Cycling clothes have come a long way from the days of wool jerseys and cotton tights. Today, cyclists can choose from stylish, high-tech clothing made of breathable fabrics that wick sweat away from your skin to keep you cool as you ride.
There's a cycling wardrobe option for every rider, from jackets and trousers for cold weather to shorts and tank tops for hot summer rides. So what should you look for when buying these clothes? Here are five things you should consider to ensure that your cycling clothing works as hard as you do.
Here are five things to consider:
1) Price range
The more expensive items offer better features like moisture-wicking fabric or built-in sun protection, but they're not always necessary if you're just getting started in cycling.
Invest in gear that's well-made and has features you can use, like adjustable waistbands or pockets for car keys. Choose clothes that fit well and feel comfortable when you wear them.
Cycling clothes are designed with a performance fit in mind, so if you're purchasing a jersey or bib shorts make sure it fits properly. The excess fabric in non-cycling clothes can mask fit problems and even cause chafing in the wrong spots.
How will the clothing be used? For cold-weather riding, select a jacket with windproof front panels. If your top layer is going to get wet, it should be something that you can remove and quickly dry. The best-fitting, most breathable clothes in the world won't do you much good if they don't function as they're supposed to.
Of course, cycling clothing should be designed with your performance in mind, but that doesn't mean it won't look good. Keep an eye out for moisture-wicking fabrics that will help keep you dry and comfortable throughout your ride. Cotton won't do an excellent job of wicking moisture away from your skin, so look for 100 per cent polyester fabrics instead.
4) Laundry recommendations
Depending on how often you ride and where you ride, it's a good idea to wash your cycling clothes after each use. Some fabrics wash better than others. Look for the care instructions on the label and follow them carefully.
5) Color options
Avoid white or very light-colored clothing because it will get dirty quickly. Instead, choose colors like black, grey and blue, which hide dirt well. If you're new to cycling, don't spend a lot of money on your gear the first time around and keep some things in mind as you shop. That way, you can find the right clothes for your style and budget and save money on replacement gear if you're not satisfied.
The right clothes for cycling can make a big difference in your performance and enjoyment of the sport. If you're new to cycling or looking for some help, these five things will give you an overview of what to look for when buying clothing.