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in a couple weeks ill be riding in my first race (beginner). my buddy mentioned eveyone wearing jerseys and whatnot to the races.

can i ask the point of this? i normally ride in mtb shorts and sweat wicking t-shirt. didnt really want to invest in something that isnt necessary. it baffles me that a damn shirt/jersey costs more than $60. are they threaded with gold?
 

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in a couple weeks ill be riding in my first race (beginner). my buddy mentioned eveyone wearing jerseys and whatnot to the races.

can i ask the point of this? i normally ride in mtb shorts and sweat wicking t-shirt. didnt really want to invest in something that isnt necessary. it baffles me that a damn shirt/jersey costs more than $60. are they threaded with gold?
One of the biggest things for an endurance athlete, which mountain biking for the most parts is, is heat management. Those expensive jerseys have some features that your wicking t-shirt do not. They should fit you better, have a zipper front for venting, the waist will be cut for your forward lean, as well as the shoulders will be designed for you to be more comfortable leaning forward. All this allows the wicking material to make better contact with your skin, to wick moisture and help accelerate evaporation - cooling you off better. Also, the better fit will help with aerodynamics as well.

With all that being said....wear whatever you are comfortable with. There is no uniform you have to acquire to enter a race. I've always wanted to show up wearing cut off jeans, a wife beater and those old lady goggle sunglass things, but I've never been fast enough to pull it off. The bottom line is have fun. Also, try not to change anything the day of the race. Make all your changes during training, or regular rides. For example if you do decide to burn off a bunch of money on jersey don't make the race the first time you wear it.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Just wear what you already wear. Beginners', at least in my area, is full of guys in baggies and camel baks. A few people in sport and even expert dress that way too. As long as you're comfortable and have a way to carry whatever you're bringing with you, you're good.

I was wearing baggies over cycling shorts and purpose-built cycling jerseys before I started racing. Now I get support from companies whose names are plastered on my jersey. Ultimately, it's a net reduction in my cost to race and train if I also join a team and buy the outfit every year. More importantly, I have teammates. :D It does make me that much more resistant to the idea of paying for the privilege of advertising someone else's brand, though.
 

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It does make me that much more resistant to the idea of paying for the privilege of advertising someone else's brand, though.
This is something I have a hard time understanding. Why would someone buy and wear jerseys with company logos on them if they aren't sponsored by that company? As an example, I can buy a jersey from nashbar with the Radio Shack logo nice and big on the front. Why would I pay 70 bucks to advertise for Radio Shack?
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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This is something I have a hard time understanding. Why would someone buy and wear jerseys with company logos on them if they aren't sponsored by that company? As an example, I can buy a jersey from nashbar with the Radio Shack logo nice and big on the front. Why would I pay 70 bucks to advertise for Radio Shack?
My best guess is it's to associate themselves with that team. Like wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey.

I have a Metallica jersey I decided I had to own after I saw it online. That's something I miss about riding with a team now - I very rarely wear it to races anymore. It used to get a lot of crowd support. :D
 

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I used to race in a light tshirt and a camel back. I was having problems keeping my breath on races and it was definitely effecting my results. A friend with years of XC racing experience felt I was hurting myself by wearing the cotton tshirt because as cotton gets wet (sweat) it becomes heavy and does not expand.

I bought a racing shirt (not really a jersey, a specially cut shirt made of a lightweight weave) and dropped the camel back. My breathing has improved dramatically and so have my results.

The moral of the story is eventually you will need a shirt/jersey designed for racing. Whether you get that now or wait till your more experienced is up to you. If I could do it over again, I would have had the right gear to start.

Just not sure what im going to do next year during the summer as I dehydrate easy and I suck at drinking out of a bottle while racing....

Good luck in your race and let us know how it goes!!!
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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A lot of people who see themselves as dehydrating easily during a race were already a little dehydrated before they started.

I try to drink water on my way to a race, and maybe kill the bottle and switch to a full one when I finish my warmup and I'm going to staging. Doubly so for cyclocross, since I don't drink during those races. It also helps to have been well hydrated the night before. All the time, really. I try to have a water bottle or glass near me every waking hour.

Gatorade can help. Some people like Nuun. There are other electrolyte drinks.
 

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A lot of people who see themselves as dehydrating easily during a race were already a little dehydrated before they started.

I try to drink water on my way to a race, and maybe kill the bottle and switch to a full one when I finish my warmup and I'm going to staging. Doubly so for cyclocross, since I don't drink during those races. It also helps to have been well hydrated the night before. All the time, really. I try to have a water bottle or glass near me every waking hour.

Gatorade can help. Some people like Nuun. There are other electrolyte drinks.
^^ Im pretty sure i go into my races at least a bit dehydrated. To be honest its my own damn fault and something I have to get over.

This is going to sound dumb but I tend to NOT drink a lot the night before or the day of the race because it makes me feel heavier and i get concerned about the extra water weight.

Stupid and very anal I know, especially for someone racing in Cat3; but its the honest truth and at least im willing to admit it.. lol :p
 

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Sorry Waltah didnt meant to hyjack the thread.

My original posts point was this: A racing shirt is a good idea as regular shirts arent made for racing and can effect your performance. AND you dont have to invest in an actual jersey (I dont like the look of them) there are actual racing shirts made of the same materiel's that work well and look pretty cool. I got mine for $40 at a local bike shop.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I was wondering what a racing shirt was, if not a jersey. ;)

You can substitute quite a lot of things. Good, cheap options are base layers and running shirts. People find them at Wal-Mart for a few dollars. I confess to spending a little more on something from the running store down the street. Still cheaper than something cycling-specific.

I think the only time having more water in my system is counter productive is when it's sloshing around in my stomach and making me feel sick. Or maybe if it makes me need to pee. I'm sure I could find some research to back me up, but I'm typing with my thumbs and procrastinating doing engineering homework.
 

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It's all about the FSR!
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I just ran my first race a few weeks ago. Weather was in the 70's up to the week before, and the temperature steadily declined, until race day, where it was 42 with 30mph winds at the starting line. I had padded biking short line, with a set of running tights, and then the outer short shell over the top. Up top, I wore a Fox XC SS jersey, along with arm warmers. For my head, Pearl Izumi cold weather skull cap. 7 miles into a 22 mile race, the arm warmers and skull cap came off. Being my first race, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I do know now that maintaining your body temperature is super important. With that said, go with what you feel comfortable in. You will learn sooner or later what you need, and what you don't need.
 

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This is something I have a hard time understanding. Why would someone buy and wear jerseys with company logos on them if they aren't sponsored by that company? As an example, I can buy a jersey from nashbar with the Radio Shack logo nice and big on the front. Why would I pay 70 bucks to advertise for Radio Shack?
I buy old jerseys off eBay of defunct race teams for 95% off what it was new. Otherwise, I stick to non-branded stuff. Also, if you ever get into racing w/ USA Cycling, it's written in the rules that you can't wear a jersey from a team you're not a part of.

As for the functional aspects of the jersey, back pockets are pretty key. Not having to carry your food in your pants pockets is rather nice.
 

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Andrw im probably not being very clear on the Jersey vs. Shirt thing.

I understand a Jersey is a "shirt". I guess im talking about the way they fit. Most the "racing" jerseys I see at my races are tight fitting and they look like they are built just for racing (aroedynamic?).

The "shirt" that I have is made up of the same materials as those jerseys, and its as light, but its loose fitting around the waste and arms. It doesnt attempt to show a six pack that is not there to begin with, or snuggle up to arm muscles that have long since been wasted away by lack of upper body work...LOL!

You can go to the grocery store with it on and most people probably wont notice its racing gear, and even those who do wont assume your some kind of super biker cuss your not wearing something that they see on TV during the Tour De France....:D
 

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Get your first couple of races under your belt. Wear what you have laying around the house. After a couple of races, if it is something you really like then look at some jerseys/shorts/socks/shoes. Thats what I did.
+1 :thumbsup: I used to think the pockets in the back were useless until I started shedding my eyewear while riding or needing a place to keep a sweat rag handy. Now I'm a full fledged "jersey" ite.
 

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