1. Don’t try to get ‘that extra day’ out of your bike clothes.
Often debated and may seem obvious, we recommend that you don’t wear your bike clothes multiple times between washes. The thought will be there to put your kit back and use it again another day, particularly if you only rode for an hour or commuted a short distance and didn’t sweat up.
If you wear the same pair of shorts a couple of days in a row, the dirty chamois can lead to rashes and chafing thanks to the bacteria built up there.
Wearing your clothes a few rides without washing induces odour caused by bacteria. This will still be present, even if the perspiration you put out was mostly evaporated as you rode. Not washing allows odour to settle, which can be quite offensive when you grab them to wear again!
2. Don’t Let Your Stuff Sit Around Wet
If your clothes are dripping with sweat post-ride, try not to throw them in the wash bin where they’ll stay huddled. If your next wash load isn’t immediately, at the least hang kit to air dry. This deters bacteria building up. Also, faster drying avoids odour worsening and air circulating around the clothes helps dry and dissipate the stink that you’ve put into them during your ride, which will help the laundering process be more effective.
3. To kill the funky smell try Isopropyl Alcohol or White Vinegar
An effective approach to clearing out stubborn odours is to occasionally wash your bike clothes in white vinegar, though as a warning the first ride after might have some residual vinegar smell. Try one part vinegar and four parts water for about 30 minutes right before washing. You should also toss in a bit of vinegar or baking soda or even lemon juice to the washer water—but remember to not do this if your detergent has bleach in it!
Prewash treatment option: spray smelly parts of the synthetics with some 70% isopropyl alcohol to saturation and let it evaporate. It kills off the bacteria that are fermenting and causing the stink.
If you do this, be sure to test it on a hidden part of the garment to check for colorfastness. It shouldn’t cause you any problems, but better to check first that find out the hard way!
4. Getting Bike Shorts Ready for the Wash
Even before you put your bike shorts in the washer, there are things you can do to make the cleaning more effective.
Firstly turn the shorts inside out, and put a pre-wash agent directly on the chamois and let it soak in to remove stains and odours. This can be either detergent or a special stain-fighting product.
If you have a pair of bib shorts, complete the aforementioned step then tuck them into a small mesh bag. This will keep the suspender straps from being stretched and damaged (material shredded) by the agitator of your top-load washer.
6. Don’t Tumble dry your bike kit
Always air dry kit once washed. Many types of fabrics used within the design of cycle-specific clothing doesn’t lend itself well to tumble drying. It can cause wool to shrink and damage elastic found in the legs and waist of your shorts. Plus, many types of synthetics are quick drying and benefit from being kept from the heat of a dryer.
Harness the Sun – The sun’s rays are a natural bacteria deterrent, so hang your clothes out to dry on the sunniest of days and enjoy fresh, clean gear for months or years to come!
7. Getting the Stink out of Bike Gloves
Rinse them After Every Ride
Air them out well. After rinsing, air dry until they are ready to be used again. A handy place for this is on the handlebars of your bike.
Rotate between pairs of gloves. If riding consecutively daily rotate two sets, not only does this allow them to wear more evenly, but will also give the gloves the chance to dry fully