Your regular, everyday clothes are perfectly suitable to wear for cycling short journeys as long as they don’t restrict your ability to pedal or have loose, flappy bits that might get caught in moving parts, like the chain or wheel spokes.
However, if you’re enjoying riding your bike and are making longer leisure journeys, then there’s a huge range of specialist clothing available for cyclists, including padded shorts or underpants for extra cushioning!
- Wearing a cycle helmet is recommended, but not a legal requirement, so it’s your decision
- A properly-fitted helmet will protect your head from serious injury in the event of an accident; an absolute ‘must’ for children learning to cycle. A good bike shop can help you choose the right size and fit it for you.
- A poor-fitting helmet can be a liability and should be avoided
- There’s a great selection of types, colours, shapes and sizes to choose from, but make sure it conforms to the safety standards i.e. carries a CE mark or a BS number
- If it gets damaged, you’ll need to replace it as it’ll no longer give you the protection you need
- Any sturdy, well-fitting shoes are suitable for cycling e.g. walking shoes or trainers
- It’s advisable not to wear shoes that might come off while you’re riding e.g. slip-ons, flip-flops or high heels
- If you’re commuting to work, carry your smart shoes with you or keep a pair at the office to change in to
- For the serious cyclist, there’s a huge range of specialist cycling shoes available
- Making sure you can be easily seen by other road users will help keep you safe, so wear light-coloured clothing or something fluorescent to increase your visibility during daylight hours
- Even better, wear a reflective ‘hi-vis’ bib or jacket – particularly recommended for cycling in the dark and/or in heavy traffic
- At night, reflective ‘hi-vis’ accessories can add to your visibility – reflective armbands, legbands and helmet covers are all available from bike shops
Dressing for the weather
- Gloves are essential – you will get cold hands and you can’t put them in your pockets
- In winter, it’s likely your shoes will get wet – try putting plastic bags over work shoes or change into a spare pair after you arrive. You could consider buying waterproof overshoes, available from bike shops
- For rainy days, a waterproof jacket and trousers are ideal, or carry a plastic cycling cape for a quick cover up
- Wear lots of thinner layers rather than anything too big and bulky, that way you can take off only what is necessary if you get too hot
- A jacket with a zip – fleece or lightweight and shower-proof – is an easy way to adjust your temperature while riding. Remember: cycling is active exercise and you’ll warm up quickly!
- It’s worth thinking about what you’ll be wearing at work before you set off!