Road cycling is a fantastic activity to improve your fitness, whilst having fun. These top picks will help make you streamlined, comfortable and ready to push out the long distances.
Whatever your budget, the quality of helmets at even the lower end of the market means that there is no excuse, in fiscal terms at least, for not giving your head the best possible protection.
Try to buy the best helmet you can afford however, bearing in mind that the more comfortable and unnoticeable it is to use, the less likely you are to opt not to wear it.
Cycling jerseys are considered a mid-layer garment, in that they are used in conjunction with inner (base) and outer (weatherproof) layers to provide cold and wet-weather protection, or can be worn on their own in the summer.
For changeable days or the transition seasons of spring or autumn a gilet – a light, sleeveless outer vest worn as part of a layered clothing system – is an invaluable addition to your cycling wardrobe.
Cycling jackets are designed to help keep you dry and warm on the bike, using modern synthetic fabrics and a cut that reflects the ergonomics of on-bike positioning.
For most cyclists (especially in winter conditions), a good pair of gloves is essential for optimum comfort as well as protection from wind, rain, cold and possible accidents.
Bibshorts extend up over the abdomen and have straps that go over the shoulders, rather than a waistband. They’re less prone to chafing and cutting into the stomach and are also useful as a semi-base layer to keep the kidneys warm, and don’t leave any skin on your back exposed should your jersey ride up.
As with all cycling- or sports-specific clothing, there are different types of socks designed for optimum performance under various conditions, and they type you choose will largely be determined by when you want to use them and what performance priorities you value.
The majority of cycle-specific shoes are designed to be used in tandem with “clipless” pedal systems, which keep the rider’s foot attached to the pedal for improved power transfer and energy efficiency.
If you want to ride right through the winter, but don’t want wet, freezing feet, then you are going to need a pair of overshoes.