Cycling Apparel

Shoes

Most shoes can be used for road or mountain. For the serious riders, there are specialty shoes that are designed for either road or mountain respectively. You should look for clip compatible shoes. Most shoes are made of thin fabric to be breathable and lightweight. They usually weigh around or less than 2 pounds.

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Shorts

You'll find a wide variety of options available in leg wear for cyclists. Shorts are designed to improve your comfort while riding. They will help keep you cool, provide padding on the saddle and help increase your performance. When looking for your first pair of shorts, find the style and fit that is right for you. Tight fitting shorts help prevent movement between the fabric and your skin to alleviate chaffing. They also reduce wind resistance to help increase your pedaling efficiency. There are also a variety of baggy cycling shorts available that have a padded liner and usually include pockets if you prefer a more relaxed, casual fit. Bib shorts are also available. These provide increased support for more comfort during longer rides. If you’re biking in colder weather, both tights and pants are available as well.

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Tops

Biking tops are typically made of special fabric that wicks moisture away from your body, keeping you cool. They come in all colors and styles: jerseys, tees, tanks, and collared shirts. Most are designed to accommodate riding in a bent over position, including a longer back panel. If pockets are included, they will also be found on the back panel, to prevent spilling. Tops are usually tight fitting, to prevent wind resistance and increase performance. Baggy options are also available.

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Gloves

Gloves come in both full fingered and half fingered styles. The full fingered gloves usually have Kevlar shock-absorbing pads and the comfort of terry cloth. They will protect your hands from harsh cold and aching. The half fingered gloves offer dexterity and protection while keeping them cool.

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Base Layers

Base layers include shorts and tees that wick moisture away from your body, keeping you warm and dry. Most base layers are used for cold weather riding and are worn underneath regular cycling clothing. There are separates for your torso, arms and legs to help you retain your body heat. You can also use base layers for warm weather riding to help keep you dry.

Outerwear

If you ride a lot, or depend on your bike for your transportation, you’ll need protective outerwear. Inclement weather makes bikers difficult to see, especially in the dark. Look for jackets or vests in bright colors with reflective material on the back and sleeves. Most outerwear is surprisingly versatile with the option of removable sleeves and fleece liner to keep you dry but cool in warm, humid climates. There are even waterproof shoe covers to keep your shoes and feet dry while biking.

If you’re blazing your own trail on a mountainside, consider knee, elbow and shin guards to protect yourself against nature.

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