Cycle Clothing

The great thing about cycling is that you can simply jump on your bike and just ride away. It does not matter what clothing you are wearing at the time, be it the business suit you are wearing to work, the trendy state-of-the-art clothing you wear to the gym or whatever else takes your fancy. However, as with all outdoor activities giving some thought to clothing for cycling does have some advantages.

I tend to use the same clothing for cycling that I use for kick scooting and walking, and have over the years, pulled together a collection of clothing items that are minimalist, lightweight and flexible, in short a clothing system for most eventualities.

I used to have all manner of shorts, some specific for cycling, some specific for whatever, but these days I use just one style of short, swim shorts. These are simple cheap swim shorts bought online in end-of-season sales for a few pounds and I’ve accrued a whole range of colours over the past few years, including bright pink, of all colours. I find them most comfortable on their own with the mesh liners removed and no underwear. Being swim shorts they fit nicely, are not too baggy, yet loose enough for both cycling and kick scooting.

In the leg department I tend to favour plain black leggings, of the type used for activities such as running, from brands such as Karrimor and Ron Hill. A search online will usually throw up some discounted models reduce to a fraction of their normal cost, though they are usually old stock or the previous years style but reductions from £50 to £10 are difficult to ignore. Ron Hill Tracksters are good for colder conditions and I have other thinner ones for days when legs need more protection than just shorts. Leggings with zips at the ankles are easier to put on.

My clothing system includes two styles of t-shirt, short-sleeved for warm weather use and long-sleeved for the colder days and winter nights. Both styles are synthetic to help wick sweat away from the skin and when it’s really cold, wearing both t-shirts under a windproof jacket is more than adequate for most conditions. You tend to be cold at first but soon warm up and a layer can be removed if required.

A simple lightweight windproof jacket forms the outer layer of my clothing system. I have three to choose from, a Buffalo Windshirt, a Bergans of Norway Microlight Anorak and The North Face Fanorak jacket. Only the Buffalo Windshirt is still available, the others have been discontinued. All three are pull-over style, pack away next to nothing and weigh very little. Note they are not waterproof but as I tend not do a lot of cycling in the rain that’s not an issue. For riding in wet weather, I have a Alpkit Gravitas breathable waterproof jacket and when really cold I wear an Alpkit Filoment duck down jacket.

No special requirements with regards to footwear, as long as they have a decent grip when kicking, just about anything will do. Personally, most of the time I tend to wear a pair of Keen Clearwater sandals without socks, only adding socks in colder weather. At other times I use approach shoes, either The North Face or Berghaus. My clothing drawer also holds a pair of waterproof Sealskinz socks which get occasional use with the sandals. During the winter months I use a pair of Merrell walking boots.

Hats & Gloves
Finally head and hands. A plain lightweight Ando II cap from Haglofs for most rides with an Outdoor Research Rando winter cap for colder days. The latter has a pull down flap that covers the ears, great when the weather turns cooler. As for gloves, just a basic pair of cycling gloves does the job, with a thicker pair when temperatures go sub-zero.

And that’s about it for my cycling (and kick scooting) clothing system, other than to say I also have a buff to keep my neck warm during chilly times. All my clothing is lightweight and does not take up much space when stowed away.

This page is an edited version of Clothing to Scoot

Copyright ©2020 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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