What usually enters your mind when you think of Cycling? Off the top of my head, Lycra. What is Lycra? It is usually what makes up most of the stretchy material that Cyclists wear when they do ride, whether casually or more extreme forms of Bicycle entertainment. It is very important to note though that proper apparel is key in maximizing your Cycling experience. When you buy cycling kit, these are what you need to be aware of.
Tights and Shorts
When thinking bike apparel, Tights and shorts come foremost. This is because they cause the most friction and will bear the brunt of a punishing tour. These came a long way from the equipment of old where you just slap on some tight fitting leggings and off you go. Now, these are made up of strategically placed padding and contours to counteract friction on the bike saddle. It is also made of Lycra or other form-fitting materials that enhance performance by channeling sweat away to keep you drier while engaged in the activity. You can also wear similarly made shorts over these tights for added cushioning on the saddle. Bike shorts nowadays are built using the most minimal of seams as these could rub up on your legs especially during competitions or even casual riding. If there ever are seams, they do position them in places that will have the least friction. Another option that is becoming more popular is what is called the BIB type of shorts. They have built-in suspenders that surprisingly holds well during rides. These have no elastic around the waist area thereby conforming to your body shape more when in the riding position.
Jerseys and Cycling Jackets
Once you have gotten to choose your bike shorts, move on to Jerseys. These are simple shirts that are also form-fitting with a variety of fits depending on your body type. Some have long sleeves and denser fabrics for colder weather. The shoulder seams are also designed for a more forward-leaning position. Most have reflective trim or logos strategically positioned for higher night visibility. Cycling Jackets, on the other hand, is used if you will be riding on colder or wet weather. It is also important that the jacket is of a waterproof build for that unforeseen rain whilst riding. Remember that your body will heat up from the exertion as you pedal along.
Shoes and Socks
Shoes are relative to your level of comfort but should have some waterproof capacity. Some shoes can actually drain water away when getting wet. Your socks should have to have some tick boxes that need to be checked. Socks bear the brunt of the moisture that your feet produce while biking. This means cotton socks are out. Use materials that dry fast and not too thick of a fit and you will be good to go.