Summer jerseys are invaluable for most cyclists riding in Australia’s warmer months – even the most inexperienced riders know that T-shirts end up soaked in sweat, making rides very uncomfortable in summer and in chilly cool weather. However, cycling jerseys are made from tight-fitting, breathable materials to improve aerodynamics and increase cycling performance.
Summer jerseys are made from synthetic fabrics that wick away sweat from your body, causing it to evaporate. Some jerseys also have lightweight, ‘mesh-like’ material for more breathability. However, sunscreen will need to be applied to these areas because UV rays can get through. Some jerseys will have UV protection in the material, but the back, especially, needs extra care when cycling.
Summer jerseys need to fit tightly so they don’t flap in the wind, but not so tight that they become uncomfortable to wear. Even if a jersey has the best material available, a loose fit can negatively impact on cycling performance. Jerseys come in many different styles and sizes, so trying them on is the best way to guarantee a perfect fit.
A great summer jersey will have a minimum of three pockets. Fitting a phone, wallet and pump into the pockets means a bag won’t be necessary, and thus there will be less weight to drag you down. Deep, zipped pockets will ensure that your items won’t fall out while riding.
Many cyclists prefer a jersey with a full length zipper down the front because it’s easy to take off to use the bathroom and allows the rider to cool down faster. Others prefer not to have a zipper so that their outfit looks more casual to wear – on and off the bike.
Summer jerseys can have extra features like elasticated waists or silicone hems to keep them in place, or reflective stripes for night riding, and they come in a variety of colours and designs. It all comes down to personal taste and styling preferences, but removing sweat and improving aerodynamics are often top-of-the-list when cyclists are looking at a jersey’s fabric, fit, pockets, and zips.