How big is your cycling apparel wardrobe?
Cycling apparel is an important product to collect as you dive deeper and deeper into cycling. Cycling apparel is developed by many different manufacturers and it comes in all styles, colors, sizes and pricing structures. Cycling apparel is important for you as a cyclist because it is made for cycling, for performance, to prevent saddle-related pain and to help keep you dry and healthy. There are many different types of cycling apparel for different types of riding and weather conditions, though. In this article, I will guide you on all different types of cycling apparel to consider acquiring and when you will need each type of acquired cycling apparel you come across…
Cycling Apparel: Bike Shorts, Bibs and Skinsuits
Bike shorts are probably the most commonly used cycling apparel items in cycling. Many riders are happy with just wearing a t-shirt and a pair of Spandex bike shorts as their main cycling apparel outfit. Bike shorts (especially Spandex/Lycra compression type) benefit you as a rider for many reasons including compression that warms the muscles for advanced recovery, ability to become aerodynamic and not worry about cycling apparel items creating unnecessary draft to slow you down, materials added to help dry up any precipitation and/or sweat as you ride and bright coloring and reflection added to help keep you visible on the road or trail. The most important aspect of bike shorts in cycling apparel is the chamois (or padding) added to it to help protect your body from saddle sores and other pain from riding on a bike for a long period of time.
The best bike shorts are shorts that are tight fitting and conform around your body as if it was your second skin. Cycling apparel is tight for many reasons as those I have listed above but you can also find looser fitting cycling apparel if you must have it. Bike shorts might be uncomfortable to some people because the waist is being dug into – if this happens to you, I suggest you get a bib short option instead. Bib shorts are just like bike shorts but with straps that fasten around the top of your shoulders like bib overalls do. This keeps the short from being dug into your waistline and many cyclists, including many pro riders actually prefer bib shorts over regular shorts during all their cycling activities. Bib shorts will likely cost more to buy but they are a great cycling apparel item to own.
Cyclists like you might also consider the short sleeved shorts style skinsuit as well. A skinsuit is a type of cycling apparel that is a jersey and bike shorts built in to make a one piece compression suit. Most riders who sport a skinsuit usually wear them for bike racing or performance training. There are many benefits in wearing a skinsuit while riding including making yourself better aerodynamic during your bike rides. However, using the rest room while wearing a skinsuit is going to prove to be a challenge so there could be some drawbacks of doing so. Skinsuits are going to likely cost over $100 and maybe even a couple a hundred dollars because they are rare products and usually constructed very well.
Cycling Apparel: Tights, Knickers and Warmers
When the weather is cooler, you do want to make it a habit to wear winter cycling apparel. When cycling, you are usually sweating and doing more performance activities than other forms of exercise and fitness. With that being said, if you are not wearing the right winter cycling apparel – you are opening yourself up to getting sick and possibly injured. A good pair of cycling tights is a good type of cycling apparel to own. You can get unpadded tights to wear over your bike shorts or you can get padded tights to wear alone. They make insulated tights and regular Spandex tights. They also make bib tights (like bib shorts) if you have issues with tights digging into your waistband.
Knickers are another good type of cycling apparel to own. Knickers are basically ¾ tights which is a mix between bike shorts and bike tights. The knickers go down past your knee but they don’t cover your entire leg. If the temperature is just too cool for shorts but not cold enough for heavy winter cycling apparel, then knickers are great for this sort of environment. You can get insulated, non-insulated and even bib knickers as well. They sell knicker cycling apparel for both men and women and you can probably find them in youth size as well for your cyclist kids.
Warmers are a good option for days where it’s cold but you think you might be able to take some cycling apparel off after you have warmed up a bit. Warmers come in all different types from full leg warmers to basically turn your bike shorts into bike tights to knicker-style warmers, the same goes with the arm warmers as well. The sell insulated and non-insulated arm warmers and most warmers are considered unisex and can be worn by any gender. The great thing about warmers is you can easily take them down or off if you start to get too hot.
Cycling Apparel: Jersey, Jacket and Rain Gear
A good jersey will make for a good cycling apparel item to own. Most cycling jerseys are either tighter fitting or slightly loose fitting on your torso. You can also find compression jerseys as well if you want to be more aerodynamic about what you wear. Jerseys usually zip up halfway or have a full zip function. There is usually always about 3 pockets on the back of jerseys to be used to hold items you wish to take with you on your ride. You can get tank-top styled jerseys, short sleeve jerseys and even long sleeve jerseys. Some of them are insulated while others are not.
It might be ideal for you to purchase a good cycling jacket to be a part of your cycling apparel wardrobe. A cycling jacket is probably going to cost you upwards from about $100. Most cycling jackets are constructed to prevent cycling apparel from getting caught in bike equipment but are designed in ways to help the rider ventilate and perform better. Some jackets have hoods while most of them will probably not have a hood.
Rain gear is good cycling apparel to own as well. Pending on where you live, it might be a nice day when you start riding but it could end with cold rain falling that might result in getting you sick in the end. Rain gear will help to keep you dry and help keep you healthy as well. Most of the time, for rain gear cycling apparel, you can get bottoms, tops and helmet covers – I would suggest you get whatever you can to keep yourself dry during a ride on a rainy day.
Your turn to comment on this article!
What cycling apparel above do you own yourself? What other cycling apparel out there do you feel is worth mentioning on this blog and why so?
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