Cycling vests are indispensable garments within cycling clothing either for unpredictable weather conditions or on cool summer days. In combination with a long sleeve or short sleeve jersey they protect you from getting too cold. In addition reflective cycling vests also enhance safety in traffic.
Cycling Vests – perfect for Unpredictable Weather Conditions
Cycling vests are ideal for the time between the seasons when it is too cool for a cycling jersey only and too hot to wear a cycling jacket. The sleeveless cycling vest construction is very popular among cyclists because it does not only protect your torso from getting too cold but at the same time allows your arms to move without being restricted. At Bobshop you will find cycling vests for three different occasions:
- The wind vest
- The thermal vest
- The safety vest
The wind vest is the classic among cycling vests. It is light, features a windproof membrane in the front area and has a small pack size. You should always have a windproof cycling vest with you on any tour because not only nasty weather can make your body get too cold but you also have to protect your torso from cold headwind on long downhill stretches. Wind vests usually feature breathable material or mesh in the back to enhance the air flow and allow as much moisture transport as possible. Windproof cycling vests usually feature a small pack size so they can be stowed in a jersey pocket.
The thermal vest, apart from being windproof and water resistant, also has an insulating effect. The warming cycling vest is made either from a Softshell material or a padded material equal to the one used in winter jackets, but it does not have sleeves. On dry and cool days it is ideal for cyclists who demand great freedom of movement.
When combined with corresponding underwear and a long sleeve jersey a thermal cycling vest can even replace a light winter jacket.
The safety vest is used in traffic situations and protects cyclists from being overlooked. Being a safety vest it features CE certification and thanks to reflective areas and neon colours it is very well visible from a distance. Even if neon colours and reflective elements are generally found a lot in cycling vests, which undoubtedly serves safety in traffic, special safety cycling vests catch your eye even more quickly.
Of course wind vests, thermal vests and safety vests are available as both women’s cycling vests as well as men’s cycling vests.
The Fit of Women’s and Men’s Cycling Vest
Is there a difference between cycling vests for women or men? Concerning functionality there isn’t any. But the fit, of course, is gender-specific, just like colour and print design. Most cycling vests, though, are solid-coloured. As they are worn on top of colourful cycling jerseys an additional pattern could become too much. The most common colours are black, white and neon coloured in both women’s cycling vests as well as men’s cycling vests.
Cycling Vests for Road Bikers and Mountain Bikers
There is a difference in the fit of road biking cycling vests and cycling vests for mountain bikers:
- Road bikers always focus on aerodynamics and therefore prefer tight fitting shapes. The road biking cycling vest should neither flutter nor make any sound while you are cycling. Ideally a road biking vest is made from elastic material which snugs your body without restricting the freedom of movement. A road biking vest is very lightweight, features a Windblocker membrane in the headwind area and a breathable material in the back for balancing the body temperature.
- Cycling vests for MTB feature a more casual fit for the clothing underneath to fit comfortably. The material has to be more robust so it doesn’t tear when touching branches or in case of a fall. Often the surface features a water resistant and dirt repellent treatment. Instead of a mesh back MTB cycling vests often feature lateral vents as mountain bikers often have backpacks.
Characteristics of Cycling Vests
What makes a high quality cycling vest? Of course the price is a certain indicator but also some features point out a specific quality. So look for:
- The front material: In the front area a cycling vest should be made from elastic and windproof material which snugs the body and wards off cold headwind. Gore Windstopper materials are very high quality. Gore uses a highly elastic membrane which is highly breathable.
- The rear material: Lightweight mesh or highly elastic micro fibre. The back of the vest has to regulate the body climate. Because especially when cycling in the mountains going uphill the cyclist perspires and should not get too cold when cycling downhill.
- Elastic grippers: Both in the armholes and at the hem of the vest elastic grippers should keep the vest well in place and prevent cold wind from penetrating.
- Rear pockets: The contents of jersey pockets should also fit inside the vest. Some cycling vests do not feature pockets of their own but a slot to access the jersey pockets.
- The zipper: Make sure the cycling vest has a camlock zipper. This way you can determine how much you want to open the vest and thus regulate ventilation. Ideally the zip will be lined or concealed so no cold headwind will reach your body.
- The fit: Independent of the gender-specific anatomy or whether the vest is designed for road biking or mountain biking, a cycling vest should be adapted to the seated posture on your bike. That means it features a long back panel for enhanced protection and is shorter in the front so it doesn’t bulk there. The collar on the other hand should be higher in front than in the back.
At Bobshop you will find a huge selection of men’s cycling vests and cycling vests for women. You will find cycling vests matching any preference, any temperature and use and in all sizes. Our own Bobteam cycling vests are even available up to an extra large size 5XL.