Cycling apparel is most commonly associated with the fabric, Lycra. Reality is, cycle clothing covers a wide range of garments including jerseys, knicks, bibknicks, shorts, shoes, gloves, jackets, vests, socks, sunglasses, arm and legwarmers and more. Cycling has its own unique requirements for clothing, and within that, the various discplines of cycling also have their own style and needs.
Road Cycling Clothing
Road cycling kits generally consist of fitted Lycra knicks or bibknicks with a padded chamois to allow for maximum comfort, ease of movement and aerodynamics. The best cycling jerseys will have pockets in the back for practical storage of things like food, spares, money etc; as well rubber stoppers around the hems to keep the garment in place. Road jerseys are also slightly longer in the back to keep the rider covered when they are stretched out in a riding position on the bike. On colder days, road cyclists will also dress in layers, and add items like gloves, vest, arm and legwarmers to their kit that can be easily shed without stopping should they become too hot.
Mountain Bike Clothing
Competitive cross country racers will wear similar clothing to road cyclists. Recreational riders will often wear shorts of a fairly long cut that give them plenty of mobility, as well as protection if they are to come off the bike.
Bicycle Commuter Clothing
As the rider is often sharing space with traffic, commuter cycling apparel often has a greater focus on visibility. Bright colours and reflective panels help the rider be easily seen while they are out on the road. Comfort also tends to be more of a focus than speed, so jerseys are often of a more relaxed cut, while some commuters prefer 'shy shorts' with an in-built chamois over Lycra knicks.