Scimitar Blog

12 Ways to Care For Your Cycling Kit

12 Ways to Care For Your Cycling Kit

There are things you should be doing that aren’t on the care label. 

If you’ve been bitten by the cycling bug then you will have no doubt invested in cycling kit that supports you mile after mile. Whether you’re in to riding cyclocross or Audax’s, there are some extra things you can do to look after your kit that isn’t included on the care label.  

Here are a few tips below to keep your kit in tip-top condition:

  1. No rush. Don’t pop sweaty, muddy or wet kit in the laundry basket after a ride. It’s not necessary to wash straight away but air it out. If your kit is particularly muddy, rinse it straight away when you get in.

  1. Look after the chamois. Sometimes you’re so shattered after a ride walking up the stairs to change your kit seems like a chore, but if you want to look after your chamois (and your skin!) make sure you take your cycle shorts off straight after a ride and wear a clean pair for each ride. Not doing this can result in a buildup of bacteria.

  1. Lightly rinse overshoes or toe caps when you get in if they’re muddy, particularly in winter when there is salt on roads, as this can destroy neoprene. Mild detergent, such as baby shampoo, can be great for removing gunk off the road. Make sure you don’t put them in tumble dryer!

  1. Hand washing. You don’t need a washing machine to wash kit, which can be the case if you’re on a cycle holiday or camp. Using shampoo in the sink can be enough but make sure you pay special attention to the chamois to prevent any bacterial build up. 

  1. Prepare for the wash. When you pop you kit in the washing machine, close all zips and Velcro closures and turn kit inside out. Make sure you don’t wash normal clothes with your cycle kit as the heavier clothing can damage the delicate fabrics of your jersey. If you don’t produce enough kit to warrant a wash just for sports kit, use laundry mesh bags to protect the kit and make sure the wash is on a cool setting per the care label.

  1. Choose carefully. Use a mild, non-biological detergent, preferably powder instead of liquid. Do not use a detergent that claims to produce brighter whites or colours as this can damage fabric through bleaching. Do not add fabric softener to your cycle kit wash either as this can leave a residue in the fabric that can affect the breathability.

  1. For drying, hang your kit to drip dry away from direct heat. Please don’t tumble dry your kit! It will result in a short life span for your favourite cycle jersey, I’m sure there is another cycle jersey in the drawer you can use instead!

  1. Water repellent treatments do wash of overtime so it’s best to rinse waterproofed garments if possible. Re-proof with spray on treatment – once you’ve bought the can, just treat the garment as your other cycle kit and re-proof frequently. Make sure you don’t leave waterproof jacket screwed up in your jersey pocket after a ride; hang it up afterwards to improve the longevity of your jacket.

  1. Make them last. You don’t need to wash gloves, arm warmers, leg warmers and gilets every time you wear them, it’s better for longevity to wash them after a couple of wears.

  1. Think about the fabric. Base layers can require different washing to the rest of your kit as they are close to your skin. For synthetic base layers, use a non-biological detergent. If you’re hand washing, it can be useful to use a synthetic specific detergent. Wool base layers, such as Merino wool, don’t need to be washed as frequently as synthetic base layers. Use a wool specific wash when it starts to get a little stinky to preserve it!

  1. Cycling shoes can get overlooked in terms of care. Use a damp cloth if they are slightly mucky. If they are really muddy, submerge them in warm soapy water and use soft brush to loosen dirt. Take out insole, undo straps and stuff with newspaper to help with drying. Don’t put these on the radiator!

  1. If you are a particularly muddy cyclist (cyclocross and MTB enthusiasts, we’re looking at you!), give your washing machine a bit of TLC every now and again; clean your washing machine to make sure your normal clothes don’t get stained by a buildup of dirt.

Happy cycling!


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