Just like every sport has its special clothing accessories and styles, cycling too consists of its own gear and clothing that helps make bike rides smoother and comfortable. From protecting the riders from cold weather to giving the rider utmost flexibility while riding, we provide the ultimate cycling gear buying guide that would make buying a hassle free experience.
Also, while buying cycling gear, there are many options available for a rider to choose from. One can prefer store-shopping, online-shopping or can approach designers and makers who take orders for customized cycling gear. Going for customized shopping can do wonders for you as a rider, just because your customized cycling costume would have a personal touch to it!
Here’s a detailed cycling gear buying guide for all you riders. Pedal along –
The question you must be asking yourself right now is:
Why should you invest in cycling gear?
When you ride for long distance, what is the first thing you look for?
Comfort right? And that is what a cycling gear does. It gives you the utmost comfort. Cycling gear will help you achieve as much comfort as possible by emphasizing on a perfect fitting, anti-sweat clothing, cycling grip, firm and hassle-free seating, etc.
If you ask any cyclist or cycling clothing designer they would say a big NO to cotton. The best fabric that would let you enjoy your ride is ‘Lycra’. Your day-to-day clothing materials will succumb to the perspiration that happens while you ride. That will further wet your clothes resulting in something like a blizzard all around you.
Thus, cycling gear is made from such materials that can help your sweat move away from your skin by evaporating, also known as wicking.
Moreover, cycling gear supports your movement as a rider. It’s fitting is such that it goes along with your leg movement without rubbing against your body. There are certain cuts and bends in cycling gear that allows you to freely bend and move your body as required.
Cycling shorts, for instance, come with special padding that includes foam or a fluid that provides cushioning and shock absorption facility. Even gloves come with such padding to fight against the vibrations from the handlebars.
If you think you should be knowing about cycling gears, read on this buying guide as we have added expert advice for each of it below!
Newbie in Cycling? Then Check out 9 Cycling Guidelines for Beginners
Cycling gear includes Jerseys made of Lycra fabric that holds the ability to draw sweat off your body to keep you drier.
What you must look for in the jerseys are wide shoulder cuts and sleeves that will enable you to lean forward with your arms comfortably. Moreover, a straight collar followed by a short-zip under it will definitely help you tackle the summer temperatures!
Longer cut in the back or long sleeves are options that you may want to have in your jersey as per your needs and weather conditions.
Cycling shorts come with extra-elasticity and a padded crotch liner to control the friction and moisture, thereby making the ride comfortable for you.
Shorts have multiple panels and padded liners with different specifications for different needs. Open-cell foam liners provide ultimate output in terms of absolute comfort, while closed-cell foam liners come in a lower budget that offers decent comfort. The shorts are stretchable and come with leg grippers that hold the shorts in position.
Biking in cold weather? Then go for tights!
Bike tights are mostly preferred during the cooler temperatures. However, tights are also available for warm weathers but are made of thinner materials. Knickers are ones which cover up to the knee and serve the purpose of better ventilation and moisture control. A crucial factor to consider while purchasing tights is to
Knickers are ones which cover up to the knee and serve the purpose of better ventilation and moisture control. A crucial factor to consider while purchasing tights is to choose between padded and the unpadded tights. The unpadded helps you to use the tights over multiple rides with padded shorts, as using padded tights multiple times might cause
The unpadded helps you to use the tights over multiple rides with padded shorts, as using padded tights multiple times might cause a rise of bacteria in padded areas. Unisex bib tights and shorts are often found uncomfortable by women. Hence, there are women-specific tights too in the market available for specifically for women.
Jackets are needed when weather forecast takes an extreme angle. That is, in winter to keep you warm and in the rainy season to provide you with a waterproof riding experience.
There are waterproof over-sized jackets available that go over your helmet to give you a complete water resistant support. Certain jackets offer wind-proof solutions and some also come with extra-breathability to help you tackle at high temperatures.
If you are not sure which jacket to pick, look for water resistant lightweight jackets as they are usually wind resistant and can be used across the year.
An extra layer of clothing, may it be an insulating middle layer or an inner layer, helps you maintain a consistent body temperature throughout the ride. Inner layer wears can help in wicking the sweat away from the body while a middle layer can act as a body warmer for cold conditions, thereby maintaining some degree of warmth around the body.
An exterior layer of a windcheater too can help you face the seasonal extremities while riding. Hoodie-like pull-overs specially made for cycling purposes help you defeat windy weather conditions or cold climate. All the clothing layers differ in features like breathability, materials, stretch, fitting, etc.
Cycling shoes come with stiff soles, in which cleats are present to fit into the pedals. Road cyclists should prefer light-weight shoes while mountain bikers should opt for shoes with a stronger grip and durable soles.
As a cyclist, it’s very important to figure out the perfect gear for your feet. While, riding, the feet sweat a lot and thus, socks that get rid of sweat as quickly as possible must be picked. Socks made from synthetic materials like nylon or polyester must be worn. Even merino wool can be preferred to avail the extra facility of insulation.
Learn about Cycling Shoes in detail, read Cycling Shoes Buying Guide: How to choose Bike Shoes
Enhance your clothing with some cool accessories!
Caps are one of those essentials that can take a rider’s comfort to another level. These sweat absorbers also take care of the scorching sunlight in summer days. You can also go for thin skull caps to serve the purpose with more emphasis.
A pair of gloves too would be quite handy (like literally) as they would ensure a better handle grip. These are of two types: Full-finger ones and ones with short finger cuts. Full ones are needed the most in winter season or when the wind is cold and blowing at some serious pace!
The warmers are something cyclists love to use. These come with the arms and legs and are slip-on which can be directly slipped-off when not needed, mostly when the temperature begins to rise.
Add a personal touch to what you wear by opting for custom clothing.
Custom clothing is a make-to-order concept where the buyer’s needs and specifications are kept in mind while making the product. This totally differs from the off-the-shelf concept as here, the buyer focuses on all his specific needs, like that of design, material, size, shape, etc. and eventually all the requisites are brought together to deliver the final product.
The important factors you should look for during custom clothing are –
Show your creativity by choosing the design of your cycling gear!
First and foremost step towards custom clothing is to decide on a design that is right for you. Are you going to specify the design of clothing you want or is it entirely dependent upon the designer/maker to get it right for you?
Mentioning your needs and issues (if any) clearly and thoroughly will give you a favorable outcome. Keeping it hanging or haywire can result in a not-so-perfect outfit. There are in-house design teams available for design creation and artwork services.
Your cycling costume’s design-requirements must be conveyed thoroughly and with mention of the slightest details to ensure a product that you exactly desire.
The next priority is the color. Sounds pretty straightforward right? But wait, the color you see on the maker’s computer screen might not be the exact one when your outfit arrives.
This depends upon the technology used by your concerned designer. Digital sublimation technology is one such latest technology that ensures durable and high-quality color effect.
The toughest section in custom clothing is printing!
When it comes to printing logos and sponsors on your kit, however simple it might sound, but it’s not so. Printability comes into the picture, as not every logo or sponsor design can be printed smoothly.
File formats such as adobe illustrator files, encapsulated post script (.eps files) and high-resolution pdf files (over 300 dpi) give favorable results. These files can be resized and altered without having to lose the picture quality.
Your next big step is choosing the material.
Makers or designers will have numerous clothing materials to offer you, that too for different purposes, and from that, you got to choose the one which fulfills your needs to the fullest. Polyester and Elastane are the recommended synthetic materials that provide high durability and elasticity.
Your clothing must be lightweight and speedy in absorbing or drawing away sweat, and that can keep you dry for a longer period. The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) can help you know your chosen material/clothing better, as it provides tests showing quality checks like aging, durability, color, etc.
While giving your specifics for the chamois, make sure it’s not too stiff or of an uncomfortable fitting, with reference to the size, as bigger is not always better. You must ensure that its thickness is balanced and its placement is perfectly positioned where you want (need) it to be. Also be gender specific and check for the wicking capabilities of it.
It is the size that matters the most in customized clothing.
Customized clothing is all about high-quality needs of the bikers aim for long and smooth rides. This facility or service isn’t meager printing of your names behind your jerseys. It’s much more than that. Companies offer to design and printing services depending on the minimum size of your order.
It is best to know prior about the company’s most inexpensive deals and what size of the order they require for the same. The ordering process also needs your attention. Many companies offer these services online and hence, you might want to know how these companies operate, what technology they use and with what amount of accuracy do they meet your specified needs.
Prices vary according to the quality of the clothing you choose and your size of the order. Better quality means more price and a greater size of order means relatively less price compared to what you would have paid for a smaller order.
The turnaround time is nothing but the deadline before which you are promised your final product. The contract itself includes the turnaround time that the company needs to finish with the customized designs.
Another very important thing to check is the warranty of the product to avoid any unexpected issues. Do check for the warranty period and guidelines, like do they provide warranty on material, delivery or repair.
Right gears always might not assure you success but they increase the chances of success to a significant level as they help you train better.
We care for you and that’s why we insist you read Women Cycling Tips -Follow These to Keep out of Trouble
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