There are several reasons for wearing special cycling clothing. The first and most important is that it is more comfortable. In cycling, pants are a pad that provides the necessary protection.
Things like irritated skin and abrasions can thus be prevented. The chance of saddle pain, a common ailment in cyclists, can also be reduced with good cycling clothing.
Furthermore, a special cycling outfit is much more aerodynamic than an average sports outfit. After all, it also looks better when you step onto your racing bike in a well-fitting cycling outfit. Not the most important, but nice.
What do you need for cycling clothing?
When you go shopping for an outfit, you sometimes cannot see the forest through the trees. There is so much for sale! Which cycling clothing do you need exactly? In any case the following items:
- cycling shorts with short legs
- cycling shirt with short sleeves
- leggings & arm warmers
Are you going to cycle in the colder seasons? Then the following items of clothing & accessories are certainly not superfluous.
- cycling gloves (especially indispensable on longer journeys)
- cycling shorts with long legs
- cycling shirt with long sleeves
- cycling jacket
- scarf or buff
- rain jacket
Buying cycling clothing: what should you pay attention to?
Buying cycling clothing can be both online and offline. Buying cycling clothing online has a big advantage in that you are not proprietary. Bicycle specialist stores do, and do not, have certain brands, so you are bound by them.
Furthermore, the choice of online is of course much larger than offline. You can also easily compare online.
Of course, you do miss the expertise of a bicycle store, all online shops are getting better with their customer service nowadays. Often you can ask all your questions online via chat. Nevertheless, a number of people prefer to actually see and feel the products before the cycling outfit is actually purchased.
Which brand of cycling clothing
There are numerous brands of cycling clothing. High-end brands such as Assos, Castelli, Liv & Rapha, middle brands such as Sportful, Craft, and Agu, and finally the cheaper brands such as Rogelli and Avento, as well as “unbranded” products from for example the Aldi and Lidl.
In short: enough choice. But what brand of cycling clothing do you need?
In general, you can assume that the chamois of a more expensive brand is simply better. Assos has pretty much the most expensive cycling shorts available, but in general, they are also rated as the best.
How can you assess what kind of cycling clothing suits you best? By answering the following questions for yourself:
1). How often do you cycle per week.
Do you cycle 4 to 6 times a week in high season? Then it is convenient to be in the more expensive category. Do you cycle sporadically or do you not know whether cycling is really something for you?
Then go for the cheapest variant. Are you in between? Then choose brands for the middle range.
2). How many kilometers do you cycle on average per ride?
At a distance of 30 to 50, you can go well under the feet with a middle leg. Are you an active cyclist or cyclist and do you ever want to make journeys of 100+ km? In that case, good cycling shorts is really a must. Otherwise, the fun soon goes away.
3). What is your budget?
The finer the pad, the more expensive the pants. This is of course not 100% of the time, but it does give a good picture of the truth. So look at what you want to spend on cycling pants or cycling outfits, and then see what is available in your price range.
Tip: keep an eye on the sale. A Castelli cycling short from the previous season is just as good as that of this season, only a lot cheaper!
4). Which brand has your personal preference?
Sometimes you do that sometimes: you attract a certain brand and it is totally fantastic. This does not necessarily have to be an expensive brand. In short: personal preference ultimately also comes into play.
On the basis of these questions, you can form a bit of an image of the price range in which you can search, and you can then easily select a brand.
What size of cycling clothing do you need?
In principle, you can keep your normal clothing size as a standard size for your cycling clothing, but of course, this can also vary by brand and by model.
After you have fitted a pair of outfits, you get an idea of what size you need from a specific brand. This also ensures that you can easily order online in the future.
Tip: when ordering online, order a few different sizes. The clothes can fall very differently. It is therefore also possible that the perfectly fitting pants and shirt differ in size.
Which cycling clothing at what temperature?
This remains difficult. One can do better against the cold than the other. But generally, you can follow the tips below for a comfortable ride at any temperature!
Choose short cycling shorts with long bib pants over them, perhaps a lined version. Overshoes are indispensable, as well as a hat, buff, and gloves.
ii). Between 8 and 14 degrees: Long trousers or shorts with leggings + long-sleeved shirt with a sweatshirt with long sleeves + Windstopper / jacket below. Do not forget your buff/scarf, overshoes, and gloves.
iii). Between 14 and 18 degrees: Shorts with leggings OR three-quarter pants + short-sleeved shirt with arm warmers and a sweatshirt with short sleeves + Windstopper / jacket.
iv). Between 18 and 21 degrees: Short pants + short shirt with arm warmers + sweatshirt with short sleeves.
v). Between 21 and 25 degrees: Short pants + short shirt + sweatshirt with short sleeves.
Above 25 degrees: Short pants + short shirt
Does it rain? Then take a rain jacket with you. At high temperatures, this can be a rain jacket without sleeves, at lower temperatures you choose a rain jacket with long sleeves.
Note: Rather too hot or too cold. Cycling in the cold can cause injuries. So do not leave your leg pieces home too quickly! When in doubt, simply put on your leg pieces. If after a few kilometers it really is too hot, then they can always pull out.
Tip in cold weather: Does it feel a bit fresh as soon as you drive away and do you think you are wearing too few warm clothes? Then you’re okay. Please note: After a few kilometers you will feel warm and comfortable.
How to wash cycling clothing
Okay, officially, cycling clothing that has been washed for the first time must be washed by hand several times. It is even said that it is better to always wash the cycling clothing by hand.
But let’s be honest: nobody likes that. In general, the average cyclist simply throws the cycling clothing in the washing machine. At 30 or 40 degrees, even with centrifugation, should not be a problem.
Note: do not use fabric softener. This breaks down the material and can damage any water-repellent layer. Do not put the cycling clothing in the dryer either, as this may affect the elasticity of cycling clothing.
Further some tips in the field of cycling clothing washing:
- Wash your clothes as soon as possible after exercising. Sweat causes ugly discoloration in the dust.
- Do not let the clothes soak, this can cause the colors to run through
- Try to wash cycling clothing separately, so not the other laundry.
- Close zippers, velcro straps, and other closures to prevent damage
- Dry the cycling clothing in the shade or inside on a drying rack.
Because most cyclists spend hours on the bike riding in the wind and cycling in the shade of the trees, it is very important that they stay warm.
Especially in autumn, the air is just a bit cooler and the wind a bit sharper. The two most common mistakes among novice and touring cyclists are too little or too warm clothing.
Because of the intensive movement of cycling your body already provides heat. But your wet skin, which you get through sweating, will make you feel cold.
That is why cycling clothing is made of technical material which ensures that the perspiration and moisture are transported outside.
Do you wear clothes of the wrong material or too thick clothes? Then your body stays wet and you will get very cold because of the wind.
Cotton clothing or a warm jacket will actually make you feel cold. That is why the adjustments in autumn are nil and you only need a few extra items of clothing.
Arm and leg pieces
Cyclists use special arm and leg warmers to make their short sleeves and trouser legs long. These arm and leg warmers are of the same fabric as cycling clothing but sometimes have an extra layer.
There are cyclists who only wear their warmer clothing from a grade of 15 years. We have our leg and arm parts as soon as the temperature is around 20 degrees. Because if it is cloudy and windy, it can even feel cold at 20 degrees.
Do we leave for a ride in the morning? Then we even contract them. The advantage of arm and leg pieces is that you – when it gets warmer around noon – pull out again.
There is a lot of discussion among cyclists about the use of arm and leg pieces. The argument that we hear most often is the comparison with the pros. They do not wear leggings during matches in the cold, so why should we do it when it’s 20 degrees?
The answer is simple, those pros ride a race at an average speed that is higher than 40 km per hour. They are much warmer than a touring cyclist with a speed of 27 km per hour.
During training, the professionals at 19 degrees often wear their arm and leg pieces. Because the cold on your knees can cause injuries.
Almost every cyclist does have a winter jacket with a Windstopper in it. This is a layer in your clothing that leaves no wind. If the wind does not blow through your clothes, you will stay nice and warm.
The disadvantage of the wind stoppers that are sold in most bicycle stores is that they are much too hot.
Not only do they have that wind-dense layer, but also a fleece-like layer. Such a winter jacket is perfect, for when it almost freezes, but fortunately, there are also other, thinner Windstopper.
These jackets – which are often made without sleeves – are made of only that windproof layer. So you keep the wind outside and you are not unnecessarily warm dress.
We carry our wind stoppers from a degree or 15, but just like your arm and leg pieces, your wind stopper can easily be put on and off and in the box in your shirt.
When in doubt, we always accompany him. Rhodé, Rose, and Jeanine have wind stoppers that fit their club clothes, they are printed with the same sponsor names.
But do not you ride in sponsor clothing? Then the better brands also have these jackets. Unfortunately, these are often very expensive.
Indispensable when it gets colder. You can buy overshoes in different types and sizes. In the autumn, the type that repels water is so nice. In winter you wear much thicker and warmer overshoes, which ensure that your feet do not get wet and that the heat does not disappear.
Would you wear it in the fall? Then you would get too hot. The thinnest model in the rain is good enough on a wet day.
Of course, you can also flicker without driving, but anyone who has ever ridden around with water, can tell you two things: 1. it really does not feel nice and 2. your shoes are stinking. Therefore also in the autumn overshoes.
With these four pieces of clothing, you have your autumn outfit up-to-date and you are well protected against the changing weather conditions of autumn.
Do you want to look fashionable on the bike? Then you have to wait, we will show you the best items and must-haves for the coming season.