Whether you are cycling for exercise, transportation, or competition, the right clothing can make your ride more pleasant and safe. If you are new to cycle-specific clothing or to cycling in general, the following tips can help you dress like a pro.
Tip #1: Skip the Baggy Pants
Baggy pants are an all-around bad idea. The legs can get tangled in your bike chain, leading to injury and accident. They also tend to flap in the wind, which is an annoyance at best. Sometimes you may see cyclists that tuck their pant legs into their socks. While this may look like a simple solution, the pants can work free and pose a hazard. A better option is to wear tight-fitting cycling leggings. If you feel self-conscious, put a pair of shorts on over the leggings.
Tip #2: Materials Matter
There is a saying in the outdoor sports world—"cotton kills." This is because cotton absorbs moisture and dries slowly, which can lead to chills or even hypothermia. Opt for a synthetic material that wicks moisture from your body and dries quickly. A jersey that contains spandex is also a good idea, since this results in a well-fitted jersey that has less drag than looser shirts. At the very least, opt for a relatively form-fitting shirt.
Tip #3: Mind the Sun
When you are cycling, your neck, back, and arms are most exposed to the sun. Using sun block is a must, but it also helps to cover up exposed skin. Opt for a cycling jersey with a collar so you can turn it up to protect your neck. Also, make sure the jersey is long enough so it doesn't ride up and expose your back. This may mean purchasing a tall cut jersey if you are above the average height or have a long torso. Long sleeves or plenty of sunblock will protect your arms.
Tip #4: Look for Extras
Extra features on your bike clothes can increase comfort and safety. If you ride at night, opt for jerseys and bike pants that have reflective tape sewn into the hem so you are more visible on the road. Zippers on the front or under the arms can provide ventilation in hot weather, or you can get fleece-lined jerseys and pants if you ride in cold temperatures. Padded bike pants can be a welcome relief for your rear, especially if you are new to cycling and not used to long hours in the saddle. Finally, opt for a jersey with a pocket panel across the back, since this can provide out-of-the-way storage that doesn't create drag like a backpack would.
To find the clothing you need to make cycling a great experience, contact a representative from a store like Perzist.