When it comes to cycling there are many different options for styles of clothing to choose from like a cycling jersey, but the one thing that all cyclists will agree is important, is comfort. You don’t want your clothing to prevent you from enjoying the ride.
What to wear while cycling depends on what type of cycling you are going to be doing. If you are riding your bike to the shops to buy some bread, you’d be wearing quite different clothing to someone taking part in a professional mountain bike event, for example.
If you only ride your bike occasionally around town using your fixies or fixed gear bikes, you don’t need any special kind of cycle clothing at all. But if you are going to be riding longer distances and perhaps in bad weather, or getting hot and sweaty while riding, then cycling clothing is probably a good option.
There are many reasons for the existence of cycling clothing, although the main one is still the comfort of the rider. But here are some more reasons to choose cycling clothing.
It Fits Well While You Cycle
Most general clothing will ride up as you lean forward, exposing your back to the elements, and regular trousers or shorts will bunch around your knees and waist after sitting for a long time. Cycling clothing is designed to fit as you move. The tops are longer at the back, the leggings have higher backs and can bend at the knee. It has all been designed to fit someone while on a bike.
It Moves as You Move
Cycling clothing has been designed to be totally flexible so that it moves with your body as you cycle. That way you avoid having friction burns or bunched-up material in places as you ride, which could cause injuries and problems. Cycling clothing is generally made of lycra to avoid the problems of chafing and wrinkled clothing.
When you cycle you will sweat so you need clothing that takes the sweat away from your skin otherwise you will end up wet and cold. You also need it to be waterproof so if you are cycling in the rain, you don’t end up soaked to the skin.
Cycling clothing is made of fabrics that will move sweat away from your skin, while the outer layers will also protect you from the weather without holding any sweat inside, thanks to the breathable fabric they are made of.
It is important for regular cycling, that you wear clothing that keeps you warm and dry for your own comfort and health. A cotton t-shirt will get you very wet and cold quickly, as soon as you start to sweat.
If you go on long rides then your body will get put under pressure in certain places, which can become painful if you are not careful. Cyclist clothing is padded in all the right places to prevent that from happening. Padding in the seat of shorts and in the gloves can protect your body through shock absorption as you go over bumps in the ground as well.
So now we have looked at why you should wear cycling clothing if you are going to be cycling regularly and for long periods of time, let’s take a look at what that clothing actually involves:
The most commonly worn piece of cycling clothing is the cycling shorts which are traditionally made from lycra and very stretchy to provide maximum flexibility while riding. However, there are other options as well aimed at cyclists who might be uncomfortable in full lycra. As long as they are comfortable and made of the right fabrics, it’s up to you.
These are always made from stretchy synthetic fabrics to help keep the sweat away from your body and often have a high neck to keep you safe from the sun while out and about. They can be long or short-sleeved and there are different thickness options depending on the weather and the season.
A Base Layer
When the weather starts to get cold you might want to include a base layer or cycling vest under your cycling top. It will keep you warmer and they are often made of windproof material which is a real plus in the winter.
These are essential to keep you warm and also to protect your hands from the friction and pressure of holding onto the handlebars for long periods of time. They will be made from fabrics that take the sweat away from your hands while also protecting you from the weather and should be padded.
There are several different types of cycle jackets, depending on the season and the type of cycling you will be doing. You can get thermal ones to keep you warm in dry, cold weather, and waterproof jackets that provide simple weather protection or provide warmth and weather protection combined.
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All of these jackets will be made from breathable fabrics to keep the sweat away from your skin, while also keeping you dry and warm at the same time. You will most likely need a variety of cycle clothing depending on when and where you plan to cycle.
Socks should always be made from synthetic fabrics to prevent sweat from soaking your feet and you might want to pad on the soles to protect your feet from the pressure of pedaling for hours at a time.
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Cycling shoes should fit perfectly into the pedals and need to have stiff soles. They need to be snug and well-fitting around your feet so that you don’t end up with blisters or other problems.