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Protect Your Cycling Gear

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

Protect your cycling gearCycling gear—everything from shorts and jerseys to gloves and sun glasses—is expensive. The better quality you buy, the more you’ve shelled out for it. Here are some simple steps that you can take to extend the wear of your gear and get the most out of your investment.

Wash Frequently

When you cycle in the heat, sweat pours off your face and head, your hands and your body. Ever notice that crusty film on your face after a long summer ride? That’s salt— from your sweat. And salt causes corrosion, in everything from cars and backyard grills to the chin strap of your cycling helmet and the chamois in your cycling shorts.

Wash your shorts, jersey, socks, and gloves after every ride. If you can’t wash the clothes immediately, hang them outside to dry, then put them in the laundry hamper. At least then they won’t be left languishing in a damp, smelly (and slowly corroding) heap until the next wash day.

Don’t Re-wear Your Bike Clothes

I still remember a group ride I went on years ago when one of the guys did this. No one cycled near him or down wind from him that day—pee-yew! Even if you’ve only been out for a short ride, don’t be tempted to wear the same bike clothes twice without washing them. The same bacteria that makes them smell bad also wears down  the clothes.

Skip the Dryer

The synthetic wicking fabrics that are used in cycling gear don’t fare well in a dryer. The heat can damage the fabrics and the elastic in the waist and legs of your shorts. After washing your cycling clothes, hang them to air dry. Outside is better.

Don’t Forget Your Helmets, Shoes and Glasses

After each ride, open up your shoes and let them air dry.

If the chin strap on your helmet is wet with sweat, wash it by hand with a mild detergent, rinse the straps well, and air dry.

Salt from your sweat will also corrode the frame of your cycling glasses. Clean the lenses and the frame with soap and water after every ride.

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10 comments to Protect Your Cycling Gear

  • Naely

    Never knew about the helmet strap, gloves and glasses too! I normally just leave them outside to dry…maybe next time I will wash them first. Thank you so much for the useful tips :)

  • revdup

    I never thought of washing my glasses or my chin strap…thanks for the info

  • Christin Harding

    My hubby’s theory is that when I leave stinky riding clothes in a heap on the floor, they morph, and then reproduce ;)

  • Buttercup

    Doesn’t everyone have at least 14 pair of bike shorts??? I have no idea how many Jersey’s and socks I own. You can never have too many … who wants to do laundry more than once a week? I own way too many helmuts and cycling shoes as well. Somehow they just added up.

  • Christin Harding

    It never occurred to me to wash helmet straps, sun glasses and gloves after every ride! As to leaving bike clothes in a fermenting heap- I’m guilty of that on a fairly regular basis. I don’t want to put them into the cloth lined wicker hamper, and it just seemed safer to leave them on the tile floor. (I’m positive my hubby would like to chime in on this particular conversation!)Recently we moved, and one of the gals who helped pack up asked “why would anyone actually NEED 14 pairs of bike shorts, 20+ jerseys, all these gloves…….” and I explained that during summer months I typically ride 2X day. I do laundry 1ce a week. And I refuse to wear bike shorts 2ce. I will print out this article and hang it in my bike room! JUSTIFICATION! YES!

  • Very informative article about the salt. I agree with washing clothes each day. All it takes is a bucket of water and some shampoo, and hang dry overnight.

    I found that shampoo washes everything.

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