How to choose the right cycling jersey - a guide for cyclists
Those are without any question the cycling jerseys. Let’s just find out what are the benefits and how to choose the right cycling jersey for you!
Cycling jerseys: The fabrics
Nowadays most of the cycling jerseys are made from some kind of polyester. Most jerseys also have a percentage of spandex or other stretchy fabric. Of course, you can find on the market jerseys for which are other materials used e.g. merino wool or a blend of it.
Let’s just have a look at cycle jerseys made from polyester. This kind of synthetic fabric is usually designed to wick away sweat, which will keep you dry and comfortable.
The biggest benefit for you is that it dries quickly and wicks moisture away from your skin.
The main difference between cotton t-shirts and jerseys are that cotton soaks up moisture and retains it next to your skin. That water cools down in the breeze and makes you feel chilly unless the weather is very hot. Even then, it can still leave you too cold when you stop riding.
Jersey fabrics help maintain a constant temperature by moving sweat away from your skin. There are also some special functions to suit specific weather conditions. Water-resistance, wind-blocking and breathability are the most common functions. In practice, they’ll all protect you from a chilly wind, won’t overheat your body, and they’ll all wick moisture away from your skin - depending on when and where you’ll be riding.
Long sleeve or short sleeve?
Brief answer: It depends on the temperature. If you are about to try jerseys, for the start you need a few short sleeve jerseys and some long sleeve jerseys as well.
In a lower temperature it is often better to start out a little colder, and you’ll warm up after the first minutes, e.g. at climbing uphill. In this case you can combine a short sleeve jersey with arm warmer sleeves. Then you can always take the warmers off and stow them in your back pockets.
If you are biking in cooler weather, you can choose to wear either a long sleeve jersey or a cycling jacket. To keep your body temperature constant during biking, long sleeve Thermal Jerseys are a good choice, because they are made from thicker, warmer fabric than short-sleeved.
About the cuts and fits of cycling jerseys
Cycling jerseys are usually cut longer at the back and shorter at the front, for more comfort during cycling. If we compare it to a regular t-shirt, a cycling jersey has a longer back, shorter front, higher neck and sleeves shaped to fit when you are reaching for the handlebars.
It is important to make sure your jersey is long enough and doesn't ride up too far when you raise your arms to your cycling position.
About the fitting of a cycling jersey: There is a lot of variation in how closely a cycling jersey fits. Some are very close, especially if they are intended for racing because loose material flapping in the wind will slow you down.
You can also choose between other cycling jerseys as well, which are looser and more flattering.
Before purchasing, always have a look at the size chart since sizing can vary wildly. For jerseys, you’ll need to know your chest and sometimes waist measurement. Use a tailor’s tape measure which makes finding your measurements easier.
Pockets and zips
Most cycling jerseys have three pockets at the back which are open-topped. You can use them for your wallet, keys, snacks - whatever you need while riding. The good thing is that items are more likely not to fall out of them, because they are deep enough and there is usually a band of elasticated fabric across the top.
Cycling jerseys almost universally have zips in front as well. It allows you to get more ventilation e.g. in warm weather. Some zippers are full length while others come down about two thirds of the way.
Check out our short sleeve Cycling Jerseys and long sleeve Thermal Jerseys.