How to choose the right cycling kit for you? Part 1
After the bike, your riding clothes are the most essential part of your riding equipment. Clothing that comes in direct contact with the skin, the environment and the bike during exertion determine both efficiency and comfort. How efficient and comfortable the clothes are, is determined by how well you chose your clothes.
At moomoo we are often asked ‘what is our best product?’. Unfortunately, we cannot point the finger at one product or the other, because the rider and the environment in which they ride are different, thus we have also designed the product range with this in mind. Therefore, we make recommendations for the selection of cycling clothing based on the type f cyclist and the type of races they ride.
Cycling discipline, athletic level, ambient temperature and the degree of fit and aerodynamics of the clothes are some of the key factors to be discussed in this three-part series that dares to answer the eternal question – ‘How to choose the right cycling kit for me?’
To simplify the issue, let’s divide the riders into three groups according to their athletic level. An elite athlete is one who trains intensively and achieves his top form in competitions, an active rider regularly riding for a healthy lifestyle and the enthusiast rides for fun and irregularly.
Characteristics of cycling
In the big picture, cycling is divided into two areas: off-road and road. Off-road is divided into three groups: MTB Olympic, cyclocross and MTB marathons. The road is raced in group races, time trails and criterium’s. It seems to be one bike ride of all, but the creation of clothes is largely determined by the different caracteristics and riding positions of these areas. There is also track racing, but we will put that with time trails for now.
In off-road riding, the rider’s body angle is usually between 45 and 75 degrees, but in road riding it is generally less than 45 degrees (in the aggressive racing position it can reach as low as 15 degrees). We use different body positions as the basis for clothing cuts. It also determines the cushioning properties of the bib-shorts, as well as the use of materials and details and their specific location.
In the case of a jersey, jacket and vest, it is worth paying attention to the length of the front sections and the back: the lower the riding position, the shorter the front parts and the longer the back sections. This way, the rider has less wrinkles under the stomach, while not leaving the back exposed. When you look at a jersey or vest in from the front, these important parts are easy to see. This is also the most common view of clothing in online stores, as well as in the moomoo store where the following image comes from.
In the case of classic tight-fitting cycling bib-shorts, there may not be such a clear difference between the different types of bib-shorts. In general, the cut of the bib-shorts is designed and the padded insert is chosen to suit the riders in all areas, so that the bib-shorts can be used in any terrain.
However, there are also extra cycling bib-shorts designed for one or another type of terrain. Bib-shorts with their leg sections turned more forward are better suited for road travel. This is easy to notice when the shorts are hung from the bib’s. The shape of the shorts may not be visible in the online store, so you should carefully study what the manufacturer says about their use.
In different riding positions, the weight of the body rests on the insert and saddle in different ways. If you want to go into details when choosing cycling bib-shorts, you should study the properties of the insert and its different areas.
In the more upright positions of off-road riding, body weight accumulates more on the back and the wider end of the pillow – where the widest part of the sciatic bones are located.
The lower the driving position, the farther forward the support point on the cushion moves forward. For example, in the separate starting position, it is already largely evenly distributed between the iliac and sciatic bones. If you look at the pillow, the support area is located in a narrow area at the head. The buttocks are covered only by a thin layer of soft adipose tissue, but as you move forward toward the clavicle, there is more soft tissue, including the blood vessels and nerves in the prostate and sphincter area. Those who are delicate and sensitive in this area should prefer thinner, smooth-edged and transition-soft cushioning when riding on the road.
However, the wrong riding position and unsuitable saddle are not replaced by any bib-shorts.
The products of the moomoo Basic series fit perfectly with the more upright positions of mountain bikers. With lower road driving positions, Pro series products fit better. For example, the Pro Race shirt and bib-shorts are designed for road driving positions where the rider is in a lower position.
In fact, the Basic Series clothing is also suitable for off-road and Pro Series clothing for off-road use. However, elite athletes and active riders notice the advantages that appear under these conditions described.
The next section is about the aerodynamics, comfort and fit of cycling clothing. Specifically, how they are interconnected.