Casual bike rides are a great way to relax and have fun outdoors. Specialized cycling gear may not be necessary for short rides. Certain items such as padded legwear or jackets cut to correspond to a rider’s position in the saddle can provide superior comfort on longer rides in changing weather conditions. Here are a few tips for selecting the best clothes and accessories to wear while riding city bikes.
Check the Weather
The temperature, humidity level and chance of rain can all affect your level of comfort on a ride. These conditions may determine whether you feel chilly or experience chafing. A city cruiser bike with a padded seat can provide comfort during short rides in almost any weather.
If the temperature is above 60 degrees, you should be comfortable in most warm-weather clothes. You may want to switch out cotton garments in favor of synthetic materials that do not absorb sweat. When the thermometer drops to 50 degrees or lower, you may need additional layers. Tights or leg warmers designed for cycling wick away sweat while providing padding for comfort and insulation for warmth.
Chafing can pose a problem on longer rides. If sweat builds up in a shirt, legwear or shoes, repeated motion may lead to skin irritation. Moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics are better than cotton for casual riders. Riding good electric bikes can also make sweat less of an issue.
If you have difficulty finding comfortable clothes for riding in your closet, consider picking up a few cycling-specific garments. Cycling legwear often features synthetic chamois to shield skin from friction while maintaining low moisture levels.
Prioritize Freedom of Motion
Casual riders should wear clothes that provide a comfortable fit for cycling. Garments designed for this activity are cut to correspond to a riding position. Jerseys and jackets tend to have angled sleeves that are slightly longer to cover a rider’s arms on handlebars. Specialized legwear may have a higher waist to allow for freedom of motion at the mid-section and knee.
If you don’t want to invest in specialized garments, choose shirts and legwear that allow for proper positioning in the saddle. If weather conditions require that you wear a jacket, make sure that it does not constrict your shoulders. Shorts or pants should enable you to pedal without bunching up. If you experience discomfort, you may want to try riding in garments intended for cycling.
Protect Your Head
A helmet is essential gear for any ride. Recreational helmets are more affordable than specialized road or mountain biking headgear. Make sure your helmet fits the circumference of your head, which is the full distance around measured about one inch above your eyebrows. If this measurement falls between sizes, try wearing the smaller size.
A casual rider may be able to comfortably ride a bike without any specialized clothing, but a helmet is essential safety gear. Depending on the temperature and weather conditions, you may find that cycling gear excels at maintaining a comfortable temperature, managing moisture and preventing friction and chafing while providing the best fit.