Joining VeloClub not only supports the work we do, there are some fantastic benefits:
by Anne-Marije Rook
July 20, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
Whether you’ve crashed, got snagged by a branch on the trail or the washing machine ate your favourite bibs, you’ll learn that lycra —despite its many qualities— is not tearproof. You’ve likely spent a good amount of money on your kit, and this is not how you imagined parting ways with your favourite chamois. Good news! Most tears and cuts are repairable.
Some brands like Assos, Rapha and Capo offer repair services, but if that’s not the case for your favourite kit, here are your options:
Find a good tailor.
Ask your cycling friends and guaranteed you’ll get some recommendations. Don’t just drop it off at your local dry cleaner as lycra is a unique fabric that requires specialty care. If you can’t find anyone with cycling apparel experience, look for someone who specialises in dance, gymnastics or swim wear, which are often made of similar fabric.
A good repair service will not only have experience with the stretchy fabric and a stretch stitch, they might even be able to patch multiple colors in an effort to keep the kit’s design (and sponsor logos) intact.
Do it yourself!
If you have (access to) a sewing machine, you can fix the shredded fabric yourself. Here’s how:
– Following the crash or tearing, hand-wash your items.
“Wash it gently because it could rip further. I would hand wash it, cold, just to get the grime out of it as best as you can so you’re not sewing the grime into it when you’re sewing it back together,” recommends Carol Douglas, the number-one recommended cycling kit repair expert in the greater Seattle area.
– Buy or scavenge some lycra fabric.
“Go into your closet and find an item of lycra that you don’t wear anymore, and doesn’t have sentimental value, to scavenge fabric from it,” said Douglas. “Not all fabric stores carry it. And whatever fabric you get, it’s important that it has four-way stretch.”
– Sew on the patch.
Place the patch of fabric behind the tear, on the inside, and sew it on iwith whatever means you have. But for the best results, Douglas recommends that you’ll use a (serger) sewing machine, a stretch stitch and a stretch thread:
So don’t despair when you tear your kit! A good repair is hardly noticeable and will keep your kit going for many, many more hours in the saddle.
“A tear is no reason to throw away a kit. I haven’t come across one I haven’t been able to rebuild,” said Douglas. “Some do look pretty scarred but they’re back on the road and for some, it’s a badge of honour.”