So, you’ve bought your new bike! With your suspension forks and a gazillion gears you are ready to put on your shorts and tee-shirt to cycle the bridleways, disused train lines and forests of the United Kingdom, maybe stopping off for quick refresher at the local pub or cafe on route. Just imagine those hot sunny days and Idyllic long warm evenings cycling into the sunset with your bike and a few friends. Ah perfect!
Unfortunately your dream of the perfect cycle ride can be easily quashed by some very simple factors. The changeable British weather or simple case saddle soreness for example can ruin a potentially great ride out. Fortunately wearing the correct cycling clothing is the simplest way of preventing major discomfort.
No matter where you ride the British weather at sometime is going to catch you out, whether it’s a typical summer shower or a chill settling in on a warm evening the correct cycling attire will always keep fairly comfortable. Good quality cycling clothes are produced using fibres that are designed to retain body heat while allowing perspiration to wick out and disperse quickly on the surface, keeping you dryer and therefore cooler. Whilst there is no way to avoid getting wet the odd summer shower wearing this style of clothing means you will dry many times quicker than the equivalent produced in say a cotton fibre.
When the sun starts to set and the chill sets in you will again find that the fibres used in quality cycling wear will retain your body heat, particularly when you are on the move. Because the clothes are light and compact it is fairly easy to pack and extra base layer, jersey or gilet (type of sleeveless jersey).
When it comes to leg wear the preferred summer attire for the cyclist is shorts. Cycling shorts come in two main categories, tight Spandex shorts and Baggy Shorts. While tight shorts are defiantly more comfortable to cycle in they don’t look too good in the country pub, as a little too much embarrassing bulge can show. So, the Baggy type short is often first choice for the social cyclist.
The leg length is also down to preference; above the knee or below the knee, wear the cycling shorts you feel more comfortable in. Quality Cycling Shorts fibres have the same heat retaining and perspiration wicking properties mentioned earlier, but more importantly should also come with a chamois to protect your sit bones. Coolmax chamois are the preferred protection for all Terrain cycling shorts as they are designed to wick away the perspiration that causes chafing while protecting the sit bone. To gain the maximum comfort you should not wear underwear between the Coolmax chamois and your skin, as this will prevent the chamois from wicking away perspiration, thus causing you discomfort and chafing.