Kit: cheap vs high-end - worth it?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
RussellS
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:31 am

by RussellS

For shorts I use Pearl Izumi. Usually one of their more expensive models with the funny designed, shaped chamois. The $100+ shorts except I get them on sale for much less. For jerseys I use whatever I have. Some dirt cheap. Some maybe higher end due to my getting them through rides where they give you a jersey for your entrance fee. Some jerseys fit me good. Others hang about like sacks. Probablh due to me buying too big of a size. Never noticed any difference in jerseys. Other than some are loose sacks and others actually fit. Or some are heavy cloth, while othrs are thin cloth. Not sure there is any "performance" effect from a jersey. For socks I like SmartWool. Or some normal shorter socks I got from Performance decades ago. They just look and feel right. I have some of those super thin super short racing cycling specific socks. Never ever wear them. I want more cloth between my skin and my shoes.

RussellS
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:31 am

by RussellS

themidge wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:32 pm
Shorts should always be black, no questions asked.
But I got some really upper level Pearl Izumi short for $20 a few years back. $100+ retail price. They are black with bright neon yellow stripes down the sides. For that kind of price, looks are a bit less important.

by Weenie


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themidge
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by themidge

Well... it depends on how high-vis and how stripy they are, a bit of writing or a band of colour round the leg or something is acceptable IMO.
That was a screaming deal though! :thumbup:

RussellS
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by RussellS

themidge wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:37 pm
That was a screaming deal though! :thumbup:
I know. I was giddy ordering them. Ordered four pair just to be sure I got a great deal. Even though I have lots and lots of shorts in use right now. Absolutely no need for them. Its a 3 inch wide neon yellow stripe down the side. Otherwise black. If it had been pink instead of neon yellow, I might have said no thanks no matter how great the bargain.

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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

themidge wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:33 pm
Good kit doesn't have to be expensive. The bib-shorts I use from Decathlon cost £25, have a good quality, well placed chamois, and the cut of the shorts is so good for me that it doesn't matter that they don't have leg grippers. My favourite winter jersey is an old Mapei training top that cost £10 on eBay. I hate spending money on bike stuff that isn't my bike, so cheap kit is the way to go. I'm not a total fred though, I have a Kask mojito and my shoes have carbon in them... :D

P.S. The worst piece of supposedly 'cycling specific' clothing has to be socks. How anyone can say with a straight face that they need special sports socks for cycling, I cannot fathom.
last winter I got some cheap clothes at Decathlon, initially for crappy weather riding, but after few rides I got a whole bunch of different stuff and I'm riding them daily ever since. I've never been happier with any bike clothing purchase - the price/quality ratio is mind blowing: 15euro for bibs (there are more expensive models, but I can't see any real difference), 20euro for a decent jersey, winter jacket for like 80e, spring jacket for 40e... this stuff works, looks and lasts well. chamois is good enough for 3-4 hour rides. jerseys - there are more and less cut models, material seems OK, rear pockets are solid. I'm extremely happy with the jackets too, although I don't ride much below 5C, I've been feeling really great wearing those. perhaps the fit could've been tighter here or there, but I don't really notice that on the road. best part - if you notcie some extremely fast wear or some crappy seams, returning your clothes is no problem at all - even after months of using them hard.

there are downsides though - you'll look as a total novice on the bike, and all your pals will shook their heads in disbelief those clothes are even remotely 'rideable' 8)
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.

mvcap
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:50 pm

by mvcap

Rapha has a 25% off sale going (shows on top of each page of their site) so I ordered some bibs and will update once they arrive.

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TonyM
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by TonyM

I also saw the 25% discount at Rapha but for me I need to have at least 50% off in order to have an incentive to buy it and not Assos. I prefer to pay more but to have the best quality.

chorus88
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:58 pm
Location: Toronto

by chorus88

Another Castelli warranty item, with Wiggle.
2016 NanoFlex legwarmers, small, worn 45 times & washed 7 times.

Never buy white cycling gear...it gets dirty! :mrgreen:
Attachments
nano-75c.jpg

antonioiglesius
Posts: 290
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:08 pm

by antonioiglesius

kerplunk wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:26 pm
Does anyone have any recommendations of the better ebay/Alibaba brands? Surely the Chinese cycling community is now large enough that they are starting to produce local brands that are a cut above the rest.
I've got some "Santic" branded shorts and they fit well and quality looks pretty good but who are the budding Raphas and Assos of Asia?
I was thinking perhaps browsing the Chinese forums (I am fluent in Google Translate) would provide some sense of where the brands stand, but I couldn't find any on Google. Then I realized it might be due to the Great Firewall. Since the Chinese market is potentially huge, those brands might not need to bother with the rest of the world at least for quite a few years.

(Later...)
I found this on Baidu: http://bbs.chinabike.net/forum-218-1.html. Will poke around a bit...

mvcap
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Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:50 pm

by mvcap

Update...

I bought some Rapha bibs during the 25% off sale (core bib) and have worn them a few times. Off the bike, pretty uncomfortable, fit is fine but feel like I'm standing/straddling a ^ as the chamois doesn't want to relax (perpetual wedgie?). Maybe eventually it will... ON the bike, however, (where it matters) they are bliss. Very comfortable and I like them. Just not eager to make any coffee stops!

Also picked up a Pearl Izumi form fit jersey, and I am surprised how much better the wicking and fit are than the china cheapies I have been wearing. When it's as hot and humid as it is in the middle of summer, it doesn't take long to see the difference. Those who stated this was the case were correct. I will venture into some other brands as well, but I have bought my final eBay knock-off jersey. Just watching for sales now - hello, clearance rack.

Thanks for all the input - didn't know what I was missing!

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TonyM
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by TonyM

Now that you have tested the better quality you may want at some point to test the next steps in terms of quality: premium line from Rapha and then premium line from Assos.

And you will also be able to see how durable these products are.
In the long run some expensive products at buying are cheaper or equally expensive in terms of cost per year as you can keep them longer (premium line from Assos).

mvcap
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:50 pm

by mvcap

Will do TonyM, I started with Rapha's Core bib due to price but their site stated it's the same chamois as their Classic bib so I felt that's a fair starting point. Assos I will also def try, thanks!

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TonyM
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by TonyM

mvcap wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:44 am
Will do TonyM, I started with Rapha's Core bib due to price but their site stated it's the same chamois as their Classic bib so I felt that's a fair starting point. Assos I will also def try, thanks!
Yepp that's the way to go! comparing the chamois for example. Wihtin a brand they have only a limited number of different chamois (but Assos has 4 different chamois in their S7 line). Then it is the type of textile, the fit - and sometimes just the design or just a marketing premium price.

And for the pricing there are always some discount to grab if you are ok to wait a few months sometimes. Even Assos has some discount at some online retailer from time to time (end of the summer season, end of the winter season etc...).

NoBlink
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 9:44 pm

by NoBlink

mvcap wrote:Will do TonyM, I started with Rapha's Core bib due to price but their site stated it's the same chamois as their Classic bib so I felt that's a fair starting point. Assos I will also def try, thanks!
It’s of course also very subjective, I have three pairs of bibs from Rapha. 1 Brevet, 1 Core and 1 Pro team. For me this sequence is also how I’d rate them. The brevet is the most comfortable pair of bibs (both on and off the bike) I think I’d ever own. I am actually a bit disappointed with the Pro team, however, others seam to swear by it.

Haven’t tried Assos yet..

RTW
in the industry
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by RTW

themidge wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:20 am
Socks that I would usually wear in normal life, basically not sports socks.
If you really want I can post some pictures later :D
Okay Midge. I feel for you. PM me your details. I will send you some cycling socks if you post them on here!

by Weenie


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