Not everyone wants to wear lycra shorts but they do have their place in cycling.
Cycling shorts are practical and functional as they have a chamois (paddled bit) in crotch which prevents saddle sores, chaffing and allows you to ride comfortably for longer periods of time. Cycling shorts should be tight fitting to ensure comfort and not loose around the crotch as the chamois may rub.
Do not wear your underwear under your cycling shorts as this will course irritation and can harbor bacteria. It is important for hygiene reasons that you wear a clean pair of cycling shorts each time. Warm moist areas are ideal places for both bacteria and fungus to grow.
Cycling jerseys are designed for convenience and protection. Most jerseys will have pockets in the back which will allow you to carry food, spare tube, money etc. The protection factor relates to the design of the jersey which is long at he back which prevents the lower back getting chill when you are bent over the handlebars.
Jersey should be fitting as this will reduce the wind drag and stops your top flapping around. Choose a riding jersey that is bright in colour so you are visible to motorist and pedestrians.
Cycling Shoes :
When you first start cycling you may start out without cycling shoes or may have toe straps this is fine for a beginner but one you start to ride more it is recommended that you purchase cycling shoes. They help transmit power from your legs to the pedals which is a more efficient use of your energy and allows you to ride more effectively for longer periods of time.
It is recommended when buying cycling shoes you look for shoes that will be a good firm fit as you will be spending many hours in them. You also need to be aware of the compatibility of the shoes with your pedal system. Your local bike shop staff should be able to help you select the appropriate shoes for you and your bike.
Cycling gloves or mitts are specifically designed to provide protection from in case a fall and help absorb some of the jarring that is transferred through the handle bars. Cycling gloves will have full or half fingers and have padding on the palms.
Wearing your helmet while cycling is a legal requirement in most countries and it important for protecting you head. There are many brands and models of helmets which will vary in price. It is important that you purchase a helmet that has an ANSI/ national safety approved sticker in the inside, please don’t remove the sticker as this allows commissaries (officials) to easily recognize your helmet as safe one.
In some road, team and track events you may be able to use aero helmets, these helmets are aerodynamic, check when entering an event whether you can use an aero helmet. (They will still need to be up to the safety standards)
It is important to keep the leg muscles warm while warming up and out cycling in the cold. Tights are worn over your cycling shorts and are normally lycra or woolen.
Leg warmers only go from under each leg of the shorts to the ankles, and can easily be removed and put in your pockets.
Are used for cold days or mornings and the training jacket should have a high neck, have a wind cheater front (either nylon or thermal type material) have breathable panels down the sides or be made of a synthetic material that breathes.
You should wash all cycle clothing after each ride, make sure your drink bottle is kept clean and avoid sharing it with others.
We all enjoy cycling on nice days but remember that the sun can do damage to your eyes and skin so wear your sunglasses and sun block.
Glasses are very useful for keeping the bugs and wind out of your eyes.
Remember while you are cycling you want to be as visible as possible, this will help motorists and pedestrians see you. We suggest that you wear bright coloured clothing whenever you ride.