The old saying, "you get what you pay for," couldn't be truer when it comes to your cycling clothes. High-tech Lycra, breathable mesh jerseys and comfortable chamois inserts are a must if you want to enjoy your ride.
But quality clothing can be expensive. To make sure you get your money's worth, take a few extra precautions when it's time to do the laundry.
Use these eight tips to wash your clothes the right way and make sure they last more than one season in the saddle.
Use the Delicate Cycle
Hand washing versus using a washing machine comes down to personal preference. I like to wash my jerseys and socks in the washing machine and hand wash my bib shorts, but in truth it probably doesn't make much of a difference either way, as long as you use the delicate cycle. Regular or heavy settings on the washing machine will likely damage delicate fabrics.
Separate Your Clothes
Don't wash your cycling clothes with all of your regular clothes, and don't just throw all of your cycling gear in together. Wash your dark colors separate from your whites to keep you clothes from becoming dingy.
When you wash your cycling jerseys or any other garments that have zippers, make sure to zip them up. Undone zippers can tear up other clothes that happen to be in the washing machine. It's also a good idea to turn your jerseys inside out for the same reason.
Stick With the Basics
Don't use soap with perfume or dyes. You can try specialty soap made for athletic clothing such as the Assos detergent engineered for washing cycling clothes, but it isn't necessary. Buy the most basic detergent you can find, preferably concentrated instead of liquid.
Add your clothes, fill the washing machine with water, and mix in your detergent last. This will keep residue from clogging up your high-performance fabrics, which are designed to wick away moisture and keep you cool when you sweat. Stay away from fabric softener too.