You are heading out with your new bike and not sure how to dress for the ride. With so many specialty clothes on the market it’s important to find the right clothes for your riding style. It goes without saying, the first thing you need to determine is your riding style.
Are you a long-travel rider? Maybe this is simply a quick trip on a rail trail with family and friends. Are you hoping to stay cool while you push yourself to the limits on a technical mountain trail? You may be thinking, what’s the big deal. Do I really need clothes designed for cycling if I’m just heading out for a Sunday afternoon ride around the neighborhood?
The short answer is no but will you be more comfortable, yes. Will you avoid some of possible physical issues that can come from riding a bike in the wrong clothes? Absolutely. You may be thinking, you just don’t want to be seen in public wearing all that tight spandex. The good news is you don’t have to.
You can find men’s cycling jerseys and women’s cycling jerseys that are designed to look like T-shirts but with the benefits of moisture wicking performance. If it is shorts you are looking for but again you don’t see yourself in those “show it all” spandex shorts, there are options. Many manufacturers offer shorts that look like an everyday pair you may already own.
The difference between your shorts and the best men’s cycling shorts or women’s cycling shorts is in the performance, the material, and the things you don’t see at first glance. If you take a closer look at the loose fitting cycling shorts you will find the spandex short with the padding you need is hidden neatly inside. Both the inner short and the outer one will be made of moisture wicking materials.
What is the best moisture wicking material? In most cases you will find it to be polyester. You may find, depending on the style that some manufacturers will use a combination of polyester, lycra, and or microfiber. There are manufacturer that have found ways to even keep odors at bay, something that can be beneficial if you know it is going to be a long, hard ride.
If you intend to ride for speed, the fit of your cycling jersey will be as important as the functionality. You don’t want a jersey that is too big and can drag you down with wind resistance. Whenever possible, head to place you can try a jersey on for fit.
If you want to spend less time shopping and more time on the bike, do your initial search online. You can use some basic searches that only change one or two words and come up with different results for each. For example, cycling jerseys for men or men’s cycle jersey.
Is there a difference between a jersey that simply says women’s cycling jersey and one that says cool women’s cycling jersey? Usually nothing more than the weight of the fabric. Most jerseys that are moisture wicking are made of the same material and will perform the same.
You will find jerseys with full zippers for added ventilation. Some have half zips and others will not have a zipper. Much of what goes into buying cycling clothes is personal preference. No matter what your taste or budget, you can find cycling clothes to fit your lifestyle.