Are you eager to feel the wind in your hair and the fresh air filling your lungs while cycling? Who can blame you anyway? It doesn’t matter if you’re going for the recreational bike ride every now and then, or you’re a full-blown cyclist ready to take on the world, riding off into the sunset is by far the most freeing and enjoyable activity of the day. No wonder it’s one of the best hobbies for men who love the great outdoors.
As you’d expect with pretty much any other sport, you should be well-prepared with all the recommended biking clothes to really knock it out of the park. The more cycling hours you get, the more you’ll appreciate soft fabrics and breathable materials.
Are Cycling Clothes Necessary?
The short answer is no, you don’t exactly have to wear them at all costs. While there’s certainly nothing stopping you from going for a spin in your favourite jeans or shorts and T-shirt combo, it’s best if you do it in clothes that are specifically designed for the task.
To be fair, if you’re just going for a quick 10-minute ride to your friend’s place, you don’t have to dress up. But if you’re planning on taking longer and taking a couple of turns along the way, then you should reconsider your dress code. As you’re cycling, you’ll come across different weather conditions and navigate all sorts of terrain, so it’s best if you’re up for the task. This is why you should wear cosy and loose-fitting cycling clothes to ensure full mobility and comfort.
What Cycling Clothes Do You Need?
It’s worth noting that you don’t have to go all out on cycling specific clothing to enjoy the sport. After all, bigger doesn’t always mean better so shop reasonably and within your budget.
This is basically a skin-tight shirt that keeps sweating to a minimum due to its moisture-wicking properties. This short-sleeved blend of synthetic materials normally has a high neck to protect you from the sun, along with a zipper for additional customisation. This means you can easily unzip the shirt to cool down whenever you want. And last but not least, cycling jerseys are basic pieces of cycling clothing that have pockets on the back to carry all of your essentials.
Jackets have pretty much the same characteristics as cycling jerseys, making them ideal for gloomy and wintry days. There are three basic kinds of cycling jackets: thermal, which provide insulation in cold and dry conditions, completely waterproof ‘hardshells’ and ‘softshells’ which provide both insulation and high water-resistance.
In any case, cycling jackets differ from the regular models in terms of their design. They’re longer at the back and sleeves to provide adequate protection when you’re seated in a forward position on the bike.
The classic staple of cyclists everywhere, padded compression shorts are made from stretchable nylon or lycra fibres to give you the full range of motion. And the best part? They’ve got extra cushioning around your bum, giving you a boost in comfort. This particular feature also reduces the risk of chafing or resistance as you put the pedal to the metal.
Once the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover up and stay warm. So, getting a pair of thick waterproof pants is your next logical step. They extend all the way down to your ankles and have reflective patches on the cuffs to make you visible at night. And much like cycling shorts, these are also available with a padded bum for convenience.
Seeing as wearing a helmet is mandatory in Australia (apart from the Northern Territory), you don’t exactly have a choice here. But this, in itself, has a lot more benefits than downsides because it can literally save your life. Just make sure your helmet is strapped in properly, otherwise it won’t provide the necessary protection.
Pro tip – looks aside, getting a helmet with bright colours and high-visibility or reflective patches ensures that other cyclists and drivers can see you when they pass by. You’ll probably cycle through high traffic areas at least once so it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry.
Apart from keeping our hands warm, cycling gloves offer protection against scrapes and bruises. They normally have a padded palm and a crocheted back made of cotton, along with Velcro straps to keep them from moving around.
Once again there are plenty of useful features to look out for, such as insulation and water-proofing as well as reflective strips which can make signalling turns a lot safer to do. Not all models have these features though so make sure you double-check before you buy a pair.
Additional Cycling Accessories
Apart from clothing, you can also rely on a few handy cycling accessories for a safe and entertaining joy ride.
If you’re the type of person who’s not afraid of low temperatures and you want to go for a quick ride, then you’ll make good use of arm and leg warmers. They’re thick enough to fend off the cold and you can just take them off and store them in your pockets if it gets too warm for your liking.
Accidents can happen so it’s always best to be prepared. This is why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a cycling tool kit that’ll help you overcome potential bumps along the road. Happy cycling!