Cycling Jerseys

Choosing the right apparel for cycling is important. A cycling jersey should keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. It should be breathable and allow you to move so that you can optimize your efficiency. However, everyone’s preferences are different. Learn about the different options so that you can select the best cycling jersey for your needs.

Why Do You Need A Cycling Jersey?

You can get away with your everyday T-shirt if you’re cruising around town. However, if you’re sweating or going for speed, you’ll be more comfortable in specialized cycling clothing.

Jerseys are cut to fit more snugly than your typical top. They won’t bubble up and catch the wind like a sail as you ride. This cuts down on frustrating distractions and helps ensure that you don’t waste energy.

Cycling tops are also designed to keep you covered when you’re crouching over the handlebars. The hems are longer in the back to prevent them from riding up. Long-sleeved jerseys prevent your wrists from being exposed to biting wind.

The material is also created to take on the elements. Whether moisture is coming from the rain or your own perspiration, the right jersey will wick it away, keeping your skin dry. This helps you stay more comfortable as you ride and minimizes chafing.

How To Find The Right Fit

In addition to your personal inclinations, your body shape and size should help guide your style decisions when buying a cycling jersey. The best option balances performance with comfort.

Relaxed-fit jerseys are relatively aerodynamic, but they feel more like a regular T-shirt. They’re extremely comfortable whether you’re riding or stopping for a post-workout smoothie.

Not too tight but not too loose, relaxed-fit cycling jerseys are aimed at the everyday cyclist. They can be worn by recreational riders, mountain bikers or racers during training sessions.

Racing jerseys fit like a second skin. They’re all about aerodynamics and are designed to help you win. These jerseys fit tightly across the shoulders and are shorter in the front than in the back.

While a racing jersey might not look appropriate with your favorite jeans, it’s a must-have for the serious cyclist.

If you have a large frame and a muscular build, you may prefer a boxier cut. Look for straight seams, which give you more room. Jerseys with curved seams conform to your body and may feel tighter. A looser jersey may also feel cooler when you’re cycling in high temperatures.

Zippers can help you get in and out of snug clothing. Because cycling jerseys tend to have a high neck to protect you from the sun, you may prefer to adjust the opening by pulling the zipper up or down. Some zippers extend from the neck to the hem, while others stop about five inches from the neckline. A longer zipper gives you better airflow when it’s open.

Cycling Jersey Materials

Cycling jerseys should feel good against your skin. It’s important to use a breathable fabric that dries quickly and resists moisture buildup. Synthetic fabrics might be better for cycling in the summer, while natural fibers keep you warmer, especially in wet weather.

Synthetic fabric blends for performance fabrics usually include nylon or polyester. These materials resist abrasion and pilling, helping you look good as you put in the miles.

They also absorb moisture, bringing it to the outer layer, where it can evaporate. Unlike cotton, which gets heavy as it retains wetness, synthetic fabrics stay light in weight as they soak up your sweat.

Synthetics also retain their shape even after they’ve been worn and washed repeatedly. They don’t harbor mold or mildew. However, some synthetic fabrics can retain odors, especially if they’re left in a damp environment.

Carbon fiber and ceramic materials may be used in synthetic fabrics. These help manage moisture and body temperature. The durable materials also protect you from road rash if you fall. Bio-ceramics are able to emit infrared light, which improves blood flow and may enhance your endurance.

Merino wool, when used in cycling jerseys, doesn’t feel like a winter sweater. In fact, this is a high-quality choice for many cyclists. It’s one of the most water-resistant materials and absorbs more moisture than synthetic fabrics. Merino wool also transfers the moisture away from the skin, where it can be released.

Merino wool is a good choice for regulating body temperature. It traps body heat when it’s cold outside, but its ability to absorb heat and encourage evaporation keeps you cool in warmer weather. It has natural anti-bacterial properties, which means that you don’t have to worry about odors even if you don’t get around to washing it right away.

Bamboo is making its way into the cycling clothing industry. This renewable resource is easily sourced and may be less expensive than other natural fibers. It’s ideal for people with sensitive skin, who are allergic to wool or who don’t like the artificial feel of synthetics.

Extras To Look For In A Cycling Jersey


Many cycling jerseys have at least one pocket sewn into the back. These can be used to keep keys, phones or snacks out of your way as you ride. Zippered pockets might be better for mountain bikers, who are jostled around as they ride. If you like to listen to music while you cycle, look for a media pocket that contains a cutout for cords.

Mesh Panels

Many cycling jerseys have mesh panels along the sides or under the arms. These can improve ventilation and keep your more comfortable. They may also improve mobility, which is important if you prefer a loose fit but don’t want to deal with air pockets.

Bright Colors

You’re safer on the road when motorists can see you. Bright colors and reflective materials can enhance your visibility.


Long sleeves may offer some compression, which can eliminate the wear and tear on your arms as they encounter vibration from the road. This can keep you comfortable and reduce fatigue. Compression optimizes your body temperature and may help reduce injury. It can also boost recovery.

However, if you get hot during your rides, you might prefer a short-sleeved jersey for its versatility.