It’s just clothing, right? I mean, how much difference can performance kit make? Turns out, A LOT! I’ve selected some of the finer points around purchasing performance clothing and as you read them, you’ll find that it pays to spend a little more, time and money, when selecting your on-bike wears.
Covered in this blog:
- How clothing will make you ride your bike faster
- How clothing will help you enjoy cycling more
- How clothing will help in cold, and hot, weather
- How you'll actually save money, by buying more expensive garments
You’ll be faster
For some this might be obvious, but good clothing will make you faster, a lot faster. Having a cut closer to your skin will help you cheat the wind and reduce aerodynamic drag. There’s a reason it’s called a skinsuit, the closer it can be to being a second skin, the faster it’ll perform.
This is even more important when it’s windy. That looser fitting wind jacket or rain coat is little more than a parachute in wind (or travelling at any substantial speed!) and will really hurt should you find yourself heading into a headwind, which is all the time, right…?
You don’t need to be a ‘racer’ to enjoy a ‘race’ cut, but the less the clothing flaps around, the faster you’ll be.
You’ll enjoy cycling more
If you’ve never had any saddle sore or chafing issues, you might not truly appreciate this, but badly designed kit will put a real downer on your ride. Performance clothing manufacturers spend a huge amount of time, and money, developing kit that won’t chafe. This might be something as simple as a different chamois insert or moving the seams around, but you’ll notice the difference between cheap and quality kit.
You should have a few options too; different cuts, chamois pads and various options depending on the type of riding you do; temperature and so on. Selecting kit based on these factors will really add to your cycling experience.
You should be considering gender specific clothing too. I’m not honestly sure if I need to say this, but we are anatomically different and your kit should match that…
You’ll survive the cold, and the heat
While you will likely have cold and hot weather kits regardless of where you live, you might want to think about how that kit performs – especially as the seasons start to change.
In colder weather it’s a no brainer, it just needs to keep you warm, right? Well you want to be warm, but not overheating as that’s going to be a problem on a longer ride. You need something that protects you from the elements and from being a human microwave. If you’re training in kit that is keeping you too hot, you might struggle to remain efficient.
In warmer weather you need something that will help your body lose heat. This is easier said than done with cheaper kit as the materials needed to make this happen tend to be on the pricier side.
A good base-layer might help immensely and will help you master the weather!
You’ll save money
In a lot of cases it is false economy to be purchasing cheaper clothing. Buying a cheap pair of shorts might seem like a good idea, but when you’re replacing them after a few months because the pad is worn or people can see your butt crack through tired lycra, you’ll get it…
Buy once, buy right! Get clothing designed with performance in mind and never look back.
To summarise these points, performance clothing will:
- ride faster
- be more comfortable
- warm you up in cold weather
- cool you down in hot weather
- save you money