Cycling has been a popular sport for hundreds of years and more and more people take it up recreationally every year. Some people are even lucky enough to make a career out of the sport by becoming a professional. Famous racers in the past include Jan Ullrich, Sean Kelly and Mario Cipollini.
Throughout the ages, cycling clothes have changed as new materials are developed in order to make the riders feel much more comfortable and to give them an increased amount of protection. How have cycling clothes evolved over time?
Cycling jerseys were made out of wool for a long period of history. Whilst this would keep the riders warm, it would also retain moisture and would ultimately slow them down when they were racing. Silk shirts were first made in the 1940s by an Italian company, and they were designed to make the riders feel more comfortable and to make them more aerodynamic when they were jockeying for position.
Then spandex was developed and this is the material that a quality cycling jersey is made from today. You can choose from a wide range of styles and you will be comfortable because the material is breathable enough to let air inside to cool you down.
Cycling shorts used to be made out of wool, which was useful for keeping the riders extremely warm when they were cycling in cold weather for hours on end. These shorts were extremely durable and they would hide any grease stains that would occur when people were attempting to fix their bike in the event of a crash or a puncture.
The shorts were often held up with braces so that they would not fall down as the riders were going at high speeds. The braces could snap from time to time and would need to be replaced with a new pair.
These shorts had several drawbacks. Firstly, they could be uncomfortable and they would also retain water when they got wet. This would increase the risk of riders getting sore legs from the wet shorts rubbing against their thighs. The shorts would make people get hot. Wool is a heavy material, so it would slow the riders down when they were trying to go as fast as possible in order to win their races.
This meant that clothing companies had to come up with a new type of material that would make riders feel much more comfortable. Breathable spandex became the most common material for shorts. Spandex is extremely durable and it provides you with protection whilst helping to keep you cool. This material does not retain water at all.
You can buy bib shorts, which combine the shorts with a bib so that they will not fall down at all. These shorts are aerodynamic, so they will reduce the amount of air resistance when you are riding your bike. This will allow you to go as fast as possible whilst still remaining in control of your bike.
Cycling clothes have evolved immeasurably over the years.