For maximum comfort and performance on the street or trail, cycling clothing should be worn whenever you get astride your bike. Cycling clothing is different than simple warm-up or athletic gear because it is specifically designed to function best for bike riding. Several factors combine to make up a proper clothing wardrobe.
Most people have heard of bike shorts and imagine a highly elastic pair of spandex short pants usually in a combination of black and bright colors. Real cycling clothing mimics this idea but also includes high tech pads for comfort and protection from long hours on an uncomfortable bicycle seat. Bike pants that go past the knee or to the ankle are also used especially in the cooler weather. There are even pants with attached suspenders or a bib and braces to keep them in place and providing full coverage.
A top of the same fabric is added to the outfit. Long sleeves, short sleeves and tank top styles are available. This cycling clothing is constructed to be nonbinding, ultimately stretchy so all movements are easy and also to wick away moisture to keep the rider dry and comfortable.
Cycling clothing can also include a thin cotton cycling hat or cap to wear under the ever important helmet. Absorbent socks and bike shoes finish out the cycling clothing ensemble. While it is not necessary for a casual bike rider to wear a complete clothing outfit, people interested in racing for more extensive bike journeys should make the investment.