Choosing a Cycling Jersey

Choosing a Cycling Jersey

Guest Post by Michael

Is anything more humiliating than wrapping yourself in a cycling jersey? I’m going to attempt to explain why you should purchase and wear a skin tight cycling jersey. This will not be easy. First off, many of these are incredibly ugly.
What a sharp look. Just a hair off being skin-colored with a big foot on the chest.

Wow. Some brightly colored jerseys have a reason though. The rainbow jersey is worn by the current world champion.  Current world champion, Thor Hushovdt:

Typically they will wear a variant of their team’s jersey with the rainbow in the middle of it for the duration of the season.

During most multi-day races, there are a variety of competitions for crossing certain markers where points are awarded for reaching them if you’re one of the first few people there. Whoever amasses the most points in each category wears a uniquely colored jersey.Here are the 4 class winners of the 2010 Tour de France:

Left to right — King of the Mountains (red and white polka dot), Best Young Rider (white),  General Classification Winner (yellow), and the Sprint Jersey (green). The General Classification jersey is worn by the guy who is winning the race based on time. Because of this, yellow jerseys are incredibly popular. I think they’re ugly, but you’re entitled to your own (wrong) opinion.

So Why Get A Jersey?

I’ve done a pretty good job describing why you shouldn’t be caught dead wearing one of these things haven’t I? U-G-L-Y. Beyond that, most of us don’t look like human greyhounds with 5% body fat so we look and feel like we’ve been stuffed into a jersey that’s at least a size too small. But as always, there’s a point to the design of these things.

They’re tight for 2 reasons. The first is so they don’t whip around in the wind acting like a parachute which would slow you down and chafe you. The second is so they wick moisture away from your body thus keeping you cool (or warm in cold weather). In addition to wicking, the fabric is often designed to cut down on the amount of wind that moves through the jersey which again makes it better for regulating body temperature.

The other great thing about cycling jerseys is that they have pockets along the bottom of the jersey on the back. You can use these pockets to hold keys, food, and any other necessities that you may need. Wearing the jersey is better than wearing a backpack. Trust me.

Not all cycling jerseys are ugly and they can be a great way to describe your personality. Lisa thinks that this one describes me well:

I do have to admit that it looks pretty sharp. Beer related jerseys are incredible popular, especially here in the Northwest. This is a screenshot of a Google image search for “beer cycling jersey”. As you can see, there are many options.


If you’re looking for something a little more subtle, I suggest checking out the Twin 6 brand of alternative cycling apparel.

Other common themes are colleges, sports franchises, musicians and bands, and pro-cycling team brands (of course). They make simple classy looking jerseys as well though. The LiveStrong brand is one example.

That thing just looks fast, doesn’t it? It also doesn’t hurt that your dollars will go to LiveStrong programs and services for cancer survivors.  I tend to prefer Castelli’s simple plain stylish looking jerseys.

If you persist on not wearing one of the snug jerseys, there’s still one more option available for you.  Companies like Swobo and  Rapha both make casual themed cycling gear that often looks like street wear. It’s usually made out of merino wool, which is a natural fiber that wicks moisture.

Whatever you choose though, make sure it fits your personality. And seriously, don’t worry about how you look in the jersey. All riders have the same thoughts that you do.

Lisa’s Note: I hate the look of spandex. No matter how much weight I lose, or how great I feel about my body, putting on skin-tight cycling clothes never fails to bum me out. But I’ve learned the hard way that there is a good reason for having them! They are much more comfortable on the bike than “normal” clothes would be. Plus the wicking technology is crucial!

QUESTION: What do you currently wear when cycling?


Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

7 thoughts on “Choosing a Cycling Jersey”

  1. I’m so glad to know I have the “right” opinion on yellow jerseys :). i do a charity ride here and they have a special yellow version of each year’s jersey for riders who raise over $1000. I’ve never accepted it because I think yellow jerseys are universally ugly.

  2. Hello Sir,

    These ideas are so amazing for choosing a cycling jersey.

    It will surely help a lot for others to select the best color as well as design pattern of jerseys.

    The rainbow jerseys are really so pretty and they are work by the champions.

    Thanks for your kind and valuable information regarding such sports jerseys.

  3. My wife and I have recently gotten into cycling, and I think that finding the right bike shirts for us would be good! I’m glad that you talked about the purpose behind tight shirts for biking, and how it is to help reduce drag and chafing. I’m going to have to make sure that we get some good, tight shirts for when we ride, and hopefully we notice the difference! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge