When we design and develop a cycling jersey, our focus is on-the-bike fit. When holding up a bike jersey, you will see that the back is longer than the front. We design the arms for the "forward position." This position prevents bunching when reaching for the handlebars. The deep neckline adds comfort in the "forward position" when on the bicycle. All cycling jerseys come with a zipper down the front. The zippers allow the rider to vent heat more efficiently. Most jerseys have a full zip and can completely separate; however, a half-zip is also common. A defining feature of a cycling jersey is the three back pockets. These pockets are designed to be easy to reach with one hand. The pockets come in handy to carry a snack, packable jacket, or extra water. The material in a bike jersey is a technical fabric. The content in the material is a wicking polyester or micro-mesh that wicks moisture away from the body. Summertime cycling jerseys keep you cool while you ride, and winter jerseys create a dry layer next to the skin to add warmth.
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A cycling jersey has three primary purposes. They regulate body temperature, wick moisture away from the body, and carry essentials. One of the defining features of a cycling jersey is the zipper down the front. Regulating body temperatures is the primary purpose of the zipper. When you heat up on a big climb, zipping it down a little will help return your body temperature to normal levels. Moisture control is the primary benefit of the fabrics. Polyester is the most common material found in cycling jerseys and some technical meshes. Another material found in cycling jerseys is merino wool. Merino wool is a natural fiber that is great at wicking moisture. Another defining feature of a cycling jersey is the rear pockets. Most jerseys have three of them. Bike shorts did not have pockets until recently, so these jersey pockets were the only place to carry essentials. Use these pockets to take nutrition bars, packable jackets, money, and keys when on a long ride.
Most cycling jerseys are made from 100% polyester, though some include small amounts of spandex and even nylon. The use of synthetic fabric blends enables jerseys to efficiently and effectively wick moisture, which keeps you cool and dry in the summer and warm and dry in the winter. The lightweight nature of the fabric also makes your ride easier. Increasing breathability is a benefit when the material is lighter in weight, and this also enhances the jerseys' ability to wick moisture.
Cycling jerseys vary significantly in both fit and design from brand to brand. Most brands develop a fit that suits their needs and finding the right one can take some time. Fits range from tight, form-fitting, "race cut" to loose, easy to wear, "relaxed fit." In between the two fits is known as the "club fit." Sleeve design, zipper lengths, pocket shapes and placement, hem styles, and silicone gripper are all features that vary from style to style and from one fit to the next.
Regardless of features, your cycling jerseys should have one thing in common: they make you comfortable, provide functionality, and help you perform while you ride. Your cycling jersey should fit appropriately. Generally speaking, jerseys will fit somewhat close to your skin, even if you are not after the race jersey style. A close-to-body fit allows the lightweight polyester fabric to wick moisture where it can evaporate and keep you dry.
Cycling jerseys are always a few inches longer in the back than in the front. The extra length provides necessary coverage while leaning forward in the cycling position. It also allows the pocket placement to be at a good angle for you to reach while riding. Aero Tech Designs cycling jerseys are available in regular sizes, big and tall, women, plus women and youth styles. Each style has a fit tailored to a group of riders. Our cycling jersey fit can be split into three general categories:
Premiere A race-cut jersey that is snug and form-fitting, like the ones you see pros use. The jersey tapers from the shoulders to the waist to fit a more athletic build. The set-in sleeves include a power cuff to keep the sleeve up against the skin while racing.
Sprint Our relaxed jersey has a looser cut than the Premiere, and it fits a broader range of body types. The set-in sleeves give bikers a pro look without the pro fit.
Peloton The Peloton Jersey is our club fit. The sleeves are a raglan style, meaning the fabric gives the shoulders a rounded look and feels less restrictive.
Cycling jerseys can be made visible in two main ways: reflectivity and color. Reflectivity elements come in the form of heat-pressed 3M Scotchlite reflective tape. Also, many zippers use reflective trim on either side of the zipper, which creates a long stretch of reflective material on the front. Reflective tabs placed below a bike jersey's rear pockets are excellent for reflective placement because they are visible to motorists approaching from behind the cyclist. The second method, color, allows you to be a little bolder with your visibility. Vibrant colors, including safety yellow and orange, are high viz and more visible, even in low light, when compared to other colors. That is why construction workers and road maintenance crews always wear orange and neon yellow/green safety vests and jackets.
Perhaps the most cycling-specific of your jersey be the rear pockets. There are usually three of them evenly spaced out across your lower back. Overstuffing the pockets of your cycling jersey won't benefit you, but if you balance your items well and develop an organization system that works for you, you will find that the pockets come in handy. For example, if you find it easier to reach back with your right hand, you'll want to keep items in the far right pocket that you will need access to the most or quickest. These could be your nutrition bars for energy boosts. Or maybe it is a cue sheet if you're on a longer ride. (Make sure to stash fragile items like cue sheets and cell phones in a protective sleeve like a clear ziplock bag so that your evaporating sweat and the occasional rain shower don't smudge the ink or ruin your electronics!) You also want your cycling jersey to fit closer to your body than a t-shirt. Anything that is stashed in the rear pockets will pull down on the jersey in the back. If the jersey isn't fitting close enough, you'll end up with a lump of fabric swinging behind you and getting caught against the rear part of your saddle. Getting the proper jersey fit will not only help with moisture-wicking, but it will make your ride more comfortable from your pocket usage as well. Many cycling jerseys will feature a three-quarter length or full-length zipper. This feature lets you control the amount of air flowing through your torso, which is valuable during warm and cool weather rides. Higher collars can also be found on fall and winter cycling jerseys to keep the chilly wind from blowing down your jersey, even if you use the bike jersey more as a base layer and have a vest windbreaker or jacket on over the jersey.