Hey, are you about to start a serious kind of bicycling or want to bang on to road races? Cycling clothing is not a compulsory thing to get when you are commuting within a short distance.
But, when you want to sprint on track or go for a day-long group ride, it becomes the must to have accessories for all.
However, you can still ride in regular clothing but, you will miss the extra comfort and safety while not wearing special cycling clothing.
Moreover, this negligence can lead you to an inefficient and uncomfortable riding experience.
Anyways, knowing the necessity of cycling clothing is not enough. You should also learn about must-have cycling clothing and its benefits.
Our cycling clothing guide features the most necessary cycling clothing. They will cover your head to toe and ensure enhanced comfort with safety to the whole body.
Now, have a read!
Why is cycling clothing essential?
Wait for a second!
Before you go through the post, let’s know why cycling clothing is better for rides than regular clothes. I must clear it out as many people think it a waste of money.
Moreover, events like ‘Nude Cycling’ are promoting that you don’t even need clothes for cycling. Well, I don’t have any argument with that.
All I want to say is know the benefits and decide if it is compulsory for you or not.
The first benefit you can get from cycling clothing is that you don’t need to worry about fitting. Because of the design, these clothes fit perfectly with your body.
Besides, it doesn’t reveal your waist while leaning over the handlebar. The sleeves, backside, and legs are kept long to cover up your body thoroughly.
Additionally, the design includes bents on the waist and knee so that you can paddle without any resistance.
Cycling clothes are worth buying as they provide comfort. I mean, most of them come with well-fit and padding on them.
The padding gives you extra cushion while riding, which absorbs shocks and saves your butt from getting hurt.
On the other hand, padding of hand gloves helps you eliminate hand soreness caused by a long time cycling.
Anyways, padding is not the only source of comfort in cycling clothing. The material itself is the reason behind its ease.
Most of the cycling clothes are of Lycra which is super stretchable. It allows you to move your leg quickly and makes your ride comfortable.
That is not possible with the clothes you wear regularly.
When you ride on speed or for a long time, you will get sweaty. Regular dresses become wet and cause discomfort and itchiness.
If you wear cycling clothing, then you can get two advantages. One is, it produces less sweat from cycling. Another is it doesn’t soak sweat and ensures a dry body while riding.
When your body produces sweat, the sweat guiding technology takes it off your body. Then it gradually evaporates and makes you dry.
Another advantage you can get with cycling clothing is, it provides safety during a crash. Suppose you occupied full lycra set with essential protective gear like a helmet and guards.
In that case, you could protect yourself from an accident. Being solid and padded, it cushions your body while falling from the bike.
Besides, it works as a shock absorber and decreases the chances of injuries. Wearing guards and a lycra set, you can avoid getting wounded on your body.
After everything, cycling cloth offers more efficiency than regular wearing. Asking how?
As it’s flexible, it offers the quick movement of legs while paddling. Handling also gets easier with it. So, you can ride more efficiently if wearing special cycling clothing.
Besides, it sticks to your body and eliminates every pressure point. Thus, it reduces air drag to let you go fast.
If you want an aerodynamic feeling on track, cycling clothing is unavoidable. You can’t get so many advantages with a cotton dress.
Moreover, it will be hard to move wearing it, and wind resistance will be higher.
Anyways, it helps in other areas too. For example, clipless cycling shoes stick to the pedals and make paddling more efficient than regular shoes.
Cyclist Head Protection
The Head is the most vital part of your body. When you meet an unpleasant crash, there is a possibility of head injuries.
Besides, dust and small particles can hamper your eyes while riding at speed. So getting some protective gear is a must for every cyclist.
Bike Helmet: Better than having nothing
The helmet is a gear rather than clothing. But I have to add it to the list as it’s a must for bicycle safety. If you can’t afford anything, at least try to get a helmet.
However, there are various types of bike helmets on the market. It doesn’t matter which one you prefer; firstly, make sure it is certified by CPSC or CE.
Besides, well-fitting and retention are a must to get the best performance. Advance features like MIPS or wave cells are nice to have as they enhance safety thoroughly.
Lastly, consider your type of ride and get a helmet that fulfills your need. For example, if you commute daily, you should get a lightweight and comfortable one rather than heavier helmets.
Other hands, a robust full-face helmet is a must if you ride on a downhill track.
Read Also: best cheap bike helmet
It can seem luxurious, but a visor or sunglasses can save your eyes while riding at speed. They protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, wind, dirt, and dust.
However, use a pair of cycling glasses rather than your regular sunglass. Because it has a better fitting and provides broader face coverage.
Besides, it features few different types of lense for various purposes. A standard dark lens is suitable for sunny days, a yellow sunglass for night vision, and a transparent one for rain.
But more than one pair of glasses is not worth buying, right? Yeah, it’s a waste of money. Moreover, carrying them won’t be easy.
Don’t worry, it also has a solution. Get an easy lens changeable frame and carry all lenses in a small pouch. It’s that simple.
Caps are cheap in price but provide great utility sometimes. If you are a road cyclist or commute daily, you must have a well-ventilated bike helmet.
It helps you to keep your head cool in summer. But in winter, your head can catch a cold easily, and you can suffer brain freeze.
A cap can save you from this kind of situation. So, when you go for a ride in the snow, wear a cap under your helmet. This will keep your head warm and free from being freeze.
find here a suitable cap for you
Avoid Arm injuries wearing this gear
Have you ever thought that hands play a vital role when you ride? Yes! You need a pair of steady hands to navigate the bike.
On the racing track, handling is more important than you think. But in most cases, riders feel hand soreness after riding for a long time.
Besides, hand sweating is a common problem among cyclists. Other hands, hands can get a freeze on the handlebar when it’s too cold.
However, all those problems lead you to unsteady handling and distraction. So get some protective hand gear to get rid of all these distractions.
A pair of gloves can save your hand from being hurt by vibration. Besides, it gives you a sporty vibe on track.
If you want to ride with steady and sweat-free hands while riding, then gloves are a must.
Let’s know about different kinds of gloves and learn for which situation they are suitable for.
- Half Finger
Perfect for summer, half-finger gloves offer exposure to fingernails. This is because that you don’t feel suffocated.
Also, it features sweat guide technology so that you get a dry hand while riding. However, padding is minimal here.
So, you will get less shock absorbance and less comfort with them. Yet, you can feel the handlebar better and have precise control of the bike.
These gloves are suitable for road cycling or tours, of course in fine weather.
- Full finger
Full finger gloves cover up your fingers fully, which is ideal for extreme sports like downhill races. They can also be categorized into two different types.
One is merino, and another is neoprene. Both are almost similar in design but different in functionality.
Merino completely covers the hands and is suitable for dry weather. On the other hand, neoprene offers enhanced safety as it covers up both the hands and wrist.
Besides, they are water-resistant so, perfect for any kind of wet situation like rain or snow.
Aero or TT is just the better version of half-finger or full-finger gloves. They are slightly long and ensure better airflow.
Suitable for road racing, aero gloves offer less drag and smooth-riding experiences. You can also use it for triathlon but get a pair of waterproof gloves.
Liners are gloves made of thin fabric for wearing inside regular winter gloves. It’s used to keep hands warmer in winter.
However, it doesn’t matter which type of fabric is used; make sure you feel comfortable wearing it. Itchiness or allergy is not what you want after a ride. So, get the pair that suits your skin.
As the name winter gloves are made for cold weather. Comfort is the prime focus here, so padding is at the maximum level.
Though it offers less control on the handlebar, you can get enhanced safety with it. So, if you meet an unpleasant crash, your hand is safe from getting wounded.
Additionally, you can forget about the hand freeze if wearing a pair of winter gloves.
Warmers are necessary for full coverage of the arm. On a freezing winter day, you must wear warmers to get rid of the cold.
Again, they cover wrist to armpits, so keep the whole arm warmer if wearing along with gloves. However, wider ranges of warmers are available on the market.
Just pick a pair that suits the recurring temperature you ride on. They are easy to wear and stick onto your arm. So, it’s hassle-free.
Anyways, warmers are generally made of fleece fabric. So, you can also take them off when you want and carry them easily in your pocket. One thing, many benefits!
If you are a lover of extreme sports like BMX or downhill races, get elbow guards too. Because during a fall, you can get hurt on the knees, head, and elbows most of the time.
So, getting a pair of elbow guards can save you from the crash. However, when you buy a pair of elbow guards, consider padding and fit to ensure enhanced safety.
Cyclist body decoration & protection
Now, let’s talk about the real stuff. Cycling jerseys are what most people think of cycling clothing. But, there are a few other things that you can get. Let’s know about them.
Baselayer is a thin cloth to wear between your skin and Jerseys. It’s affordable. So, you must give it a try to perceive the benefits.
Not just one, it has too many benefits. One is its sweat-proofing technology. Perspiration quickly gets vaporized if wearing a base layer. Moreover, you will feel comfortable while cycling.
However, It’s a wearable air conditioner itself. If you get a standard base layer, you can keep your body cool in summer and warm in winter.
Besides, it sticks to your skin and doesn’t move because of friction between skin and jersey.
In consequence, the jersey slides away during the crash and saves your skin from getting wounded.
Anyways, you can also buy season-specific baselayers to have more comfort and efficiency. A summer base layer is generally light and soft in handling.
Being highly breathable and sleeveless, it offers a sweat-free dry body on the track. Oppositely, a winter base layer might have short or long sleeves.
As made of wool, it prioritizes keeping your body warm in cool weather.
You have to wear a jersey and a jacket over the base layer. Cycling jerseys are different from other sports jerseys and are only designed for cycling.
Besides, they offer a unique fit that is ideal only for cycling. Mostly, cycling jerseys are made of synthetic fabric, often of merino wool.
Both are sweatproof and comfortable to wear. Not only for comfort, but cycling jerseys are also necessary for utility and safety.
You will get at least 2 or three pockets where you can carry your phone, money, food, or other essential stuffings.
Besides, most jerseys come with a zipper. So, you can open it when wanted and keep your body cool.
Anyways, cycling jerseys can be classified into 3 types based on the fitting. Learn about them and choose the ideal one for you.
It’s easy to understand that aero cycling clothing favor you to go fast. Sound exciting, right? Well, it’s a simple wind cut technology that is implemented to an aero cycling jersey.
While lean to the handlebar, It fits tightly with your body and feels like the second skin.
Thus, all gaps get eliminated, and your body gets wrapped up compactly. This type of jersey is ideal for road races or triathlons.
Suitable for road cycling or trip, it’s the most used cycling jersey. The fitting is slightly loose here to provide some extra comfort alongside speed.
Comfort is the only priority in an MTB jersey. It has a loose fit so that you can move your body with more ease while sitting on the bike.
However, it’s designed to face any kind of situation. So, don’t tear up quickly by body pressure.
Jackets are an addition to cycling jerseys. They are designed to keep your body clean, dry, and warm in difficult situations.
You will get various types of cycling jackets for different sports types and various kinds of cycling tracks.
Gillet is a sleeveless jacket designed to wear above cycling jerseys. It’s resistant to wind and a light shower.
So, sometimes called wind vest. When the weather is uncertain and changeable, you can use a gilet.
It’s easy-carriable so fits quickly in your pocket. So, when the condition is changing, again and again, you can quickly wear or take off the Gillet. Perfect for road rides or commutes.
Also known as wind cutter, a waterproof jacket adopted water repellent technology. It has a fleece coating over the fabric.
So, water or air can’t go inside it. Thus it keeps your body dry and warm. Besides, it saves your body from wind and dust in heavy flow.
However, perfect for the rainy season, you can use it for dirt cycling too. Just wash out the dirt after the ride.
Same as a waterproof jacket, a winter jacket features wind-cutting and water repellent technology.
Besides, it has an extra layer inside the body that works as an insulator. Your body is kept warm as heat can’t get out through the insulation layer.
When you paddle a bicycle, the under waist is the most moving part of your body. So, you need flexibility and comfort on the under waist while riding.
Besides, it needs safety so that you can ride again. A pair of cycling tights or shorts with chamois is the first thing you need for your butt.
But warmer and knee guards are also necessary for extra safety and comfort.
The saddle of your bike is designed so that you can sit with comfort and peddle efficiently. But, it’s not like a chair where you can sit and lean all day long.
Besides, you have to paddle the bike, not just sit.
So, doesn’t matter how much padded your saddle is; if you ride for hours, you will feel discomfort for sure. That’s why you need bib shorts or bib tights.
Well, I am not saying that you won’t get hurt on the butt after wearing bib shorts. After all, it’s the human body.
You will get body pain if you do cycling above body tolerance. Yet, a pair of bib shorts or tights can help you have more comfortable rides than regular shorts. Asking how?
Because of the chamois!
Chamois is a padded layer inside the bib shorts, which provides comfort while cycling. It is shaped according to your pelvis.
As men and women have a differing shaped pelvis, so they need differing shaped chamois too.
Chamois of women cycling shorts is wider than men’s chamois as women have an outward rotated pelvis. Besides, women’s sit bone is wider than men’s.
Anyways, the thickness of the chamois is also a crucial fact to consider. You may think that more padding will provide more comfort.
Wrong! Over padded chamois cause less balance on the seat. Thus, thick padding leads you to discomfort instead of comfort.
However, everyone has their own comfort zone and fitting. So, it’s better to try several bib shorts and choose the perfect fitted chamois.
The last question is, “what should you wear? shorts or tights?”
Simply saying tights are for winter and shorts are for all over the year. You can also wear shorts in winter. Just get leg warmers with them.
Thus you can go in a pair of shorts all over the year. If you don’t like a hassle, get both shorts and tights.
No leg warmer is needed, and you can ride both in summer and winter by rotating them. However, you will find a distinct type of bib too.
This is called the ¾ bib, which covers the waist to calf muscle instead of the ankle.
The same functionality as an arm warmer leg warmers is a good idea if you prefer shorts rather than tights.
You can’t go out just wearing shorts in winter. So, cover your leg with warmers too. Thus you can stay warm and ride efficiently.
However, consider highly stretchable leg warmers as you have to move the leg rapidly while paddling.
Like elbow guards, a pair of knee guards are also essential to keep you safe from the crash. Not just for extreme sports, knee guards are necessary for road cycling too.
Anyways get a good fitting and well-padded knee guard so that you can ride with comfort and save your knee from a crash.
Cyclist leg injuries protectors
Feet are the most crucial parts of your body as they contact the bike pedals while cycling. You can face foot pain after a long time of riding.
A pair of cycling shoes with socks can help you to get rid of that. Besides, it offers you to pedal more efficiently than with regular shoes.
You may be heard of these athletes who ran barefooted and won the marathon. But, you are not one of them.
It’s not possible to do cycling barefoot for a long time. You must wear a special pair of shoes instead.
Anyway, cycling shoes differ from regular training shoes. Soles are the primary features of shoes, and stiff soles are the distinct features of cycling shoes.
It can be of plastic or nylon or often carbon. Nylon and plastic are fine where carbon is beast. Carbon sole is light in weight and stiffer than nylon.
Moreover, it doesn’t easily bend while paddling. Yet, it’s a bit pricy, so don’t consider if you are not a pro cyclist.
It’s not just the soles’ material that you should consider. Keep in mind that your type of ride makes a huge difference in choosing a pair of cycling shoes.
You will find 2 types of cycling shoes– one is flat, and another is clipless. If you do hill tracking more than road cycling, go for flat cycling shoes.
Clipless shoes are more suitable for riders who want to go fast. However, you should match the pedals with the shoes if you go for clipless. Know about the type of pedals and get suitable soles.
Lastly, you have to get the right size shoes. It should not be too tight or too loose. Make sure they stay on your feet, but you don’t feel suffocated by them.
Well, it depends on personal preferences. But ensure at least a 0.5-centimeter gap to get the best fitting.
Also, keep enough gaps between the shoe wall and your toe. Make it breathable and comfortable to wear.
Socks are often overlooked as being cheap. But, you will need a pair of socks to get comfortable with shoes.
Otherwise, the vibration caused by paddling will affect your feet and lead you to pins and needles. However, the sweat-wicking fabric is what you will find in most of the socks.
But merino wool will be good if you want extra warmth in winter. Also, consider how much coverage you want, then choose the length of the socks.
But, I insist that 5 to 6-inch socks will be ideal for cycling.
It’s more like the protection to your shoes rather than you. Shoes are expensive. So why not?. As shoes can get damaged by moisture, shoe covers are a good thing.
It helps you to save your shoes from dirt and water. Thus, the lifetime of your fancy cycling shoe increases.
However, being made of rubber, they also help to insulate your leg during winter. But, you have to consider the cover’s length.
Most of them just cover your shoes up to your toes. Where some of them wrap up the socks too. It’s better to go for the second one.
We have talked about such cycling clothing which can cover up your whole body. Yet, no unnecessary fancy dresses or gears are included here.
We just picked up the most essential cycling clothing, which is really important for enhanced comfort and safety.
However, they also have various alternatives, but we have suggested the best options. Wear them before going for a ride.
I hope it will help you to ride more comfortably, more efficiently, and off course, more safely.
Hope you will enjoy your next bike ride!