Wash Your Kit Like a Pro: The best washing practices for longer-lasting, more-comfortable cycling apparel
So you’ve gone on your first ride in your beautiful new Primal cycling kit and now it’s, um, well, stinky! You could just toss your kit in with your next load of laundry and hope for the best OR you could follow these simple washing steps that are guaranteed to make your cycling gear last longer, feel better, and look prettier. After all, cycling apparel incorporates a multitude of high performance fabrics, technical details, and that funny little pad we call a chamois - all of which perform better with a little extra attention. Take care of your cycling super-suit and it will take care of you for years to come.
Prep Your Kit
Ben Franklin once stated that by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. We’re not positive, but we’re fairly certain he was referring to washing his cycling kit when he wrote this. Never-the-less, prepping your cycling apparel for the wash is crucial. Simply turn your jersey and shorts or bibs inside out, making sure zippers are zipped and any velcro is velcroed. This will prevent any snagging or abrasion, protects sublimated graphics, and allows for optimal cleaning of that oh-so-important chamois - you know the one that makes sitting on a 105 gram, carbon saddle tolerable. Don’t forget to check your pockets! Sending an energy goo or protein bar through the spin cycle will not end well, trust us.
Add Some Suds
Using the right soap here is key. Although most detergents will get the job done, choosing a detergent free of fragrances, dyes, and other chemicals will yield the best results. Think about it, your cycling apparel is in constant contact with your skin, ALL of your skin (if you know what we mean), so you don’t want any additional chemicals that may cause irritation. Plus, the highly technical fabrics designed to wick sweat and keep you dry and cool don’t do their job as well when gummed up with chemically, detergent residues. So keep it simple and keep it comfortable!
Wash n’ Rinse
This part is easy. Always wash in cool water on the medium or gentle spin cycle setting. This will prevent shrinkage (of your kit) and stop colors from bleeding. Depending on your washing machine and detergent, you might need to rinse your kit an additional time to eliminate any residual detergent that may affect the fabric’s performance.
Dry ‘em Off
You’re so close to finished you can smell it (literally). Drying your cycling kit is a breeze. Us Primal people recommend line drying these sweet cycling kits to prevent shrinkage, discoloration and all around bummers from happening to them. Just hang your kit in a dry, well ventilated area and it will be ready to wear again in a matter of a couple hours.
Store it Right
Ok, this part is extra credit. Although many of us here at Primal are guilty of cramming our kits into an over-crowded cycling bag, hanging your bibs and jersey is optimal. It will keep your kit wrinkle-free and will prevent your apparel from absorbing the stank from sweaty shoes, helmets, or whatever else is in your bag. Simply hang your dry bibs right-side-out from a clothing hanger by the straps and slip your jersey over it. After all, Clark Kent wouldn’t wad up his cape in the bottom of a smelly gym bag, would he?