Friday, March 4, 2016

Why Wear Cycling Clothing???

Cycling clothing is designed to fit on your body in a completely different way that everyday clothing does.  Cycling clothing moves with you in the ways that your body moves when you are cycling.  Cycling clothing supports your pelvis, and the tender tidbits that make-up your pelvic structure.  Cycling clothing also serves to wick moisture away from the body so that you experience less stress on the skin and less friction from the clothing on the surface of your skin.

Sex Specificity
Don’t get carried away, this has nothing to do with what happens in the bedroom, but it does have a great deal to do with the anatomy that’s involved!  We are light-hearted about this, but it can be a serious matter; did you know that excessive loss of blood-flow to the nether region of the pelvis can cause long-term and even permanent damage?!?  Well as we said before it DOES have everything and nothing to do with the bedroom-but in all seriousness!!! The correct short (sometimes anatomy specific chamois can be a world of difference) and the perfect saddle (some women’s saddles can significantly enhance the ride experience) can be the difference between hours of saddle-time bliss, or the nightmare that lasts far reaching beyond just the time in the saddle!  Be ‘pudendaly enlightened’…get a saddle pressure mapping done (ask a fit specialist what that means)!

Go commando!
While undies might feel more natural than the diaper feeling pad pressed between your legs, cycling shorts ARE NOT design to be worn with underwear.  The chamois (a fancy French word given to name the pad in the bike shorts) is a multi-density cushion that is biomechanically designed to work with your pelvic anatomy to reduce pressure on soft-tissue, minimize possible germs and growth of bacteria, and to wick moisture away from sweaty places.  How does this work?!?  The chamois is designed of multiple layers that support the pelvis.  A nicer (yes, often times more expensive) quality chamois will consist of more than one level of density.  A lesser quality chamois is often made of a simple padding material to give adequate cushion for the rider riding no greater than 45 minutes.
Another reason to go commando is so you can utilize chamois cream.  This is a product that is known by many names such as: Button Hole Chamois Cream, Chamois Butter, AssMagic, Go Slik, DZNutsBliss, Hoo-Haa Ride Glide, Petal Power Joy Ride, and Ballocks…the claims are as varied as the names are, and while these names could easily be stolen from K-Y’s personal lubricant division, they DO the trick!  Chamois cream, helps to mitigate bacterial growth and friction by providing anti-bacterial ingredients, and skin soothing chemicals to help reduce irritation in the perineal area.

Why so tight?
Non-cyclists might not understand why riders wear such snug duds; it would become very apparent on a long, hot, windy day on the bicycle!  Most cycling clothing is designed to be tight because of its moisture and heat transfer properties.  The human epidermis, your skin, does a phenomenal job of dissipating heat from the body, in the form of moisture…sweat!  This wet heat is excreted through sweat glands that cover the surface of your skin-this is very good…the trouble is that your skin is not completely covered with sweat glands-and while that sounds nifty, you’d probably wilt and fall over in dehydration.  Here’s where clothing selection comes in…many cycling garments are engineered to increase the virtual surface area of your skin, if you will; what this means is that if they fit snug to your skin, they will act as a second measure to dissipate that moisture and heat, thus lowering your surface, and ideally core body temperatures.  If you are working hard and getting hot, this is awesome!  One manufacturer boasts that it increases the virtual surface area of your skin by 4 times because of the bio-engineering of its fabrics.

Train Smart, Keep Balanced.