The image above contains clickable links
A road cyclist wearing a typical summer cycling kit.
Rear view of the summer cycling kit, featuring a jersey with back pockets and bib shorts with padding.

In competitive cycling, the kit (or uniform) is the standard equipment and attire worn specifically by athletes participating in the sport. The outfits differ from the clothes worn in other forms of cycling, such as commuting and recreational cycling (for which people are likely to wear ordinary street clothes,[1] perhaps with a coat or rain cape[2]). Competitive kit uses technical and performance materials and features to improve efficiency and comfort. The UCI specify the kit and the design the riders use.[3]

Cycling kits have evolved significantly since the early days of the sport when participants wore wool jerseys.[4] Recent advances in manufacturing and technology have enabled lighter, more comfortable, colourful and complex designs to be made.[5] Cycling kits nowadays are made primarily with synthetic materials, such as Lycra, which conforms to the body, thereby reducing drag by eliminating loose fabric as well as increase in comfort.[6] Made-to-order custom kits with tailored cuts made to order are becoming increasingly common for individuals, clubs and teams to produce kits with custom designs. Notable brands include Adidas, Castelli, Pearl Izumi, Rapha and Santini SMS.

Cycling kits in professional races are usually featured with sponsor logos and advertising, and specific colours and/or patterns signify certain position or a leader in a race. In a race, cyclists pin number tags of the race on the back of the jersey (and another on the bike).[7] To generate revenue for the professional teams, replica kits are generally made available for fans to purchase.

Equipment for the cyclist

Basic equipment

The basic equipment set out in the UCI technical regulation guide (Section 3: riders’ clothing) includes a jersey with sleeves, a pair of shorts and possibly a skinsuit.[8]

Generally speaking, the typical summer cycling kit (whether racing or not) consists of:[9][10][11][12]

and in spring/autumn the additional pieces:[11]

and in winter the additional pieces:[11][13][14]


The following optional pieces can be worn by the cyclist for additional comfort or performance monitoring:


The image above contains clickable links
Example of a summer cycling kit.
The image above contains clickable links
Typical spring/autumn cycling attire comprises the summer kit with an additional insulated vest and arm warmers. Also worn is a pair of sunglasses resting on the helmet vents.
The image above contains clickable links
Typical winter cycling attire comprises head and neck warmers, gloves, jacket, bib tights and booties.

See also

Cycling in general

Cycling as a sport

Exercise clothing and fabrics


  1. ^ Wagenbuur, Mark (27 May 2012). "Lycra in the streets of the Netherlands". BICYCLE DUTCH., "US cycling from a Dutch perspective". BICYCLE DUTCH. 19 June 2013., "Summer cycling". BICYCLE DUTCH. 26 June 2013.
  2. ^ Wagenbuur, Mark (3 December 2014). "Cycling on a rainy autumn day in Utrecht". BICYCLE DUTCH.
  4. ^ "Cycling Jersey: A Robust History, From Bland to Colorful to Current Trends". See Me Wear High Visibility Cycling Jerseys. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  5. ^ Brown, John. "The Importance of a Cycling Jersey". Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  6. ^ "Why do cyclists wear lycra? – Cycology Clothing AUS". Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  7. ^ "Auscycling Technical Regulations: Road Version 1.2" (PDF).
  9. ^ "What to wear on a bike ride: essential guide for commuting and road cycling". BikeRadar. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  10. ^ "How to dress for cycling in the summer: a buyer's guide to staying cool on the bike". BikeRadar. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  11. ^ a b c "Cycling Clothing Guide - Approved cycling". Approved Cycling. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  12. ^ "The best summer cycling clothes to keep you cool on the bike Approved". Approved Cycling. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  13. ^ "How to wear cycling gear in cold weather". Bicycle Queensland. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  14. ^ "Buyers guide: What to wear cycling in winter". Cyclist. Retrieved 2022-10-17.