Dalton Walters riding a track bike

Cycling Lifestyle Blog

Focused shot of a man's cycling shorts while he stands over his bike.

My Cycling Kit

June 16, 2023

A mountain biker going up a mountain

Cameron Porter

Reviews

Starting to Get Serious?

When you truly find that love of cycling and you choose to commit, one of the first things you think of is the gear. Among such gear are the key elements of clothing that will help you long term. Ever try riding 30 miles without padded shorts? Not too bad, but what about 100 miles?

In this post we will cover a few cycling apparel products that I have used for over 10yrs. Thousands of miles have been logged wearing these, therefore I have no problem sharing my thoughts from these experiences.

The Wicking Jerseys

One of my first apparel investments was a Louis Garneau Sleeveless Jersey. It was light weight, fit snug, and had a pocket on either side vs the standard back pockets. Overall it was a decent jersey to start out with. I stand a bit taller, around 6'1, and this particular jersey always seemed to be a bit short for me. Though it fit perfectly around my torso and shoulders, the length was lacking.

Length aside, this product was a great first investment. If I were to find another that was a bit longer, I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up again.

My second jersey that I picked up after a few months was a Pearl Izumi Racing Jersey. This jersey quickly became my favorite to wear. The fit was perfect in every way. Was long enough to not be drafty around my waist, allowed for easy movement in the shoulders, and though it felt like a second skin, it was not constricting.

This jersey was perfect for the long hot summer rides. Catching just enough sweat to cool me off while wicking away all the excess. 13yrs of wearing this as my primary jersey and it is still holding up well.

Protect the Peach

After riding a bit without padded shorts, I quickly realized what I was missing out on. Sure you get used to a certain amount of pain and discomfort during longer rides, but there is a point where grabbing yourself a pair of cycling shorts is warranted.

When that time came for me, I grabbed a standard pair of Louis Garneau Cycling Shorts. These were nothing too fancy, but they saved my butt more than once. The fit was great for these shorts. They also seemed to protect me fairly during some minor falls. This pair lasted me about 4yrs before they became too holey to put on again.

Looking back, the only thing I wish these did have was a pocket on the thigh for my phone. I often just slide it up a pant leg and played music while riding. Of course I could have wore headphones or put it in my jersey as well, but I found issues with those. I had a difficult time hearing the music in my jersey, and the headphones seemed to inhibit my situational awareness.

Swim | Bike | Run, Suit Up!

Eventually the time came where I wanted to really push myself. I have always enjoyed competing in various sports, so what would be different here? After quite a bit of training, I signed up for my first triathlon and started looking into triathlon suits.

What I ultimately landed on was a Louis Garneau Sprint Triathlon Suit. To no surprise the fit was perfect. The quality also held up extremely well and is still in near perfect condition today. The padding in the suit was just enough to aide in the riding portion while not inhibiting the swimming or running segments of the race.

This suite was sleeveless, as I assume most would be. It made it very easy to knock out the swim, and also didn't make me chafe when cycling or running afterwards. In fact, by the end of the cycling segment, I was completely dry. So if you are out there looking into a triathlon suit, I would highly recommend taking a look at something similar.

Pedal Power

When I first got into cycling, I stopped into a local bike shop and asked to volunteer my time in exchange for cycling knowledge. This didn't sit well with the manager, he said he absolutely wouldn't let me work there for free, so he would hire me and let me learn along side him. It was a fantastic experience, and that may help you understand why most of my things stuck with a single brand. I purchased what I could with the discounts I was afforded, and that was that.

Speaking of discounts, I got a killer deal on my Louis Garneau LS-100 cycling shoes. When you think of things you wear that actually make a significant performance impact, shoes come in at number one for me! Truly any shoe should make a large difference, but these were the game changing pair I had.

These shoes were extremely breathable. I never felt like my feet were profusely sweating or overly hot, even when the temperature felt like it was melting my exposed skin. They have multiple smaller mesh airways that help to cool you down while still protecting your foot with a mostly leather exterior.

The carbon sole felt like it was a nice balance between stiffness and comfort. I could truly feel the power transfer from my legs into the pedals without much if any loss during the movement. The biggest difference was being able to now pull as well as push and thus exponentially increase my power.

Something I liked about these shoes was also that they could be used with either road or mountain cleats. So this single pair could be used in multiple spaces and would only take a moment to swap out the cleats to do so.

Lastly, these shoes came with the Boa micro adjustment. This helped to provide the perfect fit while riding, and the shoes never got lose nor tightened during the ride. Not only that, but they are lightening quick to put on and take off, so this helped me quite a bit when I was shaving seconds off of my triathlon transitions.

Protect the Paws

The last bit of cycling apparel I wanted to cover today are my cycling gloves. I flipped over my handlebars one day on a busy road during rush hour and it left my hands destroyed. This singular incident pushed me to grab gloves the moment my hands healed up.

The gloves I grabbed were a nice pair of Louis Garneau Leather Gloves. These had an absolutely wonderful feel and I never felt like they got in the way. I had fallen a couple times after getting them, and they protected my hands with ease. So they definitely lived up to their purpose.

The leather is thick enough in the key palm areas, while still being flexible and comfortable. The back is a knitted pattern allowing for max breathability. These gloves are still in use today, they have lasted the test of time just like most of my apparel has.

What's Your OOD?

These products are ones I have used or currently still use today. They are not the only products out there, but they have treated me well. I have been quite lucky in most of my purchases thus far, but would love to hear what you wear and what you think about products you have tried!

As you embark on your cycling journey, remember that investing in quality gear can greatly enhance your comfort and performance. Finding the right fit and functionality is key to enjoying every ride. I hope my recommendations have provided valuable insights for your cycling apparel choices. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist, always prioritize your comfort and safety. Share your experiences and recommendations with us, and let's continue to support and inspire each other in the wonderful world of cycling.

Pedal on and enjoy the ride!

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