What to wear when you go cycling
Starting to Ride? Not sure how to decipher what cycling gear you should be wearing? Whether you’re riding around town, reaching more intensive distances or starting to race, there is the right gear for you.
There are many reasons people wear a full head-to-toe cycling kit from improving fit, movement, speed, and sweat management, the most important however is comfort. Many beginners find it unnerving to start wearing such tight-fitting garments but will soon realise its benefits. Having a tight fit enables your skin to directly contact the wicking material which draws away and evaporates sweat from your body, as well as being aerodynamic and comfortable for the rider.
The bike short is one of the most important items you can have in your cycling kit. As your legs are doing most of the work, you need an item that will allow stretch, coverage, protection and a seamless fit. The Lycra/Nylon properties allow this.
You can choose between a waist short that has an elastic waist band to keep it situated or a bib short which attached with straps over the shoulder. For riders that are putting in the distance, a bib short is preferred as it provides more comfort and allowance around the waist. However, if you are just beginning or ride on a more casual basis a waist short is more than sufficient.
Padding is usually positioned around the crutch of the short to provide shock absorption and cushioning for your back side. It also gives comfort in the absence of underwear (which can create bunching and chaffing).
Jerseys are cut high in the front and lower in the back to provide more coverage and less obstruction when leaning forward. Made from synthetic wicking material, cycling jerseys help with sweat management. They range from ultralight breathable material to a thicker wind proofing material for harsher weather, available in both short and long sleeved. A medium weight- short sleeve jersey is recommended for most cyclists due to its versatility.
BMX and Mountain Bike riders prefer a looser fit when it comes to their jersey and shorts. They traditionally wear a ‘shy short’ which has a looser outer fabric with a liner waist short. Like their shorts, BMX riders prefer a looser fit jersey with sleeves and no collar.
Cycle vests serve as torso wind protection, keeping you that extra bit warm. Typically used during Spring and Autumn, they are made in a soft shell or waterproof material.
Cycling jackets come in three types: Thermal for a cold-dry environment, hard-shell, and soft-shell for rain protection. Softshell is popular for mountain bikers and cyclist in general due to its comfort and versatility.
Base layers are perfect for drawing sweat away from the skin to your jersey and are ideal for both warm and cold climates. They also help with preserving skin if an accident occurs, by allowing it to slide between two layers.
GLOVES, SOCKS & SHOES
If you are going the distance or want to cycle in more intense environments buying cycling gloves and the right shoes and socks will make a world of difference. Track mitts help adsorb vibrations from the handle bar with padded leather or gel.
Cycling shoes are essential in performing your best as they have stiff soles that attach to the pedals with grooves and clips. To maximise this benefit acquire sweat-wicking socks with sole padding to help your feet grip.
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