It’s a strange contradiction, that so many cyclists spend hundreds of pounds and hundreds of hours looking after their bikes, yet when it comes to their cycle clothing, complete apathy takes place.
OK, the actual bikes, componentry, wheels etc are expensive items and should be looked after, to make sure they continue to work well and not let you down. But a lot of us also put a lot of monetary investment into our clothing, yet don’t invest any thought or time into caring for it.
Just like your other cycling equipment, clothing needs care and attention, to ensure it continues to perform well, and last longer.
If you follow these guidelines , and make sure you get into the habit of doing them, you will be rewarded in the end. Your clothing will repay your investment in so many ways.
- Wash your clothing as soon as you can after every ride. Never leave the items in a plastic bag or laundry basket as this will enable the bacteria in the dirt and sweat to attack the fabric’s fibres, damaging the garment and leaving odours. If you have to leave them a while before washing, at least air dry them or rinse with cold water, to get rid of a lot of the sweat
- Try and get large deposits of dirt off the garment before washing (gently pick off mud, or gently rub off oil and grease spills)
- Turn all garments inside out. This means the seams get a good wash too. Also zip up all zippers and other closures. This ensures they don’t rip or damage other garments when washing
- Try and wash cycle clothing together – don’t wash with other garments such as jeans etc This stops excessive rubbing of the delicate cycling fabrics from harsher clothing items
- Velcro is a great invention. However, it’s attributes that make it so good at attaching and sticking to things, can be the downfall to your delicate cycle clothing. So never wash your cycle wear with any items that have Velcro closures etc. Even if your cycling overshoes and gloves have Velcro closures, wash these separately, either on their own, or in the washing machine or by hand
- Use a non-bio detergent, that doesn’t have bleaches, softeners or other additives. These additives can clog up technical fabrics, especially waterproof garments, reducing performance. Halo Pro-Active Sports Wash is a good choice
- Be as gentle as possible with your choice of wash cycle. 30 degrees is best, reduce spin time and speed.
- Never use a washer dryer. The intense heat can damage some fabrics, polypropylene for instance. Polypropylene MUST be washed in cold water only, no higher than 30 degrees
- Air dry the garments, ideally out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can bleach colours and even cause white garments to go yellow.
- Carefully fold up your garments and store them away from direct sunlight. A drawer or box is ideal, to ensure the garment is not in contact with excessive dirt or dust. Never store in a plastic bag after use – your clothing will be happy you let it breathe and have some air.
- When it comes to using the garment, don’t use excessive force to put it on, especially when pulling a jersey over your head or putting your arms in sleeves. Pulling or yanking too much can damage the stitching at seams
- Remember that Parentini garments are designed to perform when in the riding position, so don’t stretch or pull the garment if it feels ‘strange’ when you’re stood up
- If you’re lucky enough to be riding in very hot conditions, to avoid excessive sweating, try and get more air flow through your garments by adjusting zips etc. Bacteria in sweat is a real killer for delicate fibres – so the less you can produce the better!
- Try and choose a saddle that has a smooth cover. A lot of stitching etc can be really abrasive on bibshorts. Also, make sure any saddle bags don’t have fixings that protrude outside of the saddle profile area. These fixings, especially Velcro can really damage shorts, as the constant pedalling action causes friction. My riding cadence is between 90-100rpm. That’s 5,400 pedal revs an hour – 16,200 revolutions during a three hour ride. Imagine the damage to your shorts or tights if they’re rubbing against a strap whilst pedalling!
5. After sales
Even if you follow the above points religiously, there will be times when your clothing might fail – a zip becomes stuck, or seams unpick slightly. Don’t throw the items away if this happens. Parentini, pride themselves on their great after care service. So in case of failure please contact your dealer where the garment was purchased from and Parentini will be pleased to assist and ultimately repair the garment if possible.