The Hot Black Jersey: Myth or Fact?

03.11.2009 | 1:15 pm

Yesterday, I unveiled the Team Fatty jersey. And there was much rejoicing.Untitled-1.jpg

Among the rejoicers, however, were a number of rabble-rousers, each of which was rousing the same particular rabblet (“rabblet is the singular of “rabble”):

Black jerseys are too hot.

Now, I very nearly started compiling a list of helpful suggestions to ameliorate the “black is hot” problem. This list would have included (but not been limited to) the following:

  • Turn the jersey inside out. Voila! It’s white! Also, I have no idea how to put the accent mark on the “a” in “voila.”
  • Wear a really big, chrome helmet. Then always ride at noon, when the sun is directly overhead and will reflect off your highly-polished helmet, which incidentally acts as an umbrella for the rest of your body.
  • Move to Alaska. Hey, it worked for Jill! Except for the frostbite, of course.
  • Move to Scandinavia. Really, this is basically the same suggestion as moving to Alaska, except with better chocolate and bread.
  • Ride at Night. But not on the road. Fat Cyclist jersey at night on dirt = awesome. Fat Cyclist jersey at night on pavement = strictly forbidden.

But then I started thinking. And it occurred to me that, sure, a black jersey might be a little warmer than a pure white jersey. But white jerseys have their own problems. Anyone who’s ever seen a large, sweaty, hairy man in a white jersey knows what I am talking about, and I believe will confirm that it’s less attractive than it sounds. And it doesn’t even sound all that attractive to begin with.

And then I started questioning the easy assumption: that a black jersey is going to be meaningfully more warm to wear than other colorful jerseys. For example, would a Team Fatty jersey be hotter than this jersey?


Well, that depends. If, by “hotter,” you mean “sexier,” then I think the answer is an unequivocal yes: the Team Fatty jersey will make you look much, much hotter than a jersey with a frog pole-dancing on a seatpost.

But if you mean “warmer, by temperature,” then I’m not so sure.

Let’s Ask The Internet, Because It’s Always Right

The Straight Dope (not a site about heterosexual drug users) makes some interesting points, based on actual science. First, if it’s cold and there’s no wind — which pretty well describes the opposite of the conditions one experiences when riding a bike on a hot day — black is indeed warmer.

But when it’s warm and there’s wind (or you’re in motion)?

With even a modest wind (anything above 3 m/s, or about 7 m.p.h.) fluffed white plumage exhibit the lowest net heat loss. This explains the large number of arctic animals that are fluffy and white. It’s not just camouflage.

At high temperatures, as I say, white is best at not transmitting solar/ambient heat to the skin when windspeed is zero (only barely better when fluffed). However, with an increase in windspeed (again anything above 3 m/s), fluffed black plumage is the best at reducing the amount of heat transmitted to the skin. Flattened black plumage is the worst in terms of heat gain no matter what the windspeed.

So yes, they’re talking about birds here. But if I understand correctly (and I always do), if you’re in motion and you’re sweating and you’re wearing wicking material, that black you’re wearing is efficiently conducting heat away from your body.

More efficiently than any other color, in fact. Which, according to this article, explains why polar bears are white (no, it’s not just for camoflauge), and why “desert-dwelling nomadic people such as the Tuaregs wear loose-fitting black clothing.”

Experiment Time

Here’s the thing, though: that Straight Dope piece makes sense to me anecdotally, because I’ve worn the black Fat Cyclist jersey on hot days without feeling unusual heat, and I always wear black biking shorts and haven’t ever thought to myself, “Hey, the parts of my legs covered by my shorts are a lot hotter than the rest of me.”

But still, it does feel counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

So I thought to myself, “I wish someone would conduct some sort of experiment to see whether the Fat Cyclist jersey does in fact make you hotter. And by “hotter,” I of course mean “higher in temperature,” because the fact that it makes you look hotter — as in sexier — is not even up for debate.

Where are the Mythbusters when you need them?

OK, that’s kind of a stupid question (yes, there is such a thing), because of course the Mythbusters don’t change their location based on whether I need them or not.

Stupid Mythbusters.

So I decided to do the experiment myself. But the thing is, this isn’t an easy experiment to conduct. I mean, how am I supposed to:

  • Factor out the difference in material between two jerseys? If one of the jerseys is made of burlap, it’s going to be warmer no matter what.
  • Factor out the difference between test subjects? I can’t have the same person do the tests on different days or even different times, because outside conditions can vary considerably. But finding two people who are similar enough that I can expect nearly identical results is not going to be easy.
  • Measure temperature on the subjects? Should I measure skin temperature? Core temperature? Both?

But then I realized: I am in a really excellent position to conduct this experiment. Here’s why:


Yep, I have identical twins. They’re within a quarter inch in height of each other and within two ounces in weight. And — most importantly — they think anything I want to do is awesome right now. Yeah, I know that won’t last forever. I’m enjoying it right now, though.

And how about the jerseys? Well, that’s easy:


One of the twins will wear a jersey inside out. Magically, it becomes white! And hilariously embarrassing when captured for posterity in photograph albums!

So anyway, here’s the experiment, which I will conduct this Saturday, which is supposed to be warm:

  1. I start by measuring their internal and skin temperature.
  2. We go outside during the warmest part of the day and ride bikes, jump on the trampoline, play tag, and otherwise generally stay very active for half an hour.
  3. I measure their internal and skin temperature again.

I will report the findings, however they turn out.

Suggestions and Predictions?

I’d be interested to hear any suggestions on making this experiment valid. Especially if you have suggestions on how to accurately measure skin temperature. And if you have a pretty good idea of how this will turn out, I’ll be interested to hear your prediction.

Fat Cyclist: It’s not just comedy anymore. We’re downright educational.


  1. Comment by Mir | 03.11.2009 | 1:22 pm

    You’re hysterical. And, quite possibly, a genius. Just wanted to throw that out there. Thanks for the good read and laughs on humpday.

  2. Comment by GenghisKhan | 03.11.2009 | 1:30 pm

    Fatty–the experiment as you’ve outlined it seems kie a highly and unequivocally scientific experiment, though I would suggest amending one portion and that is regarding skin temperature. Core temperature is more critical from a medical perspective and therefore that temperature should be measured. How, how do you measure it? Meat thermometer, of course!


    P.S. Technically, a rectal thermometer might also work.

    P.S.S. How much do your twins love you again?

    Hey, how’d you get that little mark above the “a” in “voila?” – FC

  3. Comment by Rider 3 | 03.11.2009 | 1:31 pm

    Fatty – You are doing the world a service once again. Our team jerseys, ordered but not yet here, are also black. Ours don’t help fight cancer or promote the Fatty nation, but they are black, so I want to know what the test results are.

    Also, today I report on my magic socks, so I’m not sure how that will impact the black jersey science, but we will see: Team Two Wheel Blog
    Rider 3

  4. Comment by Hat | 03.11.2009 | 1:33 pm

    I think you’re going to be in real trouble for violating the Declaration of Helsinki concerning human subject use.

  5. Comment by JAT in Seattle | 03.11.2009 | 1:33 pm

    Awesome experimental design. scrolling down the the illustrative photo of the twins really made me smile.

    I expect much of the black is hot perception is based on absorption of sunlight/energy. My son had a 6th grade science test on the topic of light/ color/ lenses/ mirrors this week, and over the weekend I put a black coffee cup and a white coffee cup in the sunlight streaming through the window (okay – really what I did was fail to clear the breakfast dishes until late into the afternoon…) and the black on was much warmer to the touch.

    is it possible for you to add a measure of external jersey surface temperature as well? Not sure why I think that will add anything – maybe I should ask my son.

  6. Comment by Paul | 03.11.2009 | 1:34 pm

    Won’t the one wearing the jersey inside-out have sweat wicked from outside to her skin? Would that impede her cooling? And would it cause problems if she brushed up against any sweaty bikers in the vicinity?

  7. Comment by GenghisKhan | 03.11.2009 | 1:35 pm

    Just thought of something else–aren’t the jerseys a directional wicking fabric? Perhaps the folks at Twin Six need to get you a white jersey for the test.

  8. Comment by GenghisKhan | 03.11.2009 | 1:36 pm

    Paul is brilliant.

  9. Comment by Julian | 03.11.2009 | 1:40 pm

    I’ll probably buy one and try, but I really really wished the orange ones were still offered. I even wrote Twin Six and they had one medium left and that was it: I’m a Large kinda guy, a real proud Fatty myself, but I loved the orange.
    I know the color and design are symbolic and these jerseys are beautiful, I just preferred the orange one for visibility and it’s my favorite color.
    Oh well, I love the idea and I know you’re riding for more than just style, they’re still great looking jerseys.

    I love the orange-and-black, too. We’ll bring it back someday. – FC

  10. Comment by Andrew | 03.11.2009 | 1:44 pm

    I take it the twins don’t ride? One of the major factors in making black the superior choice is windspeed. As I read it, it’s less superior when becalmed. It strikes me that you’d want to get your speed up higher than you can on a trampoline, unless your area is windy.

    As for what to measure, I think you should be leaning toward subjective measurements. Core temperature shouldn’t budge unless you let them get heatstroke, and that’s a bit far to go, even for science. If you have a precise scale, you could weigh them before and after and measure water loss (synchronize their intake, of course). Galvanic skin response would also be a nice measure as it may showcase differences in how much they’re sweating. Know any federal agents with access to a lie detector?

    Finally, where do you live that it’s already warm enough to test this, and how much does it cost to move there? My fingers are still sore from my blisteringly-cold morning commute.

    It’s warm enough to ride with shorts one day, then it snows the next. Late winter’s peculiar here. – FC

  11. Comment by DaveM | 03.11.2009 | 1:44 pm

    First of all, it sounds like a fun activity with your girls – so carry on! But not sure the science holds up. The body has so many things it does to regulate tempature that I doubt the jersey color will overwhelm that. If you want to be precise, lay the jerseys over a thermometer, put a fan blowing slowing on them, and lay it in the sun.

    Ancedotely, I think you’re right about black. We know that dark things get warmer in the sun, but the question is do they transmit that heat to your skin? This type of fabric holds very little heat energy. That’s why you can take one out of the dryer hot, waive it in the air for two seconds, and it’s down to room temp. I suspect that once you start sweating, the extra heat the fabric picks up helps evaporate that faster, so you may stay drier than with a lighter jersey.

    BTW, the helmet color myth continues on. Helmets have about an inch of great foam insulation between the shell and your head. There’s no way any extra heat absorbed by a dark helmet shell would ever transmit to your skull, even if there wasn’t wind constantly stripping away the excess heat.

    And if white’s so great, why does everyone wear black shorts? Because white shorts look sleazy in that Euro sort of way that only top racers can pull off. You’ve got to have great quads not to look silly in tight white shorts.

    Here’s why bike shorts should always be black. – FC

  12. Comment by Woody | 03.11.2009 | 1:46 pm

    I think that rabblet is of no consequence. The most important thing to me while I ride is looking sexy – no matter the comfort level!!

  13. Comment by dug | 03.11.2009 | 1:49 pm

    “Fat Cyclist: It’s not just comedy anymore.”

    you used to be just comedy?

    You’re right. I should append that to be “…extra-awesome comedy….” – FC

  14. Comment by Walt | 03.11.2009 | 1:53 pm

    Do pictures of the girls make your blog even more popular than pictures of your sister’s friends? It does with me. I think you need another experiment with the boys, just to even out the family-pictures-in-the-blog count.

  15. Comment by Michael | 03.11.2009 | 1:55 pm

    Fatty – Your most loyal readers, the ones in Texas and Florida, know that in July and August we have temps in the upper 90’s with the humidity around 85%. I have seen bikes fall over in the parking lots because the asphalt was too soft to support the kickstand. I can tell you that no jersey is going to be all that comfortable and you are right in your assessment, when you are moving you won’t notice too much but if you stop, the black jersey is going to try to melt to you.
    I am interested in your experiment though. You are doing the wourld a great service.

    Win Susan!

  16. Comment by chtrich | 03.11.2009 | 1:56 pm

    I sure hope it’s nice and sunny on Saturday. This latest bout of snow and winterness is unpleasant!

  17. Comment by graisseux | 03.11.2009 | 1:58 pm


    Stop that! – FC

  18. Comment by ac | 03.11.2009 | 1:59 pm

    i think a mood ring would be the appropriate skin-temperature measuring device, given the scientific nature of the experiment.

  19. Comment by mark | 03.11.2009 | 2:09 pm

    White is the new black.

  20. Comment by Michael in TN | 03.11.2009 | 2:09 pm

    Initially I also leaned toward the black has got to be hotter crowd, but would a professional cycling team wear black jerseys if it had a detremential effect in the heat?
    Maybe you could email someone from the Cervelo Test Team and ask them if they’ve had any problems? It doesn’t seem so since Hammond won in a black jersy in Qatar, which I’m pretty sure is hotter than the sun.

  21. Comment by kc | 03.11.2009 | 2:19 pm

    you of course will need heart rate monitors on each subject to regulate/produce the exact same exertion levels for the given activity time.
    i expect no measurable difference between the two in your test.

    **my team jersey is black, but i also ride my bike in the woods

  22. Comment by MonsieurM | 03.11.2009 | 2:28 pm

    Looking forward to see the results of the experiment.

    Left ALT + 0224 will give you the à you want so much.

    Either that or having your keyboard set the right way. This way, you can also have the é, â, è and all those funny characters that make French such a fun language to learn.

  23. Comment by Darren | 03.11.2009 | 2:42 pm

    I’m concerned like KC @ equal activity…seems like that could vary more than the color difference factor. maybe put them on bike and have them ride at the same speed?

  24. Comment by GenghisKhan | 03.11.2009 | 2:59 pm

    The accent in “voilà” comes about from the highly technical technique know as “Cut and Paste”-Voilà!

  25. Comment by Paul | 03.11.2009 | 3:10 pm

    Black is not an issue for me, but the lack of Full Zip is why i’ll be making a donation instead of a purchase!

    They look great though!

  26. Comment by 29er | 03.11.2009 | 3:18 pm

    What if I WANT to be hot?!

  27. Comment by Paul | 03.11.2009 | 3:20 pm

    The need for airflow is a good one – can I suggest you Scotch tape their hands to the outside of your car and drive them around for a while, to combine a decent breeze with physical activity? Not too fast, of course, we wouldn’t want to be cruel.

    @GenghisKhan – could you say that a little louder, my wife didn’t hear :)

  28. Comment by Rachel | 03.11.2009 | 3:24 pm


    I’m on a Mac, but my shortcut is to press alt(option)-tilde (to the left of the 1), then follow it up with a, e, or whatever letter you need. alt(option)-e, followed by e, gives you “é”. Yes, I’m crazy about learning keyboard shortcuts.

  29. Comment by Hilslug | 03.11.2009 | 3:24 pm

    For the experiment to be applicable to me, your twins should have the same Body Mass Index as I do. However, if you were to feed them enough to achieve that, child protective services would be at your door.

  30. Comment by Di | 03.11.2009 | 3:34 pm


    When I was a kid, and for a time after that, my parents had a “thermometer” that was basically a strip of tape that you stuck to your forehead. If you could find that, I would suggest sticking it on their bellies.

  31. Comment by WheelDancer | 03.11.2009 | 3:38 pm

    It was below zero here this morning and only got up to five. I went outside with my light colored parka and was plenty warm. I then put on my black bike shorts and a black jersey and went outside.

    I nearly froze my arse off.

    I think this proves the black is not hotter though I will wait for the official results from Saturday’s test.

  32. Comment by annette | 03.11.2009 | 3:39 pm

    love the new jersey. love the black, although my husband doesn’t since he wants me wearing flourescent, but it is oh so unflattering and since I wear the geeky jerseys I might as well get those I like!

  33. Comment by Matt | 03.11.2009 | 4:24 pm

    I only marginally complained about the black (after placing my order). Moreso because of the lack of color to be seen by the evil metal contraptions that co-habitate the road with us. I think the black being hotter is more of a mental issue (does that make it any less real to the person who BELIEVES he is hotter cuz of a black jersey? Come on..I mean, EVERYBODY knows kids with new sneakers run FASTER than kids with old sneakers…it’s proven fact!) I REALLY liked the jerseys from 2 years ago (pink and orange ones)…why the shift to nearly all black is all I want to know.

  34. Comment by The D | 03.11.2009 | 4:35 pm

    Nice work, complainers! You’ve made Fatty break out the Battle Twins. You will now be summarily crushed by an onslaught of science and cuteness.

  35. Comment by Joel | 03.11.2009 | 4:57 pm

    Maybe I missed it somewhere already, but isn’t there something about black being slimming? I for one welcome anything that even pretends to be slimming. (And for what it’s worth I, too, loved the orange version and hope for its eventual return, nothing like Halloween every time I ride.)

  36. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 03.11.2009 | 5:07 pm

    Due to homeostasis, the body will regulate the internal temperature to stay constant so that measurement will be completely invalid. Unless of course your girls are part poikilotherm. I’m guessing they’re not.

    I’d grab a couple of cheap thermometers and tape them to the inside of the jerseys, on the back. Black does absorb more light and after light is absorbed, it’s reradiated as heat, so I’d think on a sunny day it will be hotter.

    Or, we could all just quit our whining and wear them only cloudy days. But hey, cloudy days with a black jersey will probably mean reduced visibili…oh, nevermind.

  37. Comment by SYJ | 03.11.2009 | 5:09 pm

    Excellent idea, but I foresee two potential issues (well, one potential issue, and one outside chance at a potential issue)

    1) It’s not supposed to be *hot* this weekend, only somewhat warm (54 degrees). This is a potential issue.

    2) I’m not sure about the new FC jerseys (mine is v1.0), but isn’t the material somewhat different on the outside vs. the inside (from a finish standpoint; ie, the inside is finished in such a way as to promote proper wickage, the outside, proper evaporation). As I am not familiar with the specific jerseys utilized in your test, this is an outside chance at a potential issue.

    These misgivings notwithstanding, I eagerly await your results…

  38. Comment by Charisa | 03.11.2009 | 5:27 pm

    Hmmmm, better make sure they drink the same amount during this time frame (or nothing at all). But if it’s really hot probably give them something to drink!

  39. Comment by racer34 | 03.11.2009 | 6:37 pm

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned the aerodynamic advantages of black. I know from my auto racing days that the color black was faster due to the decrease in drag co-efficient caused by the surface being hotter. The black surface causes a small layer of rising warmer air. This small layer creates a thin turbulant layer of air which allows the passing air to become laminar more easily. Hence less resistance causing the car/rider to go faster.

    Who cares if you are hotter when you are faster?

  40. Comment by Miles Archer | 03.11.2009 | 7:05 pm

    Here’s a better way to tell who’s hotter. Weight them both before exercising, prefereably with no shirt on. Don’t let them drink anything while exercising. Weigh them again afterwards. The one who lost the most weight was hotter. The reason to take the shirt off is that if one is sweating more, the shirt may retain the moisture.

    Anyway, when I’m climbing a mountain and only going 6mph, any wind effects are essentially nil. And, it’s really hot to wear black. I can tell the difference in the shorts. Maybe I just need to get faster.

  41. Comment by Amber | 03.11.2009 | 7:48 pm

    You need one of those things black things they stick on the foreheads of women who are having C-sections.

    Or you could go the old school route and find some mood rings. ;)

  42. Comment by Dobovedo | 03.11.2009 | 7:59 pm

    I think to be true to the science, you should conduct two half hour sessions and have the girls switch jerseys. Just in case 2 ounces and 1/4 inch actually makes a difference.

    The real reason is so you get to torture them for twice as long and we get to read a longer story.

  43. Comment by Megan | 03.11.2009 | 8:07 pm

    On a PC its all about the character map and cut and paste. Voilà.

  44. Comment by Aaron | 03.11.2009 | 8:30 pm

    Black is definitely hotter, as far as being sexy. But you won’t see any difference between black and white from a body temperature standpoint. That’s my prediction.

  45. Comment by Tinker | 03.11.2009 | 8:58 pm

    Once again I find you paying attention to unimportant things like sticking a barbecue fork into your two beautiful daughters, when what you should be worrying about is the mean, mode, and standard deviation of temperatures while wearing White helmets and black helmets, and variants such as wearing wool socks (black or white) with black and white helmets (black socks with black helmets, and white with white)? And how about while riding a diamond frame, painted black of course, and a White Mixte, back to back, mean, mode and standard deviation, monochromatic, or mixed, (if mixed does the rider prefer white on the left and black on the right or vice versa) black and white and grey as well. What about black socks on the left and white socks on the right foot. What about black jerseys on the right and white jerseys on the left. And, the king hell all bicycling, all temperature test, a diamond frame painted black on the right and a white Mixte frame painted black on the left. Oh, the temperature differentials! Conduct a total heat flow analysis! A phd Thesis waiting to happen.

  46. Comment by Marianne | 03.11.2009 | 9:25 pm

    Will they be eating jello?

  47. Comment by donbiker | 03.11.2009 | 10:39 pm

    The real advantage of black is that it gives me even more area to wipe my greasy hands on. (I’m weak on bike maintenance).

    An interesting experiment is to put your hand on a clean painted stripe and then the asphalt in a parking lot. (Be prepared to get that hand off the asphalt pronto.)

  48. Comment by Alister | 03.11.2009 | 10:48 pm


    Can we not get some pink jerseys? Pink is the new black, and there’s nothing more terrifying for motorists on their morning commute to get passed by a sixteen stone menace wearing a pink jersey…

    Really saps their confidence that the car is the right way to go.

  49. Comment by gail | 03.12.2009 | 3:52 am

    Yeah, whatever. I dozed off during science class so no predictions here. But I stopped in to say, your girls are adorable!

  50. Comment by Mike Roadie | 03.12.2009 | 5:17 am

    Màybe their skin temperàture will be the sàme, but the temperàture of the jersey on the skin will be higher for the blàck one. àlso, the inside out one is not truly white!
    Besides, I àlreàdy hàve two blàck Fàt Cyclist jerseys. Thàt’s not going to chànge your mind, is it?
    Whàt àbout becàuse we àsked nicely?



  51. Comment by Tashva | 03.12.2009 | 6:06 am

    You’re pretty much awesome.

  52. Comment by Lowrydr | 03.12.2009 | 7:05 am

    Yea sure, like your even gonna be able to keep up with the “Super Twins” on Saturday. Let us know what your temperature winds up being after you collapse.

    You are a Fat Cyclist after all and those slim little girls are gonna eat you alive on the trampoline.

    Girl’s temp: 98.6
    Fatty’s temp: 103.4

    Of course those are just predictions on the first round of chasing them around. There will not be a second round. As Susan will holler at you to quit tormenting them and leave the kids alone.

    Good Karma and Win Susan.

  53. Comment by Tiny Tim | 03.12.2009 | 7:42 am


    hehe sorry can’t help myself

    they’re right it’s in character map

    or, hold alt then 0226 release alt


  54. Comment by Eric | 03.12.2009 | 8:13 am

    Okay, first I’ll admit to geekiness.

    Second, I admit to having conducting similar studies when in the military.
    Core body temperature will rise in activity but, in your scenario, will probably not be significantly increased to affect the health of the cute kids.

    What seems to matter is how hot people feel vice how hot they are. So, yes, black absorbs heat and will feel hotter. Skin temperature seems to be the key to perception of cold and hot. I’ll be happy to elaborate should anyone desire. Caution – I can be verbose.

    As for helmets, we did the test of dark helmets compared with the same helmets covered with reflective white tape. The dark helmets are markedly hotter. And yes, they have a bunch of insulation in them.

    Saying all that, the difference will be personal. I’m a sweat hog and work hard to cool myself. Others aren’t as affected and won’t mind the black.

    Keep up the great work. I’ve been laughing at this entire thread.

    Semper fi,

  55. Comment by Sylvia | 03.12.2009 | 8:32 am

    In Sacramento, black jerseys get put away for daytime riding about the middle of May. They get pulled out again sometime in October. They are hotter, especially as also noted above, when you stop. While San Jose is cooler than Sac, it is not San Francisco. There is very little chance of me wearing a black jersey there in July. Of course I will buy it. It looks cool.

  56. Comment by Robert Orler | 03.12.2009 | 8:45 am

    wow nice job, remember after I ride 56miles, I have to run 13.1 and I only do that at 7 mph. Much slower and it will be from 1o am to 11:45

  57. Comment by DOM | 03.12.2009 | 8:46 am

    You might want to measure the girls’ skin temps on their backs and bellies; each girl becomes their own control group since backs are generally more sun exposed.

    Really, your sample size is way too small. It would take a larger group, say for example, a group like your sister’s friends. You may want to add a sample to compare black, white, and direct skin exposure. She takes such nice pictures. A phote essay would make like we were there. They’re even old enough to sign informed consent for experimentation releases.

  58. Comment by kiwi | 03.12.2009 | 9:22 am

    Black it GOLD my friend ! I’m from New Zealand(live in Chicago).New Zealand teams are dressed in Black and white(now I would tell you that two NZ cyclist at the summer games did kick some US butt,I will not go there). Black is powper ,Black is a A– Kicking.
    Alblacks name of the New Zealand Rugby team… of the best teams in the world!

    Black is amazing,and its only right the team fatty
    is dressed in the great BLACK jersey!

    Win SUSAN!


  59. Comment by Stuart | 03.12.2009 | 9:53 am

    Core temp use a ear thermometer couple of dollars but i think it worth it

  60. Comment by bikemike | 03.12.2009 | 10:02 am

    is one of the girls more…ah, how should i say this…tempramental/exciteable/energetic than the other one, cause that may greatly skew the results. by saying it “may greatly skew”, i mean, i have no idea if it will or it won’t.

    rots o’ ruck

  61. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.12.2009 | 10:33 am

    Black => higher temp ONLY applies when radiation is the dominant mode of heat transfer, i.e. sunny and windless.

    When convection is dominant, which is will be by a considerable margin with as little as 4 or 5 mph worth of wind, any affect of the black is completely dwarfed by increased convective heat transfer away from the body aided by evaporation of prespiration.

    Conclusion: Black would feel hotter in the sun, stopped, but not while riding. The experiment will probably be inconclusive.

    An infrared thermometer would be really useful. they are a noncontact device. Shoot jersey front & back, belly and back skin. And inside the ears for core temp. It would be best, well geekyest anyway, to get huge piles of data by having a wireless link to your laptop.

  62. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.12.2009 | 10:35 am

    P.S. the graphic of the flaming jersey really made me laugh. It says it all.

    But it is 2nd in pleasantness to the picture of the twins. Natch.

  63. Comment by Lynn | 03.12.2009 | 10:39 am

    I feel sure the black one is hotter AND white gets dirty faster…which is why you should make the pink one again… I WANT A PINK ONE… GIMMEE GIMMEEEEEEEE!

  64. Comment by bruno | 03.12.2009 | 10:39 am

    i look forward to this highly scientific experiment… if it doesnt produce significant results you could always email the mythbusters and let them come up with a way to test it,but then your saturday wouldnt be as fun…oh well

    and having an international (i’m in brazil)keyboard makes this so easy, no huge weird sequences of keys to be pushed. there already there on the keyboard. Voilá, or is it voilà

  65. Comment by buckythedonkey | 03.12.2009 | 10:50 am

    Cher Fattie,

    surely the leetle girl in ze maillot blanc will, how you say, die of embarrassment, which is to say she will get a little ‘ot under ze colleur. I am sure zat zis will invalidate your results.

    Whateveur! You can buy ze stick-on thermometre (pour le bébé, you know) at your local pharmacien for a few of your dolleurs.

    As for me, j’aime the maillot noir (but not as much as the maillot jaune, although I doubt we’ll see un Francais wearing zat any time soon, malheureusement)!

    À bientôt! Ooh la la, je nearly forgot…


  66. Comment by Heidi | 03.12.2009 | 11:27 am

    The link to “Here’s why bike shorts should always be black”: HAHAHAHAHAHA! It’s one o’clock!

  67. Comment by Animator Thom | 03.12.2009 | 11:39 am

    I didn’t think you could wear black before Labor Day?!

  68. Comment by run-girl-run | 03.12.2009 | 1:44 pm

    Yes! A stick-on thermometer! They’re made for infants (and very handy, btw). Should be easy to find at a pharmacy. And I say stick it onto their backs or shoulders. That’s where the surface temps would be different (if at all). Good luck! WIsh I had twins to try experiments on (that sounded a little twisted).

  69. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.12.2009 | 3:35 pm

    and an all-white kit is worse than red shorts. I saw three middle aged men, who should have been playing the new Middle Aged Cross Country Mountain Bike Rider video game, but instead were at the 7-11 in the middle of a road riding trip.

    One was dressed in white team kit. But he did not resemble Cippo. At all. HE was short and pot-bellyed. his formerly white kit was dingy from too many laundry cycles. It was dirty, like 3rd time since the laundry dirty. It was saggy.

    And it revealed shadows in unfortunate places.


  70. Comment by Kt | 03.12.2009 | 5:48 pm

    I should know better by now not to click on links to pictures on this blog.

    AIIEEEEE!! My eyes!!!! Red shorts are just WRONG!!!

    I have no problem with the black jerseys, Fatty. I think they make me look svelte and awesome.

    But I totally LOVE the pink FC jersey from before. Love love love! It’s the only pink jersey I’ll own until you and those awesome guys at T6 come out with another pink FC.

    Win, Susan!!!

  71. Comment by bubbaseadog | 03.12.2009 | 7:08 pm

    measure skin temp huh—– the best way to do that is easy just see how much you peel after your ride if it comes off in sheets then it was too hot. but think of the twins put sunscreen on them then give them lots of jello… susan and tell fatty to find other test subjects.

  72. Comment by sk8ermom3 | 03.12.2009 | 10:15 pm

    Sorry, they are just WAAAAY to cute to participate in any such silliness.

  73. Comment by Karst | 03.13.2009 | 11:00 am

    Forget the quasi-scientific monitoring; to do that right you need thermocouples, data loggers, anemometers, instruments to measure solar radiation, a really good plan for testing, and a statistician to interpret the results (if any).

    No. Just back up and think about it for a minute. Will all of that really help? Of course not; it will just confuse everyone…

    What you really need to do is to go by subjective perceptions. That’s what this blog is all about, anyway.

    Try this:

    Find a straight stretch of road that runs relatively close to straight toward or away from the sun, when the sun is half-way up or down. Ride toward the sun wearing the black jersey as normally worn, then away from the sun. Record your perceptions with regard to heat on your front and back. Note the wind conditions, air temperature, and humidity. Then repeat the experiment with the white side out.

    Repeat the two sets of procedures on the same stretch at varying temperatures and humidities and wind conditions.

    By the time you do all of this, one of the following will apply:

    1. It will be obvious whether fatty needs to order white (or maybe orange) jerseys next time around, at least for you in your climatic circmstances.

    2. You will have forgotten just why you were doing all of this, most likely because it just didn’t make any difference or perhaps matter to you.

    (By that time, maybe we’ll all be too busy watching Levi suprise Alberto and Lance by taking the yellow jersey in Paris to even care about fatty’s jersey color.)

    3. You will have worn out the jersey from taking it on and off and reversing it each ride, so you’ll need a new one anyway.

  74. Comment by Miles Archer | 03.14.2009 | 11:07 am

    Clydesteve – you have the science right. However, it always seems that I’m climbing at 6 mph with a 6 mph tail wind at 100degF.

    Arg. Enough of this. It’s not hot outside now, I got to ride…

  75. Comment by Kala | 03.18.2009 | 10:01 am

    You know, Fatty… I have actually wondered about the whole “black being hotter” thing for a long time. I’m really interested to see how this turns out. And lucky for you (and us) you have your gorgeous girls to help us out!!

    PS- I think that Mythbusters should be availible whenever they are needed regarding various issues!


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