Gear Prudence: I’m trying to bike more in cold weather, and my current gear doesn’t cut it. I’m thinking about buying tights, but I’m a dude and have never bought or worn tights before. Is there anything special about tights for biking that I need to know? Are they even worth it? — Could Other Legwear Demonstrate Lasting Energy Gains, Satisfaction
Dear COLDLEGS: They’re absolutely worth it and they will be a much appreciated addition to your winter cycling wardrobe. But there’s a difference between cycling tights and tights you can wear while biking. Cycling tights will likely be made of a technical material and have a chamois (the padded section on the crotch and butt). They’ll also cost a bunch of money and are meant to be worn in lieu of pants. If this isn’t your jam, the tights you want are thermal (or merino wool if you’re feeling splurgy). You wear them like long underwear and under other pants. There’s no padding on these either. Both kinds should fit snugly. They’re called tights after all. —GP
Gear Prudence: My fiance and I have been engaged for a few months now, and we’re starting to think about the gift registry now that we’re getting closer to the wedding. We’ve lived together for years and don’t need any more housewares. It seems a little transactional to ask our guests to give us cash (even though that’s what we’d like). The other day I thought of an idea: Could we register for bike gear? It’s a mutual passion, and we know we’d use it. Is this a thing? —Genuinely Indifferent For Tableware
Dear GIFT: Sure. Everything’s a thing. Some of your guests will derive much greater meaning from offering you a tangible gift rather than money, and GP is confident that your second cousin Doris would love for you to think of her each time your brand new derailleur smoothly shifts.
Your biggest hurdle isn’t going to be technological (lots of big retailers offer online registries where you can specify your bikey wants), but in convincing your loved ones to participate. Maybe second cousin Doris thinks every young couple needs a chafing dish and doesn’t care that you’d prefer upgraded disc brakes. How you do handle that? Either convince your local bike shop to start carrying blenders or register for some boring stuff (in addition to cool bike stuff) at a store that allows you to return these gifts for cash. Yes, duping your friends and family is a key element here, so make sure you write down which of your uncool guests gave you the thing you didn’t want so you can tell them in the thank you note about the tragic, isolated electrical fire/garbage disposal incident that destroyed it before you could really enjoy it. —GP