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My five favourite cycling apparel items

With my friend Amanda at Mudgee – I’m wearing my club kit gilet & favourite arm warmers

When I started road cycling about 16 years ago, I had no idea how to dress the part. I also balked at the price of many road cycling apparel items, so compromised on cheaper stuff and give-aways. Now many years later I’ve found the different items of cycling apparel that work for me. Some of them might also appeal to you, or you may have a completely different top five.

Arm warmers

I have several different pairs of arm warmers but my favourites are my Pearl Azumi sun sleeves that I’ve got in black and white. They are lightweight arm warmers that are designed to keep the sun off your skin but they also work well on those days when it’s a little chilly but not very. I also like my Specialized fleecy-lined black arm warmers which keep the cold morning air at bay. Arm warmers are best paired with a short-sleeved undershirt, where the arm warmers go over the undershirt to create a ‘seal’ and then your jersey goes over the top. Cosy.


Like arm warmers, a gilet or wind vest extends your summer cycling wardrobe by creating layers. The best gilets have wind-resistant fabric on the front and mesh or similar on your back. The mesh on the back allows you to sweat and not overheat. I once bought a gilet that was lined at the back and it was way too hot for me. I have several gilets but my favourite is a Velocio one that is a nice stretchy fabric.

Short-finger gloves

I like gloves because they keep my hands warm, they shield them from the sun and they protect my hands if I have an accident. I’ve seen some awful injuries in the pro ranks when riders choose not to wear them! I have a collection of short-finger gloves to suit different situations and to match different kit. My favourite ones have almost no padding in them which is counterintuitive I know. I used to ride with very padded gloves and they made my hands numb so now I’m a no-padding. My Specialized Grail and Velocio glovers are amongst my favourites.

¾ bib knicks

I really love ¾ bib knicks for cooler weather when having your knees covered makes riding comfortable. For me, it’s when the temperature is between about 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. Anything above that and I wear shorts, and anything below I wear full-length cycling knicks. I always wear bib knicks no matter which ones I choose and my Velocio ¾ are the perfect Autumn and Spring apparel items.


A simple headband makes a huge difference to my enjoyment of riding in cool and cold weather. If I don’t wear it my ears ache, a lot. My favourite is a grey Specialized headband which I don’t think they still sell so you’ll have to look elsewhere, but it’s a simple sports-style headband that encircles my head and fits under my helmet.

What are your favourite road cycling apparel items that you can’t live without? Share via comments or the Women Who Cycle Facebook page or Community.

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