I am new to riding. I have done some research, and found out there are plenty of guides telling people how to pick up cycling gear.

But I want suggestions for affordable, good quality clothes. I need advice from someone who actually bought the clothes. I don't need expensive cycling clothes like alpha, as I only ride once per week. Any tips for beginners are welcome.

I need suggestions for both summer and winter. I am a man. I've been thinking about around 20 miles at the beginning.

  • 1
    This needs some additional information. How long rides are you planning, road, off-road or touring?
    – ojs
    Dec 18, 2015 at 9:49
  • 2
    are these clothes for summer/winter? for wet/dry? do you need clother that prevent you from overheating? or that offer some protection against the environment you're riding in? I think you need to give us some more information before you'll get a decent answer. And where are you? In the UK, a couple of supermarkets offer clother which are generally considered to be great value, but again it depends on what type of clothes you want, also they only offer them a couple of times a year.
    – PeteH
    Dec 18, 2015 at 10:09
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    I rode (on roads) for years in plain old jogging shorts, with a sweat suit when it was chilly. (Put a leg strap on the pant leg to keep it out of the chain.) Often did 50-100 miles a day in that gear. Basically, whatever's comfortable for you, and not too restrictive. Dec 18, 2015 at 13:45
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    Clothes intended for hiking or the gym may not be as streamlined as lycra cycling gear but a beginner won't care. It's perfectly possible to ride 30+ miles in hiking gear (even including boots though I don't recommend it). Wearing something that absorbs a lot of water is a bad idea if there's rain, surface water or sweat to worry about, and jeans can rub even when dry.
    – Chris H
    Dec 19, 2015 at 14:11
  • 1
    I buy bargain bin padded cycling knicks and wear cheap nylon shorts over them because knicks don't have pockets. Padded knicks make a big difference even for my 15km commute.
    – Móż
    Dec 20, 2015 at 22:08

6 Answers 6


For a beginner, as long as all the required naughty bits are covered, and you're comfortable standing and walking in those clothes, then they're generally fine for cycling.

A beginner is anyone tootling 3 kilometres/2 miles each way. If you're regularly doing rides of 16 km/10 miles then that's about where cycling clothing will come in handy.

There's no need to go silly with race gear.

The first specialist items to consider are

I have bought all these things and they work fine for me. My longest ride was last weekend were I did 118 km.

Other than that, check this site for "what tools to carry on a ride" and nutrition/hydration questions. However that's bike gear not clothing so only a brief reference.

  • 2
    Yes. For a 10 miles commute proper gear (not necessarily cycling branded, but gym-type stuff that doesn't hold sweat) is worth it. For a 5 mile commute much less so.
    – Chris H
    Dec 19, 2015 at 14:08

Start out by wearing what is comfortable and in your wardrobe. It is much more important that you actually get out there and ride, rather than sit at home planning your cycling wardrobe.

You said you only ride once a week, but you did not specify the ride conditions and circumstances. Commuting in mild weather, recreational riding in sunny weather, gravel grinding in a state forest, etc.

As you ride, you will discover how committed you are to cycling, which will in turn dictate what you want or need next. Some people, like me, are psychologically predisposed NOT to wear spandex. As such, the cycling shorts I have could pass for ordinary shorts.

In terms of what's most important, first things to get are a helmet (if you desire), gloves, and eyewear. I recommend full finger gloves, even in warm weather, as they protect your hands against nicks, scratches, and scraps.

After that, a cycling jacket for weather and road protection plus visibility so some reflective surfaces are a plus. Shop in the store so you can try it on to ensure it fits and suits you.

Your backside may next demand padded cycling shorts or cycling shorts with separate padded underwear. You may also be thinking about a better saddle.

At some point, you may get the desire for clips and shoes. This is a serious transition as one can fall over and go boom if one is not unclipped. I bought a set, and they sat for weeks until I broke one of my conventional pedals. That forced me to cross over to clips. And you will eventually fall, but you likely will walk away will just a bruised ego. I did.

Finally got a jersey, one, in 2014. However, I mostly still ride in casual clothes, including T-shirts during the summer.

  • 1
    I plan to ride on sunny days, you already offered a pretty specific answers for me, Thank you.
    – user23841
    Dec 22, 2015 at 1:46

The most affordable clothes are the ones you already own. So start with those. Your legs will be moving a lot, so pick something that doesn't restrict leg movement. Shorts are the way to go, unless it's below freezing. If you're a man, wear snug-fitting briefs to keep your family jewels tucked up and out of the way. For shoes, ideally you want something with stiff soles that doesn't restrict your ankles (like low-top hikers), but really, any comfortable shoes will work.

If you do this for a while, eventually you'll figure out which parts of your wardrobe are lacking - and then you can start looking for cycling-specific items.

  • I don't particularly feel the cold but my cut off for shorts is considerably warmer. It depends on whether you're going to ride and keep riding or if you've got a stop-start ride.
    – Chris H
    Dec 19, 2015 at 9:22

I would look at using a pair of shorts like these under a normal pair of shorts so that you've got a pad to protect your under carriage. If/when you feel comfortable wearing Lycra, then full bib shorts is what I'd recommend if you're spending anything longer than an hour in the saddle.

  • 1
    Bib shorts are definitely not for everyone, do take a look at the other link in my response as they will fit under normal clothes but make your ride comfortable.
    – ynnekkram
    Jan 4, 2016 at 10:29

I have one in mind, I bought their cycling underwear, around $15, You can get it at baleaf.com, or you can search baleaf on Amazon. I recommend this item simply because it is cheap and the quality is not bad. If you just want to ride once per week, you can wear it for almost 1 year, mine is around 10 months. They use Nylon-spandex mesh, and helps keep body dry. 3D padding reduces chafing, It won't be a problem if you ride 10-15 miles per time.


I would recommend skipping why cycling uniform all together. Start riding and skip all the details shin pads, knee pads and all that stuff is pretty pointless unless you know you'll be riding at really high speeds near traffic.

After you've started riding for a while you'll feel good investing in an outfit.

  • 3
    Shin and knee pads aren't going to do you much good while riding in traffic. Dec 18, 2015 at 17:33
  • I've pretty much scraped my knee raw when I was new to riding. How ever I haven't found the need for a helmet so far though I may be pushing my luck. Dec 18, 2015 at 17:40
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    Everyone scraped their knees raw when they were learning to cycle at age 6. But then they learned to balance. And as an adult the half-dozen times I've fallen I scraped my elbows more than my knees. (Get a helmet!! You only get one chance at that.) Dec 18, 2015 at 17:43

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