Emma's Guide To Women's Cycle Clothing | What Cycling Kit To Wear?

Emma's Guide To Women's Cycle Clothing | What Cycling Kit To Wear?

Bibs or waist shorts, half zip or full zip jersey? And as for the accessories… Choosing cycling kit can be tricky, so Emma’s here to explain what clothing options are available, specifically for women cyclists.

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There are lots of things about cycling that are just the same for men and women. But one thing that can be quite different, is clothing. Which is kind of obvious, really, because there are some quite fundamental differences in body shape.

So what should you bear in mind when choosing your kit? I get so many questions from other women who are getting into cycling about what’s the best kit to wear on the bike. And there is so much choice of women’s cycling kit out there these days that it really can be pretty confusing. Sometimes the advantages and drawbacks of certain kinds of cycling clothing aren’t all that obvious until you’ve been for a few rides!

So here’s the lowdown – well, ok, MY lowdown! – on the kit options for women.

The clothing you wear on the bike is one of the most important things affecting your comfort. So if you want to enjoy cycling, it’s absolutely crucial that you feel good in it. Part of that should be looking good too – because all cyclists want to look good – but for my money, looking good is not as important as being comfortable.

Your kit is what’s in direct contact with your skin, of course, and especially the chamois – padding in the shorts – that makes it the first thing you notice.

Plus, your clothing protects you from external influences – be that rain, snow, UV, or (hopefully not) the road, if you crash. And most cyclist have had a little tumble every now and then (I seem to have one crash a month at least!).

Cycling clothing that you don’t find comfortable, or which doesn’t protect you from the elements, will leave you feeling miserable on the bike.

It’s a hugely personal choice though: what IS comfortable at all? So let’s dive into some detail!

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50 Comments

  1. JG Ventures on September 3, 2022 at 3:11 am

    Check out this Baeleaf Women’s Workout Shorts – https://amzn.to/3jf6jga

    (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)



  2. Tiantian Zhang on September 3, 2022 at 3:11 am

    What about kit for short/petite women? I couldn’t find a pair of leg warmer that is not longer than my actual leg!😭😭😭



  3. Santiago Prieto on September 3, 2022 at 3:20 am

    my dilemma is that i cant affort any of those… 🙁



  4. Angela on September 3, 2022 at 3:21 am

    Thank you, Emma. It is great getting more info that pertains to women. You’re the best!



  5. Minerva Li on September 3, 2022 at 3:22 am

    Cycling kits are so expensive I cannot afford any. I’ve been cycling with casual clothes for 3 years now and haven’t got any problem.



  6. Ute Fritzkowski on September 3, 2022 at 3:22 am

    What I would really like are some tips for tiny women. All the cycling advice seems to be for tall people, but being 1.58m myself, some things are really hard or not possible with my short stumpy legs (like getting the bum behind the saddle easily for instance). The bike, although the right frame size, is simply too big in proportion. Certainly there are workarounds for shorter people?



  7. Sue Watson on September 3, 2022 at 3:25 am

    I have halter neck bibs. Superb.



  8. Gary Coronado on September 3, 2022 at 3:26 am

    Emma’s calves will give Opie’s calves a run for their money! 😉



  9. Nothing Here on September 3, 2022 at 3:27 am

    i can barely wear anything, because i have to wear a really small size



  10. Global Cycling Network on September 3, 2022 at 3:29 am

    Let us know about your kit choices and be sure to share this with a friend who’s getting into cycling 👍



  11. stephen legg on September 3, 2022 at 3:29 am

    Isn’t lighter waterproof clothing better than black. Better to be seen in the rain.



  12. Margaret Taylor on September 3, 2022 at 3:30 am

    I don’t have a lot of excess body fat but still seem to suffer from the dreaded leg warmer muffin top!!



  13. Royal Leech on September 3, 2022 at 3:31 am

    I love Emma!



  14. Connie Back on September 3, 2022 at 3:33 am

    Just a couple of days ago a woman out on the bike trail asked why I was wearing gloves. I realized I don’t know why anyone else wears them, but I’ve scraped up my hands on the pavement before and that’s just so easy to prevent with cycling gloves.



  15. SUDHA RAMACHANDRAN on September 3, 2022 at 3:33 am

    Why are lot of men watching this?



  16. Elizabeth Zieman on September 3, 2022 at 3:34 am

    It just would be so nice if the women’s cycling gear manufacturers wouldnt body shame us by calling (effectively ) a medium sized kit 1x or 2x. Like WTF. Are they all using minuscule Asian women as size models? Drives me nuts that I am a size 8 and I often have to buy XL jerseys!



  17. Russ Elliot on September 3, 2022 at 3:34 am

    I have been exchanging messages with GCN about the New Winter Jacket and need it in size TIR. What are GCN’s intentions about the larger sizes?



  18. Fabienne Haichour on September 3, 2022 at 3:34 am

    High visibility accessories or gilet, or vest should be considered, or wear white. I was hit twice by drivers who claimed they didn’t see me. I wear padded underwear under my cycling shorts , also I have extra silicone pas on my seat. I need 3 layers! Thanks for the video.



  19. seattlegrrlie on September 3, 2022 at 3:34 am

    I bought a new jacket last year. It made riding in cold and rain completely bearable. Game changes



  20. Matthew Condon on September 3, 2022 at 3:35 am

    How do you cycle while menstruating? You’re not supposed to wear underwear but what if you have a heavy flow and don’t want to stain your fancy shorts?



  21. John Reynolds on September 3, 2022 at 3:36 am

    It’s great you’re talking about women’s cycling gear but l like to know what to wear as a tall rider just getting in to road biking I’m not tallest rider out there i’m 6’4 about 165 Thanks



  22. hippity hopp on September 3, 2022 at 3:43 am

    Damnit I’m Muslim so I’m supposed to wear loose clothes. I guess I’ll just have to carry my stuff some other way



  23. Jeremy Gourd on September 3, 2022 at 3:44 am

    Emma, as a fellow triathlete, I am afraid of the backlash you will feel for calling for sock length freedom on this channel. There are some subjects too hot to touch…



  24. xlz shen on September 3, 2022 at 3:45 am

    Women Clothing wholesale center: http://66wsc.com Let us know about your kit choices and be sure to share this with a friend who’s getting into cycling 👍



  25. Viv on September 3, 2022 at 3:45 am

    Did anyone else get completely horrified at 5:28 when Emma mentioned rogue wasps afnd bees down cleavage? no, just me?
    I have honestly never thought about it like that and thought they were just to protect our ‘modesty’ so refuse to wear one, I really couldn’t care less if someone sees my sports bra ¯_(ツ)_/¯. But the thought of a bee getting lost down there? ahhhhhhhh!!!! I will be investing in one once I start riding outside again



  26. D. Velez on September 3, 2022 at 3:45 am

    Those calves tho 👍🏼



  27. Becky B Fitness on September 3, 2022 at 3:48 am

    For summer as a road cyclist I have some key bits I love; jersey snoods, yellow/high VIS gloves, any sort of trainer sock and any sort of gym shark flex short. This is because I’ve had cycling shorts in the past and they have a gel on the seam which prevents movement yet tries to ride up at the same time which can cause a bit of a pinch on the thighs! Sunglasses are an absolute must, and interchangeable coloured lenses are a really nice feature too. I find that jerseys are great but if it is for day to day use and you’re not keen on the tight fit, a sports bra and tank is adequate, covered with a 360 degree lightweight waterproof jacket/gilet. I always like to be prepared for a weather change as I have been caught out before. For the winter I highly recommend the cycling caps (without a peak), a jersey and a fleece snood, with reflective bag cover and helmet cover. This is is a commuting cyclist so for races this may not apply. I’d also highly recommend getting a couple of pairs of gloves, so that if you do get caught in the rain then you can put dry gloves on for your next ride. Obviously you will need some waterproof trousers and jacket, if the back pockets are an option get those as it is so easy to grab your keys and lock up your bike.also for winter, long sleeved gym tops are amazing for lightweight warmth. I’d love to see more videos like this out there, but with less brand names thrown in.



  28. Jennifer Wolfendale on September 3, 2022 at 3:48 am

    I recently switched to wearing boxer briefs underneath my shorts because my underwear was chafing. I guess I’ll try commando next! Thanks!



  29. HonoluluTita on September 3, 2022 at 3:49 am

    What about wearing a bra?



  30. Gianni Trieste on September 3, 2022 at 3:50 am

    To avoid exposing our skin to melanoma-causing UV from Ozone holes which are not abating, my climate scientist girlfriend and I cover our skin year around: Arm and leg warmers in the winter, arm and leg “coolers" in the summer.



  31. KingProne on September 3, 2022 at 3:51 am

    4:33. hahaha. sure……



  32. Yorkshire Batty on September 3, 2022 at 3:52 am

    If we’re talking winter clothes, how about keeping the head warm, and the face without ending up with condensation and misted sunglasses. Neck warmers, too. PS here’s a tip for keeping hands and toes warm – those thin disposable heated pads you can put inside shoes and gloves, last for up to 8 hours.



  33. Stephen Moore on September 3, 2022 at 3:52 am

    Another couple of very useful accessories to add to your kit are toe warmers for when an overshoe/bootie is a bit excessive for the conditions and the versatile buff which you can use as a neck warmer/scarf/ face protector or even as a hat under your helmet.



  34. P Dee on September 3, 2022 at 3:52 am

    wool, wool, wool.



  35. Tamzin Vokes on September 3, 2022 at 3:53 am

    Being tall and not so curvy I find men’s kit more comfortable although some bibs have a bit too much room in the crotch. Bibs are also less discreet if you get caught short in the middle of nowhere as you have to peel off jersey and vest etc. Mens jerseys are better for broad shoulders too although some "Italian" brands or "race fit" are often designed for very slight builds male or female! Castelli kit is great but never fits me in the shoulders and is too big in the chest! It’s worth trying a variety of brands for what suits as we are all different. A well stocked bike shop is a good place to try before you buy when you first riding. There are some great colourful kits from websites like Queen of the Mountain too but you really need to know your measurements.



  36. Hugo Brown on September 3, 2022 at 3:54 am

    Emma. Do you like hills because you don’t like descents?



  37. S. S. on September 3, 2022 at 3:54 am

    Nobody sees a cyclist. I mean, a car almost hit me and I was directly in front of it. I must have filled the whole view in front of the vehicle. If I want a pattern for my cycling jersey that would be the local ER phone number and ICE contact number and my blood type.



  38. The Fucking Lord on September 3, 2022 at 3:55 am

    Womens riding a bike is the most sexy on the whole world.



  39. Jon Ang on September 3, 2022 at 3:56 am

    imagine dan presenting this



  40. hawkrider88 on September 3, 2022 at 3:58 am

    Miss Emma…not only is she a champion but she’s well spoken, knows her stuff and is very relatable. Bring her back please!!



  41. leslie oconnor on September 3, 2022 at 3:58 am

    Sorry For Being Rude To You Sophie ❤️❤️💖💖



  42. S. S. on September 3, 2022 at 3:58 am

    Oh, there is the eternal problem of what to put inside helmet when it is ways below freezing. Freezing weather conditions are a topic on its own. I used to ride in weather where the oil started to feel thick and even metal started to fatigue. Metal fatigue starts to appear when it is forty below, and when it is fifteen to twenty below you want to have a fur hat under the helmet and protect your facial skin from helmet straps.
    I think zippers are good in sleeping bags and only there.



  43. Carol Naranjo on September 3, 2022 at 3:58 am

    what do you think about the heart rate chest strap? suitable for women? I’ve considered in investing in one but it’s expensive and I’m not sure if it’s suitable for my body type (big tits) or if it’s just as well a wrist band? Also, what’s actually the difference about the saddles??



  44. Florence Whiteley on September 3, 2022 at 3:59 am

    Loved this, I’m well into cycling but this was still really informative



  45. Maria Colls on September 3, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Cheers. I’m currently looking at my first kit. Back when I was a cycle courier I wore an array of clothes just not this. At 45 my days of turning to professional sport are way over but hey, it’s still great to have fun with what you’re wearing.



  46. Ron Bell on September 3, 2022 at 4:02 am

    Thanks Emma, my wife looks great in her "Terry" kit! She does not like bibs because of the bathroom think though. Just sharing her thoughts on that subject.



  47. Katia L F on September 3, 2022 at 4:02 am

    I’m in South Florida, I have to consider heat and occasional rain. Usually ride with one piece sleeveless trisuit covered w half Jersey. Sunscreen on face and legs with arm covers, too.



  48. Elena Dolgin on September 3, 2022 at 4:03 am

    Nicely presented 🙂 I laughed about beetles flying into the shirt collar, so true



  49. grandad1982 on September 3, 2022 at 4:03 am

    The most important bit of style is to win a national and/or world championships so you can have the bands on your kit!



  50. Yorkshire Batty on September 3, 2022 at 4:08 am

    Definitely bib shorts and tights, can’t stand waistbands or having to constantly pull them up. Not so great when you need to dash behind a hedge for a comfort stop though…