Your Road Cycling Wardrobe Checklist
The essentials and accessories explained
Road cycling is one of the nicest outdoor sports you can do. Gliding through picturesque hilly landscape or manoeuvring in the urban jungle, you want to enjoy what you’re doing and focus on the sport. Crucial for your enjoyment is the right clothes! If you are just beginning your road cycle adventure it’s good to know what items to have in your bicycle wardrobe.
Your items will be weather dependent, cycling in a warm climate is very different from riding in colder temperatures, so get the gear that fits the weather. Since you will have occasions where you’ll be sharing the road with other traffic (cars or trucks) make sure that the items you get enhance your visibility on the road. Check for reflective straps or panels.
Hereby your cycling kit checklist:
- Shorts: one of the most crucial items in your wardrobe is a pair of padded cycling shorts. Make sure you but a pair with the padding especially designed for women. Some cyclists prefer a pair of bib-shorts or a padded skinsuit, read all about those items in this blogpost.
- Shirt: A cycling shirt is often referred to as a cycling jersey. Key elements in your shirt should be 3 pockets at the back, preferably at least one with a zip. A long front zip that fully opens. The fabric should be sweat absorbing. There are lots of different sleeve lengths on the market, from long ones to sleeveless styles, so you can choose your tan-lines. Make sure the jersey has an all-over tight fit so it doesn’t flap while cycling
- Under-shirt: A great and functional item is a thermo shirt that you wear under your jersey. It keeps you warm in colder weather, and sweat absorbing in warm weather. Perfect for long days on the bike or when the weather is a bit unpredictable.
- Helmet: ALWAYS wear your helmet! There are lots of cool styles on the market, so buy one that you actually like and you’ll enjoy wearing it. Make sure that you place it properly on your head, about 2 fingers width above the eyebrow. The strap under the chin should be tight
- Gloves: Protect your hands by wearing cycling gloves. There are styles on the market with padding for extra comfort, but also pairs with no padding. Gloves are also an extra layer for protection if you do fall off your bicycle.
- Shoes: You can choose between Road Cycling or Mountain Bike shoes that you clip in to the pedals. This helps you to keep your speed and not waste energy. Road cycling ones are more stiff, MTB more slightly more flexible and comfy and you’re not flapping around like a clown when you do need to walk in them.
- Arm- and leg warmers: Weather can change quickly, arm- and leg warmers can be a great option to keep you warm, and when you’re overheating you can easily remove this extra layer of fabric. Make sure that there are silicone straps on the hem so it stays in place.
- Rain jacket: There are special lightweight and ultra-thin rain jackets especially designed for cyclist. They are longer at the back, and fold-up extra small to fit into your back-pocket.
- Shoe covers: When cycling in wet and cold weather a shoe-cover can help to keep your feet warm. Check for the ones that are water-repellent, from windstopper and thermo materials with reflective details.
- Socks: Tradition says that cycling socks should be white and pulled up high on the calf. But these days there are lots of fun options and variations, so choose the pair that makes you happy!
- Sunglasses: A nice addition to your cycling kit, the glasses protect your eyes when it’s windy so you don’t get all teary-eyed. In spring /summer sunglasses can protect your eyes from bugs that are flying around.
- Sleeveless windstopper: When you’re not sure what the outside temperature will be like, or you don’t want to cool down when you take a break, a sleeveless windstopper can be a nice item to have. Like the rain jacket, there are special ones for cyclists that fit perfectly in one of your pockets.
There you have it! Your cycling kit checklist. If you’re worried about looking stylish and fashionable, and want to make sure all of the separate items match well, we can recommend buying all in leopard print: because nothing looks better with leopard print than leopard print ;)