Most people want to take a thrifty approach when starting out as a cyclist. They do, after all, have to purchase a good pair of shoes and a bike that can endure the abuse of the trails they plan to travel. The temptation to save on other items is strong because of this, but all cycling gear matters even when it is something that seems as simple as a women's cycling jersey and a pair of shorts. Here are a few ways these two, small clothing items keep cyclists comfortable and safe.
Reduce Moisture Accumulation
Sweat, fog and rain create a dampness issue when people are not properly clothed during their ride. Cycling clothing is designed to avoid those problems by using a quick-drying fabric that keeps moisture away from the skin. When sweat is allowed to accumulate it exposes the skin to bacteria that not only causes odors but also increases the risk of chafing and developing a rash. Moisture, whether it is caused by sweat or rain, will also lower the body temperature which makes riding in cooler temperatures uncomfortable and even potentially dangerous.
Shield UV Rays
It is impossible to protect all of the skin from UV rays when sweating profusely, and reapplying sunscreen to clothed areas is impossible when out on a ride. Cycling jerseys and shorts use a material with a specially designed sunscreen back or UVF 50 protected material all over to prevents damage to the skin from the exposure to the sun. Cycling jerseys also provide additional sunlight protection by being cut longer in the back. This prevents the top from riding up and exposing the skin when the wearer leans forward on the bike.
Protect the Unmentionables
Cycling shorts have an additional duty to protect the areas most at risk of discomfort. This is done by fitting snugly while still allowing a free range of movement. The material is made to stay in place and not shift or bunch and create chafing. In addition, shorts have a padded chamois layer that is great for wicking away moisture and providing shock absorption.
Additional safety features include reflective strips for improved visibility in gloomy conditions and a rear pocket on the top or in the waistband of shorts. This allows the cyclist to bring along an energy refueling snack and their mobile phone in case of an emergency. Women's cycling clothing also includes special sock, sleeves, cold-weather clothing and gloves. However, beginners that want to economize instantly improve their safety when they invest in a good top and shorts set.