Cycling Clothes by Encove

The Obvious Advantages of Bib Shorts

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Published on March 22nd, 2013 @ 11:01:00 am , using 416 words, 9242 views
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The more you cycle, the more you learn how important it is to be in the right cycling clothing. This is even more important when you are heading out for a more vigorous and long cycling trip or mountain biking experience. Not wearing the proper clothing can hamper your speed, come in the way, tug into your bike, cause rips and tears in your clothing, and in the worst cause, can even cause you to trip over, fall, and sustain injuries.

If you have been a regular cyclist for a while now, you must have experienced how shorts begin to fall off while you are cycling at a fast speed. A lot of people complain about their shorts falling down and them having to continuously tug at them to keep them on their waist. That can not only be annoying but embarrassing as well if they fall all the way down.

If you find yourself in similar situations a lot of the time, its time you consider getting a bib short for your long rides. Bib shorts are shorts especially designed to avoid this problem. They have straps that go onto your shoulders to help keep your shorts in place. This also helps in avoiding bare backs that cyclists often experience when cycling heard because their shirts tend to roll up.

The next time you head out on a long ride wearing bib shorts, you will immediately feel the difference. You?ll be a lot more comfortable and will not have to bother continuously tugging at your clothing to keep yourself covered. More than that you will notice your speed improves a lot. But always make sure that you wear some base layers underneath your bib shorts or else the straps will rub on your skin and cause burning.

Always make sure that you have a properly fitting bib short. When trying out different sizes, look out for the straps. They should never be digging into your skin and neither should they be loose enough to fall off your shoulders. When buying bib shorts, your waist size will not be as much of an issue as your height when picking out the right size. However, if the size you wear is too small, it will pinch you at the waist. It sometime is a bit difficult to find the right size but buying a good brand would do the trick and don?t forget to properly check out the brand?s sizing chart for more clarification.

The Inconclusive Guide to Vanity Sizing

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Published on March 19th, 2013 @ 12:19:00 pm , using 860 words, 2977 views
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I?m a great believer of getting straight to the point so apologies for ranting on about theoretical physics in a blog on clothes sizing and not just cycling clothing. I was watching a documentary on TV this week on Black Holes, that?s the ones in outer space, not the ones I keep falling down on my mountain bike. It appears theoretical physicists have found an inconsistency in Einstein?s E=MC2 or ?The theory of relativity?. Basically when it comes to explanation of Black Holes, at the centre there must be even the tiniest singularity to create the intense gravity, yet the Einstein?s equation equals infinity, which according to the experts just can?t be right. They have even run the theory using ?Quantum Mechanics?, that?s the calculation for things at the sub atomic level (really small) and the answer come out even worse at infinity plus infinity recurring. Now I?m not professing to understand theoretical physics but I have to admire these guys with their long formulas that can theoretically calculate something smaller than an atom at the centre of a vast galaxy of around 400 billion stars. My point being; in an age where physicists can agree, or agree to disagree about a point 27,000 light years from earth, why on Earth can't clothing manufacturers and retailers agree on a standardised sizing system for clothing?

I?m no Einstein, but I can take a tape measure to my waist and it will measure 39 to 40 inches, yet walk into a NEXT store and easily fit into a size 36 inch jeans. So, does that mean my waist measures 36 inch? Three weeks ago my wife was looking to buy so Craghopper trousers on the Internet for my nephew?s birthday and she also found some Craghoppers on sale that she thought would suit me, but they were only in 36 inch waist. I explained that I was at least a 39 inch waist, but she pointed out that my jeans were only 36 inch and clicked the buy button. The trousers were promptly delivered to my work and when I tried them on they were an exact fit, when I measured the waist it was 40 plus inches with the rear elasticised waist band fully stretched. This is what the trade call vanity sizing it?s sized to make you feel better about yourself... even though it?s a total fabrication.

?Which?? online in September 2010 titled an article, ?9 in 10 women 'annoyed' by high street sizes? and claimed that of consumers questioned ?82% think retailers should be clearer about the measurements they use? The article goes on to point out that the difference between a woman?s size 12 waist is 4cm between ?New Look? and ?NEXT?. But this is where it gets really confusing because I personally know that ?NEXT? jeans and ?Craghopper? trousers are up to 4 inches bigger than stated waist sizes. So, have ?Which?? actually measured the garments? I would suspect not. If retailers don?t have standardised ladies Bust, Waist and Hip sizes and continue to measure with elasticised tape measures the written measurements on their Web Sites are worse than useless.

Summarily with sizes using the Small (S), Medium (M), and Large (L) as with leisure and sports clothing including cycle wear, there are also massive inconsistencies. This is often due to the markets and countries for which they were originally designed, European sizes often tend to smaller than UK and USA sizes.

The chart below takes a look at some of the size cycle shorts waist size variations in the market place I have included Marks and Spencer (M&S) casual shorts sizes because I know they reputed to use vanity sizing. It has to be said that I do know the Deko Sports waist sizes are correct as using the standard tape measure, but I have only a limited data on any of the other manufacturers sizing policies so it would be unfair to comment.

size Altura
Cannondale Deko Sports
Endura Gore

Helly Hansen

M&S Pearl Izumi
S 27 - 29" 28 -30" 30 - 32" 30 -32" 31 - 32" 31" up to 31" 31.5"
M 30 - 23" 31 - 33" 32 - 34" 33 - 35" 33 - 34" 34" 31 - 34" 33"
L 33 - 35" 34 - 36" 34 - 36" 36 - 38" 35 - 36" 37" 35 - 37" 34.5"
XL 36 - 38" 37 - 39" 36" - 38" 39 - 41 37 - 39" 40" 38 - 40" 37"
2XL 39 - 41" 40 - 41" 38 - 40" 42 - 44 41" + 43" 41 - 43" 39.5"
3XL 42 - 44" 42 - 43" 40 - 42" N/A   46" 44 - 46" 41.5"

Is there a sizing standard?

Yes, there is EN 13402 which has now been approved by British Standard as BS EN 13402. This is a comprehensive system of measure of off the peg clothes. As we are all different shapes, no clothing measurement system will suit all, the only real but impractical solution to suit everyone is made to measure clothes. While EN 13402 sizing is a standard it may not stop the practice of vanity sizing by the high street stores, they could still use their stretchy elastic tapes measures and invent sizes to make us feel smaller. Really, how far should we take our vanity? If you're fat, you're overweight, do somthing about it... or maybe join a weight watcher club who uses scales that tells you the weight as we'd like it to be, not what it actually is.

Whatever happened to trouser cycling clips?

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Published on March 18th, 2013 @ 01:24:00 pm , using 410 words, 1258 views
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If you?ve ever been on a bike, you would know that cycling in loose clothing is a huge challenge. A lot of people have ended up ripping their new and expensive pants because they were cycling around in their casual clothes.

But we can?t always go around cycling in snugly fitted stretchable clothing, which is the right attire for biking. A lot of us cycle to work and use our cycle to get to the local shop or visit a friend. So it?s simply not practical to only stick to proper cycling wear each time you are headed out on your bike.

However, there is one good solution to avoid ripping your next pair of trousers. It?s weird how, very few people these days, know about this great product. Despite the fact that the number of cyclists is continuously growing, awareness on essential gear is still quite low. And that is to wear cycling clips. Thanks to marketing geniuses, this product is a huge blessing for everyday cyclists. These clips can be found at stores selling specialized cycling equipment and accessories.

Trouser cycling clips can even serve as a fashion accessory. They are available in different materials and colors. Whether you want a wide leather strap or thin bands in reflective colors, there?s always something you can don as a look to your outfit. Even if you aren?t interested in it from a fashion perspective, when you start using trouser cycling clips you will realize just how helpful they are in keeping your clothing out of the way and letting you cycle with full concentration. Even though wearing a trouser cycling clip will cause your trousers to wrinkle up, I guess a few wrinkles are still a lot better than a big rip.

If you look at this from a safety perspective, wearing trouser cycling clips is a big help. A lot of accidents have happened when people get their clothing tangled in their bike gear and end up losing control and falling down. When cycling on roads amongst other traffic, you have to be even more careful about such issues. If this happens on a busy road, you don?t want to imagine the kind of injuries you can sustain. So, again if you are not interested in donning and accessory on your leg, think of it as a safety gear. Wearing trouser cycling clips will help avoid any tugs, rips, and accidents.

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