Why on earth do road cyclists, mountain bikers and cycling commuters all need different types of kit? And what are the differences between road cycling clothing, MTB kit and commuter cycling gear? Won’t any old waterproof jacket do?
Cycling kit, although it shares features with lots of other exercise kit, is specifically designed to deal with the particular needs of cyclists. As well as needing to be breathable, comfortable, and move with the rider, there are some specific additional elements.
For example, jackets and jerseys will tend to have lower or ‘dropped’ back hems, to keep the lower back covered when leaning forward towards the handlebars. All riders will be exerting to a greater or lesser extent, so wicking, breathable fabrics are used for base layers and tops. And of course, riding in the UK means a waterproof garment or two is essential!
The different types of riding have their own environments and priorities. For commuters, this can mean having kit that helps you stand out in the urban environment, or that’s versatile and practical enough to look good off the bike as well as perform on it. For mountain bikers, kit needs to be tough, weatherproof, and allow plenty of freedom of movement for moving about on the bike lots. Road cyclists need kit that’s supremely comfortable for long distances and helps keep wind resistance to a minimum.
Find out the what and why behind the main differences between road, mountain bike and commuter cycling kit in our quick demystifier.