What To Wear When Cycling? A Detailed Answer For Beginners

What To Where When Cycling

It is a must to have cycling-specific clothing if you want a safe ride. But what to wear when cycling? Follow my post below to find out what you need to equip.

Once you seriously get into cycling, equipping essential clothing and accessories is what you need to do. It ensures your safety and brings a comfortable and amazing experience while riding. 

But do you know what to wear when cycling? If not, do not hesitate to consult our list below. You will determine what you need to wear in specific weather. Let’s get started.

What To Wear When Cycling?

Cycling Tops

Cycling tops are undoubtedly a crucial part of clothing for a ride. Remember that layering is key here as it helps you retain body heat while still keeping you cool if you are sweating. You need to prepare:

Cycling Jersey

If you tend to get a short ride, it is acceptable to wear a short sleeve jersey T-shirt. Its noticeable shortcoming is the poor absorbing ability, unlike those specialized tops. 

Cycling Jersey

Let’s opt for a breathable and tight-fitting cycling top that can absorb moisture well for this reason. In this case, a Lycra cycling jersey along with full- or half-length zip guards and a high neckline is what you should buy.

Moreover, some manufacturers have paid attention to the users’ comfort while commuting by bike by designing large pockets. You can have space to stow your wallet, keys, snacks, small jacket, or other essentials. 

A long-sleeve jersey will meet your demand for additional warmth in cool conditions.

Cycling Jacket

When you have no long-sleeve top in your wardrobe for the colder weather, it is perfect for layering up by matching a short-sleeve one with a cycling jacket. Rest assured that some products are compact enough for you to put in the rear pocket.

Cycling Jacket

One tip for choosing a suitable jacket is a waterproof, windproof, and breathable type. You can experience your journey comfortably no matter how the weather changes. And it will be best if you pick up the bright color so that people can easily recognize you. 

Cycling Bottoms

Not only the tops but the bottom half also decide your comfortable and smooth riding experience. It will be best if you have something that is both elastic and close-fitting. Here are two options:


Shorts are an excellent candidate for summer cycling. You should choose non-slip and stretchy material that won’t slide up on your thigh when you move. Specifically, Lycra fabric is what manufacturers use most to create shorts. Moreover, you can also consider padded bottoms to have optimal comfort.

Cycling Shorts  

If you have bought the too-tight shorts, do not worry as I have detailed instructions on how to loosen cycling shorts

Another choice is bibs with shoulder straps to keep your clothes in position well. However, some people are afraid of using this type of bottom due to the inconvenience of going to the toilet. 


Whether you are new to riding or a professional, leggings will always be the better choice than tight jeans or baggy trousers. Do you know why? It fits your legs tightly, so there is no obstacle to the movement here. 

Another plus point lies in its versatility of usage in any weather. If you do not want to get suntanned while wearing shorts, then leggings are what you are looking for. Also, it keeps you warm well in such cold weather. 

Waterproof Cycling Clothes

Base Layers

Choosing the suitable base layers for the cold weather is crucial in cycling. The merino wool combination of long-sleeved jerseys and leggings is worth considering due to its convenience. This material is soft, breathable, insulant, and resists odors well. 

There is no need to worry about being cold and sick during the cool seasons anymore.  

Water Resistant Layers

Once you get into cycling, you have to accept that the weather is not always nice. It can change in an instant without any prediction. That’s why you should prepare waterproof layers in case of a rainy day to avoid getting caught out. 

The waterproof cycling-specific jacket keeps your arm dry thanks to long sleeves and back. Similarly, it will be better to invest in cycling trousers or over trousers as well to protect your legs from cold rainfall.     

Accessory Items

Apart from clothes, it will be a big mistake when you forget about some accessories for cycling. Of course, necessary items here support your journey and prevent you from undesired injuries instead of complementing your look.


Whether you practice cycling for fun or want to be a pro, do not look down on a helmet. On the contrary, it might be the most important item you need to prepare for your attire. It keeps you assured with your head protection to avoid any surprising accident. 

Some people are afraid of the tightness and discomfort of wearing a helmet. No, many products providing close-fitting, well-ventilated features to offer you the best and safest experience are available on the market. Also, there is another protective layer to limit the impact of a crash. 

Hence, feel free to choose the one you like most.


Have you ever worn sunglasses while commuting on a bicycle? If not, let’s consider this idea. It may be overacting, in your opinion, but trust me, preparing this item will never be wrong. 

Cycling Glasses

You can take some sunglasses with you on sunny days and even the duller days. It works as a barrier to block the direct sunlight, rain, wind, fog, or snow from contacting your eyes. This way, there is no chance for dust, grit, or flying insects to irritate. 

Nowadays, sunglasses with interchangeable tinted lenses are sought-after worldwide due to their versatility in any weather conditions.


Some cyclists think that gloves only suit cold weather, but their benefit is more than that. Cycling gloves both keep warm and improve grip on the handlebars simultaneously. For those sensitive skin, it can also protect your hands from blistering. 

You can opt for many cycling gloves, including fingerless and full ones. Especially, some products come with good ventilation, padding, insulation, and windproof, waterproof features that serve the needs of professionals well.


There are several choices for you to consider when it comes to shoes. A pair of trainers and shoe covers seems to be enough for those who want to ride on a short journey. In the case of a serious cyclist, it is a must to pay for cycling-specific shoes with a clipless pedal system. 

Its perfect match is waterproof overshoes that pull over the top of normal shoes to prevent splashes from dirtying your shoes.

Backpack Or Pannier Bags

When you intend to cycle to work, investing in a high-quality backpack or pannier bags is never wrong. You can bring your wallet, your meals, books, and even a laptop with ease. 

Do not worry whether it can hinder your pedaling because additional straps are included to keep the backpack in position. You can use them around the waist and over the chest for steadiness.

Backpack Or Pannier Bags

Rest assured that some products have a smart design with waterproof and hi-vis covers enough space for office items. 

If you want to free your back without sweat, let’s consider a pannier rack to put the bag on. The rack will always handle more weight than your body so that you can carry more stuff with you, such as other clothes, shoes, and more.  

Padded Underwear

Have you ever heard of padded underwear? It sounds strange but brings lots of benefits. It is such a regular underwear type but comes with cushioning to bring you comfort throughout your ride. 

Padded underwear is available on the market with several designs for both men and women.


Wearing socks for your ride? Why not? Socks are usable on both cold and warm days as they can keep your toes warm or reduce heat and sweat well. To handle those terrible days well, you also need to choose a suitable material for socks, especially the waterproof type. 

What To Prepare In Different Weather?

In Hot And Humid Weather 

Helmet With Great Ventilation

What To Prepare In Different Weather

It is necessary to pick a suitable and high-quality helmet with great ventilation to let the air flow well in hot and humid weather. Although closed-off aero helmets can protect your head better, it causes tightness and heat increase on a long ride. 

Furthermore, not everyone can withstand the heat well, even experienced athletes. The tip is choosing a product with many vents and aerodynamic drag for ventilation. 

Of course, you have to know what your head size is. The big helmet cannot keep steady, while the tight one might give you a headache. 


Normally, cyclists often use cycling caps under their helmets to avoid the sunlight. However, I recommend using a bandana or scarf for higher comfort. 

The reason is that caps can be too tight for your head and somehow block your vision. But a bandana is not like that. It is extremely easy and comfortable to adjust. 

Also, it absorbs sweat and lets it evaporate through the helmet’s ventilation system so as not to drip down your eyes.    

Summer Cycling Jersey

A summer cycling jersey is quite different from a normal one due to its thin and lightweight fabric. Feel free to wear it directly or above a base layer. 

Along with the smart design, it works well in both protecting you from UV Rays and wicking away the moisture when you are sweating. To be more specific, there are different panels on different jersey areas for many purposes. 

For example, the sleeve and shoulder part will have extra UV protection, while the back area where we sweat most comes with a mesh or thinner fabric for great ventilation.

Sports Bra

Sports Bra

Not many people like wearing a sports bra or another base layer with a cycling jersey, even on the hottest days. However, it is much more beneficial than you imagine. 

A sports bra supports you well in terms of breathability. Then, it avoids your skin from absorbing leftover moisture from sweat and keeps it dry all the cycling time as a result.   

Summer Arm Sleeves And Gloves

Although summer arm sleeves and gloves are not a must for your cycling attire, it comes in handy for further protection. You can carry them with you and put them on to prevent the sun from burning your hand. 

What is more, you can grip the handlebars more tightly and decrease the chance of hurting your palms when you fall off. Another thing to note is that these things do not take up much space in your package, and you can consider it as a cloth to wipe sweat up. 

Summer Arm Sleeves And Gloves

Bib Shorts

Hot weather is no longer a matter for cyclists, thanks to the help of bib shorts. Its manufacturer has designed this product smartly by using specific materials in different areas to give you both ventilation and firmness. You will not find it uncomfortable during the journey. 

Socks And Cycling Shoes

Socks and cycling shoes decide how firm and stick you step on the pedals. You can rest assured with specific products to deal with extreme heat, like ultralight summer socks and high-ventilated, super-lightweight cycling shoes. 

This combination is a great option for those who cannot stand the sticky moisture inside the shoe. 

In Cold Weather

Base Layer

As mentioned above, the base layer is such a good investment that you can utilize its benefit in both hot and cold weather. Its price is affordable, but you cannot ignore its quality. 

With merino wool or artificial fibers, the base layer helps to keep your body insulated during the winter effectively. And there are many styles for you to consider if you aim at cycling fashion. 

Soft Shell Or Waterproof Jacket

Apart from the first garment, you can buy yourself a softshell or waterproof jacket for further warmth. It is not tricky to find a high-quality jacket with wind-stopping material on the current market. 

Remember to consider such small factors as rear pockets, reflectivity, breathability. The reason is that they decide how relaxing you enjoy the journey on cooler days.  

However, the waterproofing feature in a softshell jacket is quite limited. As such, you can opt for a better idea of taking the packable rain jacket or rain cape. Along with long-tail flaps, this product can stop your clothes from head to toes from getting wet completely. 

Neck Warmer

Another thing you should not miss out on is the neck warmer, as this body part causes the easiest cold ever. Let’s purchase a neck-wrapping scarf that is lightweight stretchy so that you feel comfortable as much as possible. 


Also, the gilet is another considerable option. It is basically a jacket but has no arms. Gilet works well in protecting your torso from the chill, thanks to its windproof material. Most cyclists look for Gilets, especially when they want to free their arm movement without worrying about coldness. 

Arm And Leg Warmers

The wind chill will be your biggest enemy if you do not cover yourself carefully. 

Some cyclists are subjective to wear a short-sleeve jersey and bib shorts when the weather is expected to be warmer. They can get cold or even a freezing body as a result. Then what will you do? 

Arm and leg warmers are the most suitable items you need to prepare for this case. They are only simple tubes made of Lycra material for insulating purposes. It is quite versatile as you can take them off when the temperature is higher. 

Of course, rest assured that these things are compact enough for you to put in your pocket. 

Gloves And Overshoes

Experiencing the pain of wet and freezing feet might be the horrible feeling no one wants. Then, it is urgent to prepare gloves and overshoes to overcome the incoming winter. 

You should use full-finger gloves with sticky grip areas to hold the handlebars tightly. At the same time, I recommend having oversocks or overshoes to keep your feet dry without any water contact.

Trust me. It is worth every penny, so stop wavering between buying or not.

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What to wear when cycling? It is worth mentioning that there are several items you need to add to your wardrobe. And a full cycling clothing should include a jersey, shorts, jacket, helmet, and shoes. You can consider other things according to the weather as well as your demand. 

If you have any questions, please comment to let me know, and I will reply to you soon. Thanks for reading, after all.

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Jame K. Thomas

Jame K. Thomas

Hey guys, I am an avid cyclist who have raced competitively in the amateur ranks until my mid 30s. I love cycling because it offers both physical and mental challenges, as well as the sense of freedom that comes with riding outdoors. I have devoted myself to the communities and shared all that I know about this supper-duper lovely cycling. Hope that my experience in this blog could give you help.

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