Cycling has long been a wonderful way of getting fit and seeing the world. But for those who are more serious than the casual cyclist, cycling gear and other equipment can take your riding experience to the next level.
How should I dress for cycling?
Cycling is one of the best ways to get in shape, but are there any recommended bike clothes and cycling gear you should wear while doing it? As it turns out there is a large catalog of wearables that will make your cycling experience more comfortable.
A good quality spandex bike jersey is an absolute must for any serious cyclist. If you are not a fan of spandex, any other good fitting top will also do.
If they fit you well and snuggly, they are not only very comfortable but can also reduce drag at higher speeds.
You might also want to consider some cycling gloves. For summer rides you could get some short-cut finger ones. For winter, full-length finger cuts are best.
Most come in padded leather or synthetic-leather palms and will also have moisture-absorbing properties.
Get the right cycling pants for your legs
While you might not be competing in the Olympics anytime soon, a good pair of specially designed cycling pants should also be considered. Bike shorts tend to be better than regular run-of-the-mill shorts as they:
- Are extra stretchy for better freedom of movement and;
- Tend to come with padded crotch linings to reduce friction and absorb sweat.
For colder climates, you might also want to consider getting yourself some bike tights, knickers, and leg warmers. While you will be generating a lot of heat cycling, you will also be sweating a lot.
These tend to cover the entire leg are from at least the knee above. Good ones will also come with padding and other benefits of other good quality bike shorts.
Cycling jackets can make all the difference
On the subject of colder weather cycling, you should also consider a decent cycling jacket. It should keep you warm and dry but should also not restrict your movement.
For most weather conditions, a waterproof (but breathable) jacket is usually a good call to protect yourself on the bike. Windproof gear is highly recommended as well.
Also, consider ones with reflective strips or highlights for nighttime visibility on the road.
Good quality cycling shoes (and socks) are also a must piece of bike gear
Another important piece of cycling equipment is a good quality pair of cycling shoes. These are, quite frankly, an essential piece of kit for any cyclist. For those who use clipless pedals, you should consider shoes that work with your cleats.
Road cyclists tend to choose lightweight, aerodynamic models. Mountain bikers tend to prefer durable shoes that can be used for ambling when the terrain gets too tough.
For more casual cyclists, sport style trainers tend to be adequate. You can also mosey around town in them afterward.
You might want to consider getting some toe covers, or full shoe covers for more inclement weather.
Cycling socks are another piece of kit you might want to consider investing in. Better ones will help wick up perspiration and can keep your feet nice a toasty in winter.
Another essential piece of bike gear is of good quality and a comfortable crash cycling helmet. Helmets should fit snuggly and should match your riding style.
They tend to come in three main forms:
- Recreational cycling helmets - Cheaper and offer basic protection.
- Road bike cycling helmets - Lighter, well ventilated, and aerodynamic.
- Mountain bike cycling helmets - also well ventilated but with more extensive rear head protection.
You might also want to consider getting a cycling cap. These can be worn under your helmet and are useful for keeping your 'noggin' warm in winter and cool in summer.
They also absorb a lot of sweat on hot summer days.
Other cycling equipment/accessories you might want to consider buying
You might also want to consider getting your hands on some of these added extra features when you buy cycling equipment:
- Low-key hi-vis.
- Aero dimples to reduce drag.
- Supportive back panels.
- Flat, seamless bib straps.
- Heat-welded, stitchless hems.
- Splash guards.
- Wide, silicone-printed leg grippers.
- Accordion stretch panels.
- Waterproof pockets.
How cold is too cold to ride a bike?
Unless you live within the Arctic circle or plan on cycling to the South Pole, "too cold" is a very subjective term. But for most cyclists, anywhere between 10 degrees Celsius and 0 degrees Celsius or less is considered really very cold.
But colder weather also comes with other hazards beyond the temperature that cyclist should take into consideration before hitting the road. Ice and snow, for example, can offer a serious risk of a nasty accident if you are not careful.
If you really are determined to ride in colder weather make sure you take some of these precautions first.
What should I wear for cold-weather cycling?
We have already mentioned a few items above, but for convenience, you should consider wearing (thanks to cyclinguk.org):
- Bib shorts or tights.
- Cycling jersey.
- Arm and leg warmers.
- Softshell jacket.
- Waterproof jacket.
What should I wear cycling at 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius)?
For colder weather riding, like 13 degrees Celsius or below, it's advisable to stay warm and comfortable.
To reiterate the points above, you should consider wearing tights or leg warmers; heavy long-sleeve jersey with sleeveless or short-sleeve wicking undershirt; or lightweight long-sleeve jersey with a long-sleeve undershirt.