How to Choose a Cycling Jersey

How to Choose a Cycling Jersey

For the semi-serious cyclists who’d like to keep up with the local cycling group, a jersey that’s specifically designed for biking is one of those little things that might just make a difference. Here are a few tips when choosing a top for road biking.


Road bike jerseys should fit snugly. Loose material flapping in the wind will slow you down. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to go down a size; the manufacturer will have already taken that into account. Try on the size you normally choose, and it should be form fitting.

Shirts specifically made for cycling usually have a drop tail, meaning that the back is longer than the front. Make sure your jersey is long enough and doesn’t ride up too far when you raise your arms to a standard cycling position.


What differentiates a bike jersey from any other top are the three pockets found on the back, toward the waist. These pockets are easy to reach while you’re cycling and are perfect for stashing energy bars, gel, and other small items. If the jersey has no back pockets, pass on it—it’s not a cycling jersey.

Road Biking vs. Mountain Biking

Because of the speed difference, mountain bikers are less concerned with aerodynamics. They’ll sometimes wear a road bike jersey because of the pockets in back, but unless they’re racing, mountain bikers usually wear a loose-fitting synthetic T-shirt instead.