Introduction to Bicycle Clothing
The Most Important Piece of Cycling Equipment? Bicycle Clothes.
While it’s important to have a bike that fits your size and specifications and it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each piece on the bike, it is even more important to be comfortable while riding. The most important piece of equipment for any cyclist is bicycle clothing. Knowing what type of clothing is best for you will make your riding more enjoyable and if you are racing, more effective.
The first key to choosing cycling apparel is knowing what’s on the market today. The standard warm weather cycling gear is a pair of tight fitting Lycra padded bicycle shorts and a cycling jersey. The advantage of the Lycra material is that it wicks moisture away from the body and is very stretchy in nature. This allows for complete freedom of motion and maximum comfort. These shorts are always equipped with a padded liner that keeps a soft barrier between the rider and the bike seat. Even mountain biking shorts, which typically sport a more casual look, have adopted Lycra as an inner short while retaining a more conventional fabric outer shell.
Cycling jerseys are designed for use in mildly cold to hot weather. The fabric is designed to keep body heat in and the jersey itself has zippers for added ventilation when needed. The jersey is not suited for riding in the rain. For that, it’s necessary to get a hold of a cycling jacket.
Cycling jackets are necessary in climates that experience a great deal of rainfall and threaten the freedom of avid cyclists. Luckily you can be prepared for the rain with a cycling jacket that not only keeps the body dry, but locks in just enough heat to stay comfortable. The general rule of thumb when deciding to bring the jacket or not is that, if it’s going to rain hard, bring the jacket, but if there will only be a light rain, go without. This is because the jackets are designed to keep heat inside during heavy rains when the temperature drops, not for light and scattered showers.
Knowing the basics on cycling apparel is just the beginning of the cyclist gear education. There are countless brands that offer slight product differentiation here and there and can only be learned about through the experience of using them.