Choosing the best bike gear
Any sort of clothing can be used as riding gear but bike specific riding gear might be better than your favorite Metallica t-shirt for a ride in 100-degree weather. This is when we must decide what gear works best for us. A lot of variables come in to play when considering what to wear on a ride, this is specifically determined by considering where we usually ride and the climate that we ride in.
First, we will go over what apparel every rider should own and have with them just in case their ride dictates specific gear.
- Rain jacket
- Wind breaker
- Puffy thermal jacket
- Breathable and sweat-wicking jersey or tee shirt.
- Warm and cool weather socks
- Chamois (padded shorts specifically for biking)
- Helmet, gloves, glasses, and closed-toed shoes
All the gear recommended above should be a part of your riding arsenal. Something that I personally do is have a storage container in my car with all my riding gear so that I’m always prepared no mater what. Just remember to take out your dirty gear and wash it otherwise your tinder date might not appreciate the smell of a gym locker when you pick them up.
Riders in different regions are going to need different riding gear. For example, someone in Arizona is going to need different biking clothing than someone in Montana. For a rider located in a warmer climate they are going to pack lighter and focus on staying cool. Their gear might include mountain bike shorts, a light riding shirt/jersey and some thin socks. For riders in places with a colder climate they are going to need warmer gear and will most likely rely on shedding gear throughout their ride. Their gear might include but not limited to a light jacket for earlier rides that can be stored easily in a bag or in the waistline of their riding pants/shorts. Every rider is different though and will have their own style and deem different riding gear more important than others.
Here is some gear we recommend that will make your ride more comfortable.
- First, we recommend investing in a good pair of padded cycling shorts because they can increase the fun of your ride, reduce chafing and discomfort on the bike seat, and won’t have you walking goofy for days after your ride. You can wear these under baggy shorts or alone.
- A wicking tee shirt or breathable jersey will keep your upper body comfortable. Nobody likes a clammy cotton tee shirt, no matter how nice the weather is. If it’s hot, a lightweight synthetic tee or jersey will ventilate far better than anything else. And if it’s chilly, a synthetic tee will keep you warmer than cotton.
- Always wear a helmet. No exceptions! Style means nothing compared to safety.
- Close toed shoes are best for riding. Biking specific shoes are great because they offer a stiffer sole, which helps your pedaling. But they are not always necessary.
- Also, every rider should have a good set of riding glasses or goggles with interchangeable lenses for high light and low light days. We don’t want you to lose you sight from a stick or some other random object to the eye. Don’t take any chances and keep those eyes safe.
- Lastly, we recommend a good set of gloves, but the specifics can vary from rider to rider. Personally, the only gloves I wear are the ones I get for free because I will end up losing them the next day. For some though they are a staple of their riding gear. Which is why we recommend choosing a pair that suits your genre of riding and location of riding like open finger for lighter riding and warmer climates or full finger gloves for more aggressive riding or colder riding.
These are the main recommendations that we have for other gear, but we aren’t your mom, so we aren’t forcing you to wear any of this.
Although specific biking gear can be expensive, with a little effort you can make it relatively affordable. Everyone loves saving money especially so you can focus on getting another bike to hide from your significant other. Most companies are making very similar products and it’s up to you how much you’re willing to spend for a brand. The clearance aisle at your local bike shop will have great gear at a great price. Also, if you’re creative, any type of clothing can be used as riding gear. Recently jorts (cut off jean shorts) have become a hit and are cheap to make. We recommend looking at different brands and figuring out what works best for you.
After all, the best riding gear is the gear that is comfortable for you and give you the best performance. Don’t forget, your local bike shop is a fantastic resource for helping you choose the best biking apparel and gear for your needs.