Cycling clothing is colorful, practical and most importantly functional. With the correct clothing a cyclist will be comfortable as well as safer and more efficient.
Are there dress codes?
Most Australian cycling clubs do not impose any regulations on the clothing worn at club level racing, however cycling specific clothing is recommended as it will improve comfort and performance. Various states require that club colors/jerseys are worn in open or championship events and that any sponsorship on clothing be approved.
Whether riding in conventional toe strapped pedals or the more common clipless pedals system, it is the shoe that is the most important piece of equipment aside from the bike. Road and track cycling shoes feature rigid soles that allow the force from the leg muscles to be transferred directly to the pedals.
When selecting shoes look for:
Comfort – you could be spending up to six hours at a time in your shoes so the fit must be correct and comfortable.
Make sure the shoes suit your pedal system and other pedal systems should you wish to change in the future.
Essential bike wear. The chamois or synthetic padding fitted into the knicks helps prevent saddle sores and chafing. The tight Lycra fit provides comfort, prevents chafing and assists aerodynamics. The chamois sewn into the knicks is most comfortable and effective when no underwear is worn. Underwear tends to cause chafing and reduces comfort.
The cycling jersey/top serves a number of purposes:
- Light weight and comfortable
- Designed with rear pockets to store items such as food, spare tubes, money, water etc. Which allows for easy access while riding.
- Snug fitting for aerodynamics
- Club identification
Arm and Leg warmers
Slip on Lycra or woollen sleeves that can easily be rolled up or down while riding. Excellent cool climate alternatives to bulky training jackets and over pants.
Bike gloves or mitts help absorb some of the jarring experienced along the road as well as providing protection to the hands in the case of a fall.
For winter it’s worthwhile investing in a training jacket. A cycling jacket is characterized by its high neck, windcheater shell and wool or Coolmax lining for warmth and to help perspiration absorption.
To avoid saddle sores, infections and other bacteria related conditions it is recommended that you wash all cycling clothing, especially the knicks, after every ride.
Shaving your legs
Those new to the sport may be wondering why most cyclists shave their legs.
Cyclists at elite level shave their legs to assist with regular massage, particularly in long multi stage races. Shaved legs are easier to treat and generally heal quicker from grazes sustained in falls.
The most common reason for shaving legs with the majority of racing cyclists is uniformity. Shaved legs are the trademark of a cyclist serious about their sport.
Throughout Australia it is compulsory by law to wear a helmet for all cycling in public areas and on roads.
Wearing an Australian Safety Standards Association (ASSA) approved cycling helmet is compulsory for all Cycling Australia members taking part in club, state and national events or any organized event.
When choosing a helmet consider the following:
- ASSA approved
- Correct fit and comfortable
- Light weight
- Hard-shell helmets have higher safety ratings
Australia’s harsh sun can do a lot of damage if your eyes and skin are not protected.
Sunglasses – Select a pair of sunglasses that are 100% UV block out rated and that wrap the face to block out sun from the sides as well. They also help to protect your eyes from grit, water and wind.
Sunscreen – A maximum SPF factor (30+) lotion, cream or gel is recommended for use, especially in the summer months. Sports sunscreens are a good idea as they remain on the skin even after heavy sweating.