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The cycling jersey can be worn directly on the skin or combined with technical underwear, which offers important protection from both heat and cold.
Road cycling jerseys are very close-fitting: this allows the cyclist to be aerodynamic, to avoid air cooling the upper body too much and to achieve a better performance thanks to the slight compression that stimulates blood circulation.
As this is a technical, sporty garment, it is best to avoid putting fashion first and making a choice guided only by aesthetic factors, focusing instead on quality and purpose.
As mentioned, a cycling jersey can be:
- Very tight for road riders,
- Softer for gravel and e-bike riders,
- Wide for mtb/downhill riders.
There are various details such as zips, reflective elements, collar and pockets. There are usually 3 pockets on the lower back, which are useful for carrying a snack, your phone and other small items without having to have a rucksack or bag attached to the bike.
Also, for enduro/downhill riders, wide sleeves are very handy, especially if it's a 3/4 or long jersey, to be able to wear elbow pads with ease.
Summer jerseys: short sleeves and designed for higher temperatures
Winter Jerseys: often thermal and long-sleeved for spring or autumn cycling
Triathlon Jerseys: designed especially for triathletes
Vintage Jerseys: for those who want to ride with a retrò look
Protective Jerseys: with protective inserts for the most adventurous trails.
On an aesthetic level there are no particular differences between men's and women's cycling jerseys, except for patterns and colours that may be preferred by one or the other gender.
On a technical level, however, the fit of the garment may change, and it is usually tighter at the waist and softer at breast area to avoid excessive compression.