Right clothing and equipment is required for enjoyable cycling experience. Unlike any other sports wear, cycling apparel is also made to provide comfort during the riding. These apparel are designed and made for different cycling and biking experiences like road biking, mountain biking, tandem cycling, recumbent riding, track racing, free style, downhill biking, touring riding, ice biking and indoor cycling. The bicycle clothing may consists of cycling shorts (fitted shorts, baggy shorts and bib shorts), jerseys, rain gear, base layer clothing, helmets, gloves, shoes, socks and headgear.
Cycling shorts can be in the form of fitted shorts, baggy shorts and bib shorts and designed to improve the comfort level and efficiency while cycling. These shorts are mostly made from nylon spandex fabric which has great stretch and durability. Spandex is also mixed with other yarns such as polyester which provides breathability and protects the skin of the legs from repetitive friction against the bicycle seat or frame. These shorts help in evaporating the moisture from the skin to prevent rashin of the skin and reduces wind resistance by increasing aerodynamic efficiency. Generally, these shorts have a padded stretch liner built inside which helps in wicking moisture and preventing chafing. The pads are mostly made from several layers of polar fleece and can vary in thickness. Fitted biking shorts are made in 4 panels, 6 panels and 8 panels and allow the grament to be contoured to fit the body in the cyling position. The more the number of panels, the more curvature can be allowed for the body. Bib shorts are held by braces or suspenders instead of elastic waistbands. The bib shorts are meant for tall riders and riders with protruding stomachs because its suspenders holds the back part of the shorts, where as, the regular shorts can tand to fall down from the back while riding. The elastic waistbands are not used because they hold the body tightly resulting in chafing and discomfort.
Most of the cycling jerseys are made from polyester or polyester blend fabric that have the ability to wick away moisture and allow breathability. Wearing a polyester t-shirt or other technical fabric made garment under the jersey is always a better option for layering. Another important function of the jersey is to carry the useful articles in the pockets along with you when you are riding. Zippers on the front part of the jersey helps in controlling the ventilation by adjusting the zipper as and when required. Other useful componenets of bicycle clothing include
1. Helmets for preventing any serious head injuries and ensuring safety while riding.
2. Gloves for providing padding and protecting hands from cold or getting scraped and helping in absorbing road shock.
3. Glasses from protecting the eyes from dust, stones mud and low tree braches.
4. Cycling shoes are attached to the bike pedals with clip-in system that is meant for improving the efficiency of the pedal stroke. Road bike shoes have stiff soles and are lightweight amd aerodynamic. Mountain biking shoes have a slightly flexible rubber sole and recessed cleats.