What to Wear on Event Day

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

In association with Cycle Superstore

The big day has arrived, you’ve put the training in – but what should you wear on the day itself?

Think of your cycling outfit like an onion (layer upon layer but hopefully without the eyes watering!). First layer is your base layer worn tightly next to your skin all year round. In summer the base layer will wick away the sweat and keep you cool, and in winter it will keep you warm without that clammy feeling.

Typically, base layers are made from either man-made fabrics (polyester) or natural materials (merino wool). Base layers with man-made fabrics are usually high performance in nature and aimed at warm weather conditions, when sweat management and cooling effects are important. Natural materials such as merino wool’s big advantage over man-made materials is that it is less likely to smell.

Cycle Superstore’s range of base layers, can be found here


When it comes to shorts, you have two options: bib shorts or waist shorts. Both have pros and cons. Bib shorts have two straps at the top of the short that go over your shoulders like braces securing the shorts in place, preventing chafing or saddle sores. This style of short is designed not to restrict your breathing during those lung busting cycles or press on your bladder.

Waist shorts do have their benefits. By having less material, they are more effective in keeping you cool and sometimes you just want the breeze up your back. They have the added benefit of being easier to remove for a toilet break (especially for ladies!). That’s not to say, they don’t have their issues. Some people may find them uncomfortable as they can push into the stomach in the bike position. In some cases, the waist band can soak up sweat which people may find uncomfortable against their skin. The biggest issue people may find is they are not guaranteed to stay in place, unlike bib shorts. Whether you choose waist or bib shorts, ensure you get a nice tight fit to minimise movement and friction.

When selecting shorts, you should pay as much attention to the chamois (the under-carriage part) as to the outside of the shorts. The chamois is made of cushioning foam or gel of varying density with a top surface that helps wick away the moisture and provides a soft feel against your skin. There are different types for male and female. Typically, male chamois are shaped to support the sit bones and to reduce pressure/ numbness while riding. Female chamois provide continues support through the central region and wider foam placement in the sit bone area. Most short manufactures will differentiate their chamois by color. Remember cycling shorts are designed to go ‘commando’ meaning there should be no underwear (or leggings) worn under the short.

Cycle Superstore’s range of bib shorts, can be found here

Cycle Superstore’s range of waist shorts, can be found here

A cycling jersey will keep you warm in cold weather and cooler in warm weather.  It will help keep you comfortable on the bike, prevent sunburn and give you a place to store most things you need to carry (banana, energy bar, packable jacket, coffee money, phone, and tissues!).


A cycling jersey will keep you warm in cold weather and cooler in warm weather.  It will help keep you comfortable on the bike, prevent sunburn and give you a place to store most things you need to carry (banana, energy bar, packable jacket, coffee money, phone, and tissues!).

Road jerseys typically have a longer back, shorter front and a higher neck shape and sleeves shaped to fit when in the bike position. We would recommend you wear a base layer underneath your cycling jersey to wick the sweat. Road jerseys come in different styles and cuts, and you can spend anything from €50 to €200 plus on a jersey. Look for quality such as YKK zips (you do not want zip failure while out) and minimal seams.

Cycle Superstore’s range of jerseys can be found here


Selecting the style of jacket you wear depends on the weather conditions. There are a couple of types of jackets – rain or just wind proof.  Decent rain jackets will have taped seams. Wind jackets don’t have taped seams. Check for breathability as you don’t want to feel like you are wearing a bin liner / boil in a bag!  Also check for packability. Can you fold it in into your back pocket or store it somewhere on the bike?

A windproof jacket’s main purpose is to keep the wind out. By doing this it doesn’t evaporate the sweat from your body that quickly and cool you down too much. Windproof jackets will feature a high collar perhaps with a fleece lining, a long back, and sleeves long enough to overlap gloves and seal out the cold. They will usually have mesh on the side and back for breathability.

Most if not all rain jackets will display a rain rating. This demonstrates how long the jacket will stay waterproof depending on the volume. Rain jackets will have a long back with a grippy seam on the bottom to prevent the jacket moving up your back. It will also have tight cuffs and high neck to prevent water rolling down your back or up your arms.  It should also be worn tight so you aren’t billowing in the wind.

Cycle Superstore’s range of jackets can be found here

Top Tips

  • Don’t try anything new on the day. Don’t wear a new base layer or try on a new pair of cleats. It may cost you at some stage during the day.
  • Always have your clothing ready the night before, so there aren’t any last-minute emergencies.
  • As you will be out on the bike for a few hours, use some chamois cream or butter as an extra layer of protection against friction. There is chamois cream for male and female, with the female version having a lower Ph value. The male version can have a burning effect if used by women (ouch!). Cycle Superstore’s range of chamois creams/butter can be found here.
  • Please prevent injury by not carrying your pump in your back pocket of your jersey! Get it mounted on the bike.