Why is cycling clothing so small in size?

So if you’re new to cycling or have been cycling a little while now and find the whole process of buying cycling clothing so confusing? Rest assured, we have all been there, some of us still have difficulties while exploring and trying out new brands.

The first point to remember is that a lot of the famous cycling manufacturers design cycling clothing for professional cycling teams. And not the average Joe like the rest of us. The majority of cycling clothing is generally small and designed to be a second skin. This is well n good if you carry little body fat and no extra bulk.

In particular, the whole process can be slightly trickier for female cyclists while trying to navigate through various size charts, paying attention to the bust, hips and waist. It’s worth bearing in mind, that the manufacturer size charts you find on various websites are only general guidelines and not entirely 100% accurate. Each brand will generally have 3 different fits in their collections and only one size chart for all collections.

Yes, it can be exhausting for everyone. I am beginning to feel fatigued writing this blog even thinking of all the variables involved.

Okay, so let's break down the different fits on offer by most brands. They are often referred to as the following terms as listed below. Pay particular attention, especially when ordering online to the advertised fit. If you are in doubt or you can't find this information within the product description, contact the retailer to seek clarification before you purchase!!

Different Fits:

Have you ever experienced walking into your local Zara store and trying on some of those trendy cool designer jeans they stock? For those of you that have had the pleasure, my first attempt was a skinny fit jean that came up to my knee’s before rudely coming to a standstill. Next up was the slim fit. Feeling confident this time round, we went sailing up past the knees but hit the wall around the hip section? No joy, the sales assistant kindly explained that a man of my stature would defintely be a classic fit-style jean!!

Okay, so the sizing in the cycling clothing world is pretty much of the same standard.

SKINNY FIT in the fashion world is comparable to,
1: Aero fit or often referred to as race fit. - thread carefully, only suitable for what we call the race snakes, zero body fat and little muscle bulk,

Our tip: avoid it at all costs unless you have zero% body fat/

As per image below, this model weights 66kg and is wearing aero/race jersey size large.


SLIM FIT in the fashion world is comparable to,
2. Performance fit: a little less forgiving than race-fit garments, more suitable for many cyclists, in general, still a tight-fitting garment. Think of performance as slim fit. Do you wear slim-fit jeans? If not consider sizing upwards

Our tip: if your fit and fairly lean the performance fit is a great choice. Just be careful if you have extra timber around the tummy, the performance fit is not exactly pleasing on the eye in a lot of cases

As per image below, this model weights 75KG and is wearing performance fit, size medium.


CLASSIC/REGULAR FIT in the fashion world comparable to,
3: Classic/Relaxed/Sport fit: this is generally designed as the label suggests, additional fabric is added to the cut, but please be careful, all cycling clothing is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, nothing as bad as the wind catching extra fabric and you end up like a hot air ballon in the middle of the ride.

Our tip: perfect if you are carrying any additional weight, which many of us do, I would say that 65% of all cycling clothing sold will be of a classic/relaxed/ sports fit. It fits many different body shapes, thankfully.

As per image below, this model weights 86KG and is wearing classic fit, size large 


Thats it for now my cycling friends, reach out and contact me directly if you require any additional advice on cycling clothing. Leave a comment in the section below!!

Stay safe and keep pedalling.

Colin O Brien.


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