Whether you’re a casual and recreational cyclist or you’re interested in becoming more competitive in the sport, you should know the importance of wearing a comfortable and protective cycling jersey. Unlike your average athletic t-shirt, cycling shirts are uniquely designed to not only protect your skin, but flex in motion with your body, so you can get a better, unrestricted range of motion.
Cycling jerseys come in a variety of colours, materials, designs, and fits. It’s important to remember when choosing a jersey what things to look for. You want the most out of your cycling jersey, which is why you can use the following tips and tricks below to better help you find the right one for your needs.
Choose a Flexible & Breathable Fabric
Not all fabrics are created equally. In fact, some fabrics just aren’t right for some activities, such as cycling. Just as you wouldn’t wear sequins on a hike, there are certain materials and fabrics you shouldn’t wear cycling. For example, while cotton may be a popular fabric for other sports and physical activities, you shouldn’t wear it for cycling. This is because cotton will soak up moisture and cling to your body, which is very uncomfortable for riding and exercise.
As you’ll find, most cycling shirts and outfits in general are made from polyester. Polyester is ideal for cycling because it is flexible, wicks away moisture, and helps you keep cool. Also, the more panels of fabric the better, as the design will contour better to your body for optimal movement. Not to mention the UV protection and antimicrobial properties some polyester jerseys can bring to the table as well.
Choose a Comfortable Fit
While loose may seem more comfortable, the fact of the matter is tighter cycling uniforms are more comfortable and practical in motion. As you’ll note, professional cyclists wear outfits that are near skin tight. This is for a few reasons. Wind drag is very common when cycling, if you’re wearing something that’s too loose, it will slow you down and tire you out. Instead, opt for a well-fitting outfit that is comfortable and long enough, so you’re not constantly pulling at it during your rides.
Pockets and Zippers
Zippers on cycling shirts and outfits are excellent for improving ventilation. If you’re feeling too hot or sweaty, you can open up some of the zippers to help your body breath better and cool down at a quicker rate. The thing to remember about zippers is that they should be designed in such a way that they won’t be easily snagged, so look for short and rounded zippers that can tuck away easily.
Also, pockets are always a good idea. You’ll want to make sure your personal belongings are secured when you ride, and pockets can help. They should close completely for protection, and offer ample room for whatever you think you’ll be carrying from keys and your wallet to your smartphone.