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Is there enough cycling clothing for women?
A common gripe in the cycling community comes from the women who are enthusiastic participants. They can compete in the same events as their male counterparts, follow the same demanding courses and match them for stamina. Yet a question lingers – for all the diverse ranges of cycling clothing out there, aimed at cyclists of all shapes and sizes and degrees of proficiency, is the same choice available for women?
Actually, we’re heading into a grey area here, one of life’s many ‘yes/no’ situations. Manufacturers are increasingly recognising huge numbers of women are being drawn to both recreational and competitive cycling. There are much better choices of cycling clothing available on the market than there was 10 years ago. The question of whether there is enough? Few women cyclists would deny there isn’t room for improvement.
So what types of cycling clothing are specifically geared towards women? They can choose from a variety of cycle shirts, in a choice of sleeves – short, long or sleeveless. Vests are available as are many styles of jackets and gilets. If you shop around you’ll find that these can come in many colours, from electric blue to shocking red. These tops can come with racing stripes and can be secured with snaps, buttons or zips.
The material on offer is usually a synthetic blend, designed to combat moisture and sweat; although not at the expense of allowing your skin to breathe. While a lot of cycling clothing is designed to be ass tight-fitting as possible, allowing a streamlined effect for maximising speed, the actual shape of women’s cycling clothing differs from their male counterparts. Jerseys and jackets tend to have a much more tailored waist. The shoulders are narrower. There is also extra room around the chest area.
So much for practicality. When it comes to cycle clothing a lot of women also like taking style into serious consideration. While garments need to be weatherproof and comfortable, a growing number of outlets are providing clothes that can be seen without the context of just cycling. Since using a bicycle as a mode of transport has become so popular, not just with sports enthusiasts but with women in general, there is a demand for cycle clothing that looks a bit more stylish than Lycra. Many cycle outfitters are now offering women tailored cycle jackets that can be combined with office wear. For leisure cycling, female cyclists can opt for a diverse range of casual skirts, dresses and shorts.