The majority of sports have their own dedicated apparel to make performing said sport that little bit easier and to help you improve over time. Soccer jerseys need to be lightweight and breathable, while golf clothing comprises polo shirts and stretch-fabric chinos, for example. Cycling, meanwhile, is in a field all of its own, as skintight clothing is the aim of the game in the pursuit of cutting through the air and bringing down your PB times.
It should go without saying, however, that a good chunk of cycling clothing can be considered ‘unflattering’, as it is not only badly designed, being covered in excessive logos that make you appear to be a sponsored rider, but it fails to take into account genuine functionality.
It's never a good idea to overlook the talents of the French when it comes to cycling gear. With over 125 years of experience in cycling, Mavic is steeped in tradition and uses its expertise to develop some of the most innovative solutions to cycling apparel. Their apparel design is minimalist but it's the strategic intersecting lines and bold colour blocking that really brings out each garment's beauty to go with its functionality.
Swedish brand Sigr is one that champions equality and sustainability. By this, it means that clothing is deliberately designed to be genderless (in terms of design, rather than fit), opening the brand up to the entire cycling community, while its Ocean Collection is made from 100% recycled plastic.
Sigr's cycling clothing range does away with large logos and decals, instead, offering colourful designs and patterns that offer a refreshing change. The company even has a Commute range of more urban-orientated clothing to change into once you get to the office.
One of the biggest names in outdoor adventure sports is POC. The Swedish label take their cycling gear and safety standards to extreme levels with the mission statement of 'saving lives and reducing the consequences of accidents for gravity sports athletes and cyclists'. We don't doubt their ability with stunning looking gear which pairs technical solutions with construction, advanced material combinations and engineering into every piece.
Santini is one of the world’s top manufacturers of premium road cycling wear. Their mission is to create high performance clothing with unrivalled fit, performance, comfort and durability. Santini is family owned and Made in Italy.
Cafe Du Cycliste
Another addition to our list of elite cycling garments is this French brand which pitches itself on tailored technology. Cafe du Cycliste believes that presentation doesn't need to be compromised in pursuit of performance on the road. Their range is inspired by the tradition of French cycling and hand crafted with a range of fabrics to ensure the quality lives up to the wear. There's also a wide range of colours to choose from which will ensure you get noticed for all the right reasons.
Formed in 1972, Sportful are makers of designers cross-country skiing and cycling apparel for men and women. Their attention to detail and superior design aesthetic sets Sportful apart from its competitors.
Kalas has its HQ in the Czech Republic where it's able to import materials from Italy and Switzerland. 25 years since its founding, it remains a family-owned company and it has earned itself collaborations with the British and Czech National Cycling Teams. Expect to find jerseys, bib shorts, hats and more.
This UK company was set up by two graphic designers who didn't "have a single clue about clothing or running a retail business." They were both into extreme sports and started designing lycra clothing which proved popular among friends, and then even more popular among the wider cycling community. The collection now includes jerseys, shorts, speedsuits, sunglasses, gilets and more.
Makers of photochromic sunglasses & kits for cycling. Their M2 range of cycling jerseys are well priced and designed to perfection.
An off-shoot of the fabled Castelli name is never a bad thing. That's what former pro cyclist David Millar did when he teamed up with the Italian brand to create Chapt3 - an exquisite premium clothing range for recreational riders. Every piece is inspired by Savile Row’s bespoke tailoring and meticulous recreated by trim cuts and sophisticated detailing with innovative fabrics.
Bianchi is a heavyweight brand in the cycling community, being the oldest bicycle manufacturing company in the world (it was founded in 1885). It was the first to pioneer a bike with equal-sized wheels with pneumatic rubber tyres. The company's apparel is certainly Italian in design, with an array of patterns and colours available, including the instantly recognisable 'Celeste' colour, a turquoise also known a 'Bianchi Green'. It's not all style and no substance either, as the company's jerseys quickly wick moisture away from the body and provide an optimum fit.
With a strong focus on bespoke fibre and fabric technology, performance apparel label Ashmei ensures that its designs are adapted to the wearer's every movement whatever the climate, providing a high level of comfort for cycling, running, triathlons and more.
If you don't know Castelli then you don't know professional cycling. The Italian label has been pioneering cycling apparel since 1876 and has amassed a slew of trophies along the way with people using their gear. They invented the skinsuit, the sublimated jersey and the first Lycra short used in professional racing. This tradition of innovation continues today, inspiring us and influencing every product that rolls out of the historic cycling house.
Rapha caters to discerning cyclists with a one-stop shop that offers performance roadwear and accessories, alongside publications and events. The first Rapha collection was launched in July 2004, at a month-long Rapha exhibition of cycling memorabilia and events called “Kings of Pain.” From those humble origins, Rapha has gone on to become synonymous with the highest levels of quality and become the official clothing sponsor to Team Sky Pro Cycling.
Founded by two brothers, Vincenzo and Claudio Mantovani, whose expertise, passion and dedication in creating the most technical cycling apparel for top profession cyclists are the driving forces behind Nalini's success.
Pas Normal Studios
Copenhagen-born Pas Normal Studios takes a fresh approach to cycling apparel with signature Scandinavian design fused with high-performance fabrics and comfortable fits. The pieces are made with the Northern-European climate in mind, so cyclists can expect durable, all-weather pieces that are all handmade in Italy.
Giro was founded in 1985 and in the past 30 plus years has consistently put a great deal of attention into the products it makes. As it says on the website "We are the brand that sweats the details". Giro understands that you're going to want clothing and products that perform exceptionally well, and so will spend hours, days and weeks making sure they're perfect down the last millimetre.
Giordana is another cycling brand that has been around for several decades. Founded in Italy in 1970 by Giorgio Andretta, the company has since become a global powerhouse in the cycling industry (it has the honour of being a former supplier for the Tour de France) with stores all around the globe. Throughout the years the company's mission statement hasn't changed, and it's to give "riders the ability to perform at their highest possible level."
Garneau was launched in 1983 by Louis Garneau. The Canadian cyclist started the company with one clear aim: to produce well-fitting and thoughtfully-designed apparel that was above all else, affordable. Louis doesn't just create products he thinks cyclists will love, but his designs come from experience, as he competed for Canada in the cycling road race at the 1984 Olympics in LA.
Pearl Izumi was founded in Tokyo, Japan over 60 years ago by Kinji Shimizu. He was an avid cyclist and always had an entrepreneurial attitude towards producing clothes. After his son, Hiro, won an Italian-made jersey at the Asian Cycling Championships in 1984, Kinji was amazed by the quality and set out to create his own cycling apparel, using only the finest materials. Pearl Izumi sponsored the 1984 US Olympic Team and today produces clothing for road cycling and mountain biking. The company even lays claim to a number of world firsts in cycling apparel, including being the first to develop fully welded cycling shorts, as well as the first to use the BOA closure system on cycling footwear.
Gore Wear is the result of the formation of Gore Bike Wear and Gore Running Wear in 2018. The Gore brand as a whole was founded in 1958 by Wilbert L. Gore, and is the same company responsible for manufacturing the water-resistant material, Gore-Tex. The underlying feature of Gore-Tex and the Gore Wear apparel is the patented PTFE, or Teflon. You can therefore rest easy, knowing that Gore Wear cycling apparel will not only keep your body temperature regulated, but will repel water should you find yourself in a downpour.
In 2005, fed up with an uninspired selection of choices for technical gear, we set out to change the face of cycling apparel and the predictable regurgitation of last year’s predictable regurgitation.
With more than 70 years experience, De Marchi is today the world's oldest cycling clothing company.
Campagnolo designs, develops and produces solutions for road cycling, triathlon and cyclocross.
Riders using ASSOS products have won well over 250 gold medals at Olympic Games, World Championships and in almost every other prestigious professional cycling race. Impressed yet? Based in Ticino “Terra di Ciclismo”, Switzerland, ASSOS was founded in 1976 with the creation of the first ever Lycra® cycling shorts. The company continues to innovate, setting industry standards (like the fastest cycling bodysuit on earth) time and time again.
dhb is all about enjoying the experience of cycling, no matter what the weather. Using years of experience, dhb is manufacturing reasoned cycling apparel allowing you to reach the next level. High-quality components mixed with perfect fit and innovative designs - a little something giving you the chance to relish the ride without worrying about your equipment.
Established in Sydney, Australia in late 2012, founders Greg Hamer and Stevan Musulin, combined more than 15 years of cycling, fashion and brand management experience to create Attaquer.
Black Sheep Cycling
If you don’t want to look like anyone else on the road, Black Sheep Cycling is your best bet. Some would call them unique whilst others would call them gaudy. Either way, there’s no doubt their kits will catch eyes as you blaze through the course in style and comfort without compromising on performance.
Hailing from the good looking streets of Melbourne is Maap, an apparel group who know their riding and exist to offer premium cycling apparel for men and women with a focus on quality, cool design and art. Their garments are designed to withstand the regular abuse of of cycling with a strong focus on longevity through quality manufacturing. They're pretty serious about this point too with their cycling socks made in Australia and their apparel made in Italy.
The Pedla represents cycling for the diehard cyclist so it's little wonder they take their kit seriously. Each garment boasts exacting levels of functionality, performance and sound design that will no doubt turn a few heads. The base cloth itself is developed in partnership with Italian company Mitispa as well as Swiss company Schoeller Textiles whilst their endurance chamois is provided by CYTECH for easy riding on longer trips.
This Italian company has, as its name suggests, a true passion for cycling. They boast about how many hours are spent testing each piece of clothing, but it's to ensure that it will give you supreme comfort no matter your position. La Passione also sells direct to customers, cutting out several middle men, bringing the price you pay, down. You can find anything and everything you need, including jerseys, shorts, gloves and socks.
Born out of a need to be different, Pedal Mafia brings eye-catching, fashionable products to the cycling world. Whether you're looking for a unique kit, just want to buy some great urban wear they have you covered.
This Japanese company – stylised as PEdAL ED – has the sole aim to "make the most comfortable and long-lasting garments on the market". Those garments are in fact made in Italy, using the "finest manufacturing techniques" around. Expect to find a range of colours and minimalist designs, and pieces that can be used both on the commute to work and on high mountain passes.