What to Wear
What to Wear
You do not need a bunch of specialty bike clothes to ride comfortably. Click here to learn more.
People thinking about getting "serious" about biking sometimes start by buying a bunch of specialized bike clothes. Or, worse yet, are discouraged from riding because of all of the clothes they think they will need. Do obtain a helmet that is less than two years old and has never been in an accident. They start at around $20.
Then take a deep breath, put away that credit card, and watch this video:
If you must buy one new item of clothing to show your commitment, make it a safety vest. They cost less than $5, can be worn over the heaviest of jackets or the lightest clothes, and can help you be seen by drivers.
Other than that, my suggestion would be to start riding regularly and see what you need:
1) Layer: Especially in the winter, it is easy to be too cold at the beginning of a ride and too warm in the middle of a ride. The solution is to layer so that you can add and remove clothes to stay comfortable. You may already have all of the clothes you'll need to do this.
2) Change of clothes: Are you riding to work? You might want to carry deodorant and a change of clothes. Or the distance/speed you ride to work may make that unnecessary. Try it and see.
3) Right leg: Are you wearing long pants? Are they getting caught in your chain and getting torn or greasy? You can roll up your pantleg, pull your sock over your pant leg, or invest in a leg strap. They cost around $5 and are often reflective, increasing your visibility to motorists.
4) Bike shorts: Is your butt getting sore? Your body will adapt as you ride more; give it time. If you are still experiencing soreness after 10-20 rides, especially if you are riding longer distances (>25 miles or so), you might want to consider bike-specific shorts or pants. They are padded which can help with your discomfort. They start at about $20/pair.
5) Bike jerseys: Are you bothered by torso sweat? Steer away from cotton and consider a technical material. A "running shirt" will help to wick away moisture and starts at around $15. You can also get a bike jersey which has the advantage of having pockets on the lower back. They start at around $30 but can be $80+.
Running Shirt Bike Jersey
6) Bike gloves: Are your fingers getting numb or tingly? There are several potential solutions to this, one is to invest in some bike gloves. The padding in bike gloves is designed to distribute the pressure that is causing the numbness. They start at around $15.
The important take-away here is that you may not need all of this stuff, and you certainly don't need all of this stuff before you start your bicycling habit.