How to Choose Women Cycling Clothing



How to Choose Women Cycling Clothing

For anything beyond casual rides around town, you’ll appreciate cycling-specific clothing.

Bike clothing makes for a comfortable ride—whether you’re on the road, hitting the trail or commuting to and from work. These styles can help you perform better and ride longer. Here’s what to consider.

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Cycling Jerseys, Shorts and Tights

You don’t need to squeeze into skin-tight spandex covered with corporate logos just for a trip to the grocery store. But cycling clothing makes sense the more miles you ride.



Serfas Women's Double Vision Cycling Jersey Serfas Women’s Double Vision Cycling JerseySerfas Women’s Double Vision Cycling Jersey. No, you don’t need to get your eyes checked. The Serfas Women’s Double Vision cycling Cycling Jersey is just really that awesome. This lightweight, highly breathable women’s cycling Cycling Jersey makes hot weather riding a dream. It’s made with a nice, thin moisture wicking polyester and ultra-breathable mesh side panels that help keep you cool no matter how high the temps go.

Bike Jerseys

A bike jersey of Lycra® spandex or other form–fitting material reduces drag when you ride. Many brands also offer cycling jerseys that look and feel very much like regular tops but include a few strategically placed pockets and zippers. Their technical fabrics enhance performance by wicking away sweat to keep you drier.

Cycling–specific features:

Stand–up collar to shade your neck in summer.
Front zipper for ventilation when your temperature rises.
Shoulders cut wider for arms–forward comfort.
Sleeves specially shaped for forward lean.
Back pockets for easy on–the–go access.
Longer cut in back for coverage when riding.
Reflective trim or highlights for night riding.

Additional features for winter riding:

Long sleeves for more warmth and coverage.
Denser, heavier fabric weaves and a brushed lining to add insulation.

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Louis Garneau Women's Comp Tri Cycling Shorts Louis Garneau Women’s Comp Tri Cycling ShortsLouis Garneau Women’s Comp Tri Cycling Shorts. The Comp Tri women’s Cycling Shorts from Louis Garneau take you through every phase of the triathlon with comfort and confidence. Chlorine-resistant, Endurexx fabric molds to the curves of your body for maximum compression and muscle support. Minimal chamois alleviates pressure, Powerband leg cuffs won’t restrict blood circulation, and the mesh back pocket stores essentials without retaining water.

Bike Shorts

These are distinguished from street clothing primarily by 1) added stretch for full freedom of movement, and 2) a padded crotch liner to reduce friction and wick moisture. If possible, try several on to determine what style best fits your anatomy and your typical seat position while riding.

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Road-bike short features:

Panel construction: In the past, a greater number of panels (typically 6 or 8) correlated to a more comfortable fit. While this is still generally true, fabric technology has progressed to the point that the number of panels doesn’t necessarily mean “better” for everyone.

Padded liner: A smooth, soft pad of “chamois” (these days, all are synthetic and not leather) minimizes friction, wicks moisture, prevents bacterial growth and helps cushion bumps. It’s the most complex part of a bike short. There are a multitude of shapes, thicknesses and materials among brands and genders. Some general guidelines:

Multi-density, open-cell foam liners deliver high-end performance and comfort for long rides. Gel/open-cell foam liners offer greater recreational or mountain-bike cushioning but tend to be less breathable on long, hot rides. Closed-cell foam liners offer good performance at a lower cost.

Legs: Longer-cut legs and leg grippers prevent saddle chafing and keep shorts in place.

Waist style: Most road shorts feature stretchy but non-adjustable spandex. A yoga-style cut offers less-restrictive comfort and is available in some women’s shorts.

Tip: All of the bike-short padding in the world will not make up for an uncomfortable or poorly adjusted bike seat.



The North Face Chizno Mountain Bike Cycling Shorts The North Face Chizno Mountain Bike Cycling ShortsThe North Face Chizno Mountain Bike Cycling Shorts. If hard-charging, gravity-fueled mountain biking describes your riding style, then the Chizno Mountain Bike Cycling Shorts pack all the performance features you need to really dish it out. Water-resistant softshell offers the greatest stretch and mobility for the trail. Zip-mesh gusset thigh vents, mesh-lined hand pockets and side vent pocket provide strategic airflow. Adjustable waist tabs and dual-snap closure give you stylish look for hittin’ the streets.

Mountain bike shorts: Sometimes called “baggies,” these have a loose outer short in addition to the spandex chamois liner. The waist is fastened by a button or hook-and-look patch for loose-fitting comfort. Pockets are also common. Choose these by their features and quality of construction, but also make sure the cut of the outer shorts feels comfortable and allows for full leg rotation and flexibility.


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Pearl Izumi Cycling Shorts- Pearl Izumi Elite LTD Champion Bib Cycling Shorts Pearl Izumi Cycling Shorts- Pearl Izumi Elite LTD Champion Bib Cycling ShortsPearl Izumi Cycling Shorts- Pearl Izumi Elite LTD Champion Bib Cycling Shorts. These pro caliber, cycling bib Cycling Shorts combine advanced moisture-wicking fabric with a state-of-the-art chamois system, resulting in a great fit, comfort and performance. Elite Transfer Dry fabric moves moisture to the surface while stabilizing muscles. Direct-Vent panels provide strategic cooling and are anatomically shaped to enhance the cycling motion. Elite 3D chamois offers premium long ride comfort and gripper-less hem holds the Cycling Shorts in position without restricting circulation.

Bib shorts: Popular with cycling enthusiasts but a comfortable option for any rider, these don’t have an elastic waistband that can restrict breathing. Worn with a jersey, they look like any other bike shorts.



Canari Cycling Shorts- Canari Women's Susan G. Komen Foundation Skorts Canari Cycling Shorts- Canari Women’s Susan G. Komen Foundation SkortsCanari Cycling Shorts- Canari Women’s Susan G. Komen Foundation Skorts. The Susan G. Komen Foundation women’s cycling skort is part of Canari’s Pedaling for Pink Line. Canari will be giving a minimum guaranteed donation of $25,000 in the first year through the sale of this specially marked merchandise to help discover and deliver the cures for breast cancer. Polyester shell is breathable and moisture-wicking, Lily Pad provides comfort on long or short rides, and 2 waistband enhances mobility. Embroidered pink logo shows your support.

Skorts: For women, some brands make cycling skorts, where the spandex short is covered by a skirt. Skorts can be worn on the road, mountain or even around town.


Sugoi Cycling Shorts- Sugoi Women's MidZero Zap Knickers Sugoi Cycling Shorts- Sugoi Women’s MidZero Zap KnickersSugoi Cycling Shorts- Sugoi Women’s MidZero Zap Knickers. These knickers are great for cool weather outdoor activities. They provide extra coverage, move with you and wick moisture to prevent sweat buildup. Wear them by themselves, or layer them under some mountain bike outer Cycling Shorts for a more casual look for riding around town.

Bike Tights, Knickers and Leg Warmers

For cooler temperatures, you may opt for cycling tights, which cover the entire leg, or knickers, which cover the knee and above. Just like shorts, many tights and knickers come with a built-in chamois and should be chosen using the same guidelines for fit and comfort. Tights often include weather-resistant front panels and reflective detailing for dark, winter rides.

For layering purposes, some tights and knickers come without a chamois liner so they will fit over a pair of cycling shorts with no problem. Additionally, leg warmers are a handy cycling accessory that can be used on the fly to make a pair of cycling shorts into tights or knickers.


Gore Bike Wear Oxygen GT AS Lady Jacket Gore Bike Wear Oxygen GT AS Lady JacketGore Bike Wear Oxygen GT AS Lady Jacket. Just because you’re tough enough to be out there in foul weather doesn’t mean you can’t rock some great looking cycling clothing. Gore Bike Wear’s Oxygen GT As Lady Jacket delivers legendary Gore-Tex protection that is waterproof, extremely breathable, and lightweight. Gore’s Active fabric delivers a next-to-skin fit and feel that keeps you comfy and dry all the time, and adjustable cuffs and a front zip with semi-lock slider help seal out the elements.

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Cycling Jackets

The top 2 considerations when selecting a cycling jacket: Will it keep me warm? Will it keep me dry? Some cycling jackets will do both, but it is good to keep the following in mind:

How warm is “warm”? The jacket you select for winter riding in Boise, Idaho, will probably be different than the one you’d use for winter riding in Phoenix, Arizona. The level of warmth you are seeking depends on the extremity of the conditions. But don’t overdress; you’ll warm up from exertion during your ride. Jackets for maximum warmth will protect you against the wind and offer some insulation, mostly in the front and arms of the garment.

Is rain in the forecast? For rainy days, you’ll want a waterproof cycling jacket. These provide a longer back and sleeves cut for a forward lean; some offer an over sized hood that fits over a helmet. While these often offer less insulation (which can be offset by layering) and are less breathable than other jackets, they will keep you dry if you’re caught on a long, wet ride.

Not sure what to expect? For milder winter conditions, go with a highly breathable waterproof or water-resistant jacket. These are lightweight and offer wind and water protection; they can be easily stowed in a pocket or pack when not in use. Additionally, some cycling jackets can be converted into a vest via zip-off long sleeves. This feature makes for a particularly versatile jacket that can be used year-round.

Layering Your Clothing

For cool-season rides, long-sleeve jerseys, tights or warmers can all increase your comfort. Layering your clothing offers another good option.

The goal of layering is to keep your core body temperature consistent as you ride. Being too warm can be just as bad as being too cold because your body wastes energy at both extremes trying to regulate itself.

The 3 traditional components of layering:

A next-to-skin layer (e.g., long underwear) that wicks away moisture.
An insulating middle layer.
A weatherproof or windproof outer shell.


Pearl Izumi Women's Elite Road II Shoes Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite Road II ShoesPearl Izumi Women’s Elite Road II Shoes. The Elite Road II combines Pearl Izumi’s lightweight one-piece upper, patent pending 1:1 Anatomic Buckle Closure System and ELITE Carbon 1:1 Anatomic Plate to create a super-efficient performance road shoe. Brought to you now at a great Nashbar closeout price.

Bike Shoes and Socks

Bike Shoes

If using clipless pedals, choose shoes that work with your cleats (typically SPD or Look-style) and match your riding style.

Road cyclists should seek a lightweight, aerodynamic model with slick soles.
Mountain bikers need shoes with durable soles that offer ample tread to grip the trail if needed.

For the commuter or casual rider, consider a hybrid style that acts like a cycling shoe but looks like a casual “street shoe,” perfect for the office or coffee shop.

For wet or rainy rides, toe covers (which cover the shoe from arch to toe) or shoe covers (which cover the entire shoe and part of the ankle) are a great way to ensure your toes stay toasty. Both offer some wind protection or insulation, and many shoe covers will offer water protection, too.


SmartWool Women's PhD Cycling Light Mini Socks SmartWool Women’s PhD Cycling Light Mini SocksSmartWool Women’s PhD Cycling Light Mini Socks. With slightly more cushioning than the Ultra Light version, these cycling socks keep your feet cool and comfortable in any temperature. High-impact and high-wear areas reduce shock and abrasion while giving you longer lasting wool benefits.

Bike Socks

Your feet can produce as much as a cup of perspiration when you’re pedaling hard. In winter, this can lead to cold feet. In summer, it can mean blisters unless you wear synthetic or merino wool socks that help wick the perspiration away. Avoid cotton socks for all but light workouts.

Wool is a popular alternative to socks made out of synthetic materials (such as polyester or polypropylene) for summer or winter riding. It is not only wicking, quick-drying (for summer) and insulating (for winter), but it does an exceptional job of insulating while wet, which is perfect for those who enjoy the occasional stream crossing or unexpected rainstorm.

Accessory Items

Helmet: Don’t ride a bike without one. In addition to saving your skull, a helmet provides warmth in winter and shade in summer. Some models come with as many as 21 vents to channel air through the helmet for excellent heat control. For details, see the REI Expert Advice article, How to Choose a Bike Helmet.

Caps: These add insulation to your winter rides, while a headband or a thinner skullcap can serve as a sweat barrier and help wick moisture for a cooler head during summer riding.


Tifosi Podium S Multi Lens Sunglasses Tifosi Podium S Multi Lens SunglassesTifosi Podium S Multi Lens Sunglasses. If you’ve got a head that tends toward the smaller size, then check out the Tifosi Podium S multi lens sunglasses. They’re made for smaller faces, so you don’t look all bug eyed when you put your glasses on. Because after all, riding a bike is more enjoyable when you look good doing it.

Sunglasses: Protect your eyes against wind, sun glare, bugs and sand or grit kicked up by other riders or cars. Always use plastic lenses that cannot shatter on impact. Many sunglass manufacturers also offer styles with interchangeable lenses, featuring different colorations to match the light conditions.


Pearl Izumi Women's Select Gel Gloves Pearl Izumi Women’s Select Gel GlovesPearl Izumi Women’s Select Gel Gloves. With updated Comfort Bridge Gel padding, anatomic palm patterning, In-R-Cool technology and plenty of high-tech features, the Select Gel women’s cycling gloves are perfectly designed for those who love to ride from sunup to sundown.

Gloves: In summer, gloves with short-cut fingers are the popular choice. Most have a padded leather or synthetic-leather palm and moisture-absorbing terry cloth for dabbing sweat or a runny nose. For cold-weather rides, a pair of wicking, breathable, full-finger bike gloves are a must. Most also offer some protection against the wind. For maximum warmth, consider using a thin liner inside the glove.

Arm/leg warmers: These provide a little extra warmth while taking up minimal space in a shirt pocket or pack. Each is essentially a fleece or wool sleeve that fits over your arms or legs to cover exposed skin. Warmers should be slid on under your jersey and shorts and fit snugly to avoid slippage during a ride. When temperatures rise, they can be easily slipped off without having to unbutton, unzip or change anything.

For the best prices in Women Cycling Gear check out Nashbar and Performance Bike


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