First off, I have found the best sizing in clothing comes from Nashbar's house brand and Hoss. Both run in classic 'US' sizing, which I am used to. I normally buy a Men's large, and it is perfect. However, I ordered a super lightweight jacket the other day in a Men's XXL so I could fit it over my work clothes, and it didn't fit even with just a tee shirt on! What the ****?! The biggest annoyance was how much time I spent trying to find the right jacket for what I needed it for at a good sale price. I need a jacket in that super duper lightweight tissue paper material that breathes and keeps moisture out. I live in the desert, so it never gets cold. The point of the jacket is for visibility at night when I ride or commute and for sudden desert downpours, which are always warm rains. The one I ordered is the right material, folds up to the size of a couple decks of cards, but doesn't fit :/
However, I also ordered Nashbar's house brand cycling jersey in a large xtra tall, and it is the PERFECT fit! Not too tight, and not baggy. Very happy! I also ordered some cheapo size large Hoss sleeveless as base layers, and they also fit exactly as I want them too! They are skin tight, so I can stick them on under my jersey and they are are nice and thin and work fantastic for wicking off moisture on hots days. Plus, I ordered the Hoss in tan, since you want to wear light colors out here, and it is just thick enough to NOT be see through! Important as a chick, and harder than you would think to find! I have to layer white undershirts, and you can still see my bra. No problem with this in my Hoss, I can wear it without an undershirt Obviously, the only problem with both is saggy shoulders since I don't have men's shoulders, but this is a problem I have long learned to not care about when everything else fits fine.
The final find was from Amazon, some padded Canari cycling shorts in XXL. I followed the sizing chart when I ordered these, and found the size to be somewhere between US sizing and the smaller Euro sizing. The XXL is a bit big, but XL would have been a bit tight. Because they are meant to be liners, I am thinking I actually want them to be tight and should have gotten the XL. I can wear the XXL over some capris, and they still stay nice and tight without being constrictive. I usually wear a L-XL in men's pants, so the sizing is just about right. They fit like a comfy pair of lycra shorts. The legs are the part that make me the happiest! I have a short inseam of around 28, so the leg stretches to just at my knee. The leg stays put and does not roll one bit! It also has some rubber on the inside bottom of the legs, so that helps a lot with preventing rolling. But, covering my entire thigh is the BIGGEST help, both for my own modesty and in keeping the shorts where I want them. The padding on them is just the right amount, but I do wish there was a *tad* bit more in the seat. The amount in the crotch I find to be perfect! It doesn't catch on the nose of the saddle, which was my big concern if the shorts were too baggy or the padding was excessive. And, of course, being a woman, they look great on me Smooth out my thighs and ass and show off my kick ass calves of steel!
Ok, now for the questions I have! First, is padding. Specifically elbow pads and knee pads to begin with. As a fat kid, I remember always having one HELL of a time finding protection gear that wasn't uncomfortably restrictive. I would come home from soccer practice with swollen legs and painful red marks where the shin guards dug in. I went through a different pair every season, and not until my last couple of season when my parents found me some men's ones did it stop. Obviously, I am bigger now that I was when I was 9, so I know this will be a concern again. Don't need anything *too* hardcore yet, just something inexpensive for small bumps and bruises. But there will be a point that I will thrash the cheap stuff and need to upgrade, but that is down the road Also, how do you guys feel about full armor? I haven't even LOOKED at it, knowing that to do so would just frustrate me. I don't even think I need it, I am not a downhill rider. Elbow and knee pads seem like plenty! The problem, of course, is that I am female so my elbows and knees aren't *huge* just *fat*. When I skated, my elbows and knees would move under the pads I wore because they were like a giant cup over my joints. I fell a few times and actually bruised the **** out of myself when the sides of the hard pads jarred into me because my joints slid out of the cups, even though the straps never moved. So, basically, I need woman sized pads with XXL straps.
I am also wondering why there are special biking/ cycling shoes for flats? What do they have that regular tennis shoes don't? I wear my most comfortable walking shoes when I bike, and I do get a lot of pain in the balls of my feet. I have a pair of skate shoes, but they are not as comfy as my walking shoes. Will I have better results with those while biking? What should I look for in shoes that make them good for cycling? I have lots of sport shoes already, so I would rather use some of them with a good insert than buy cycling shoes if cycling shoes don't have anything special on them.
Alright, that covers everything I can think of for right now!
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