For a lazy weekend ride it doesn’t really matter what you wear. But when you’re out doing some serious biking - either on the road, trail or track - the right cycle clothing is very important.
Designed to cut the wind and keep you comfortable, a modern cycling jersey is more than a simple t-shirt. Available in different styles and materials, it’s worth comparing the different options on the market to find one that feels comfortable and encourages you to keep riding hour after hour. And let’s be honest, we all want to look good while we’re out there, so why not choose clothes that are functional and look great too?
We’ve put together a handy guide of what you should consider before purchasing a cycling jersey:
Fit - This might seem obvious, but when it comes to a jersey for cycling, you want a snug – or perhaps even ‘race’ fit. Loose, flapping fabric creates additional wind resistance that can slow you down on the road. If you’re a mountain biker racing through dense bush, close-fitting mountain bike jerseys are less likely to get snagged on a branch.
Material - The choice of material comes down to three factors: comfort, breathability and the ability to dry quickly. When you’re out riding for hours, you don’t want a material that chaffs or irritates. All sorts of blended polyester materials are available on the market, though some might prefer the feel of natural wool. For winter, you’ll want to consider long sleeves and a thicker, warmer jersey. For hot-weather runs, you need a short-sleeve jersey with maximum breathing to let air out.
Features - Zippers and pockets can be useful, depending on your riding style. A zip down the jersey can allow you to cool off a bit when you get riding hard. Pockets define a road cycling jersey and are extremely handy to keep nutrition, spares as well as small items such as your keys or a phone at easy reach. They are usually sewn into the back to keep a streamlined profile on the front.
What you’ll see when you start comparing different brands and styles of jerseys is there are tonnes of different options. What’s left is to choose the style, colours and design you like. Jerseys are typically available in long-sleeve, short-sleeve and sleeveless options. A few key brands in Australia to look for include Pearl Izumi, Assos, Sugoi, Nett and Santini.
Are you a fan of a cycling team? You'll find replica team jerseys on BikeExchange to show your support. Alternatively, maybe consider having some custom jerseys printed to show off your club, business or group's brand.