Bike riders: What should you wear while cycling?

Just like most sports, cycling has its own specific styles that can improve your performance without sacrificing your comfort. If you’re thinking about hitting the trail anytime soon, read up on how you should prepare for the ride.

Cycling safely

Before you start looking for what to wear to go cycling, you have to be aware of what kind of equipment road cyclists should be looking for to avoid any kind of mishap while on the trail.

Remember the basic rules of cycling, as stated by the NSC or National Safety Commission, are to be aware, be wary, and be seen. Stay aware of your surroundings, especially in high traffic areas like a city; be aware of road or trail safety hazards like potholes or rocky areas; stay away from obvious safety risks like muddy trails; and be seen by using reflectors on your bike and wearing bright, fluorescent outfit pieces.

Most importantly, wear a helmet! Choose a helmet that fits properly to your head, with secure straps that will keep the helmet from moving around on your head.

How to dress for a safe bike ride

Now that you know how to dress for a safe ride, you’ll want to know exactly what to wear before you get on your bike.

Cycling shorts
Being a high friction sport, you’re going to need to wear shorts specifically for biking to minimize any risk of injury. These shorts are made specially to be stretchy to allow for movement and will come with a crotch liner to reduce friction and moisture. There are lots of options for cycling bottoms, such as bib shorts, bubble butt shorts, and even cycling skorts. Look for bike shorts that are made with Lycra, a breathable material perfect for sports.

Cycling jersey
Another is an essential piece of clothing for biking is a bike or cycling jersey, a fitted top that will reduce drag for your ride. Often made from Lycra, it should allow you to ride longer and reduce moisture from sweat. Try to choose one with the features you’ll need. Some come with pockets in the back for easy access to your things, a longer cut in the back for coverage, and a collar turned up to protect your neck from the sun. However, the most important thing about a jersey is that is should be bright (pictured above) so cars can see you at all times of the day or night. 

Bike socks
With the amount of strain on your legs and feet when biking, you need to choose socks that can help cushion your feet. Choose socks with polyester or nylon to help wick moisture while you’re cycling.

Bike gloves
Choose gloves that suit your purposes. Cycling gloves can come in different varieties, but the most common are the fingerless types that will help with absorbing moisture to make sure your hands stay on the handlebars.

Bike shoes
You can choose any shoes for cycling, but regular riders will know the benefit of choosing shoes made specifically for biking. Bike shoes can have stiffer soles to let you ride longer and allow for increased performance. These kinds of shoes will allow you to clip into clipless pedals to make your cycling more efficient.

Looking good and staying safe while biking

The Bike Storage Company’s website says that to minimize the risk of injury while biking, make sure to wear ‘cycling-friendly clothing’. Remember to wear clothing that fits well, nothing loose that could risk you getting caught in the wheels, chain, or hazards you may bike past. It’s also important to wear clothing with fluorescent details or reflectors to avoid any accidents with vehicles on the road, even in daylight. Avoid carrying a heavy bag that may put you and your bike off balance.

Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather before going out on your bike too. If the weather is a little warmer than usual, opt for a long-sleeved bike jerseys or arm warmers to protect your arms from the harsh sun. Otherwise, in poor cycling conditions, don’t forget to wear reflective clothing and maybe even choose to wear some thermal or waterproof gear to stay dry and warm. 


Of course, the important thing about cycling clothes is to make sure to choose clothes that won’t make you feel hot and allow your body to stay cool. You don’t need to spring for the most expensive equipment possible either. It’s more important to be aware of how to stay safe on the trail and to wear the correct clothing and equipment.


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