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Basic Guide to Cycling Jerseys

Not just for style and fashion, cycling jerseys have function built into them. Rear pockets make reaching items like food or other riding essentials easy. Let's take a look at the key components of cycling jerseys so you can determine what features are important for you while you ride.

Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey

Fabrics

Most cycling jerseys are made from synthetic materials designed to wick moisture away from your body. Wicking materials remove moisture from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable. Most are made from Polyester, Polyester/Lycra blends, or Proprietary Polyester weaves and blends that increase the amount of moisture the material removes.

Recreational Cut Cycling Jersey

Fit

Cycling jerseys typically have a close fit to prevent material from flapping in the wind and to keep wicking materials close to the skin where they are most effective. Some recreational riders prefer a slightly looser fit sometimes referred to as a "Club Fit" or "Recreational Fit". This particular jersey shown on the right has this "Recreational Fit." These jerseys are usually closer to a regular golf shirt type of fit with more room in the shoulders and mid-section.

Full Length Zip Jersey



Zippers

Determining what zipper length you prefer can provide comfortable fit and ventilation throughout the entire ride. A 9" or 10" zipper allows easy removal and some venting. A 14" zipper typically goes down to just above the navel for maximum ventilation. Full length zip jerseys, an example pictured to the right, have the advantage of opening like a jacket, a real plus for tight fitting jerseys.

Sleeves

Sleeves for cycling jerseys typically fall into two categories, traditional and raglan.
  • Traditional sleeves (left example) have a seam that runs nearly straight up from the arm pit.
  • Raglan sleeves (right example) have a seam the runs directly from the neckline to the arm pit. This set-up moves more freely and is especially comfortable in low aero positions.
Traditional Sleeve Jersey Raglan Sleeve Jersey