Women’s cycling gear has come a long way from the shrink it and pink it limitations of the past. Yet it can still be difficult to find the right fit if you are above or below average height (5’4″ according to the CDC 2018 report on averages). That’s where Terry can come to the rescue. With a variety of options available to tackle all types of riding, we’ve taken a closer look at the best apparel that addresses the distinctions of being Petite or Tall. Tune in as Team Terry Bike Mavens, Annie from Customer Care and Cam from Marketing, chat about their top picks for each category.
Tall Order To Fill For Annie
Being tall has its challenges when it comes to bike wear, requiring a slightly longer torso length in tops, and bottoms with adequate inseam to keep the chill off ankles. I’ve discovered several Terry pieces that aid in a long-legged gal’s commuting and bike touring comfort. For reference, I’m 5’7” with a 31” inseam.
All Natural Feel
I prefer the natural fiber feel and non-clingy drape of the Wayfarer Short Sleeve Top. The 10” zipper allows ventilation – perfect for those sweaty rides or for anyone seeking a non-restrictive neckline. While I’d prefer a long sleeve option in this lovely fabric, I use a Bolero for additional warmth and/or sun protection. This versatile accessory also saves on packing weight for multi-day rides.
Good For A Spin
The Spinnaker Bike Capri was my first introduction to capri/knicker length bike wear. I grab the 19+” length Spinnaker for short adventures or pair it with a skirt for jaunts to the grocery store. I especially like the stylish V-shaped, loose-fitting hemline that adds flair. This versatile, minimally padded bottom, is one I gravitate to time and time again.
For a knicker that’s easy on the wallet, I’m enjoying the higher waistline and 20” inseam of the Actif Knicker. The Actif Knicker is perfect for commuter distances. For longer days in the saddle, the Wayfarer Capri’s svelte matte fabric with compression, and breathable Flex Air chamois, can’t be beat. It’s the ultimate in support and sublime comfort. I especially love the Azurite blue color that I can wear with almost any top.
Through The Seasons
I have two pairs of the Coolweather Tight Tall. I ride year-round in Vermont and the sculpted waistline, Flex chamois, and non-constricting fabric is wonderful for temperatures from 40-60F. For more extreme weather, I’d love to see a future version of the Winter Tight available in a longer inseam.
I’ve tried numerous pairs of shorts for summer riding, but I am enamored with a couple of favorites. For light compression I prefer the cozy Bike Bermuda. The Bike Bermuda is the famed Breakaway’s big sister; it has a higher waistline and longer leg length, but still offers the same great soft-feeling fabric. The Bella Bike Short is ideal for hot summer rides (pink stitching for the win!) and with an 8.5” inseam pairs well with a Mixie Skirt or Metro Skort when I’m meeting the girls for a beer. This summer, I’m ready to dive into mountain bike wear and try the Vista Bike Short with 10” inseam and wide and stretchy waistband.
More Options For Tall Riders
Touring Short Long – Light compression, thickest Flex Air Tour chamois, 10” inseam, quickest drying and best wicking fabric.
Wayfarer Short – Moderate compression, 2 side pockets, 11” inseam, Flex Air chamois for all-day comfort.
Hi Rise Holster Short – Highest rise short available with average (8.5”) inseam, 2 side pockets, and Flex Air chamois for all-day comfort.
Easy Rider Short – Great for someone new to cycling shorts – easy-going Fleet Air chamois, simple styling, and 9.5” inseam.
Euro Short and Power Short – where high compression meets all-day comfort in a 9″ inseam.
The Short Stack From Cam
As a shorter gal (standing tall at 5’2) I’ve had a tough time finding the right fit and learned to anticipate disappointment. Then, I found Terry. Gone are the jerseys that brushed my kneecaps, with comically long sleeves, loose wrists and shoulders. I’ve bid adieu to the bottoms that pulled my chamois and bagged in all the wrong places. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite Terry pieces so you too can surpass the “you must be this tall to ride” line.
7 Inch Wonders Of The World
I love the sleek, high compression, fabric of the Chill 7. It makes me feel like Wonder Woman and ride like her too! The simple construction, compression support, and 7″ inseam create a fit that is perfect for my frame. I’ve learned the hard way that poorly fitting shorts can ruin even the shortest of rides. When there is no bunching or chafing to worry about; I can ride in full confidence. At the height of summer, you’ll find me shortening my hem and switching to the Chill 5.
When Terry first introduced the Wayfarer Short, I loved everything about it…except the length. I am now convinced Terry created the Wayfarer 7 just for me! Four inches shorter than the original, this 7″ matte powerhouse feels luxurious and the deep stretchy pockets are perfect for carrying my essentials (SPF balm, phone/wallet combo, and gummy bears). The high-but-not-too-high waist is securing and provides just the right level of compression to keep my core in the zone on long rides. For a baggier option, you’ll find me in another fan-favorite that’s gone short this summer: The Metro 7 Inch Short. The Metro 7 is one of the most versatile items in my wardrobe as it is composed of a separate short and liner. It’s great for any activity that gets me outside, whether it be hiking, biking, camping, or a mix of all three.
Got You Covered
For below-the-knee coverage, I always reach for the classic Knicker. While this is one of Terry’s shortest pedal pushers (18” inseam) —it cuts no corners. With the most densely padded Flex Air Tour chamois, I can ride for a full day and hop back in the saddle the next. The moisture wicking fabric performs exceptionally on hot trail rides and the length protects my knees from sun, wind, shrubs, and the occasional wipeout.
The Sunblocker Jersey is a permanent staple in my pack. It has a slightly shorter front length compared to other Terry jerseys and is the ideal layering piece. This jersey is lightweight and keeps you cool with superior ventilation while providing full coverage UPF 50+ sun protection. When the day grows hotter than I can stand, it easily folds up and I ride on in the Soleil Racer Tank. In the colder months, I ride with a thermal underneath and take it fat biking or to hit the ski slopes.
In The Studio
I am mostly an outdoorswoman, but I don’t shy away completely from the studio. Every time I wear the Cyclotank to spin, a classmate will ask: “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT TANK?!” Compliments of Terry, I love the semi-fitted silhouette and super fun prints! The drape is not only flattering, it also makes the Cyclotank casual enough to bop around a bit after riding. Best of all, the hem doesn’t fall to my knees.
I am drawn to the brightest patterns and usually find them in full color on a Sun Goddess Jersey. This is another top with a slightly shorter front length and sporty feel. I love the racerback that shows off my shoulders and the princess seaming creates a very flattering fit. With three rear pockets, I have more room to spread out my essentials (more pockets = more gummy bears).
Other Favorites From This Shortie:
Coolweather Tight/Petite – 28″ inseam, ideal for temps 40-60F, minimally compressive full-coverage tight, Flex chamois, and soft waistband.
Touring Short/Short – Quick dry fabric with light compression, thickest Flex Air chamois, 5” inseam, and all-day comfort fit.
Mixie Ultra – A sweet cover-up in the perfect length with snap closures! Worn just as often by me on the bike as on the beach.
Racer Tank – Masterly designed for the hottest conditions, indoors and out. Lightweight, moisture wicking and UPF 50+ sun protective with racer back for ease of movement. Athletic-fit prevents bagging.