Many people are convinced that buying cheap cycling kits is a good solution. This might be true when you are first learning to cycle or if you have plenty of disposable cash, but if you are serious about becoming a cycling enthusiast, you will eventually need to invest in some high-quality cycling kits.
These cycling kits carry a high price tag, and even the moderately priced cycling kits can cost hundreds of dollars. If you are investing so much in cycling gear, you will want to care for it properly so that it lasts for many years. So here is how to care for your cycling kits in a few easy steps.
How Do You Know if You Bought the Wrong Cycling Kits?
Shedding Cycling Kits Doesn’t Get Rid of the Sensation of Discomfort
It’s common for people to shed cycling kits relatively fast. If you experience this sensation of discomfort, it’s probably time to invest in a more expensive, high-quality cycling kit. You should expect the wicking fabric to make you sweat evenly. It’s important to be comfortable during your cycling activities.
Cycling Kits Rub
After just a few uses, your inexpensive cycling kits might start rubbing against your body. For those who are yet to invest in a high-quality cycling kit, this is a common problem.
5 Things to Do BEFORE Washing Your Cycling Kits
Cleaning cycling kits can be a real drag, especially if you take meticulous care of your kit. A good way to protect your kit from dirt, sweat, and body oils is to wash it regularly. It keeps things smelling fresh between uses, helps you avoid embarrassment from a smelly kit, and it’s great for cycling kit longevity.
Before you put your kit in the machine, there are a few things you can do to extend the life of your cycling kit. Here’s how to get the job done right.
1. Turn Cycling Kit Inside Out
Turning your cycling kit inside out before washing it will help you keep it in good shape for much longer. It also helps keep dirt and grime out of the seams and zippers. It’s a good idea to make this a standard practice.
2. Remove Nuts, Bolts, and Zippers
If your cycling kit has any nuts, bolts, or zippers, take them out before you wash it. They’ll get damaged in the machine anyway.
3. Check the Connections
Aside from zippers, check all of the seams in your cycling kit too. Make sure there are no pockets or bags with Velcro attached. Any that lose their grip in the washing machine could end up in the seam of your cycling kit and cause holes.
4. Read the Washing Labels
Not all clothing is the same. There are different types of materials and to keep your kit looking as good as new, you need to adhere to the washing instructions. For the most part, you should be able to just look at the label on the clothing to see if it’s suitable for the washing machine. There are some indications of this to look out for. First, the labels may say it can be machine washed, or it might highlight the fact there is special care when washing.
However, there are some kits that are hand wash only or don’t recommend washing at all. If you are unsure of a kit you have, you should check the label or try to find the brand online to see if there are any washing instructions. You’ll also be able to see what particular products the brand recommends for using to clean different parts of the kit if that’s something you might want to use.
5. Have 2 Buckets
First thing’s first; you will need two buckets. Make sure these are similar, as you are not going to want to have a tin pail and a ceramic one. Each one should have a lid and a tight-fitting lid at that. A tight lid will keep water and moisture in, which is perfect for a washing machine.
How to Wash your Kit
Use Bio-Friendly Detergents
Cycling isn’t all about the kits. If you want your kit to survive for years without needing constant replacement, you need to be very careful in the way you wash it. You need to make sure that you are using the best detergents.
Don’t Use Fabric Softener
Frequently using fabric softeners will reduce the absorbency of your kit. They also make the material slimy and harder to get rid of stains.
Use Vinegar for Tough Smell Removal
Add a cup of white vinegar to your final rinse if you’re facing a tough smell from a particular garment. Vinegar is an effective odor remover that will help you get rid of unpleasant smells, in this case, the smell of sweat.
Rinse off all the Dirt and Soil
After your ride, the first thing to consider is that you would have to remove all the dirt and soil. Make sure that it stays off the clothes where it can cause damage and call out for washing. This kind of damage is completely avoidable if you take proper care of your cycling kit.
After a heavy downpour, you simply need to use a brush and remove the excess amount of water.
You should ignore any dark stains that could have occurred during the ride as these are completely natural and occur because of the excess heat on your clothes from your body.
If you are indulged in a race or a ride in a group, you have to make sure that you brush off the first layer of mud that will get over your cycling shirt. Make sure that you brush off the excess mud in a way that the clothes do not get ripped.
After a thorough brushing, you can consider wet cleaning the cycling shirts. This is the kind of treatment that will help in washing off all the mud from the clothing. If any pure water is applied to the clothing, make sure that you do not rub it over the cloth as this effect is not what you want in a clean cycling shirt. It is simply important to take the help of wet wipes that can remove the majority of the mud with ease and also allow the shirt to dry sooner in comparison to the other cleaning methods.
Hang Them Up if Not Washing Immediately
If you don’t have space in your closet, you can always hang your cycling gear to dry. But you need to hang it up in the correct manner so that they don’t stretch out of shape.
First, hang your jersey inside out. There are several reasons for this:
The material is generally softer and more comfortable when it’s inside out. The insides of your jersey are where the stitching is most stressed so hanging it there protects it from damage.
If you hang it outside out, it’s easy for bits of the race to get stuck in the material and stay there. This is particularly true for peel-off stickers.
Hanging your jersey inside out will also protect you from any stray body fluids from your race.
Then, when you hang your cycling shorts, you need to make sure you hang them up the correct way.
Hanging them up outside out is recommended if you want to protect them.
Hand vs Machine Wash
Hand washing lets you get a really good clean using a gentle detergent and is recommended to maintain the appearance of your clothing. It removes the sweat and grime more effectively than the machine washing cycles and also allows you better control over the temperature and water levels.
If you have an expensive cycling kit then it is recommended that you hand wash in cool or warm water. It is also recommended that you wash all your kits separately to avoid staining from other clothes in the same wash.
Follow temperature recommendations from the product labels. You can use a laundry detergent that is suitable for sports clothing.
When washing any items that you have not worn don’t chuck them straight in the wash. Check that the garment is clean, and if it isn’t, then you need to give it a good wash in warm water with a gentle detergent first.
If you buy from a premium brand that advertises that it is made from better quality fabric, then you will find that the care instructions are on the label.
There are several ways to wash a cycling kit: hand washes, machine wash, and dry cleaning. The method you choose will depend on how much time you have and whether the kit is best used wet or dry.
Hand washing is best for a kit worn for shorts rides or spins as the minimal detergent and time involved means no damage is done to the kit.
If you have a more expensive and delicate kit, then you should only hand wash. Machine washing will rub and bruise the material and can weigh down and even stretch out the kit, which no one wants.
Washing the kit by hand forces you to take care, and by hand washing, you are more likely to spot and pick up something that shouldn’t be there. The hand wash process also uses far less electricity and water, which in turn, helps with the environment.
If you don’t have time to hand wash, then machine washing is the best option for you. However, you will need to use cold water and a low degree of detergent as it is ripping the kit apart.
Always ensure when washing kit that you wash both the inside and outside. Many make the mistake of only thinking about the outside and not the inside.
A good way to care for your cycling kit is to machine-wash it. If you’re having a clumsy day, damaging your kit would make it worse. Don't worry, there are a couple of ways to protect your kit so it lasts a long time.
Protect the most delicate parts. You can face the threat of damaging the soft areas of your cycling kit by being careless, cramming it into your bag, or tossing it onto your bed. To protect the soft spots like the collar, inner sleeves, and the inside of the jacket, put a dryer sheet in the laundry bag.
Place like with like. If you’re going to wash your cycling kit in the washing machine, it’s best to wash it along with things that do not have the same colors. Washing baselayers, leg warmers, and socks separately save them from bleeding and the colors from mixing.
Be prepared for the worst. Put a pair of dark exercise shorts and a sports bra inside your bag. If you’re in the middle of a ride, and your kit is dirty, it’ll be really handy to have something you can change into in your bag.
How to Dry Your Cycling Kits
Yes, expensive cycle kits are made from super-high-tech material that will dry quickly, but you need to know how to get the best out of their performance. The best clothing for cycling will help you to make sure that your body remains comfortable during cycling.
Always hang dry your cycling kits in an area that is well ventilated. This will keep it in better shape for a long time. However, always refer to the product label for detailed instructions for you specific kit.
Can be a great material for a cycling kit; however, there are certain ways you need to care for your expensive cycling kit. They may be made from technical fabric, and the design may be fashionable but they’re still expensive and need care. By taking a few precautions you can help ensure your kit lasts longer and doesn’t become unraveled or in worse cases, damaged from the weather.
Store It Correctly
After a long ride, it’s tempting to fling your jersey over the nearest chair. However, you should hang it up instead. This may seem like something small, but you can prolong the life of the jersey by making sure it’s hung up after being washed. It’s important to do this, as it allows the fibers to dry. This avoids them getting frayed and damaged, especially in the shoulder area which can easily get misshapen. Hanging also helps avoid it getting messed up on something when it’s being stored. It’s also worth folding it correctly when you store it so it’s kept in the best shape.
Waterproof and Water-resistant Cycling Kits
Cycling kits are worn during cycling, hence they also get their fair share of exposure to water. There are two types of kits – waterproof and water-resistant or water repellent.
Waterproof cycling kits are mostly worn during the winter season for cycling in wet conditions. This is because they are made of water repellent materials, which are not completely waterproof but are designed to repel water. These are the preferred cycling kits during the coming Christmas and New Year season when many people go cycling to keep themselves fit with the changing weather.
The main advantage of these kits is that you don’t need to apply water repellent spray on them. Many people apply silicones, waxes, and oils on their cycling kits, which eventually damages the material and may even cause it to lose its waterproof properties. It’s ideal to apply water repellent spray on your cycling kits when the weather is about to change from cold and dry to cold and wet. Doing this prevents the accumulation of water on the surface of the jersey and also prevents water from seeping through the seams of the jersey.