Environmentally friendly, economically aware and good for the mind and body, cycling has recently enjoyed a substantial resurgence in the UK.
Olympic success and extensive coverage of the Tour de France have combined to not only boost cycling’s popularity, they’ve also had a big impact on its fashion.
No longer content with fastening a bicycle clip to their day trousers or tucking in a t-shirt, today’s cyclists are increasingly tempted by the practical and aesthetic lure of cycle-wear – which no longer automatically means Lycra. This change isn’t spearheaded by fashion-conscious ladies though. It’s largely the country’s many male riders who are turning to designer sportswear for their daily cycle to work or for weekend trips away.
This emerging trend means that cycle-wear brands have seen a resurgence in popularity of late, with many newspapers and fashion blogs relaying the latest trends from the saddle. So if you’re a cyclist looking for bike-friendly clothes that practical and stylish, it’s never been a better time to go shopping.
Where to look for essential cycling clothes
The start of the designer cycle-wear revolution can largely be traced back to one company, Rapha, which struggled to get off the ground at the beginning of the century. Only a decade on, this designer brand has enjoyed massive success by designing and selling high-quality cycling clothes and accessories, predominantly to men. Rapha’s most popular items are its cycling tops and rain jackets, which embody a timeless cycling style that will suit men of all ages. If you’re not sure where to start Rapha’s blog offers fashion tips, as well as general news from the world of cycling.
It’s not the only brand to cater to the growing number of men looking to don a better class of sportswear: Vulpine offers a great range of versatile clothing. With a range of neutral beiges, greens and blues, it’s particularly well suited to city cyclists. However, its versatile rain jackets and jerseys are also great for cycling weekends in the countryside.
Quoc Pham specialises in cycling shoes, marrying practical style with a more traditional aesthetic. Made from natural leather, Quoc Pham shoes are also effortlessly smart, meaning you can step straight off your bike and into work and still look elegant.
How to keep up with the latest cycling trends
Although women and younger generations are catching on, cycling fashion still owes a huge debt to the mamil – Middle-Aged Man in Lycra. It’s the older cyclists with disposable income, the serious riders who commute to work daily or spend their weekends competing in road races, who are changing the scene.
If you’re attempting to keep up with the latest innovations in cycling gear, it’s easy to find more information online. Major newspapers like The Guardian and The Telegraph regularly feature fashion spreads on cycle-wear, and magazines like GQ and Men’s Health are getting in on the trend too.
Specialist blogs relay some great tips as well: The Discerning Cyclist offers mature and considered options for like-minded stylish cyclists, while London Cycle Chic – though generally geared towards younger urban cyclists – is brimming with fun and colourful fashion tips. And there’s no reason you need to confine yourself to the UK CycleStyle Australia offers warm inspiration for men and women too.