When I decided to get back into riding off-road late last year I was presented with a choice, baggies or Lycra?
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:38 PM

I already had several drawers full of roadie Lycra so I thought: "What the heck, gimmie the baggies, all the cool kids are wearing them." I can be just like them.

I'd also seen Cannondale professional cross-country world cup riders Manny Fumic and Marco Fontana wearing them in races and thought that if they wear them then it had to be OK.

Bad idea. Despite the high-quality price, good cut and top notch insert, they just didn't work for me.

One off-road ride later I found they were grabbier and had less easy mobility. And they certainly were not cooler, hotter in fact, so even though I probably looked cool, I felt slower in them.

Shortly after (see what I did there?) I buried the baggies where they belonged: in the bottom drawer, never to be worn again, except maybe to the shops to get a chocolate milk for recovery.

So why am I buying into the baggies vs Lycra debate? Interestingly the Specialized bike company just ran a test which confirmed at least one of my anecdotal observations.

In the latest episode of The Win Tunnel, the Specialized pocket protector crew put the baggies up against the Lycra, guess which was faster?

Not measured was coolness and full mobility but I'm sure that if a system was developed to properly calculate those traits, Lycra would also come up trumps.

Other than speed and mobility, there is another reason I don't like baggies. Riders just look untidy wearing them.

Now get off my lawn, tuck your shirt into your pants, wash your face, comb your hair and get off to a bike shop to buy some Lycra. You'll look better and ride faster, because science says so.