Beginners Guide

  • So I think I'll need a waterproof and windproof jacket to keep me warm and dry. Does this sound reasonable?

Yes - jackets that protect you from the wind and rain as ours do make for a much happier journey! Because ours are made with lightweight, quick drying fabrics you can use your energy riding the bike rather than getting bogged down in a heavy, wet coat. A waterproof cycling jacket is a shell to protect you from the rain allowing heat and moisture to vent away. It's also cut so that when you're stretched over on the bike everything's covered which should be. We would suggest a waterproof jacket for anytime of year, they are so lightweight they can be stuffed in a saddle bag in case it rains. Wind jackets greatly reduce the effects of the cold and the wind. Some wind jackets are also waterproof giving you an all in one windproof / waterproof combo. Wind jackets are ideal for when it's a bit nippy out and about.

  • Why would a cyclist need a jersey? I don't quite understand the function of a jersey. Do let me know.

A jersey is a close fitting, lightweight, quick drying top. Why close fitting? Because when you're peddling along you don't want fabric flapping around. Why lightweight? Because lighter clothing makes cycling happier. Why quick drying? Because sweat and rain quickly evaporate rather than being trapped in the fabric of the material - wet fabrics plus wind equals cold. Cold's bad.

Nobody's saying you'll love the way you look in one, but we can almost guarantee you'll find riding in one preferable to a cotton t-shirt. As an added bonus, you can stick your house key, mobile and a bit of cash in the pocket in the back of it where they won't get in the way.

  •  I'd rather not wear cycling shorts because…

To the non cyclist there are so many reasons why cycling in tight lycra shorts looks so so wrong. Here's a secret though. When you first start riding a bike again your bum's probably going to hurt. The more you ride the less it will. Our cycling shorts, as well as being made of close fitting, quick drying material also have a pad sewn in to them to make sitting in the saddle much less of a pain.

And if you don't like the way you look you can always put a pair of loose normal shorts over the top to soften the appearance a little. Lots of people prefer to ride (ahem) commando beneath their cycling shorts – it makes the line more flattering and also stops your pants going up your rear!

  • What's the point in wearing bib shorts / tights?

In the words of our gear tester, ‘I look a right pillock in these!' Well yes, but you're riding a bike, not walking a catwalk. And the reason these are great is that they make your day more comfy. With a bib style, if your jersey rides up at the back you don't get a chilly rear. For us, being out on your bike's about having fun, and having the right clothing means you can enjoy it in more than just perfect weather. Fashion tip – they look much better with the jersey worn over the top!

  • I didn't have gloves to ride when I had a bike as a kid, why should I get them now?

    There are lots of ways you can look after your hands. Some people swear by certain washing up liquids, others by expensive creams. We say wear gloves when you're out on your bike! Oh, and of course they keep your hands warm. And hopefully you've learned by now that wearing the right gear makes for a much better bike time.