Washing for longer-lasting sweet-smelling bicycle gear.
We want our cycling gear to look good and wear well for a long time.
A pile of moist cycling gear is an invitation to a bacteria party. And party they do, leaving behind a distinct odour. It is rumoured that unwashed gear becomes funky and may contribute to soreness in the chamois area.
So be sure to wash thoroughly and dry completely.
The Short Version
- Walk straight into the laundry
- Empty your pockets
- Take off all your bike clothes and leave inside out
- Do up all the zips and velcro
- Use laundry bags
- Cool/cold wash with liquid or washing powder
- Scamper to the bathroom and shower
- Eat something nutritious
- Hang gear on the line (out of the harsh sun) until completely dry
Wash or Hang Straight Away
You get home, high on the ride endorphins, empting to toss your gear in a corner and wash it next time you get a chance. Best to put your gear straight into the wash or hang it to air dry until you get a chance to wash it.
Wool gear and gear with silver thread has some natural anti-stink protection.
Turn inside out.
Bibs go in a washing bag to stop the straps getting caught on other gear.
Jerseys, Wind Vests and Jackets
Do zips up.
Put any velcro items into a washing bag; the velcro latches on to other clothing in a friendly yet damaging fashion.
Turning inside out stops the zip tag from catching or rubbing on other garments.
Washing frequency varies.
Put in a bag to stop velcro catching.
In warmer weather, cold wash, cold rinse and powder is fine.
In cold weather, some people use a warm wash, or switch to liquid. Some powders don’t dissolve easily in very cold water, apparently.
No fabric softener please.
Choose detergents with as little scent or other additives as possible. They may begin to interfere with wicking and wind-blocking properties.
Gentle is the preferred option.
As a general rule, line dry out of the harsh sun.
If the garment washing instructions say dryer then this is safe. Otherwise, stick with the line.
Dry knicks with the chamois side out.