment. What’s more, their use through the winter months will save you in the long run from rotting out your favorite pair of outdoor cycling shoes.
Now these indoor specific shoes are more of a hybrid between road and mountain bike shoes, with considerably more rubber on the sole thus allowing one to walk around the gym/studio without slipping and falling (I’ve witnesses that several times). So that traction factor is also a real plus with these shoes vs. outdoor specific shoes.
There are a slew of shoe companies who produce indoor cycling shoes, each with their own unique set of pros and cons. The most popular indoor brand is TIEM, but heck, there’s also general brands, like Nike, Specialized, Pearl Izumi, Shimano and many more. So you have ample choices here if you’re a bit price conscious.
Moving on to indoor cycling specific clothing, let me give you two big tips here. First, based on the lack of air flow indoors you’ll want specific clothing that will wick sweat from the skin while at the same time allowing air to ventilate both skin and clothing to evaporate sweat.
And second, you’ll want to steer clear of the traditional heavier duty outdoor cycling garb - it’s suffocating indoors.
Take the shorts for instance, since indoor cycling involves less moving around in the saddle and literally no riding over rough surfaces, you’ll want shorts with chamois’ that don’t need to absorb road vibrations. They just need to provide a tad of anti-frictional comfort, which means the indoor chamois’ need to be lighter and thinner. Think about it, a thick, sweaty outdoor chamois can make for an utterly miserable indoor cycling experience, and I can tell you personally that it feels like a giant, wet adult diaper.
Now as far as the tops go, most outdoor cycling jerseys can also be used indoors. But there’s a couple of things to think about here. One, you don’t need snug “aero” jerseys since air resistance isn’t an issue indoors. And two, typical outdoor jerseys - unless summer specific - aren’t made with quick-dry fabrics. Remember, the goal here is to stay as cool as possible.
What’s more, if you’re like me, a veritable sweat machine, you just might opt for a sleeveless jersey or tank top made of breathable, quick-dry fabric. Cycling bibs? I’d say nyet on that one because the extra layer of fabric plastered against the upper body can create prolific sweating issues.
Yup, if you’re mentally gearing up for the indoor cycling season, then you just might want to gear up with the right indoor cycling duds. They really do make a difference.


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