The coolest cycling gear for lockdown miles
Unleash your inner cyclista with our roundup of the best kit to wear on your bike during your Government-sanctioned hour of daily exercise. Let's go!
One of my favourite things about lockdown (yes, there are some) is seeing so many more people out on their bikes. If you’ve rediscovered your love of all things two wheels, embrace it as the excuse it so clearly is to stock up on cool new gear.
Yes, I know, cool and cycling gear don’t usually go hand in hand, but things have moved on a tad and cycling shorts are, literally, in Vogue. (Seriously. Glossy eds were going mad over them last season) Whether you’re a Lycra lover or a more laid-back type we’ve rounded up the best-looking, quirkiest and most unique gear out there. It’ll all totally make you faster up hills.
Best for bargain bike chic
Safety never looked so stylish! Chuck on these bright beauties, from H&M, and you can go plain on your top half – a simple black vest or if you’re brave/have the midriff of Britney circa 1997, crop top is all you need. These aren’t padded so you won’t clock up serious miles in them, but for your average pootle, they’re just the ticket and a complete steal to boot.
Best for: Cycling in style
For high performance gear with an element of Parisian chic (because why not?!) Café du Cycliste is your new go-to. Made for long distance summer cycles, this zip up is high-wicking, fast-drying and hits all the right style notes in a classic French stripe. We love.
Best for: Multipurpose mileage
To certain cycling factions, merino beats Lycra hands-down. It’s naturally antibacterial, sweat-wicking, odour neutralising and keeps you cool when you’re warm and warms you up when it’s cold. This gorgeous and flattering tee from indie label Findra comes in a range of bright and beautiful colours – we love the cornflower blue as well as this bold orange – and is versatile enough to be worn on the bike, out for a run or hike, or just around the house and garden.
Best for: Smart Heads
Protect that noggin in style with the Bern Lenox, a cycling helmet so desirable that stock flies out of Kent-based Cyclechic on a regular basis. Muddy’s heard a whisper that this exclusive rose gold peaked model, above, is back in stock and if you email firstname.lastname@example.org you might still be able to get on the waiting list. Or check out the other helmets available, not a 1980s lunchbox-style horror in sight!
Best for: Hardcore roadies
If you want to look like everybody else on a bike, wear Rapha. If you want to look cooler than a mint choc chip ice cream cone on a bike, wear Morvelo. This Sussex-based indie brand combines unique and colourful designs with serious techie creds so this jersey is light as a feather, won’t slip, ruck up or otherwise irritate, and has practical storage for all your bits and bobs on the go.
Best for: Happy Feet
Cycle at seven, disco at eight. Rapha is a vanguard for trendy yet functional cycling gear and we love these road cycling shoes. Adjustable, no-slip and totally cool, they’re also available in black, white and neon yellow.
£126, reduced from £180
Best for: Offroaders and haulers
I’m going to be honest, I don’t know what a hauler *is* but I feel like I do when I wear this jersey-slash-hoodie from super-cool adventure sports brand Overland. A spin-off from the more Lycra-heavy Morvelo, the Sussex-based team behind this label have nailed the off-duty chic look with a range of unisex t-shirts, hoodies, shirts, sweaters and shorts that all look delightfully like you’ve borrowed them off your boyfriend, only they’re also all designed for you to put in the miles on the bike, are sweat-wicking and packed with technical features. The brand oozes sustainability creds too.
Best for: Cheap and cheerful
If you’re a regular peddler (not that kind, naughty!) then these lightweight gloves are a no brainer at under a tenner. They’re ideal for cycling in warmer climes with breathable mesh inserts, plus the palms have been reinforced with cushioning foam for added comfort. Available in five colours from Decathlon.
Best for: cushioning that tush
There’s no getting round it, cycling is tough on the, er, swimsuit area. Protect your booty with these funky teal star-print knickers from Oxfordshire indie VeloVixen, available in three gorgeous designs and all with subtle but highly effective padding to keep you looking, and feeling, daisy-fresh.
Best for: Speed demons
Ask the celeb fitness brigade – unitards are in style for the summer. This bright style from Stolen Goat (perhaps the most bonkers name for a cycling brand we’ve heard?) is constructed especially for women from breathable, four-way stretch fabric and features a vapour pad built into the shorts for comfort and freshness. Full marks for an inclusive size range too.
Best for: A second skin
The Matrix meets 80s shell suits in this windbreaker from Velo Vixen and we LOVE. The sleek deign fits close to your body (begone flappy fabric!) but still allows room to wiggle, plus the whole thing niftily folds into a side panel pocket.
Best for: Sunny cycling
Not to be confused with a certain Millennial fashion retailer, Swiss brand ASSOS specialises in cycle gear for pros. This newly designed ASSOSOIRES GT cap (ah, see what they did there?) has breathable net sides and nominal seams for maximum comfort under your helmet. Perfect for cycling in the sun.
Best for: A leisurely peddle
Not every cycle needs to be full steam ahead, with special gear to boot. For a gentle ride we’re opting for these side stripe leggings from M&S; the length is a great alternative for warmer weather if you can’t face itsy bitsy cycling shorts and they’re at a brilliant price point.