So, you’re a beginner when it comes to cycling, and have ambitions to start taking cycling a little more seriously. Well, if you intend to embark on anything other than short cycle trips on flat reliefs, then specialist clothing is a must. What you need depends on your purpose – whether you’re keen on mountain biking, long distance road cycling, or otherwise.
For road cycling, you’ll want to wear skin tight Lycra. It fits well, it doesn’t get caught in the chain, and, importantly, it is aerodynamic, helping you to go fast. Specialist cyclist clothing is also breathable, letting your sweat evaporate, as opposed to a cotton shirt soaking it in, which keeps you cold.
If mountain biking is what you’re after, then you needn’t put up with odd-looking Lycra clothing – most mountain bike clothing looks fairly casual. What you’ll want to get are loose fitting padded cycling shorts/tights. These help prevent your skin from becoming sore, due to rubbing, as well as acting as shock absorbents.
- Gloves: they protect your hands, should you fall. Their fabric tends to allow wiping sweat off of your face. Their padding helps absorb handlebar vibrations. Gloves are a must for the keen cyclist, whether a road or mountain biker.
- Shoes: not a must, but their stiff soles allow you to input more power with each pedal.
- Shorts and Tights: the padding absorbs shocks, and the stretch factor allows the shorts/tights to move with your leg as you ride, easing effort. Whether you want to wear shorts or tights depends on the weather.
- Jersey: allows your skin to breath. Cycling jerseys often have pockets, helping you to store your items. They can also be water and wind resistant, allowing you to deal with changing weather conditions.
- Base Layers: a layer between your skin and the jersey, keeping you warm in cold conditions and helping keeping sweat away from your skin.
- Arm/Leg Warmers: these removable warmers help you adapt to changing conditions. Wear them while cycling at dusk and store them once the weather warms up.
- Jackets: cycling jackets can be waterproof, made of breathable fabrics, and provide thermal insulation to the cyclist.
Shock absorbent shorts/tights tend to be more important for mountain biking, which is more prone to abrupt drops and movements, but they may be loose, unlike those for road biking.
Now that you know what clothing to get, the UK is home to a plethora of cycling destinations, be it Scotland, Snowdonia or elsewhere. Or perhaps travelling to Europe for cycling may better suit your appetite. Travel costs can often be expensive, but with Groupon discount codes and vouchers, it is more than doable! Some coaches allow you to take your bike with you, or you could hire one upon arrival. Long distance cyclists may consider cycling to their destination, and returning by coach, with such discount codes making it more affordable. Make sure you’ve packed all of your necessary cycling clothing to ensure a comfortable trip.