How to choose your “go-to” cycling tops
There’s so much more to choosing cycling tops – or bike jerseys – than just finding patterns and colors you like. Finding the right tops for your riding style, comfort preferences and performance needs will make all your rides more fun and enjoyable.
We’re here to help you navigate all the choices. Here’s the low-down from the team of experts here at Terry:
Sleeves – for all seasons and reasons
Striking the right balance between warmth, ventilation, and sun protection is your first consideration. It’s the biggest reason why most cyclists collect a variety of cycling tops – to make sure they have just the right jersey for any weather conditions they expect to ride in.
The other big reason is all those terrific patterns and colors – so you always have great answers to “What do I feel like wearing today?”
Don’t forget about the cycling bolero – a very useful addition to your cycling wardrobe. Wear over short sleeve and sleeveless cycling tops for extra protection against sun or cold air, then stow it easily when conditions change.
Is it your style?
Are you a road rider who goes out for hours at a time? A globetrotting, multi-day bike tourist? An MTB maven or gravel gal? Or maybe you’re more of a recreational rider? Would you like to be able to use your top for a variety of activities? Selecting the right jersey should be a function of the style of riding you’re going to be doing, the kind of weather you’ll be likely to encounter, the amount of coverage you want—or don’t want—and of course, what you want to spend. Before selecting your top, always consider how you’ll be spending your time in the saddle.
We’re well aware that there isn’t just one type of rider out there, so we offer something in every category: short sleeve, sleeveless, long sleeve styles in high functioning fabrics from ultralight to thermal fleece-backed.
- Sleeveless Bike Tops
- Short Sleeve Bike jerseys
- Long Sleeve Bike jerseys
- Touring Bike Jerseys
- Mountain Bike & Gravel Tops
- Multi Sport Tops
- Sun Protective Tops
Another biggie for cycling has to do with pockets, both in numbers and in placement. Handy as can be for extended rides and on-the-fly support, open rear pockets can carry your phone, energy bars, light wind jacket, sunscreen, an extra water bottle, and a host of necessities that would otherwise require a pack. Look for pockets that are easy to reach, plenty deep and with some security for key or credit card.
You can filter any of our cycling apparel categories using the checkboxes for 1 or 2 pockets, or 3+ pockets, like this: all apparel with pockets. If you prefer to live a pocket free lifestyle, don’t worry, we have options for you, too!
Our goal is to get you riding beautifully, and that includes riding in comfort. The fit of our cycling tops gives you options, in addition to size, to find the balance of tightness, airiness, and aerodynamics that suits your preferences and individual shape. Here’s a brief guide to our fit options.
The jerseys and cycling tops you’ll find at Terry fall into three general fit categories:
Form-fitted for best moisture wicking and aerodynamics to minimize wind resistance and flapping. Typically these are considered “performance” tops and are well-suited for intensive riding. See athletic fit options here.
Body contoured, but not tight, this fit splits the difference between athletic and relaxed fit tops. Suited for touring and fitness/recreational riding where aerodynamics are less important than all-day, on/off bike comfort. Browse semi-fitted cycling top options here.
Loose against the body. Unusual to find in the cycling industry, we offer several tops in this fit category for riders who simply don’t want to wear anything tight but desire the features of a technical top. Shop relaxed fit tops here.
Fabric & Technology.
So which fabrics are best for cycling tops? The world has exploded with technical man-made fabric options, all-natural performance alternatives, sustainable fibers like bamboo or recycled polyester, and a host of yarns, treatments and finishes that can add certain characteristics. All of these have something to offer, but they can and do differ in their levels of moisture control, heat management, UPF factor, texture, anti-odor control and stretch/resilience. With so many options in the world of cycling wear, it’s important to select tops in fabrics that will serve the best technical properties for your needs. Here are a few excellent fabrics that we use in our tops, and why use them.
Amazing silver ion technology embedded in our 100% polyester anti-bacterial fabric permanently inhibits the growth of odor causing bacteria. Less bacteria = less odor. So how does it work? The positive silver ions are attracted to bacteria’s negatively charged ions and when they get together, the bacteria stops reproducing completely. Unlike some antibacterial finishes, this technology will never wash away or stop working because it is woven into the very fabric. The magic doesn’t just stop at the bacteria-eating buffet, this fabric is also highly breathable, quick wicking, and has interwoven UV protection (UPF 40+ rating). The array of jerseys that utilize this innovative fabric includes our Breakaway Mesh Jersey, Sunblocker Jersey, Actif Jersey and Sun Goddess Jersey.
Soleil Fabric (Micropoly)
Apparel made from our revolutionary Soleil fabric provides cyclists with sun protection against UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays. In addition to offering built in UPF 50+ sun protection that won’t wash away with continued use, our micropoly Soleil fabric has a luxuriously silky feel, is extremely light, wrinkle resistant, antimicrobial, moisture wicking and comfortably wearable in high heat/aerobic conditions. The combination of these properties make our Soleil Tops an excellent option for recreating beyond just riding and are used for a host of activities from paddle boarding to pickleball. Check out our Soleil collection here.
Tech Tee Fabric:
Ideal for occasions where you just don’t need/want a traditional bike jersey, our Tech Tee fabric has a more casual feel yet is still packed with performance features. It delivers UPF 50+ sun protection, great stretch, and exceptional moisture wicking to keep you cool, dry and comfortable on recreational and commuter rides. Explore our line of Tech Tees and Tanks. Or discover our NEW Rover 3/4 Sleeve Top composed from the same fabric.
Polyester Tricot isn’t that well known, but its soft, natural-fiber feel, smooth texture, and day-in-day-out durability make it a phenomenal choice for cycling. Woven using a unique process, tricot is resistant to runs, tears, wrinkles, and static and offers wonderful drapeability that flatters all body types. Its highly breathable, polyester-based construction excels at moisture wicking and provides cling-free comfort for many happy hours in the saddle. Our best selling Tourista Tanks and crowd-pleasing Wayfarer Tops made from this fabric can be found riding anywhere from casual excursions with friends to multi-day bike tours.
In building upon our mountain bike and gravel riding programs, it was important to select a fabric that could stand up to the demands of high-intensity, enduro experiences. We opted to use an eco-friendly recycled polyester mesh that manages moisture and has superior durability and abrasion and UV resistance. With a UPF 30+ rating, our recycled polyester Vista Tops pair perfectly with sunny days spent out on the trails.
We sourced this stunning mesh fabric to create a performance player with the best breathability, that dries quickly, drapes beautifully, and has a very soft and cool feel against the skin. Primed for the hottest conditions and most vigorous workouts, our Cyclotanks made from Italian Rib-tek are a preferred option amongst cyclistas and yogis alike.
Where wool is considered one of nature’s miracle fabrics, merino is the crème de la crème for cycling. Finest and softest wool of any sheep, Merino makes a great next-to-skin natural fabric alternative for cyclists. It excels at regulating body temperature, providing a high degree of warmth to weight so you don’t have to bulk up. It is also excellent for moisture wicking, is slightly moisture repellent, has antibacterial properties and can be aired out rather than washed with each use. Be on the lookout for a NEW Terry Merino Long Sleeve Jersey – arriving Fall 2023.
Ready to explore? See all our bike tops here.
Or start with short sleeve tops, sleeveless tops, or long sleeve tops.
Bobbie Ubersax says
Reading “how to choose cycling tops”, none of the links to the “see them here” work. Always bring up “Page not Found”. Frustrating!
Colin D. says
These links should be redirecting on our new website, but clearly something is in need of a fix. Thank you for taking time to let us know about this issue.