Knowing how to choose your clothes when practising sport is important, but in the case of cycling, it is much more important. A cycling outfit adapted to our sport will make the difference between comfort and a cool feeling when pedalling in the summer sun.
A cyclist’s clothing consists of two essential presses: the shorts and the jersey. We are going to talk about the latter today because choosing the one that best suits our body and our type of activity is essential.
Maillots are of many types, of different qualities, for different types of cycling, for different weather conditions, with different structures, designs, prices, and so on.
As you can see, the variety is infinite, but, as a general rule, the jersey should be a breathable fabric garment to evacuate the humidity of sweat as much as possible, that is comfortable and that adapts, like a second skin, to the cyclist’s body.
That it is visible to other drivers is very important, so it should be a striking colour or have some kind of reflective accessory.
Also, it usually includes two or three pockets to store personal objects, gels, energy bars, etc..
In this article we are going to see the 5 requirements to take into account when choosing a cycling jersey:
1. Type of use
The type of cycling we practice will determine the choice of jersey. For cycling in both road and MTB modalities, the jerseys are quite similar (except Enduro and Descents) and with very “technical” specifications. For this type of use, we will choose those that are adjusted to the body, lightweight, flat seams and extremely breathable.
For a more “recreational” use such as cycling or leisure, the jersey can be more basic and not too tight.
The seams don’t have to be flat, the pockets even have zippers and the materials are not so technical, although they must always be breathable.
2. Climatic Conditions
If you wear a lightweight, short-sleeved jersey in winter or very cold weather, you may get cold. Choose a long-sleeved thermal jersey in summer or hot climates and you may have the worst day of your life. You must find the middle ground and have several jerseys to be able to choose one according to the type of climate.
- Cycling in Summer or Hot and Dry Climates: If you are going to practice this sport during spring, summer or in areas where high temperatures predominate, the jersey should be extremely light and breathable, evacuating sweat as quickly as possible. Flat seams to avoid rubbing and include pockets to carry gels with electrolytes. You can choose a jersey that is made of a fabric with sun protection.
- Cold, Wind or Changing Conditions: In many cases, weather conditions can vary on the same route. If you’re looking for a versatile jersey for cycling in hot or cold weather, the best option is one that includes an insulating fabric to protect the cold and breathable panels to evacuate moisture.
3. Cut Adapted to your Body Contour
Finding your exact size is essential for a jersey since it must fit the body contour, but at the same time, it must allow freedom of movement and be comfortable.
You should also choose one that fits your taste (more or less tight, short sleeve, sleeve to elbow, etc.).
The fabric or fabrics that make up a jersey is a vital factor when the garment has some features or others. Depending on the material it is made of, the email will be more or less breathable, will protect more or less from the cold or will be more efficient against the wind.
The main materials used to make these garments are polyester, breathable fabrics with different compositions, merino wool or lycra.
The quality will vary depending on the composition: A jersey is considered to be of good quality the more specific and technical the fabric, the fewer seams it has and the flatter and the better finished it is. The laser cuts, the hidden and precise zipper are also factors that are taken into account.
Most cycling jerseys are made of Polyester, considered the best fabric when it comes to moisture absorption to keep skin dry. It is also a fabric of great durability, which resists very well the continued use of the garment without losing qualities.
It can also be sublimated and maintains its shape even after many washes and uses. Polyester is also an “antifungal” material, i.e. it prevents the proliferation of fungi.
Many jerseys also include a percentage of lycra in its composition, to provide greater adaptability and better fit.
Merino wool is another material widely used in cycling garments. This is the fabric formed by a natural fibre that has better resistance to water. It absorbs and empties humidity even 10 times more than fabrics such as nylon or polyester.
This fabric also helps to maintain the cyclist’s stable temperature, both in cold and heat, to improve the thermal sensation during the route. It is a material that does not retain odours. This is very important as merino wool garments should not be washed very often.
5. Colour and Design
Although at first glance choosing one colour or another may seem an unimportant requirement and depends on personal tastes, the truth is that it is very important.
Although choosing a jersey with a design adapted to your tastes is very important when it comes to feeling comfortable with the garment, you must bear in mind that safety is very important. Choosing bright colours can be an excellent idea for drivers to see you better.
Some studies show that colours such as yellow, orange or lime are more visible to drivers.
If you choose to wear more sober and darker colours, always look for reflective details that improve your visibility.
Optionally, and according to your needs, you can choose a jersey with different accessories such as pockets, zippers and reflective elements.
You can find a jersey without pockets or that includes from 1 to 3. Concerning the zipper, we can choose without this one, with a zipper of 10, 15 cm to close only half of the chest or full zipper.
In this sense, the most used are those that include a complete zipper since they are easier to remove and put on. They are usually the highest quality ones.