Road Cycling Kit
Road Cycling Kit
Road cycling tends to be fast, requiring a steady level of exertion bar some peaks and troughs for climbs and descents. Road riders will ride in a bent forward position, and tend not to move about much so they cycling action is very repetitive.
Wind resistance is a big concern for road cycling, so clothing will be cut to minimise surface area and reduce the amount of loose wind-catching material – hence close-fitting lycra, and jackets and jerseys with an athletic cut.
- Lots of venting keeps the head cool, and road cycling helmets are designed to for this to work in that bent forward position
- Clothing is cut tight to reduce wind resistance, and to fit the riders body as they are bent forward over the bars.
- Lycra is favoured for it’s close cut, and the stretch which allows it to move with the rider. It’s often combined with technical fabrics and membranes to provide windproofing, water resistance and waterproofing.
- Road jerseys and jackets will have longer backs and shorter fronts than other cycling jerseys, as they tend to be leant further forward and lower down than other cyclists when riding. Bib tights and shorts, which have shoulder straps, means they stay up and in place.
- Jackets and jerseys will also have longer sleeves, often cut and shaped to fit the bend in the arms riders adopt when on the drops.
- Padding is important for comfort, so shorts or tights with chamois pads, and padding on mitts or gloves, minimise bumps from the road on these contact points.
- With wind resistance comes windchill, so many jackets, jerseys and tights will have wind resistant membranes on front panels.
- Exertion is fairly steady, so layering is key to maintaining a comfortable temperature.
- Glasses are used to protect eyes from wind, sun and any grit thrown up from the road.
- Leg and arm warmers provide warmth, and are easy to layer and remove. They are often used to warm and protect the knee and elbow joints until the riders body begins to warm up.
- Cycling caps that can be layered under helmets can give additional warmth, have a peak to shield the eyes from glare from the sun, and can be made of insulating or waterproof material.
- Mitts are the glove of choice for warm weather riding, with padding on the palm for comfort.
- In colder weather, long fingered gloves, with wind proofing and waterproofing are the popular choice.
Shoes & Pedals
- Getting the most power from pedal stroke to bike is the priority, and the stiff soles on road cycling shoes are designed to do this efficiently.
- The cleats on road shoes which attach to road specific pedals also increase efficient transference of power, and are more comfortable to use over long distances.