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  1. #1
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    What else am I missing out on.

    Ive never been one to use much gear. Just ride in street clothes and tennis shoes. For Father's Day my boys got me some padded gloves, holy crap do my hands feel better. I would always have numbness on rides over 15 miles....now they feel great. Anyway it got me to thinking about other gear...riding shorts,shoes, ? . Is there anything you guys use that make your rides easier/more comfortable? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: What else am I missing out on.

    At least get a padded liner short you can wear under your pants/shorts... Huge difference!
    Here is the thing about equality, everyone's equal when they're dead. - Gavroche, Les MisÚrables

  3. #3
    turtles make me hot
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    Yeah. Bike shoes, clipless pedals, bike shoes and lightweight wicking shirt. Don't forget a helmet, protective eyewear and a Camelbak.

    I used to ride like you. Now I have the whole enchilada.
    I like turtles

  4. #4
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    Clipless and bike shoes with really stiff soles really helps tremendously. Basically turns your whole foot in to a pedal and allows you to pull up with one foot while pushing down with the other. Really adds power and efficiency to your pedal stroke. If you're not interested or ready for that, even a nice set of platform pedals and a stiff soled shoe like a pair of 5.10's or skate boarding shoes will help a lot. After going the first route, noway on earth I'd ever be able to ride a bike in tennis shoes. No support at all.

    I also agree on the bike shorts. HUGE difference. Gloves as you found out are great too. As far as clothes, I went the other day to the trail and forgot my riding shorts. Had to ride in a pair of heavy cotton cargo shorts. It wasn't fun at all. I ride in cheap Starter brand athletic shorts, usually running shorts. They are perfect. Light weight, nice and baggy, and a little short so the opening to the shorts doesn't ride down my leg and down over my knees as I pedal. I absolutely hate that.

    A good wicking shirt also makes a good difference. Again, cheap Starter brand stuff from Walmart is great for biking.

    Safety glasses or shatter proof sunglasses like mentioned. Even when on the road. I've had gravel pop up and hit me in the face before on the road and I've been smacked in the face by branches and plants on the trails countless times.

  5. #5
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    I second the padded liner for your shorts. It'll make the same difference your gloves made. Glasses are a must if you don't already wear eye protection.

    Oh, and a hydration pack, keeps your hands on the bars and you hydrated!

  6. #6
    turtles make me hot
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    Haha... I said shoes twice.
    I like turtles

  7. #7
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    They must be important... Thanks for the responses, looks like I should treat myself to some more goodies. Not sure how to pick out shoes. Is there anything particular I should look for. The closest town to me that would have any instock is 60 miles away. Is this something I need to try on or can I just pick a pretty color and order it online. Found some shorts big enough for a man of my magnitude so that was good.

  8. #8
    turtles make me hot
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    Every manufacturer's shoes fit a little differently. I wear 48 in Specialized but 49 in Shimano. I think you should really try them first.
    You also need to decide if you want to try clipless or not.
    I like turtles

  9. #9
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    If the gloves made that much of a difference, then you may want to get some Ergon GP1 grips.

    This was my very first upgrade on my bike, and I love'em
    Ergon GP1 Performance Grips > Components > Handlebars and Stems > Grips | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    Here is Ergon website, you may want to view all of the grip options.

    ERGON BIKE ERGONOMICS

  10. #10
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    Keep in mind that bike shoes tend to run a bit narrow too. I wear Specialized for mountain biking in a wide and LAKE on the road as they tend to not be so narrow. I wear an 11 in running shoes and my Specialized are the same. My LAKES are a 12. I like them better than the Specialized, just a nicer shoe and they have the BOA closure system which is awesome.

  11. #11
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    Sounds like I better make a road trip to try some out. I appreciate all of the suggestions. I think I'll try out those grips as well. I know what a difference quality grips made in back in my atv racing days.

  12. #12
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    I bought all of the fancy riding gear, too. Helmet is a must. As you have already experienced, nice gloves make a huge difference. I have riding knickers, with padded crotch internal thingy, but I'm the odd one out on this. I never wear the knickers with the internal thingy inside anymore. I like much better to ride with just the knickers by themselves. The padded thingy always seemed to bunch up a little, and rub me the wrong way. Without it, that doesn't happen. Plus, having a nice, comfortable saddle makes a big difference, also. I use 5.10 shoes and nice platform pedals. I use a Camelbak as well. I usually wear a synthetic t-shirt when riding, but sometimes a long-sleeve one if the sun and temp are harsh. Good sunglasses are an absolute must; not just for riding, but for ANYTHING. Got to wear sunscreen, too.

  13. #13
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    What else am I missing out on.

    I sometimes ride in street clothes if I'm taking the dog out for a quick ride after work, or I slip out over lunch for a quick lap. But that's pretty much it, and I know what I'm sacrificing. I'd never go longer than 30-40 minutes like that.

    There is no substitute for a quality chamois (the pad in your shorts). It prevents chaffing and keeps steep nose-of-the-saddle climbs from being too invasive. The pads that come with liners of baggy shorts almost all suck. They're afterthoughts. I wear proper XC Lycra shorts under my baggies. I prefer bibs.

    A good pad isn't thick or squishy. Nor is a good saddle. Too much material gets squished up into your soft tissue and causes circulation problems. And a saddle needs to fit you. A saddle that's great for one person might be terrible for another.

    I'll add my agreement to shoes and gloves. Gloves are helmets for your hands. And shoes designed for pedaling are a huge improvement.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  14. #14
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    Yeah I think everyone already covered everything, except tools and spare tube, patch kit, pump, food and a spare derailluer hanger. yeah sounds like alot but on your back its nothing and trust me on the sapre derailluer hanger, been there walked back 5 miles with my derailluer hanging in the breeze.There are other threads to what to carry in your camelbak but these are the few things I carry.

  15. #15
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    All the info is much appreciated. I ordered some padded shorts that will go underneath my baggies, found a comfy helmet, and tried on a few shoes. All of them were too narrow, they didn't have much of a selection. I'll have to try elsewhere tomorrow.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moby P View Post
    All the info is much appreciated. I ordered some padded shorts that will go underneath my baggies, found a comfy helmet, and tried on a few shoes. All of them were too narrow, they didn't have much of a selection. I'll have to try elsewhere tomorrow.
    Yeah, see if you can find some Specialized, they come in wides and Lake seem to make their shoes a bit wider and have a boxy toe rather than the elf like pointed toes many cycling shoes seem to be afflicted with.

    I'm wearing the Specialized Expert MTB from last year in a wide and it's pretty comfy. I'll either move up the ladder to something with a BOA closure or go with a Lake shoe with a BOA closure next time out.

  17. #17
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    Yeah second that on specialized shoes, mine at at least 15 years old now, a little rough around the edges but still comfy and no holes. I have size 12 wide plus I have bunions and these gave my toes plenty of room so they dont rub the bunions. I wanted to treat myself to a new pair but these are so damn comfy I cant bare to break new shoes in.

  18. #18
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    Skip the clipless altogether. Go for a pair of 5-10 Freeriders or similar, and a good set of platform pedals.

    The 5-10's stick good, and the minimal if ANY extra efficiency you MIGHT get from clipless pales in comparison to the more confidence and fun you will have because you won't always be thinking about getting unclipped in time.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rn_dude View Post
    Skip the clipless altogether. Go for a pair of 5-10 Freeriders or similar, and a good set of platform pedals.

    The 5-10's stick good, and the minimal if ANY extra efficiency you MIGHT get from clipless pales in comparison to the more confidence and fun you will have because you won't always be thinking about getting unclipped in time.
    +1 on 5.10 Freeriders (and nice platforms)!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rn_dude View Post
    Skip the clipless altogether. Go for a pair of 5-10 Freeriders or similar, and a good set of platform pedals.

    The 5-10's stick good, and the minimal if ANY extra efficiency you MIGHT get from clipless pales in comparison to the more confidence and fun you will have because you won't always be thinking about getting unclipped in time.
    I've done both. Proper cycling shoes and clipless pedals beat the heck out of 5.10's and platforms and after a few rides unclipping becomes second nature.

  21. #21
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    Yep I agree, been clipless now 20 years and even if I go OTB I am out of my clips instantly wether I land on me feet or my face LOL

  22. #22
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    I haven't even thought about coming out of clipless since the first few rides on them. One gets used to it quickly. I do prefer 'Frogs' and I suggest them to anyone with concerns about 'feeling' locked in. Clipless are significantly more efficient and I believe much safer off-road as well.
    I can't even imagine riding boney single track without them.
    Quote Originally Posted by rn_dude View Post
    Skip the clipless altogether. Go for a pair of 5-10 Freeriders or similar, and a good set of platform pedals.

    The 5-10's stick good, and the minimal if ANY extra efficiency you MIGHT get from clipless pales in comparison to the more confidence and fun you will have because you won't always be thinking about getting unclipped in time.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Settertude View Post
    I haven't even thought about coming out of clipless since the first few rides on them. One gets used to it quickly. I do prefer 'Frogs' and I suggest them to anyone with concerns about 'feeling' locked in. Clipless are significantly more efficient and I believe much safer off-road as well.
    I can't even imagine riding boney single track without them.
    As a former clipless rider, too used to think they were more efficient. So, I understand why people think they are, even if I disagree.

    I'm curious though as to why you think they are safer? The ultimate off-roaders, downhillers, I don't believe are clipped in, are they?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by fahza29er View Post
    Yep I agree, been clipless now 20 years and even if I go OTB I am out of my clips instantly wether I land on me feet or my face LOL
    My recommendation however was for someone hasn't been wearing them at all. He doesn't even sound like been MTBing for 20 years.

  25. #25
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    Re: What else am I missing out on.

    Quote Originally Posted by rn_dude View Post
    The ultimate off-roaders, downhillers, I don't believe are clipped in, are they?
    Many WC Dh racers are clipped in...

    http://m.pinkbike.com/news/The-World...at-Pedals.html
    Here is the thing about equality, everyone's equal when they're dead. - Gavroche, Les MisÚrables

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