Buying an expensive bike is only the first step when one begins cycling. Not to startle you; however, there are many more varieties of clothing and accessories that help equip and prepare you. Not to mention specific cycling shoes!
There are different versions of clothing based on the weather, gender, and environment. Many accessories are optional but are only there to aid you in all your endeavors.
Base layers are worn underneath cycling jerseys. Cyclists like to call it their second skin because it’s tightly fitted. Many people disregard base layers and their usefulness. Base layers are essential because they provide an extra layer of insulation and wicks sweat from your skin, which will keep you dry. It’s especially helpful in the winter as it holds warmth near the body.
There are two versions of the base layers:
Winter: These base layers not only trap heat to keep your body warm but also absorb and moisture with the intent of it affecting the cycler as little as possible. These base layers are also come in short or long sleeves and are made out of thicker materials to sustain the weather.
Summer: Most of these base layers are short-sleeved. They are made out of breathable and moisture-absorbing materials like polyester, merino, and technical fibers, which wick away sweat by keeping you fresh. Additionally, they have fantastic thermal regulation and are very versatile.
Cycling Jerseys are specialized clothing for cycling. While many cyclists wear any conventional clothing while riding, the jerseys offer many advantages to a sport-oriented cyclist. These Jerseys are precisely made to accommodate the bent-over position used within the sport when riding the bike.
There are few types of cycling jersey fits, some are:
Regular: These are the standard-fit that most people wear. Sightly looser than usual, but made more for comfort and mobility
Aero/Tight: These options are more tightly fitted around your skin and body. They are created from stretchy fabrics and provide you with an aerodynamics advantage. A small warning for newcomers, it does feel very uncomfortable at first when you’re off the bike, but you’ll feel more comfortable when you get on.
Those cuts also come in short and long sleeve jerseys for men and women and differentiate based on the weather. They’re made out of a variety of different athletic fabrics and synthetic fiber that obtain sweat absorbing and wicking abilities that regulate the body temperature. Newer cycling jerseys come with zippers to have a faster cooling process.
Bib Shorts and Tights
Sitting on a bicycle saddle for long periods causes much discomfort within the pelvic area. Even if you purchase a bicycle with the most comfortable saddle, you’ll still experience irritation. Luckily, cyclists now have something called bib shorts to add protection and comfort for themselves. These shorts use breathable and lightweight mesh and Lycra that offers excellent air insulation and wicks sweat.
Bib Shorts: Bib Shorts are cycling shorts that are held up by a bib (integral suspenders) instead of a waistband. Having no waistband provides much more comfortable as it doesn’t have an uncomfortable elastic digging into your abdomen. They also have a piece of padding embedded in it called a chamois.
The chamois provides stability as it doesn’t move as quickly, prevents chafing, saddle sores, and adds comfort to the pelvic area. The width of the chamois differs based on gender as men and women have different pelvic shapes.
The straps connected to the bib shorts comfortably hold the bib in place without causing binding points or pressure.
Bib Tights: Bib tights are relatively the same thing as shorts, the only difference is the length as it is longer
Always wear cycling shoes instead of your regular tennis shoes. Cycling shoes are constructed differently and served towards its primary purpose, which is cycling. These shoes help increase your pedal efficiency, making your rides smoother.
Cycling shoes: They are made out of a mixture of plastic and carbon and have solid soles at the bottom of them. When utilizing cycling shoes, you must know that your feet must be locked into the bike pedals. depending on the shoe you buy, some of them have two or three holes that lock you into the pedal
Cycling socks: These socks shouldn’t be too long or too short. Sock lengths should range from 4-6 inches.
Cycling Shoe covers: Created to be worn over your shoes. They come in different lengths based on how much coverage they offer. They prevent your feet from getting cold and include waterproof properties, which will keep your shoes squeaky clean and dry!
Sunglasses: Sunglasses are vital for cyclists to wear and have because not only do they protect you from the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays, but also rain, wind, and sand. Photochromic glasses are one of the best options to buy because of their compatible lens.
This lens allows light to come through when it’s dark and does the opposite when it’s super bright. The lens tint also changes color based on the magnitude of the UV light.
Helmets: Helmets are essential to wear as a safety precaution for yourself and others. They are available in many sizes. Try to find one that’s as comfortable as possible.
Gloves: Cyclists use gloves to have a better grip on their bikes and to stay warm in the winter. Summer gloves or regular cycling gloves have holes at the end of the fingers, whereas winter gloves cover your entire hand to keep you warm and regulate your temperature. Winter gloves are made from fleeced fabrics, merino, and neoprene.
Jackets: Jackets are convenient to wear in general, but even more so in harsh conditions. Rain jackets are highly breathable and are created using waterproof fabric to keep you dry. They are designed with tiny vents that prevent rain from entering. Winter jackets have the same characteristics as summer jackets, but the most significant difference is that the winter option has a fleece inside that brings warm air in and releases the cold air.
Water bottle: Any water bottle that you have at home that is accessible to your drink holder (if you have one) on your bike will do. It’s imperative to say hydrated!
Warmers: Mainly worn in cold weather, and its primary purpose is to keep your body warm at a leveled temperature. There are warmers for your legs, arms, and knees.
Wrapping it Up!
Cycling as a sport is a very demanding activity on the body, so you must utilize the best clothing to capitalize on your time and efforts. Combining good clothing choices such as suspended bib shorts and base layers is a crucial step in ramping up your cycling endeavors. Use the guide to make sure that you get that edge on your opponents and come out on top!