Proper gear poll.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Proper gear poll.....
12
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 7:53am
Okay, in my daydreaming (can't work and study all the time!), I've been mulling over this bike ride with Dad in June. We'll be averaging 65 miles a day for six days, so I'll need a significant amount of training before the ride.

What is your perspective on having the proper gear for an activity? I have running shoes for running, cross-trainers for all-purpose athletics, hiking boots and synthetic shirts and shorts and wool socks for backpacking, Speedos for swimming, and now I'm considering getting chamois shorts, jerseys, and cycling shoes for this bike ride (I already have the helmet and gloves). I can't decide if I am trying to be properly outfitted so that I enjoy the ride for what it is without miscellaneous pains or chafing that could be prevented or if I just like to shop too much!

How much gear is too much? ;)

Happy Tuesday!

Judie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 9:43am
Good question--I've been wondering the same thing!

I'm definitely into comfort so anything to make the ride less painful gets a thumbs up for me. As long as you're not going into debt and have room to store it, I don't think it's too much. I also wonder about whether to go high end or not when I get something new, but since it sounds like you'll be doing a lot of biking, I'd go w/ the best. But, then I love shopping for gear, too, so maybe I'm not a good person to answer!

I'm going through the same thing with skiing. My skis/boots are really old so I've been using rentals/demos. I have big calves for my size and can't get comfortable in rental boots. I still have indents on my calves from the nubbies on my ski socks pressing against my skin because the boots were too tight (A week later, I'm wondering if they will ever go away or I'll have this pattern on my calves forever).

Your trip with your dad sounds awesome, btw. What a great bonding trip!






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 10:14am
i agree with jean, if you can afford it, i'd buy whatever will make you more comfortable, after all you ARE supposed to enjoy yourself! one website that has a lot of cheap stuff, they might have biking shorts and shirts, is www.sierratrading.com - i bought a wetsuit from there before my vacation, and i felt kinda dumb like it was overkill to have a wetsuit just for snorkeling in the caribbean, but i'm SO glad i had it. i get really cold snorkeling and it just isn't fun after a while when you are shivering. the wetsuit made my vacation MUCH more enjoyable. and it made me feel better that the wetsuit was like 75% off it's original price.

and jean, you should buy some boots! aren't there end of the season sales soon?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 10:49am
I will! A lot of companies just take mens boots, change the color and call them "women's". There's a woman who does clinics on buying women's boots and skis. I've e-mailed her because she's not having any near me. She e-mailed me back and said she's off to Vail to try out boots/skis for a magazine, but will get back to me when she returns. She has a great job! Anyway, I'm hoping to get a recommendation on a good boot fitter in the area and go from there. It's amazing how many women have problems w/ their equipment!





iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 11:09am
Oh, tell me about it!! Try finding steel-toed boots and hip waders for a woman in your local outdoor store! Or Carhartt work coats? Just for work stuff I usually have to buy men's and make it work, everything DWARFS me! lol...

My SO has really high arches and he underpronates, so he had custom-made ski boots made. Unfortunately they didn't fit him right and they're uncomfortable!

The reason I'm doing so much mulling right now is because both of my bike catalogs (Performance and Nashbar) are having sales on clothing/gear and I'm thinking that this is a prime opportunity to "steal" some chamois shorts for $25 instead of $40-$60. I never buy the cheapest of anything I can find. We learned the hard way that with outdoor and athletic gear, sometimes you get what you pay for! Yes, polypro underwear is expensive, but cold wet cotton underwear is REALLY a bad way to go when it's 40 and windy.... My biggest hitch right now is whether or not to get cycling shoes. I just have regular pedals, but am leaving myself the option of getting the clips, and I'm thinking that the stiffness of a cycling-specific shoe might help with foot fatigue after 25 or 30 miles (ugh--sounds impossible right now, but I've got a training schedule that says I should be able to ride 100 in 10 weeks).

At this point, my money is managed well enough that I'm not concerned about spending some on athletic stuff (3 or so pairs of shorts and about as many SALE jerseys and a bottle of Woolite). As far as space, my SO will never argue that I've got too much athletic equipment--he'd be a loon and a hypocrite! ;)

I still have to call my dad about some stuff, he's got about SIX pairs of cycling shoes in his basement, to go along with 3-4 bikes he usually rides (each one has a specific application--his "favorite all-around", his "lightweight", his "more rugged," etc.) and who knows how many jerseys and shorts he's got! My dad LOVES cycling (road), this is totally his thing, and he's so excited that one of his kids is sharing it with him.

Thanks for the input--one more thing, any suggestions for outdoor eyewear? My super-chic "California girl" glasses (as my SO calls them) are NOT going to do, so I'm shopping for decent-weight wraparound glasses for hiking and biking and running. Maybe we're drifting out of the gym! ;)

Back to work....

Judie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 11:35am
Wow, you're much more into "extreme" sports than I am. I've been going with lower end hiking stuff because I don't go for very long or often. It works, but I will upgrade if I start more (unlikely since we're moving to hot, humid DC). I also went low end w/ biking shorts since I don't bike that often, just often enough to need the shorts.

I did get great figure skates (they cost as much as skis and boots--ow) and want good ski boots. Has your bf tried custom foot beds for his boots? I've heard they're great. I will get them and heel lifts when I get my boots. I've also heard good things about custom liners, but I won't get them. I've never heard of custom ski boots, but I can't imagine what they cost!

Have you tried Smith sliders for sunglasses? I got them for my sister who also does a lot of outdoor activities in different weather. You can change the lenses for the weather. It also makes it cheaper if you scratch a lens, instead of having to buy new glasses, you just replace the lens. I'm thinking of getting them next. Here's their site (but you have to deal w/ snowboarder music).

I get out of the gym when it's warmer out, too. I'd much rather hike or rollerblade than be on the stairmaster.

http://www.smithsport.com/products/sunglasses/slider_index.htm






iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 11:40am
Um, is there really such a thing as "too much equipment"? Personally, as long as you can afford it and are using it, you should get it!

As for finding steel-toed boots, hip-waders and any number of other things, LL BEAN! I still order some things from them exclusively, since I can no longer hop in the car and drive down at all hours to browse. They are the way to go for active lifestyles, especially the life-time guarantee thing!

I think they have cycling stuff too... I'm not sure, I'm not big on biking. But, we used to get all of our fishing/packpacking/hiking/hunting stuff there. (Before you cringe Jen, we had all the stuff for hunting but the only things we ever shot were pictures.)

But, I say go for it! And Jean, get some new boots, you shouldn't be suffering like that!

~K~

~Kiervin~

Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 11:50am
I love LLBean! I got my sister's waders there and they were made for women! Do you have their credit card? You get free shipping and handling and free monogramming (I've never used that, though) if you use their card. Plus, I get rebate dollars at LLBean when I use their card.





iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 12:01pm
Nope, don't use their credit card! LOL, usually if you purchase over a certain amount they give you free shipping anyway. We tend to make some hefty purchases there at times. I got a gorgeous down jacket from there the year before our son was born, it is like new still, their stuff is so durable.

I love actually going to the store. I got to watch the guy sew my moc slippers while I waited, it was very cool. And they let you play with everything! We had the kid backpacks when the munchkins were little, one of the straps broke on the older one and we took it in to be repaired... they gave us a brand new one since it would have taken three weeks! Honestly, that is a company that others should be looking at for how to treat customers. Customer loyalty is a key component to thier success.

Yep, can you tell I love them too? My girlfriend works there part time and as seasonal help over the holidays full-time. She loves working for them, and raves about how they treat their employees. If we were still there that would be my primary target right now for work.

~K~

~Kiervin~

Co-author of:  MONSTER'S INK HORROR ANTHOLOGY By Cyber-Pulp Press

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2002
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 12:09pm
I like shopping with you! :) I'm so stoked about gear it's not even funny. Never mind the bike accessories--tool kits, lubricants and greases, the rack for the car, I already have the little computer to tell me how far and fast I've gone! I swear, it's like backpacking or boating--one more opportunity to buy stuff you've never even thought about...

And Jean, I checked out those Smith sliders, those things are $$! I've seen that price range a lot for technical eyewear, but I don't think I can do it yet. That's the shape I'm looking for though, and I found some on sale in a catalog with interchangeable lenses (dark, yellow, and clear) for about $35 or so. We'll see, I'm still shopping around!

Thanks girlies!

Judie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 12:17pm
i agree about not buying the cheapy brands for outdoor equipment. i always buy the good brands but make sure to find them on sale sale sale! my main sources are sierratrading, like i mentioned, and also the rei online outlet (you can link there from rei.com). if you found good shirts on sale for cheap, i say i'd stock up!

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