Why So Expensive?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why So Expensive?

    My jaw keeps dropping as I'm shopping around for biking clothes. The price of these jerseys and shorts are making my wallet cringe + clamp shut in pain and I haven't hit "Buy Now" once yet! Can someone please educate me on why these clothes are so expensive? I'm having a hard time justifying the purchase of a shirt which costs several times more than my usual shirt purchase. I seriously want to know what makes these shirts cost so much. I'm not trying to sound whiny, but if I'm going to spend 70 bucks on a single shirt there better be a few very good reasons for it. Thanks.
    Just a Kitty cruisin' in the Rockies with her Pumpkin (TREK 820)

  2. #2
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    There is no reason. I use underarmor summer weight T shirts and nylon over shorts. Spandex / padded biking shorts are the only biking specific clothes I have.

  3. #3
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    I would think the main reason is some people are buying them. motocross jerseys are long sleeve but alot cheaper, running shirts are a good deal too. I look for shorts on sale. It seems bike riders are marks for the clothing industry because they know there are some that will pay the price...you can get meniro wool socks for almost half the price at Red Wing Shoe Stores. Just look into other sports and for sales.

  4. #4
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    Look at the Champion brand moisture wicking short sleeve shirts at Target. $12 to $15.

  5. #5
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    Like manabiker said people will pay it. I use a cotton t-shirt that I can buy at Marshalls, $14 for a pack of three Ralph Lauren shirts. They are super soft and breathe incredibly well. If you want a synthetic shirt just find something you like at the sports store.

    On a side note, I've found that a good pair of riding shorts are worth investing in as I've shredded a few regular shorts crashing.

  6. #6
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    @MTBKitty - have you met Chainlove.com? I've gotten some great deals on there.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the leads!

    I downloaded the chainlove desktop gadget. How often do they feature jerseys, shorts, and/or gloves?

    I've heard motocross apparel mentioned before, thanks for the reminder of them.
    Just a Kitty cruisin' in the Rockies with her Pumpkin (TREK 820)

  8. #8
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    Cycling clothing is stupid expensive, but that's just the way it is. However, sites like chainlove do offer good deals from time to time if your patient you can get some really great bargains. Also deals will pop up on ebay, gear trader, pricepoint, jenson, treefort, universal cycles(use vip15 for 15% off stuff), blueskycycling. Those are the sites I usually check out for deals on clothing and other bike stuff. Also the "where are the deals" forum in mtbr is a great place to find deals.

  9. #9
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    hey man check out chanilove/bonk/department of goods. i suspect they are all the same thing since you can use the same account to log into all of them...

    btw once you use proper riding gear you will never look back. i used to be one of those guys that would LOL at the price of jerseys/cycling jackets/shorts untill i actually got some -_-.

  10. #10
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    I don't bother with cycling specific jerseys. I had one a while back, and it was fine, but no better than a lot of other wicking shirts I have. IMO, it is the material, not the style, that makes the difference, and you can get non-cycling wicking shirts much cheaper. So, IMO, there is no good reason to spend even half of what you are talking about on shirts. I seldom spend over $20 on a shirt and I have been perfectly happy with most of them.

    Shorts are a different story. Real cycling shorts are key, and there is a world of difference between good ones and mediocre ones. I have bought shorts anywhere from $30-$100, and the 2 best buys were the Sugio Gustov Baggies for something like $75 and the Sugio RS road shorts for ~$100. If you are going to spend a long time pedaling with your @ss in the saddle, shorts are as important as almost any component on the bike.

    Socks? Same as shirts, in my experience.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  11. #11
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    I get cycling jerseys because i like the look, the fit, the zipper that allows you to vent, and the pockets in the back. I have to have the pockets in back now.

  12. #12
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    people buy them. thats it.

  13. #13
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    use gearscan.com to track those sites. bike clothing is expensive because this sport has one of the highest median incomes of all sports. It can be broken down future to triathletes. I believe the median income is over $50k for triathletes. The source was bicycle magazine, but can't find article.

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Virgil
    Look at the Champion brand moisture wicking short sleeve shirts at Target. $12 to $15.
    Agreed! The long sleeves are great as well.
    Although I'll spend on a good pair of baggy bike shorts, if not on sale.

  16. #16
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    I hit up the local Sports Authority clearance rack every couple of weeks. Usually a few wicking jerseys at bargain basement prices.

  17. #17
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    The good news is nice jerseys will last for years as long as you don't crash and wash them with care.. I have jerseys over 10 years old that still look brand new.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Virgil
    Look at the Champion brand moisture wicking short sleeve shirts at Target. $12 to $15.
    Bingo!

    I use these and they are great and most importantly cheap without sacrificing functionality

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Sugio Gustov Baggies for something like $75
    Leg vents? Aren't shorts ventilated enough?

  20. #20
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    I do not find biking clothing being any more expensive then similar items for any other sport.

    And, indeed, good fabrics made their way into Target level stuff. Works as well as some fancy stuff from not so many years ago,

  21. #21
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    Try Nashbar clothing...Good prices.
    My Bike: http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...3&postcount=49

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  22. #22
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    My last biking shirt was 8 bucks. My 3 year old shorts were 40 bucks. My shoes were 100, but after 2 years they're still in excellent shape (and I like them quite a bit. There was plenty of shoes for half that).

    Like others said, just shop better.

  23. #23
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    Also, if it makes you feel better, I've had some of my cycling jerseys and shorts for over 10 years. Some cheaper ones either wore out, or they just never fit right and I threw them out, but my stuff from Pearl Izumi and Sugoi is still going strong, so there's value in the quality of the good stuff. Endura makes some kick-ass gear too. If I hadn't worked in a bike shop at the time I don't think I would've bought a pair of $100 shorts, but looking back I'm glad I did. What blows my mind is when people spend $75+ on a pair of jeans, like True Religion or something, that are probably out of style among their crowd within a year or two.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

  24. #24
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    Plenty of moisture wicking shirts at Walmart or Target from 10.00 to 20.00 each. I've used Century spandex shorts from performancebike.com They're usually on sale for around 25.00. I bought 5 pair about 10 years ago and they're still going strong. Don't get the gel shorts.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    I don't bother with cycling specific jerseys. I had one a while back, and it was fine, but no better than a lot of other wicking shirts I have. IMO, it is the material, not the style, that makes the difference, and you can get non-cycling wicking shirts much cheaper. So, IMO, there is no good reason to spend even half of what you are talking about on shirts. I seldom spend over $20 on a shirt and I have been perfectly happy with most of them.

    Shorts are a different story. Real cycling shorts are key, and there is a world of difference between good ones and mediocre ones. I have bought shorts anywhere from $30-$100, and the 2 best buys were the Sugio Gustov Baggies for something like $75 and the Sugio RS road shorts for ~$100. If you are going to spend a long time pedaling with your @ss in the saddle, shorts are as important as almost any component on the bike.

    Socks? Same as shirts, in my experience.
    I'm a big Sugoi fan. What do you find so special about the RS shorts?

    Been looking for them and can't find them anywhere less than $100.

  26. #26
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    Try www.aerotechdesigns.com. Great deals on biking shorts and more. Excellent multi layer chamois pads.
    agmtb

  27. #27
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    Most mtb gear is priced in the range of my normal clothing so I don't feel out Of place paying 75$ for a jersey or 100$ for fox shorts. Though my day wear trends to have better build quality I must say.

    Cycling is a "rich" sport, we have the highest average income of any "popular" sport activity.

  28. #28
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    Who makes a good baggy MTB short?
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=676475

    I'm looking at these, price-matched to PricePoint where they are only $50:

    Zoic Ether short
    http://www.zoic.com/mens-ether-short
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  29. #29
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    Bike clothes are more expensive because they are made in very small quantities and by small companies compared to street clothes.

  30. #30
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    what MCS said.

    cycling clothing is cut so it fits in riding "attack" position or whatever. but putting all those extra peices of cloth together to enhance the ergonomics adds steps to the finished product. more steps. more cost.
    <(*-*<) Go Ride (>*-*)>

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamL3227
    what MCS said.

    cycling clothing is cut so it fits in riding "attack" position or whatever. but putting all those extra peices of cloth together to enhance the ergonomics adds steps to the finished product. more steps. more cost.
    yep, as much as I love the price and feel of my Champion wicking shirts they usually leave me with a funny looking tan section across my lower back because they aren't cut long enough in the back (unless I go up a size but then end up with an overly baggy shirt flapping in the wind). For normal in-the-saddle riding it's not a problem, just any time my chest is low and/or my butt is off the saddle. The bike jerseys I've slowly started acquiring have no such problems though.

    That said it doesn't add enough to the cost to justify those kind of prices, but it gives the product a special feature that "justifies" them charging more and is something people will willingly pay more for. There certainly is a difference in manufacturing costs for smaller batches and more intricate designs, but that alone isn't likely to account for pricing an order of magnitude higher

  32. #32
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    I just use Under Armor or similar wicking tops and leggings. Cycling specific shorts, just wait them out for clearance sales and snatch them up. Chainlove, sign up for Jenson USA and Price Point email alerts. Sock Guy socks on Price Point are dirt cheap. Etc, etc.

  33. #33
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    I have to agree to cost of cycling wear is off putting. I reject the notion that these clothes are being made by small companies in small batches. I'll bet the majority of manufactures are Asian based, i.e. China, Taiwan, or S. Korea. What you're really paying for in most cases is brand recognition. Granted the name usually does insure quality products for the most part. Which reminds me, I see Asian manufacturers offering inexpensive padded shorts on ebay these days with up to 22mm pads, silicon, gel, and coolmax fabric. Having said that I have not purchased any.

  34. #34
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    All sports have expensive equipment. Have you ever seen the cost of hockey or equestrian equipment?
    If you're buying online, I find that Chainreactioncycles.com is awesome with prices. They ship worldwide (which is a giant plus for me in Canada), and the shipping is free if you spend over $250. Sizing is sometimes an issue, but all clearance/previous year styles are generally at least 40% off. Also, they have a much larger selection than just about every other biking site I've seen.
    Good luck shopping!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by norwish
    If you're buying online, I find that Chainreactioncycles.com is awesome with prices. They ship worldwide (which is a giant plus for me in Canada), and the shipping is free if you spend over $250. Sizing is sometimes an issue, but all clearance/previous year styles are generally at least 40% off. Also, they have a much larger selection than just about every other biking site I've seen.
    Good luck shopping!
    Them, and also Wiggle, Universal cycles and closeouts on Jenson and Pricepoint and occasional Ebay shipment of off the back of a truck items from Asia is where my discretionary spending often ends up.

  36. #36
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    I do appreciate cycling jerseys with drop tails so I don't give the rider behind me a shot of cycling crack when leaning far forward, especially on group rides.

    Shorts are definitely worth it in my mind. I've 2 pairs of MTB shorts that were over $100, TLD Ace and Jett Hornet.

    Jerseys I just wait for deals at Chainlove and the various other online bike sites. My long sleeve Royal racing jersey (Chainlove special) is a favorite of mine for looks and functionality, especially at this time of year. It's nice for the cooler temps, yet it breathes really well and is cool/thin enough that I think I could wear it in the middle of summer. It does offer some abrasion protection over a short sleeve in the event of a fall.
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  37. #37
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    I find some stuff on Chainlove sometimes...

  38. #38
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    because people will pay for them, cycling clothes like most things in the "sport" industry is made in some third world factory for pennies and you get to pay for the name. I wear 25 dollar paradox spandex and wally world undr armor as well, as with otheres ,my only bicycle specific clothes I wear are padded shorts I bought on closeout, I am the sam way with motorcycle gear, if its not on sale or closeout, I dont need it.

  39. #39
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    I buy Performance stuff when its on Sale, like now!! I also wear a lot of Mnt. Hardware moisture wicking shirts that I originally bought for hiking. Winter riding needs an under layer of polypro - REI or Underarmour.

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    Consider costco for the paradox medium base layer in place of the more expensive under armour..I own both for ski season and the paradox performs just as well and only $14.99 per piece

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris1911
    I get cycling jerseys because i like the look, the fit, the zipper that allows you to vent, and the pockets in the back. I have to have the pockets in back now.
    Bingo! I love the pockets and venting zippers of my biking jerseys. Stuff a snack, a cell phone (in a plastic sandwich baggie!) and maybe a windbreaker in there and off you go. I once even rolled up a punctured tube and crammed it in my jerset pocket because I didn't want to fight it into the seat pack.

    Otherwise, any of the popular wicking athletic shirts work fine.

    The one place to avoid skimping is on good shorts. I have 3 pairs of Gore Bikewear shorts (well, 2 shorts and a bib short) and they are absolutely worth the money. I'm planning on adding another pair of bibs this year, and a pair of baggies if I start commuting by bike. It wouldn't fly to walk into the hallways at work with Lycra on I don't think... But good bike shorts don't chaffe, don't restrict your movement and don't get hung up on the saddle.

  42. #42
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    Seriously many of these posts are freaking silly- comparing cycling jerseys to T shirts from marshals and target- WTF! The jerseys are actually a high quality made items out of a quality material that will retain its shape, are made not to chafe in specific areas and obviously have moisture wicking properties and other aspects which make them good for cycling, people wear them for this for a reason. Problem being that the ones with bright loud graphics and advertisements are typically much pricier. This being said, I dont wear them but I used to have one- 30 dollars from some catalog and it was a quality item. I have had a million cheap T's - none compare. I have some Dakine 3/4 sleeve downhill type jerseys, very light, breathable and could probably wear armor underneath.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottg07
    Seriously many of these posts are freaking silly- comparing cycling jerseys to T shirts from marshals and target- WTF! The jerseys are actually a high quality made items out of a quality material that will retain its shape, are made not to chafe in specific areas and obviously have moisture wicking properties and other aspects which make them good for cycling, people wear them for this for a reason.
    I think for jerseys and MTB use all those aspects are not as important as for shorts.

    I have all sorts of cycling specific shirts, but my favorite wear are long sleeved Nike running shirt and also some short sleeved shirt from a similar fabric from Target. Those Target brands seem to use fairly nice fabrics and cut. Just slightly loose. Better wicking in MTB usage, plus UV protection, then those tight roadie jerseys. I find I heat up less with sleeve covered. And short sleeved works well with elbow pads.

    Now, for chamois, even if under a baggie for image concerned, there you need the best bit you can afford.

  44. #44
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    The C9 stuff from Champion that Target carries works great as far as shirts go, I buy cheap Wrangler rip stop cargo pants from Wally world, just put them on over bike shorts, very comfortable and cheap, still looking for a cheap spot for padded bike shorts though.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottg07
    Seriously many of these posts are freaking silly- comparing cycling jerseys to T shirts from marshals and target- WTF! The jerseys are actually a high quality made items out of a quality material that will retain its shape, are made not to chafe in specific areas and obviously have moisture wicking properties and other aspects which make them good for cycling, people wear them for this for a reason. Problem being that the ones with bright loud graphics and advertisements are typically much pricier. This being said, I dont wear them but I used to have one- 30 dollars from some catalog and it was a quality item. I have had a million cheap T's - none compare. I have some Dakine 3/4 sleeve downhill type jerseys, very light, breathable and could probably wear armor underneath.
    I don't know if you can get them at Target and Marshals in particular, but there are non-cycle-specific shirts (t's) that are made of the same fabrics (quality, strech, and moisture wicking) that have coast a lot bit than cycling specific ones. As far as chafing, I've never had any shirt chafe. I had one real jersey a few years back, and it was very nice, but I did not see any real advantage for me. I stopped wearing it because I thought it looked goofy.

    I think one difference with cycling specific shirts is that since they are marketed towards a fairly select segment of people who are actually riding, they tend to be good quality across the board. "Wicking" tee shirts can be very high quality, or not. So the idea that any sport tee shirt from wherever is as good as a true jersey is probably not accurate. I have a couple that are not as good (they work better as base layers), but several that are, but they all cost a lot less than I could get jerseys for.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  46. #46
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    In Hong Kong I buy a jersey for 8USD and pans for 13USD. There is no VAT here

  47. #47
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    +1 for the Target champion brand wicking shirts. That and padded underpants from areotechdesigns.. A regular pair of baggy shorts over the padded underpants and I'm good to go.

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    I wondered the same thing about prices, but really its normal. Look at all these guys running around in 75 or 100 dollar ed hardy or affliction t-shirts with glitter and beads on them. Make no sense to me at all, but whatever floats your boat i guess.

    I just started mtn biking a few months ago. I am not a "serious" rider, just do it for exercise and family bonding. I wear normal t-shirts and have actually been wearing "tactical" shorts from companies like 5.11 and LA Police Gear. They have extra material in the groin area and have zippered pockets which i like when i ride. The prices of mtb shorts have kept me away, but i just ordered a few pairs of Hoss Ponderosa shorts for $25 each to try out. Im sure they are not the best, but surely better than nothing.

  49. #49
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    Just picked up another set of shorts from performance. 29 bucks (boulder 2 shorts). Perf bike shorts are surprisingly good.

  50. #50
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    BlueSkyCycling is having a sale on several FOX jerseys. Some less than $20 each.

    Some shorts deals as well.

  51. #51
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    They are more confortable, are cut for a cycling position, have pockets, among other things.
    And when i'm spending 12+ hours on a bike ride, i do not want something uncomfortable, and yes it is noticed on these rides.

  52. #52
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    Pactimo Telluride

    These great shorts are on sale at Sierra Trading Post for $42. They have the best multi level pad I've tried yet, stylish and several pockets. Cut very slim I'm 6' 150 and the medium is barely large enough while a medium Zoic would allow room for me to gain 10 pounds. Great deal.
    agmtb

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by blt2drg
    The prices of mtb shorts have kept me away, but i just ordered a few pairs of Hoss Ponderosa shorts for $25 each to try out. Im sure they are not the best, but surely better than nothing.
    If by "nothing" you mean going [email protected], you may be right. However, I think the benefits of Hoss Ponderosa over regular shorts are marginal at best. Personally, I thought they were just awful, I'd rather were non-biking shorts.

    Maybe they will work out for you, but if not, don't let it turn you off of biking shorts, because I found these to offer none of the benefits of a good pair of shorts.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  54. #54
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    I just go to military surplus stores and buy used military grade clothing. It looks odd, but if it fits, you know the quality will be top notched in terms of durability. I found a really nice used vest for 15 bucks, thick, heavy duty, and with 4 pockets to put goodies in. I plan on making a few more trips to get elbow and knee pads there, they're so cheap. You guys should go there, they also got really nice backpacks.

  55. #55
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    Amazon.com!

    Just picked up a Pearl Izumi long sleeve jersey with backside pockets for $39.99. Also picked up a Nike sweat wicking long sleeve at Big 5 Sporting Goods for 19.99

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