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Choosing the Correct Cycling Apparel
As with any outdoor pursuit, selecting the correct cycling apparel is essential for your comfort and enjoyment of the activity. This article will describe the best ways to go about selecting the cycling apparel that is most appropriate for you.
The first thing you have to determine before purchasing cycling apparel is what type of cycling you will be participating in most often. There are several types of cycling, including recreational cycling, mountain biking, racing, and long-road cycling.
Recreational cycling is probably the easiest category to select cycling apparel for. It can be done in any type of everyday clothing, so all you really have to worry about is the conditions. The one exception is rainy weather; if you cycle to work or school then you know that cycling in a long raincoat is virtually impossible, and in fact can be dangerous. Make sure to wear clothing that does not dangle down in the area of your spokes and pedals.
Mountain bikers have a more selective process when selecting the best cycling apparel. Many mountain bikers will choose form lines of clothing manufactured out of spandex, which makes the clothing more flexible while also eliminating the chafing effect. Often, mountain bikers will select shirts that allow for the most breathability such as shirts with specially placed holes and open necks. Many mountain bikers will also wear shorts over the top of their spandex. Good shoes and socks are also critical components of cycling wear for the mountain biker. Shoes with a stiff sole and socks which protect the ankle are vital to mountain bikers.
Racers and long-road cyclers almost always choose spandex material for their cycling apparel. Spandex shorts allow for good flexibility and breathability while also guarding against the chafing that can occur with looser fitting clothes. Spandex apparel is generally available at all sporting outlets and is usually not very costly. It also has a reputation as being long-lasting.
Most recreational bikers will also include sunglasses in their cycling apparel. Sunglasses help to reduce the glare from the sun and its reflection off the road, as well as protecting the cyclist's eyes from harmful UV radiation. Sunglasses also protect the wearer's eyes from flying bits of dirt and gravel, which are a common hazard in most types of biking.
Finally, the most important piece of cycling apparel for all cycling activities is the helmet. These days, there are hardly any bikers, professional or amateur, who refuse to wear a helmet. The issue is simply one of common sense and safety. Our brains are the most important organ that we have, and simply wearing a helmet can provide the little bit of difference between permanent and irreversible damage and a minor accident.