No matter what kind of cyclist you are or hope to become, it’s likely that comfort will always remain your number one priority. The basis of any successful workout, trip or leisurely ride is feeling ready to take on anything that comes your way out on the road.
What you wear while cycling matters; and luckily, the items you choose can be both aesthetically minded and functional if you know what you’re looking for. Chances are that you’ll be just fine in leggings and a t-shirt on a slow Sunday morning ride, but if you’re commuting daily, doing longer rides or getting into racing and fitness cycling, you don’t want to be constantly pushing and pulling at your clothes to adjust them.
Investing in even two or three cycling- specific pieces can benefit you in the long run and help you focus on pedaling without any distractions.
Every cyclist’s wardrobe should lend itself to layering; being able to quickly take off or put on an extra layer in response to changing weather or your body temperature is priceless. With over a century of expertise in dressing champions, Italian brand Castelli continues to design cycling apparel with quality and technological advancement in mind. When it comes to jerseys, the SFIDA 2 Jersey FZ offers the best of both worlds in cool conditions. Made of thermal fabric, the SFIDA includes a higher collar to keep out the wind, three pockets for valuables and a smooth-sliding zipper. What makes a jersey like the SFIDA essential is its in-between state; layer it underneath a jacket or stow it to pull on over a lighter top, you can just wear it on its own on days that hover between two seasons.
Best in mild weather, the Aria Shell Jacket has been re-imagined by Castelli designers to match their newer, ultra- lightweight products. The Aria Shell is now lighter than ever and still windproof, protecting you from gusts blowing in your direction as you pedal. Stretch elements allow the jacket to sit close to your body, preventing chill from seeping through. The perfect invisible layer, the Aria Shell folds into one of its pockets and can be neatly stowed until you need it again.
Fully wind and waterproof, the Castelli Emergency 2 Rain Jacket is versatile enough to serve you in a downpour or just add some secondary protection when the weather takes a cooler turn. Fitted but still meant to be worn over other layers, the Emergency 2 features a waterproof zipper, extended tail, and snug wrists to keep you dry. The jacket is also compact enough to take along even when there’s just a hint of rain on the horizon; as the name suggests, it’s the extra layer you’ll be glad to have in an unexpected weather emergency. The Emergency 2 comes in Military Green, Light Black, or Brilliant Pink for an added wow factor.
If you’re anticipating a hot and humid ride, the PRO Mesh Jersey by Pearl Izumi is an essential, especially if you are embarking on a long distance tour. Incorporating sweat- activated, built- in thermoregulation, the PRO Mesh keeps you comfy enough to brave the heat. Its quick- drying aspect means you can wash and reuse within a matter of hours. The jersey’s anti-odor technology (GoFresh), however, keeps your jersey smelling acceptable until you do get the chance to launder it. Form-fitted and simple, the PRO Mesh is a travel staple, letting you focus on the road no matter how much you’re sweating as you pedal.
Insulated with Transfer Thermal fleece fabric, Pearl Izumi’s Expedition Thermal Jersey is a sound choice for chilly morning rides; classified as mid-weight, is ideal for layering as well as on its own. One chest pocket and three rear pockets allow enough storage space for essentials and other accessories to keep you warm. A standard, warm fit makes this a no- frills jersey that will remind you of your favorite pullover but treat you like the athlete you are.
Renowned for weather-specific gear made to outlast the infamously rainy Pacific Northwest, Showers Pass is a go-to when it comes to all things waterproof. The company’s Syncline CC Jacket is one of the more budget-friendly options on the market; rated wind and waterproof and featuring 2.5 layer Artex fabric, the Syncline does not compromise when it comes to braving the rain. The jacket is lightweight, ventilated, and even includes hand warming pockets in case you didn’t bring your gloves along for the ride. Adjust the hood for a tight fit and wear it under your helmet for added protection. Available in berry, leaf green and black, the Syncline CC is a great option for Spring, Summer, and Fall riding, especially if you’re used to a wet forecast.
Led by president and head designer Heidi Yakowski, Moxie Cycling Company has a diverse selection of affordable cycling apparel, especially if you’re looking for mountain bike- specific additions to your closet.The company’s fitted Mountain Short features a contoured waist, side pockets and moisture wicking fabric to keep you comfortable while out on the trails. Stopping just above the knees, the Mountain Short comes in an array of patterns and single colors. Moxie Cycling Company’s Steezy Stretch Shorts are similar, but allow for a looser fit that does not hug the upper leg as much.
Moxie Cycling Company’s featured Enduro apparel includes these Mountain Bike Pants, which, at between $100- 145, are another option to consider, especially if you’re looking for performance but are on a budget. Moisture wicking technology keeps your legs dry, while an elevated rear band allows you to bend over your frame comfortably. A yoga waistband gives these pants a snug fit around the waist, and front pockets provide plenty of space for must-haves. Roomy knee panels let you wear knee pads underneath, covering all your bases. These pants expect you to move, and knowing you can do so in complete comfort will motivate you to get out there even more.
Originating in Scotland nearly three decades ago, Endura (not to be confused with Enduro) prides itself on thinking ahead, especially in terms of top notch cycling products. When it comes to cycling pants, the MT500 Spray Baggy Trousers embody the experience, technical detail and design mentality that go into creating a lasting Endura piece. The Trousers are not fully waterproof; the seat panel is the only element that is rated so, meaning these are a good option for light rain or an unpredictably cloudy day. Oftentimes, it’s your seat that experiences the brunt of the rain as your rear tire cruises through puddles, though the backs of your legs can be prone to droplets as well. To alleviate this issue, the rest of the pants are treated with a PFC- free DWR (Durable Water Repellent). The trousers allow room for knee pads, and feature waistband attachments in case you want to pair them with Endura Clickfast Liner Shorts for an extended ride.
For a fully waterproof, wallet friendly pant, consider Endura’s GRIDLOCK II Trouser, a seam-sealed option that will keep you dry on and off the bike. Ankle zips and length adjustments ensure a close fit to keep water and cold air from sneaking in. Simple and sleek, these will have you reaching for your bike on dreary mornings, not your umbrella.
Padded shorts are another crucial part of an active wardrobe, whether it’s on their own in hot weather, or underneath other bottoms for extra cushioning. Endura’s padded boxer shorts check all the boxes; a moisture wicking antibacterial finish and moulded antibacterial pad make these a reassuring choice when spending hours in the saddle. If you’re new to padded shorts, the pad minimizes chafing and soreness, making a longer ride easier on your body and mind.
Manufactured by one of the world’s leading cycling apparel designers, Giro cycling shoes are worth a look, especially if your footwear needs are highly specific to the kind of riding you do.
One of the newer additions to the Giro lookbook, the Latch Shoe is a flat pedal mountain- biking shoe designed to minimize distance between the foot and the pedal. Two innovative details, Tack Rubber and Mute Foam, make this shoe one of a kind; Tack Rubber ensures a grippy and durable sole, while Mute Foam eliminates noise and reverberation while you bike over obstacles, keeping your foot on the pedal despite bumps in the road. To match the trails, the Latch comes in five colors, including Dark Shadow and Harbor Blue/Sandstone.
Giro’s designated Rider Pick, the Empire SLX Shoe is an expertly fitted, sublimely lightweight clip-in shoe, coming in at no more than 185G. The shoe’s customizable footbed function, known as the SuperNatural Fit system, makes individualizing arch support quick and easy so that you can feel the difference the very first time you take these out for a spin.
If you’re planning to be out in winter conditions, your entire outfit should match the demands of the weather, right down to your feet. Garenau’s waterproof Mudstone Winter Shoes are a perfect example of footwear made to keep your feet dry but also toast when you’re out mountain biking, fat biking, or just trudging through slush. A specially insulated toe compartment allows room for thick socks, and a sealed cuff ensures your feet are fully protected. An Ergo Grip 2 Outsole has you covered in slippery areas, while a built in insert makes it possible to attach SPD Cleats that work with mountain bike pedals. Owning a pair of shoes like these can change the way you think about riding year round; think of the possibilities!