What fabric should my kit be made of?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What fabric should my kit be made of?

    I saw the post below and it made me wonder what is the best kit for cycling made of?

    The Top Wool Clothing Myths Debunked

    I ask so I can learn the pros and cons of various fabrics over others.

    Does any one fabric out shin the rest? Is 100% silk, as the above link suggests, really a one stop shop for all top end cycling clothing makers? Aside from durability issues are there other cons to wear silk while cycling?

    Or, should I give up trying to learn about the finer point of cloths and just hop on the band wagon and get myself some Lycra.

    Lastly, The link below is something I dug up. It states (in the first few paragraphs) that Castelli made silk jerseys before. Yet despite their appearance so long ago Lycra is the more prevalent fabric (as far as i can tell). Why is that?

    Castelli-An Italian Legend With A History Of Innovation

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    Uh-oh, too much reading on the internet!

    Suppose I walk into a shop and, without thinking about it, buy some cycling shorts and a jersey. I'll probably end up with a mostly-lycra blend for the shorts and a mostly-polyester blend for the jersey. Most cycling jerseys actually aren't lycra. For riding in the summer, lycra and polyester work pretty well.

    Polyester, while occasionally maligned, can be a great outdoor fabric because it doesn't waterlog easily. If it's a lightweight fabric with a fairly open weave, which is most cycling jerseys, it'll also breathe pretty well. Awesome.

    Lycra is super-stretchy, which is great for something that needs to be skin tight, like road shorts. It's hydrophilic, which is not so great. But it fits really well, as long as you don't screw up the size.

    There are lots of other materials that can get involved for different reasons. Wool can be really good for still performing well when it's wet. Depending on the blend and the weave, it can also be made to perform well in hotter weather. Most wool cycling jerseys are winter jerseys, but you can get summerweight jerseys if you like. Make sure you're buying the right thing, and be ready to spend more - it's a bit of a boutique construction for cycling apparel.

    Wool shorts are more-or-less the same deal, I believe.

    I haven't heard of any contemporary cycling apparel being made out of silk, although I do get a hit if I search.

    At the end of the day, I don't really think in terms of fabric for most of my cycling shopping. Almost everything on the market is some kind of polyester, lycra, and sometimes nylon blend. Most of the mainstream brands do a pretty good job. About the only thing that you really do need to think about is whether you want to look like a roadie when you ride - I usually do - or if you want baggy shorts or a baggy jersey. With baggy shorts, the big trick is to get hiking shorts or board shorts or cut off some army pants or something, and layer them over a pair of road shorts. The liners in a lot of baggy shorts marketed for MTB are really not that good compared to a mediocre pair of road shorts (let alone good ones!)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
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    Leather, your choice of color

    Everything else what drew said


    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Uh-oh, too much reading on the internet!

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