Cycling Clothing Guide
So you’ve got your new road bike and you’re looking into what to wear whilst cycling. Or maybe you’ve been cycling for a while and you’d like to know more about the benefits of specific cycling gear. Read our guide for a quick overview of the various types of cycling clothing.
A cycling jersey is basically a t-shirt. What’s the difference between a cycling jersey and a t-shirt? I hear you ask. Well for a start, cycling jerseys tend to be lighter than shirts. The fabric is specially designed to allow airflow to prevent sweating. The smoothness of the fabric also prevents chafing and promotes aeration.
Many jerseys contain zip-up pockets at the back which is very handy to take a few bits and bobs on your journey.
A lot of jerseys are elasticated around the bottom, this prevents it from riding up as you ride.
Short and long sleeved jerseys are available to suit personal taste. Long sleeves are usually used during winter
The main difference between cycling shoes and ordinary trainers is the inclusion of cleats. Cleats attach your shoes to the pedals, so that you can pull as well as push the pedals. To remove your feet from the pedals, you usually twist your foot and it clicks off. It’s difficult to walk very far in cycling shoes as the cleats on the bottom protrude, making it very awkward to walk. If you buy cycling shoes, you will have to but compatible pedals seperately.
Cycling shoes are usually well aerated to allow sweat to evaporate. They often use velcro straps to make it easier to put them on and take them off. Velcro is also preferable to laces as there is no risk of a trailing lace getting caught up in your drive chain.
Cycling shorts and bib tights are usually tight fitting lycra shorts. The underside is usually padded for extra comfort during long rides on the saddle.
Bib tights typically come up above the waist, with shoulder straps to prevent the shorts from working their way down. Bib tights are often word during the colder winter months as they provide extra warmth.
Shorts and tights are often elasticated at the top and bottom to prevent them riding up during cycling.
If you are cycling during the cold winter months, you’ll likely be needing a cycling jacket. Cycling jackets are typically light, their primary aim being to deflect rain and cold air. Zip-up pockets prove to be very handy for things like snacks and money. It is very easy to get hot in a jacket, so a zip-up front allows you to open up the jacket to cool you down as necessary.
Shades aren’t just helpful to keep the sun out of your eyes. As anyone who has cycled through the countryside on a hot summer’s day will tell you, bugs are a constant issue. Getting a small fly in your eye is not only an inconvenience, but it can also be dangerous, causing you to swerve of have to close your eyes. Shades or glasses help to protect your eyes from oncoming critters.
There are a couple of main differences between cycling shades and normal shades. First, cycling shades are usually shaped to fit snugly around your head, preventing from them falling off. Second, cycling shades are toughened, so that during an impact you won’t get a face full of shattered plastic.
Base layers and thermals are specifically for winter and cold weather cycling. Personally I have found that even in the coldest temperatures, a jacket and gloves are adequate for keeping me warm. However many cyclist opt to add extra thermal layers in the form of shorts, sleeves, vests and leg warmers.