Why do you need a cycling jersey? The short answer is, you don't. It is perfectly acceptable to ride a bicycle in a t-shirt, workout shirt, parka, trench coat; whatever floats your boat. If you're getting more interested in and serious about cycling though, chances are you might be curious about those skin-tight, spandex, neon green things that you keep seeing middle-aged men wearing (no judgement, middle-aged men).
In all seriousness, a quality jersey is a great addition to your cycling quiver. Most jerseys are made out of lycra, which is just a fancy brand-name of spandex. Good cycling jerseys will be moisture-wicking so that you stay cool while you ride. If you've ridden your bike very much, chances are you are familiar with the feeling of a soaking wet t-shirt clinging to you. Let's be honest, that isn't a great feeling. Having a jersey that is designed to wick sweat and moisture away from your body and keep you cool will make your rides much more enjoyable, and also help your body not overheat. Being healthy is pretty cool.
Our jerseys, for example, are made out of several different types of spandex to optimize each area of the jersey. Mesh on the sides and under the arms, textured spandex on the arms to avoid uncomfortable rubbing, silicone-infused spandex for the waist and arm grippers, and grid spandex on the front and back for maximum moisture-wicking. Most brands will utilize multiple materials to help you cool and comfortable in different areas.
Another great feature of most cycling jerseys is that they have pockets on the back to hold some of your gear while you ride. As you get more interested and invested in cycling, you will invariably acquire more things you want to carry with you when you ride; mini air pumps, flat tire kits, multi-tools, ride snacks, just to name a few. And of course no one can leave home without their cell phone, wallet, money, credit cards, etc. Cycling jersey pockets are great for stowing those essentials. They are usually tight-fitting and pretty deep so that all of your valuables will stay secure during your rides. Our jerseys have three pockets on the back as well as a zippered security pocket for keeping your most prized possessions even one step safer.
A good cycling jersey should be pretty snug so that it won't flap too much in the wind. There are a wide range of fits depending on what brand you go with, but as a rule of thumb, cycling jerseys help cut down on your aerodynamic drag as you cut through the air. Let's pause here. Chances are that none of us are riding in the Tour de France. If you are, I'm not really sure why you're reading this post, but welcome. Please email me, I want to be your best friend. Seriously, though, cutting down on our drag and saving watts really doesn't matter that much in real world situations. Maybe it will help you snag some Strava QOMs or KOMs, or nail your local time trial, and that's super cool, but most of us don't race or ride professionally.
Let me tell you from personal experience, going from a loose-fitting jersey or t-shirt to a nice snug jersey is a game changer even when I ride with my wife and kids. It really does make a difference on particularly windy days or when you're riding down big hills. It's certainly not a necessity, but you will notice it. I promise. (Super scientific and definitive stuff we're doing here right?)
So jerseys keep me cool, hold my stuff, and cut down my aerodynamic drag. Big deal right? Is that worth spending over $100 on? Well, I think so, but then again I own a company that sells cycling jerseys. As you get deeper into your cycling journey, you will make that decision for yourself. Maybe you want to keep things casual and rock the t-shirt on your rides. That's totally fine. There are upsides and downsides to that, but if it works for you and makes you feel good on the bike, go for it. At MHCC, we do not engage in judgement of any kind when it comes to cycling apparel. Pick something that makes you look as good as you feel. If that's one of our jerseys, amazing! Welcome to the family. If you wear a t-shirt or hoodie or anything else, amazing! You're part of our family too. We love selling our products, but far more important than that is our mission to make cycling accessible and cool to as many people as possible. Including you.
Anywhere is home. Just ride bikes.