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Commuting and sweat and body odor.

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Commuting and sweat and body odor.

Old 05-09-19, 08:21 PM
  #1  
PastorJim
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Commuting and sweat and body odor.

I have a hard time believing everyone who cycles to work has showers available at work. For you who don't how do you solve the sweat and body odor issue?
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Old 05-09-19, 08:55 PM
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If you showered in the morning, then there shouldn't be an odor issue, even if you sweat a lot. If your ride is more than 3 miles I would suggest a change of clothes. When you get to work go into the bathroom stall and then change and wipe down with some cold wet wipes. You can use unscented baby wipes, or just use the bathroom paper towels. That's what I do.
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Old 05-09-19, 09:06 PM
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It's their problem, not mine. They should be happy I don't take a crap in their cowboy boots.
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Old 05-09-19, 11:55 PM
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1. Pedal slower
2. Bring some extra deodorant
3. Have a cool down period before settling in at your desk

My face tends to get really hot, but that is the main extent of sweating. It seems like I get extra, extra sweaty if I go into the office too fast. Taking a 10 minute walk seems to get me mostly cooled down. I'll wash my face, apply lotion etc, and add another layer of deodorant. As long as I have an effective deodorant that is good enough for the 5 miles I have. I've been trying out some new natural deodorants lately, so reapplying is necessary. Back when I used antiperspirant, it was fine....
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Old 05-10-19, 12:22 AM
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I wear street clothes and don't have an issues. Every job that I have had since finishing studies has had a shower.

As an aside, people stink in Europe and change much less frequently than in the US. I'm OK with that.
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Old 05-10-19, 05:09 AM
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I give 10 minutes for cool down. My kit goes into the sink on warm days and then hung to dry. Anyone can bathe from a bucket, so don’t need a shower, just use the sink. I carry deodorant with me. I don’t have to be super polished, so that is plenty.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:19 AM
  #7  
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start clean & when you get to the office there's less to do. when I bike commuted (17 miles ea. way) w/o a work shower, I showered at home. when I got to the office I sink washed with a soapy washcloth, did the hair w diluted shampoo in a big plastic cup & rinsed the same way. it required getting up pretty early & carrying more stuff, including a towel. thanks for the reminder cuz I've been thinking about trying it where I am now (22 miles ea. way)
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Old 05-10-19, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
It's their problem, not mine. They should be happy I don't take a crap in their cowboy boots.


Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
... As an aside, people stink in Europe and change much less frequently than in the US. I'm OK with that.


Originally Posted by realperson View Post
If you showered in the morning, then there shouldn't be an odor issue, even if you sweat a lot. If your ride is more than 3 miles I would suggest a change of clothes. When you get to work go into the bathroom stall and then change and wipe down with some cold wet wipes. You can use unscented baby wipes, or just use the bathroom paper towels. That's what I do.
Yep, baby wipes, extra deodorant, a change of clothes, and a bathroom stall.

Last edited by Whib; 05-10-19 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:57 AM
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I live in Florida, so it is almost always hot and humid. My commute is about 17 miles each way. There is no shower at work, so I shower in the morning before leaving home.

The perspiration normally pours off of me while I am riding. For about the last mile I slow my speed down considerably to start my cool-down. When I arrive at work, I let myself cool down some more in the air conditioning, try to dry off, apply deodorant and change clothes. Nobody has ever complained about the way I smell, but maybe they are just trying to be polite.

I commute by bicycle 2 to 3 times a week, so I bring fresh clothes on the days that I drive.
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Old 05-10-19, 08:06 AM
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My ride is 20 each way, I'm in PA so we get the hot and humid, and the freezing cold. I actually have more sweating issues near the end of the winter than in the summer, most times going to work I sweat but it evaporates, when I get here I take 10 mins or so and sit at my desk in my bike stuff. Once I stop sweating I grab the baby wipes and the no stink stick, head to the bathroom, change, hang up the bike clothes, then do computer stuff till the end of the day where I reverse the process, skipping the baby wipes and no stink stick steps of course. I have a pack that I use to swap out clothes as needed.

Joe
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Old 05-10-19, 08:16 AM
  #11  
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Starting off clean scrubbed & freshly showered is a really great place to start.
A decent anti-perspirant is a must.
Synthetic fiber clothes that breath well like basketball shorts & soccer jerseys (or full cycling kit, if that's your thing) and if necessary a second set regular office clothes to change into.
Regulating your effort to keep core temp down to prevent sweating to begin with. It would be easy to have an inbound to office heart rate limit to keep things in check. Say, 120 beats per minute or some other suitably low effort level...You can blast home at any effort level you want.
Another, trick is to have a pair of shoes that live at the office and 5 sets of shirts, pants, & under garmets that come in on Monday & go home on Friday can lessen the training load for 8 of your 10 weekly trips.
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Old 05-10-19, 09:42 AM
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My experience in Phoenix summer (and I'm sure in GA where the original poster is from) even riding slow the entire ride isn't going to stop the sweat. When it's 90 and humid a 7am even the most leisurely of commutes will drench you in sweat.
Start off clean and when you arrive a wet paper towel in the bathroom stall, change of clothes, and fresh deodorant will take care of things.
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Old 05-10-19, 09:50 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by RoadKill View Post
My experience in Phoenix summer (and I'm sure in GA where the original poster is from) even riding slow the entire ride isn't going to stop the sweat. When it's 90 and humid a 7am even the most leisurely of commutes will drench you in sweat.
Start off clean and when you arrive a wet paper towel in the bathroom stall, change of clothes, and fresh deodorant will take care of things.
Correct. Fortunately I have always had shower at work, except for one year in Sept/Oct, but it was cooler then in the AM - I did the shower first and baby wipes at work trick. Another year the shower went out mid summer, but I showered using the outdoor faucet on side of building, stripped down to just shorts and washed off.
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Old 05-10-19, 11:14 AM
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This get me almost as clean enough:



  • Find a air-conditioned restroom. Go to sink and wet a small towel.
  • Go to toilet, close door, strip down naked, and sit on toilet to cool down for about 10 minutes or so (surf BF while you wait)
  • when body is cooled down, use wet towel to wipe the sweat off whole body.

I find that keeping arm pit and pub hair well shaved also helps alleviate BO.


I learned from Muslim friend a trick. They wash their butt over the toilet with plastic water bottle, after taking a dump (for religious reason).
I would imagine that for extra freshness, one could use this philosophy to wash arm pit over the toilet, or over the sink if noone is around.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 05-10-19 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 05-10-19, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
This get me almost as clean enough:
  • Find a air-conditioned restroom. Go to sink and wet a small towel.
  • Go to toilet, close door, strip down naked, and sit on toilet to cool down for about 10 minutes or so (surf BF while you wait)
  • when body is cooled down, use wet towel to wipe the sweat off whole body.

I find that keeping arm pit and pub hair well shaved also helps alleviate BO.


I learned from Muslim friend a trick. They wash their butt over the toilet with plastic water bottle.
Use this philosophy to wash arm pit over the toilet, or over the sink if noone is around.
Wow, this might be the most personal, intimate and revealing post I have ever seen on these forums.
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Old 05-10-19, 11:36 AM
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Sponge bath in the Loo.
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Old 05-10-19, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
  • Go to toilet, close door, strip down naked, and sit on toilet to cool down for about 10 minutes or so (surf BF while you wait

I find that keeping arm pit and pub hair well shaved also helps alleviate BO.


And today I learned a lot more about my fellow Bike Forum members than I expected to.
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Old 05-10-19, 11:46 AM
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I don't shave my armpits but I do trim the length of that hair using my standard electric man~scaping shears
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Old 05-10-19, 11:48 AM
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best place I ever worked was because they had a shower & a boiler room. I was able to hang everything in the boiler room, out of sight, to dry. & one of the owners (may he rest in peace) was a cyclist. he offered to get me my own locker to put in the boiler room. miss him
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Old 05-10-19, 11:55 AM
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I agree with others that starting clean is the trick to not smelling.

I used to commute 7-8 miles each way in hot/humid (Mobile, AL). I started clean, changed clothes, washed my face, and sprayed off with some natural body deodorant (which was basically witch hazel and some non-offensive gender neutral scent.)
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Old 05-10-19, 05:21 PM
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Commuting and sweat and body odor
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have shower facilities and can store clean clothes at work, though usually I wear scrub shirts and pants, I don’t have much close interaction with staff, and they would let me know if I offended. But here’s my unique contribution.

I shower in the evening or the morning before the ride, and as my deodorant I use 91% rubbing alcohol. This is used to clean the skin prior to drawing blood and is an effective bactericide. It leaves no scent and evaporates quickly and refreshingly. It can also be used to clean “down there” to prevent lesions from the saddle.

If I have to wear regular clothes though, I always want to take a shower.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Deodorant alternatives

…You can carry a small amount as needed for any trip and just apply it with a cloth or paper towel. There are ladies at my job who would let me know if it didn't work, and I've not had any complaints in years.
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
It's their problem, not mine. They should be happy I don't take a crap in their cowboy boots.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-10-19 at 07:14 PM. Reason: added quote by wgscott
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Old 05-10-19, 06:06 PM
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Alcohol, especially in high concentration, will dry out the skin badly with repeated topical use.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
As an aside, people stink in Europe and change much less frequently than in the US. I'm OK with that.
We Americans made BO (or just fear of it) a source of profit. Yay.
__________________
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…I shower in the evening or the morning before the ride, and as my deodorant I use 91% rubbing alcohol. This is used to clean the skin prior to drawing blood and is an effective bactericide.

It leaves no scent and evaporates quickly and refreshingly. It can also be used to clean “down there” to prevent lesions from the saddle. .
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Deodorant alternatives… There are ladies at my job who would let me know if it didn't work, and I've not had any complaints in years. [
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Alcohol, especially in high concentration, will dry out the skin badly with repeated topical use
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
All of these tips are very good. But I would recommend against alcohol.

If you use it, try witch hazel. It has the same drying and cooling effect, but it doesn't dry your skin. Sometimes I put it on when I'm at home just to cool off, as we don't have A/C at home. It works great.
Can I just use it until I need glasses?
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Old 05-10-19, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
We Americans made BO (or just fear of it) a source of profit. Yay.
There is no AC in Europe, so in the summer, people are ripe, which is OK. Also, clothing is more expensive for the same items but we make less money (on average) so stuff gets washed less frequently.
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