Poor clothing choices have left many a cyclist shivering under a tree during a downpour, being unable to pull the brake levers in the winter or committing the cardinal sin of riding topless in the summer.
There are so many clothing brands out there now it’s hard to know where to start, especially when they all have reasons to claim they’re the best. But there are some manufacturers with legitimate claims to the throne, whether that’s because they’re value for money, super high tech, have a long and storied history in cycling or, frankly, just look damn good.
And protection from the elements has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years too. Jackets like the Gabba have seen manufacturers’ realise keeping out the wind and rain doesn’t have to come at the expense of fit, and there’s a lot of seriously good kit on the market. We’ve used the 100 as an opportunity to pick out clothing from nine of the best brands out there.
Apparel doesn’t just mean clothing either. It’s shoes, sunglasses and helmets, too. A good pair of shoes are a cyclist’s best friend and despite what you might be told, it’s not vital you buy the set with the stiffest soles on the market. Sunglasses, meanwhile, are another key item in any cyclist’s wardrobe, not just for style but also safety and comfort.
And helmets, when did helmets become so complicated? There’s a whole new category now – aero road – which is what happens when a normal helmet runs into a TT lid at high speed, and some of the designs have to be seen to be believed. They all look so fast.