Friday, August 13, 2010

What's The Deal With Lycra?

I've been a lover of natural fibre for a very long time, mainly because it feels more comfortable and I'm also inclined to become very static-y on dry days. Synthetics have always seemed like a bad idea to me. Maybe it's due to that horrible nylon sports T-shirt we had as a school sports uniform in 1985. Damn, that thing was hot, sweaty and uncomfortable.

And I never really understood the whole "lycra warrior" thing when it came to cycling. I've seen some people suggest that it's purely to show off your muscles while on the bike.

Now I know differently.

Lycra and the other specially-created synthetic sportswear actually keeps you cool. I'd never have thought it. The technology has advanced to the point that the fabric draws sweat away from your body and evaporates it quickly, meaning that you're not all hot, sticky and sweaty at the end of the day. Weirdly, your skin feels quite smooth and happy.

I've now been cycling for 30km at midday in the full sun and felt perfectly pleasant in full-length tights and a long-sleeved shirt..

Sure, I look a bit ridiculous but the end result is I'm more comfortable and I waste less energy being hot. I'm also better protected from the sun which is important because I'm a redhead.

Wicking is the wonder word to look out for. That and antimicrobial.

It's not as cheap as cotton, of course. I've now spent more money on synthetic clothes in the last couple of weeks than I have spent on clothing in, well, years. But it is worth it.

Yes folks, I've become one of those lycra people. It's very strange. I never thought I'd see myself like this. Still, the figure-hugging thing isn't that bad. My arse is looking better all the time.

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