All About Cycling Jerseys
Cycling jerseys are usually made from high-tech fabrics that wick away sweat to keep you fresh and dry. Some have different fabrics strategically placed to regulate body temperature. For example, a winter jersey can have highly weather-resistant panels on the front and lighter materials on the underarms and back.
Cycle jersey designs range from sleek aero jerseys to loose t-shirt styles and everything in between. However, they generally fall into two main categories.
- Road cycling jerseys – Most road cycling jerseys have a full or half zipper in the front, so you can easily ventilate when it gets too hot. On the back, there’s a generous pocket for quick-access groceries, a cell phone for selfies, small tools and spares. Depending on the application, it can range from a casual loose fit to an aero-professional close fit. Arm warmers extend the life of your summer jersey into the fall, and long-sleeved winter jerseys are available. For more information on the available options, please refer to our detailed guide.
- Mountain bike jerseys – Cross-country MTB jerseys are generally very similar to road jerseys, but with a bit more forgiving cuts and reinforcements in areas where tree trapping hazards exist. Most other mountain bike jerseys resemble his regular T-shirt, so it’s also popular for commuters stopping for pub lunches and casual weekend trips without being too noticeable. But take a closer look and you’ll notice a number of cool features, from the built-in lens cleaning cloth to the durable shoulder straps that won’t wear out even through your backpack. Some are very generous so that they can be worn over body armor.
How to choose your perfect jersey
Materials – synthetic v. natural
Cycle jerseys were originally made from wool, which could cause itchiness and harbor odors.
Modern Cycling Most of his jerseys are made from synthetic fibres. Synthetic fabrics are designed to wick away sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable. Blends are adjusted for specific weather conditions. Check for water resistance, wind resistance and breathability depending on when and where you ride. If you prefer natural fibres, look for cycling jerseys made from merino wool. Merino sheep are well adapted to cold winters and hot summers, so their wool is naturally wicking and retains warmth when wet.
Unlike some natural fibres, it is inherently odor resistant, making it a great base layer for wearing the same outfit for several days, especially when traveling. Merino wool is soft and breathable, making it ideal for people with sensitive skin.
Merino cycling jerseys typically use a blend of merino and synthetic yarns for added strength and durability.
Road cycling jerseys
How should a road cycling jersey fit?
Optimized cut for riding position. Most cycle jerseys are longer in the back than in the front to cover your back.
The front might feel a little too short, but doing so avoids excess fabric that causes discomfort when you’re bent over the handlebars.
When standing upright, the fabric around the shoulders can feel tight. When in doubt, assume your riding position when trying on the jersey.
Keep in mind the type of riding you want to do when choosing your jersey. A looser fit might be less intimidating on social rides where you stop for a coffee break. A tighter aero fit might be an advantage if you plan to race.
Choose long or short sleeves depending on the weather conditions you ride. Short sleeve jerseys are even more versatile and can be worn almost all year round with the addition of arm warmers and a clever mix of layers.
Features and technologies
Grippers and hems – Riding your bike can be distracting when your clothes ride up. Most of his cycling jerseys have silicone grippers on the hem and sleeves. Our performance cut and race cut jerseys feature ‘laser cut’ sleeves designed to fit like a second skin for improved aerodynamics.
Flatlock seams – Most cycling jerseys will have seams that lay flat to minimise chafing.
Visibility – If you’ll be riding in low light conditions, consider brighter colours and look for reflective details.
Front zip – A full-length zipper keeps you cool on long, hot rides. Look for a leotard with a “zip garage” to prevent neck and chin irritation.
Pockets – Road jerseys typically have three back pockets for spares and supplies. Some even have additional zippered pockets for storing money and valuables. Winter jerseys may have weatherproof pockets so you can safely carry your phone.
Wind-and-water resistance – Modern wind and water resistant materials are generally designed with breathability in mind. However, you can also use panels made of lightweight fabrics, such as on the back and underarms, for even more breathability.
SPF protection – If you go out on a sunny day, be aware that the sun’s rays can penetrate your jersey. Some modern fabrics have integrated sun protection elements.
What type of road cycling jersey do you need?
When choosing a road cycling jersey, you should consider fit, function and riding conditions. Most often fall into one of the following categories: We have selected some of the best examples of each.
Active – The ‘Active Fit’ allows for a more relaxed and casual riding position. Perfect for a weekend cafe tour.
Performance – The performance jersey has a more fitted cut. The fabric conforms to your body for a performance-oriented riding position. Perfect for training and faster club rides.
Race – The lace cut is very short and close to the body. A loose fabric creates resistance. The more rational you can ride, the better. If you race in hot weather or expect a lot of climbing, special “climbing jerseys” are available made from much lighter and often more see-through fabrics. For time trials, some jerseys have textured shoulders to block airflow.
Foul Weather – If you want to train in all weather conditions but prefer the performance of a jersey over layering jackets, look for a jersey made with weather-resistant fabrics.
Winter – If you’re going to survive the dead of winter, you need something with extra insulation. Most midwinter jerseys are designed to be worn with a base layer to trap a layer of warm air.
Versatile midweight insulated jersey. Choose a heavyweight baselayer and jacket to keep you warm on the coldest days, or wear a medium weight baselayer when the weather gets a little milder. This material is designed to wick away moisture and minimize chilling on the descents.
Mountain bike jerseys
How should a mountain bike jersey fit?
Mountain bike jerseys are tailored to your riding position, so it’s important to choose one that suits your riding style. Aerodynamic fit isn’t as important, except for the snug-fitting XC racing jersey. A more casual cut also looks great when visiting cafes and pubs.
When trying on a mountain bike jersey, think about how you will sit on your bike. You don’t have to feel restricted in your range of motion because you’re moving more than you would on a road bike.
If you wear body armor, choose a looser fit to account for the extra bulk.
Consider where and how long you will be driving. The sleeves protect your arms from thorny branches when you’re running on grassy roads or downhill. Ventilation panels ensure comfort when you need to pack or go out in warm weather.
What type of mountain bike jersey do you need?
Similar to road jerseys, fit, function and riding conditions should be considered when choosing a mountain bike jersey. We identified three main categories of his and picked a few favorites in each.
These are usually made of heavyweight fabric with panels of lightweight fabric for breathability. The fit should be loose and comfortable like a t-shirt, but it features technical materials, flatlock seams and a bike-specific cut.
This seemingly casual t-shirt is actually made from breathable fabric with mesh panels under the arms and treated with odor control to keep you feeling fresh and dry all day on the trail. Reflective details on the back ensure visibility even when the sun goes down.
It’s got the relaxed fit of your favorite t-shirt but with the added benefit of a seamless ventilation design that allows cool air to flow around your body. TruDri™ fabric keeps you cool on long summer days. Very functional on the trail, but stylish enough for a post-ride drink.
Built for sunny days when the trails are dry, dusty and fast. Designed for a flapless fit in flight. Lightweight fabric wicks moisture and feels comfortable against your skin.
Designed for downhill mountain biking, these lightweight and airy jerseys are designed to carry body armor. Elbows and sleeves can be reinforced for added durability in the event of an accident.