Why You Need To Wear A Cycling Jersey

Have you ever had the experience of going on a bike ride and realizing that your cotton t-shirt is leaving you feeling soaked in sweat?

Wearing the right kind of cycling clothes can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying your ride.

Cycling jerseys are specifically designed with performance and tactical functionality in mind, which makes them perfect for anyone who wants to maximize their riding experience.

Read on to learn more about why cycling jerseys are the best choice for cyclists.

Why Cotton Is A Cyclist’s Enemy

Cotton cycling wear has long been the go-to material for cyclists. Yet, cotton is not ideal biking apparel because of its many drawbacks and dangers.

Cotton absorbs sweat easily, making it uncomfortable to wear on longer rides. It also retains moisture, leading to a chill in colder weather or an overabundance of heat in hotter climates.

Beyond that, cotton can become heavy when wet and provide no wind protection, which makes it difficult to regulate body temperature while riding.

You will feel cold and uncomfortable in the breeze, and chafing becomes an issue.

Why Is Cycling Clothing Better Than Regular Apparel?

When I first started cycling, I was determined to make it work without investing in any special clothing.

As a result, my rides were often uncomfortable and unpleasant. After some research, I realized that the right clothing can make a world of difference.

Here are the reasons why wearing a cycling jersey makes all the difference.

1. Unmatched Comfort For Riding

Wearing a cycling jersey provides optimal comfort for any cyclist in many ways.

Here are four reasons why wearing a cycling jersey will keep you more comfortable on your bike:


Cycling jerseys are designed with breathable materials to keep you cool and dry while out on the road or trail. The fabric helps wick away sweat so that you won’t be left feeling sticky and uncomfortable after an intense ride.

Protection From Wind

When hitting speeds of 20 mph or higher, wind chill can become very uncomfortable if not protected properly. Cycling jerseys are designed to shield you from powerful gusts of air and provide warmth when needed as well (even if you don’t wear anything under the jersey).

male professional cyclist wearing red white jersey


Comfort cycling requires finding the perfect fit for your body type and size. A good cycling jersey should hug your body without being too tight, allowing complete freedom of movement as you pedal along. The sleeves and shoulders have a wider cut than regular shirts to ensure flexible arms movement.


Many cycling jerseys come with reflective accents to help you remain visible during night rides or early morning commutes through low-light settings. High visibility colors also help cyclists stand out during daytime hours, reducing their risk of collisions with cars and other riders alike!

2. Engineered And Designed For Cyclists

When I’m riding, I love the convenience of having pockets on my cycling jersey.

They hold my keys, cell phone, and other small items that would otherwise be awkward to carry while biking.

Having pockets along the back of the jersey also prevents items from falling out while I’m riding.

This feature helps to make cycling more comfortable and safe, as you no longer have to worry about having your hands full or losing something due to riding over bumpy terrain.

3. Many Jerseys Offer Protection From UV Rays

As a cyclist, I’m often out in the sun for hours at a time.

To protect myself from potentially harmful UV rays, I was on the hunt for a cycling jersey that offered adequate protection without sacrificing breathability or style.

I soon discovered that many jerseys offer UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings, which indicate how much protection they provide against UV radiation.

This rating helps me make an informed decision about what kind of fabric to look for when choosing a cycling jersey.

Some fabrics have natural sun-blocking properties and others are treated with special chemicals to help block the sun’s damaging rays.

Nowadays, there are even more options than ever when it comes to protective cycling clothing.

male cyclist riding in the forest wearing red jersey

For example, some companies offer long-sleeved jerseys with high UPF ratings as well as lightweight outer layers with mesh backs for increased ventilation during hot days on the bike.

Knowing that my skin is protected while I’m out in the sun gives me peace of mind and allows me to focus on enjoying my ride without worrying about potential health risks associated with too much exposure to UV rays.

With so many choices available now, finding quality cycling apparel that offers protection from the sun is easier than ever before.

Types Of Fabrics For Cycling Jerseys

When choosing a cycling jersey, the type of fabric you opt for can make all the difference.

Generally speaking, synthetic materials are most popular among cyclists due to their breathability and lightweight feel.

Below, I explain in more detail 3 common types of fabrics used for cycling jerseys.

Polyester Wicking

I’ve been a long-time fan of polyester-wicking jerseys.

Not only are they incredibly comfortable and lightweight but they also draw moisture away from my skin so I don’t end up sitting in my own sweat for too long during a bike ride.

This is especially important on long rides or when the weather is hot and humid.

The fabric is also great for regulating body temperature, which is why I like to keep a few different types of jerseys on hand depending on the type of bike ride I’m planning.

The lightweight material used in these jerseys is also great for those who need extra protection against wind chill while riding at higher speeds without compromising aerodynamics.

It’s strong enough to withstand wear and tear yet light enough to not impede movement.

female cyclist wearing red cycling jersey


Nylon bicycle jerseys are a great choice for any cyclist looking to stay cool and comfortable while riding.

This fabric offers a unique blend of microfiber and spandex, allowing it to be lightweight and easily absorb moisture, keeping the rider cool during long or strenuous rides.

On the downside, nylon does not hold color dyes as well as other fabrics so those vibrant colors may start to fade over time.

For cyclists wanting their bike jerseys to stay bright and look sharp longer, polyester-wicking material is a better option.

fat cyclists wearing maroon jersey

These jerseys have different properties that enable them to wick away sweat while remaining breathable and lightweight.

High-visibility cycling gear is especially recommended since it will increase your safety on rides, making sure you remain visible in any condition.

Merino Wool

When I started cycling in colder climates, I quickly realized that I needed a better layer of clothing to keep me warm and dry. That’s when I discovered the world of Merino wool.

Merino wool is known for its excellent breathability and moisture-wicking properties, which makes it the perfect fabric for keeping you comfortable on long bike rides.

Unlike synthetic materials, wool naturally regulates body temperature and helps to move sweat away from your skin.

This wool doesn’t itch like other types of wool and resists odors better than synthetic fabrics, so you can wear it multiple times without it getting smelly or uncomfortable.

Although they can be pricey, a good Merino wool cycling jersey is an investment that will give you years of comfort on the road or trails.

If you’re short on budget and want to save money on winter cycling gear, you should consider layering instead of purchasing a single piece of cold-weather clothing such as a Merino wool cycling jersey.

For example, starting with a long sleeve cycling jersey that provides adequate warmth and flexibility, adding a lightweight windbreaker on top will ensure extra protection against cooler temperatures.

This method allows you to add or remove layers as needed, ultimately giving greater versatility than relying solely on one item of outerwear.

The Different Styles & Cuts Of Bicycle Jerseys

Bicycle jerseys come in two primary styles and cuts for you to choose from.

You have the racing fit and the club fit.

Your preference will probably be based on the kind of cycling you’re into.

Race Fit Jerseys

Race-fit bicycle jerseys offer a superior aerodynamic fit that is designed to reduce drag while you ride.

Constructed with lightweight breathable fabric, they provide cyclists with a comfortable and efficient riding experience.

dirt bike rider wearing white jersey

The overall ergonomic design allows a full range of motion that helps you cut through the wind like never before, making it easier for you to achieve maximum speed without much effort.

With their streamlined shape and fashionable looks, they make a great choice for serious riders who want to stand out from the pack.

Club Fit Jerseys

If you are looking for more of a relaxed, yet professional look when cycling, then club-fit bike jerseys will be perfect for you.

The club-fit bike jersey is designed with slightly looser fitting fabrics than a race-cut jersey, yet still provides enough give so that you can move freely during your ride.

The design of these jerseys allows cyclists to remain comfortable during long rides without feeling confined or restricted by their clothing.

a group or cyclist sitting

They also tend to be longer in the torso which adds an extra layer of protection against wind and rain.

The fabric is lightweight but still strong enough to protect against the elements while keeping me cool and comfortable on hot days.

It also has pockets for storing small items such as energy bars or keys during those long rides.

Club fit bike jerseys offer riders an ideal combination of both comfort and style.

They have become increasingly popular among amateur and professional cyclists alike.

How To Find Your Size And Fit

When it comes to finding the right size and fit for your cycling jersey, proper knowledge is key.

Knowing how to find the correct size of cycling jersey will ensure you feel comfortable while riding and won’t be distracted by a loose-fitting or too-tight piece of clothing.

Here are some tips on how to determine which size you need:

Take Measurements

Bike jerseys usually come in standard sizes, but if possible take measurements before purchasing one. This includes measuring chest circumference, waist circumference, and sleeve length.

Check Sizing Charts

Most brands have their own unique sizing chart online that compares body measurements with corresponding bike jersey sizes.

Having your measurements handy allows you to accurately compare them with those provided in the chart to get an accurate idea of what size would best suit you.

Try Them On

When standing up straight, usually the jersey appears short in the front with longer material in the back.

This is intentional and designed to give riders a comfortable fit while in their bent-over cycling position.

club fit jersey


Prices can greatly differ depending on the fabric and intricacy of the design. Ranging from synthetic fibers to organic ones and all the blends in between, jerseys utilize a variety of materials to produce pieces that are not only practical but also cozy.

In order to make sure you get maximum performance from your cycling apparel, taking the time to research, measure yourself correctly, and invest in a quality piece of gear will pay off in spades during rides.

My Verdict

A cycling jersey (and a base layer) is an essential part of any cyclist’s wardrobe.

It reduces sweat for a comfortable, cool, and dry ride. It also protects you from UV rays.

The tactical pockets are valuable to carry your keys, wallet, phone, and energy bars.

There are different types of jerseys available, depending on whether you’re looking for race fit or club fit options as well as men’s or women’s sizes.

So don’t be afraid to invest in a quality jersey and take your riding to the next level!

Frequently Asked Questions

To maintain a cycling jersey, wash it in cold water with mild detergent on a gentle cycle, and air-dry it away from direct sunlight. Avoid using fabric softeners and bleach, as they can damage the fabric. Store the jersey in a cool, dry place, and avoid folding or creasing to preserve its shape and elasticity.

Race-fit bike jerseys are designed with a tighter, more aerodynamic cut for competitive cyclists, while club-fit jerseys offer a more relaxed and comfortable fit for casual riders.

The race fit is typically made of lighter, more breathable materials, and features a shorter front and longer back for an aggressive riding position.

Club fit jerseys provide extra room for better freedom of movement and may have additional features like pockets and zippers for convenience.

The primary difference lies in how each type of jersey is designed to fit the body shape of its respective gender.

Men’s cycling jerseys tend to have a more relaxed cut than those made for women.

The shoulders may also be wider on men’s clothing as well as a longer torso length.

Women’s cycling jerseys often feature tight-fitting armholes and shorter sleeves for optimal aerodynamics when pedaling.

They may also include elastic grippers at the bottom hemline so they stay securely tucked into shorts while riding.

Cycling jerseys are typically not waterproof, rather they are designed to be breathable and moisture-wicking.

Some jerseys may have water-resistant features, but they generally do not provide full waterproof protection.

For waterproof protection, consider wearing a waterproof cycling jacket over your jersey.

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