Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cycling Jerseys - Buying & Care Guide

Road ID's Giordana Women's Cycling Jersey in super soft woven Michron with a UPF protection factor of 38+  
 Helmet: Lazer Helium,  Eye Wear: Rudy Project Kylix XY,  Cycling Gloves: Gore Bike Wear

It seems to follow that a warm winter will have an extra warm spring in its wake.  You might want to start looking at your warmer weather workout wear a little earlier.  Already in the northeast we've seen days topping out at 73 March!

How about taking inventory of your road cycling kits, running wear and exercise clothing to see what needs to be updated?  Here are a few things that I've found to be helpful when selecting clothes I plan to wear for seasonal cross training.

Short Sleeved Cycling Jerseys...What to Look For

A few things are especially important to me when picking a cycling jersey which by the way can double as a skating or running top.  Here they are:

1.) Comfortable, breathable, odor resistant fabric, (wool or synthetics wick very well)
This Giordana Cycle Jersey has a UPF of 38+

2.) Non-binding cuffs

3.) Long enough to keep your backside covered when in the drops

4.) Back of jersey stays down without riding up

There are additional things I also like but are not totally essential such as: Angled open rear pouches for easy access, a zippered rear pocket to stash a little cash and a full length front zipperHowever the main items are listed above.

Newer high performance fabrics are great for staying soft against your skin, (i.e. Giordana's Road ID Women's Racing Jersey in the lead photo is made of super comfy Michron, 100% polyester microfiber yarns). This Italian weave Giordana is like wearing a cloud.  Other treated materials can also provide UPF protection, (Safety Smart Wear's Milan - San Remo Jersey and Bib Shorts in Lycra have a sun protection factor of 30).

Getting the Right Fit

Milan San Remo Cycling Kit by Safety Smart Wear
This will also be an issue especially if you are ordering a new label jersey online. Generally the Italian made jerseys run a bit smaller than comparable US sizes so you may need to order a size up.  If you are going for an aerodynamic racing fit, then by all means go for the tighter kit. Either way, always check the company's sizing chart and note if the jersey runs small or true to size. 

Maximum Ventilation

GORE BIKE WEAR's Oxygen FZ Lady Jersey

Some jerseys have extra mesh vents under the arms and/or at the nape of the neck for enhanced heat and moisture transfer. Both the Gore Bike Wear Oxygen FZ Lady and Safety Smart Wear's Milan-San Remo cycling jerseys have all that plus a full length zipper, rear zip & angled open pouches. These two Lycra jerseys have most of all the features I look for with additional reflective piping. These would be my two top picks for a high performance cycling jersey.

Short Sleeves to Long Sleeves

If the morning is a bit cool, simply add a set of arm warmers which will help keep the chill off until you can warm up a bit.  I like Smartwool's Merino Wool arm warmers for that purpose.  Wool breathes very well and wicks moisture away from the skin. You'll also get extra seasonal use and versatility out of your short sleeved jerseys with arm warmers.  Slide them on early in your ride, roll them up and stash them in your cycling jersey once it gets hot.
These Smartwool Arm Warmers and Knee Warmers have silicone grips on both the arm and outside to help keep them in place.  These are pro-style arm warmers similar to those in this Giordana video of  the Gauss Women Cycling Team of Germany.

Taking off the morning chill with Smartwool Merino Wool Arm Warmers - available August 2012

Washing Your Cycling Jerseys

Most important is the care of your valuable investment.  With proper washing, you can maintain your cycling jersey's color, wear and performance for many years to come.
Some manufacturers say you can toss them in the washing machine, (Safety Smart Wear's Kit even comes with a little mesh laundry bag!) but I would recommend hand washing and letting them hanger-air dry.  These are high-tech, delicate materials and you don't want detergent residue to clog the wicking action.  I use Sport-Wash on all of my cycling jerseys & chamois/tights.  It's the only product that gently removes ALL odors from the fabric leaving it fresh and renewed.  I use it on wool as well as synthetics.  Easy to find at your local Walmart in the Hunting & Fishing department.

Sport-Wash for your delicate synthetic and wool cycling jerseys, Sport-Wash Body Shampoo for YOU.  Keep it FRESH!



  1. Thanks for posting this, I have forwarded it to a few of our customers who wanted more detailed info about the care of their cycling jerseys and shorts. Dan at

  2. Hey Dan,

    Thank you for referring your customers to this website! I've used these same kit care methods on all of my synthetic and wool cyclewear and all my gear looks great even after years of wear.

    Glad this information is helpful to you and your customers.

    Kindest regards,

    Dr. M