What To Wear For Cycling: Loose Vs Lycra Clothing

if you want to go cycling you're gonna need cycling kit right cycling jersey cycling shorts nananana you don't need to look like a cyclist if you want to go riding there are loads of different clothing options out there what you choose to wear is entirely down to you but which is best and what are you missing out on if you're not wearing cycling kit apart from serious posing potential yes well thankfully Shimano have sent us a snapshot of their s fire range so that we can talk you through that age-old question lycra versus baggies so firstly why is this I can get even tight in the first place because it makes you look great obviously I mean just check us out okay well that might be one factor but I was thinking a bit more practically tight clothes make you faster yeah that is true that is a big advantage of lycra not that we're advocating riding around all the time in an aerodynamic onesie but the difference between well-fitting cycling kick and baggy shorts and a jersey is big like you can feel the difference big and if you were to measure it you find probably up to 2k an hour faster for no extra effort now that's not to be sniffed at probably speed in your thing now the efficiency savings mean you can actually ride further for the same amount of effort and that's exactly why cycling clothing has evolved away it has from time fitting wall clothing right through to this and if you look into cutting-edge clothing well notice that every effort has gone into making the fit as good as possible no baggy bits which means it fits just like a second skin which also has additional advantages as well because perhaps not all of this to go we go fast enough to feel the full benefits of aerodynamics so nor will a lot of us really care but tight can also mean comfortable loose-fitting clothes can sometimes bunch up and therefore lead to pressure spots which can cause chafing whereas with tight-fitting clothes the fabric doesn't tend to move meaning you always know where the seams are going to be so therefore manufacturers can move them to areas where they're not going to cause problems like underneath you but when you team that up with padding inside the shorts which in this case is a really advanced one it's got variable thickness ventilation and shaping to help it stay in place and prevent it from bunching up which means you can ride for much longer in comfort pretty worth noting at this point Catherine that the pads or chamois given their technical name tend to be quite different between men and women because there are different physiologies down there thanks for clarifying on that once aye aye sir my pleasure anyway back to comfort as well as being tight modern cycling clothing fabric is also super breathable in this case s5u something they're called dry touch where the fabric actually drives moisture away from the skin to outer edge of the fabric so that you stay more comfortable it was that the fabric is also super lightweight and also quick drying and lastly this is a big one and something that gets non cyclists scratching their heads it's the shoulder straps or bibs yeah never ever to be on show it has to be said they're there to stop a gap appearing between shorts and jersey when you're leaning forward on the thigh and also to eliminate in need of a waistband which could actually start to dig in again when you're on the bike and just to reiterate Sai never ever to be worn on the outside never ever okay so lycra is fast and comfortable why then would you consider wearing anything else because you might not want to look like that sometimes like Chris doesn't leave much the imagination baggy shorts are a great way of riding his style while still protecting your modesty but let it be said not all loose-fitting shorts created equal riding specific shorts will definitely be more comfortable yeah pair some like those with bib shorts underneath and you're not sacrificing any comfort whatsoever just make sure the straps on our show it's not just shorts that could be riding specific as anyone who's ever exercised in a standard cotton t-shirt will know technical fabrics here are a must just like with the tight-fitting clothing they really help to wick your sweat away from your skin keeping you cool and also dry really quickly to help avoid that soggy t-shirt feeling sorry sigh not again can we seriously not delete that footage they also still need to be cut with a cycling position in mind but in essence with performance fabric and then that fit that needs to work in a cycling position without getting caught up on your saddle or giving you major chafing you lose out to lycra only on speed and storage oh yes storage a cycling jersey typically has three pockets at the back which are perfect for carrying food perhaps a mini pump and a spare tube even extra layer or two now with baggies you just don't get this or if you did your Jersey would be dangling around your knees with shorts like these you do have some storage but you'll likely need a bit extra so you can strap an extra bag either to yourself or to your bike one further consideration is that I think lycra is easier to layer up for changing conditions so for example arm warmers and leg warmers which are literally as tubes of fabric can make a big difference to your overall warmth by turning short sleeves into long and then you can very quickly take them off they stir way to almost nothing and stick him in your back pocket as you warm up you can use them with baggies but it's just not quite the same now irrespective of whether you're wearing baggies or lycra if you're riding in changeable conditions then I think it's essential to take some kind of thin wind or waterproof jacket or juillet now the same rules apply if you're going fast on the road you want something that's gonna be tight fitting if you're going for baggies then you want something that's in keeping with that aesthetic as well so if speed isn't important to you and you're happy to carry bags on your bike so the things that you do otherwise have in your pockets then there's really no reason why you can't wear baggies no in essence it kind of boils down to what you want to look like on your bike do you want to look like a cyclist that could munch miles and maybe dabbling a bit of racing then you wear lycra and if you want to look like a cyclist that prioritizes miles over miles then baggies tell that story at the end of the day there are loads of options out there for cycling here you just need to choose what you feel best in and choose something that has been designed specifically with riding in mind because you will feel the benefit of cycling specific fabrics and fit irrespective of whether it's like row or Baggins Katherine what's your personal like traverses bangies angle and about 75% baggies most of my writings off-road really yeah I'm basically all day every day in lycra except when I'm riding my mountain bike at which point I'm wearing very tight baggies basically yeah anyway we rented to know what you ride in so make sure you let us know in the comment section are you baggies what are you like wrap and we've got another great video for you coming up it's flat versus drop bars just down here


  1. Baggy or not, cycling clothing is expensive. Now that I am approaching middle age and not wishing to be a MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra), I prefer casual bike commuter wear over mountain bike wear, yet again few brands and very expensive.

  2. Larger men (and woman, not wanting to discriminate) engaging in road cycling should not wearing lycra (other than padded cycle shorts under a pair of loose jugging shorts), I say this as a large man / frequent road cyclist.

  3. One question for you great guru’s of geared fashion. Our team kit for a cancer charity ride is made of a very comfortable, yet see through mesh. At 60 years old and 100 kilos, lets just say the lycra is enough of a public nuisance, never mind the transparency. I wear a shirtsleeve compression shirt base layer. Should the base layer be over or under the bib straps?

  4. They didn't say the main point for me in that if you wear baggy clothes you dont have to get changed afterwards, if you are for example commuting, and you dont have to buy anything extra

  5. I have lycra and baggies. I look better in baggies but I wear both depending on what ride I am doing. Exercise on the road bike, lycra; grocery store run or mountain bike, then baggies. Good video.

  6. I’ve noted personally, that the more casual clothing I wear The better perception I have from drivers, typically if I don’t wear Lycra drivers are much more friendly

  7. Just picked up my Castelli Body Paint 3.3 SS. Definitely made my drive to the shops a bit quicker.

  8. Good to see Katherine presenting! And her face as Si explains the "physiology" is simply priceless.

    As is Si's bib shorts dance…pretty sure that clip will get /plenty/ of use.

  9. I've just started riding after 20 years and bought my first hardtail. Using tighter umbro football shorts. Been using regular cotton shirt, but it's really bad for sweat accumulation. It just doesn't evaporate, so I bought shirt with reflexive strips. It's not a cycling shirt, just specialised tourist shirt with tight fit. I'm considering underwear bibs that I could somehow shorten, but it might not work. But I'm fine for now. More kilometers, more experience, more expense I guess. 🙂

  10. Another great vid – and thank you for bringing Katherine back in front of the lens! She is a natural presenter and sure seems like a super-sweet gal. Si – as good as ever; you not only also come-off as a really good guy, but your ability… or willingness, to set yourself up for a bit of cheeky humor (or I guess in part of this video, it's more ridicule for the other side from the cheeks), let's go w/not afraid to embarrass yourself a bit & have fun with it… that's awesome, very admirable.

  11. I mostly ride off road and baggy always seems more appropriate. In addition I have a large beer belly.

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