Make riding safer and more enjoyable with the best cycling gear

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Knee and elbow pads
Knee and elbow pads

You might think that setting off on a bike ride requires just a sturdy bicycle and a vague sense of direction. With many cycling brands offering a range of apparel, gadgets and accessories, though, it’s easier than ever to get outfitted like a cycling pro. Whether you’re new to the cycling realm or are a seasoned rider who wants to refresh some accessories, the importance of choosing the right gear cannot be over-emphasized. But the countless choices available can make shopping confusing — even the options for helmets alone can feel endless.

That’s why we sorted through the options, ranging from safety essentials like windbreaker jackets and knee pads to useful extras like cushioned seats. If you’re ready to take your cycling to the next level, check out these top picks for cycling gear in 2022.

Top Picks

Best overall: Zacro Gel Padded Bike Seat Cushion

Zacro Gel Padded bike cushion is best suited if you are suffering from pain
Zacro Gel Padded bike cushion is best suited if you are suffering from pain

A comfortable bike seat cushion can make a huge difference in your riding and even help reduce muscle fatigue. This piece of cycling gear is available in different colors so that you can match it to your bicycle. It's padded with a gel layer and is abrasion-resistant, so you don't have to worry about it chafing your thighs. And not only is this seat cushion padded, but it’s also breathable and dries fast. It also has an anti-slip surface, which can prevent any injuries. You get one seat cushion and a weather-resistant cover that helps keep the seat clean. This versatile seat cover is great for stationary and mountain bikes alike. Thanks to its durability, comfort, and versatility, this seat cushion has earned the top spot on our list.

Key Features:

  • Dimensions: 11 x 7 inches

  • Material: Polyester

  • Pressure relief channel

  • Anti-slip interior surface

  • Rear and back strings

Highest-quality jacket: Baleaf Women's Cycling Windbreaker

The running jackets for women is light and can be packed into a small self-contained bundle in the back pocket conveniently
The running jackets for women is light and can be packed into a small self-contained bundle in the back pocket conveniently

A premium quality windbreaker jacket can help protect your skin from harsh weather conditions like rain while cycling. From fluorescent orange to bright pink, this piece of cycling gear is available in many vibrant neon colors to improve visibility in the daylight or after dark. Besides being water-repellent, this jacket has fully sealed interior seams and a ventilation system on the back — so even if you are cycling in the rain or the scorching heat, you'll stay cool and dry. Featuring a lightweight material, this jacket folds into a compact unit to pack into your suitcase or backpack for your next adventure. This jacket is also extremely easy to clean; simply wipe it with a damp cloth and it will be as good as new.

Key Features:

  • Material: Polyester

  • Breathability rating: 3,000g/m2/24hr

  • 100% windproof and waterproof

  • Five utility pockets

  • Available from small to 2XL

Most comfortable: Sponeed Men's Padded Cycling Shorts

The padded shorts for men are very comfortable while cycling
The padded shorts for men are very comfortable while cycling

Long cycling sessions can cause tailbone pain if you don't wear comfortable gear. That’s why these padded cycling shorts for men are a must-have option for your cycling gear collection. You can find these shorts in multiple vibrant colors like blue and yellow to match the rest of your gear. They are made with a mix of nylon and spandex, which has a good amount of stretch yet fits well for a comfortable experience. These cycling shorts have gel padding that helps cushion your saddle bone while you cycle. Being suitable for longer rides, these shorts won’t cling to your body even when you’re sweating religiously.

Key Features:

  • Material: 80% polyester, 20% spandex

  • Elastic closure and waistband

  • Offer UPF 50+ protection

  • 4D chamois padding

  • Available from small to 3XL

Most protective: Jbm BMX Elbow and Knee Pads

Made of tough and durable PP, PE materials with breathable Polyester sleeves, it allow JBM user to enjoy the riding experiences with protection to their knees, elbow and wrist
Made of tough and durable PP, PE materials with breathable Polyester sleeves, it allow JBM user to enjoy the riding experiences with protection to their knees, elbow and wrist

Even if you're an experienced cyclist, you still need to protect your knees and elbows in case of an accident with the proper cycling gear. A great way to do this is by using these Jbm BMX Elbow and Knee Pads. These are available in both adult and child sizes so you can safely enjoy bike riding with your family. The best thing about these knee and elbow pads is that they are versatile and can be used for protection during skateboarding, hiking, and biking. You can use the straps to secure the pads on your knees and elbows to prevent scrapes or fractures. Each one has an impact-resistant lining on the outside that is breathable as well. The wrist guards have a special hole for your thumb to get a snug fit. This set also includes wrist guards.

Key Features:

  • Materials: Polypropylene and polyethylene

  • Adjustable straps for a custom fit

  • Reflective strips on sleeves

  • Available in youth, teen, and adult sizes

Best design: Thrlegbird Women's Padded Cycling Underwear

Women’s bike underwear with padding is made with premium fabric which is highly breathable
Women’s bike underwear with padding is made with premium fabric which is highly breathable

Not only is this women’s cycling underwear convenient and extremely comfortable, but they are also available in several colors like pink and rainbow. These briefs are made of a mix of high-quality materials that are breathable and stretchy to keep you cool and dry during your cycling sessions. Featuring a thick foam padding on the bottom area, these briefs are sure to help prevent muscle fatigue and keep you comfortable during even the longest rides. This cycling gear is available in larger sizes so that everybody can enjoy them. Another great feature of these briefs is that the stitching is glue-pressed to prevent irritation and chafing on sweaty days. The high waist design also keeps the underwear securely in place so that you don't have to worry about uncomfortable slipping.

Key Features:

  • Materials: 54.5% nylon, 26.5% polyester and 17% spandex

  • Four-way elastic stretch

  • Moisture-wicking and skin-friendly design

  • Ergonomic 3D foam padding

  • Comes in small to XXL sizes

Buying guide: Cycling gear

Muscle fatigue, scraped knees, and back pain are all problems that can be avoided with the right cycling gear. You can even customize your bicycle in many ways to make it more comfortable. If you want more information on cycling gear, keep reading.

How to make cycling more comfortable

1. Padding

There is no doubt that your bicycle is a hard piece of equipment that can cause discomfort. Some bicycle seats tend to be hard and this can injure your tailbone. To avoid this problem, you can find padded bicycle seats that have gel filling and are comfortable to sit on.

Another way to add additional padding and improve your comfort while cycling is by wearing certain types of bicycle shorts or underwear. These have padding built into the seating area and can be found in sizes for everyone.

2. Safety

Even if you are cycling on the pavement, there are chances of you getting hurt. To prevent this from happening, it's always best to take extra safety measures. One great way to keep yourself safe is by wearing protective pads on your knees and elbows.

This way, even if you get into an accident, the chances of you getting hurt will be reduced. Another piece of cycling gear that is extremely important is a helmet. Wearing a helmet can protect your head and face from serious injuries, even saving your life in the event of a crash.

3. Hydration

Since cycling burns many calories, you will most likely sweat a lot. No one wants to get dehydrated, so it's best to keep a water bottle handy. You can find cup holders that can easily be attached to the handles or frame of your bicycle.

Staying hydrated will keep you cool and energized. You can also carry an energy drink to replenish your electrolytes.

Cycling at night? Here's how to stay safe

If you're cycling at night, you can take these extra measures of having the proper cycling gear to improve your visibility to stay safe. One great way to keep yourself out of harm's way is by wearing reflective clothing. This will help vehicles recognize you and hopefully give you extra space.

You can also attach a small flashlight or bike lights to your bicycle handles to have visibility for the road ahead for extra protection at night. It's better to use multiple lights, such as one on the rear of your bicycle as a taillight, a flashing light to alert other road users, and a constant one to light your way.

People also asked

Q: What should I not wear while cycling?

A: Avoid wearing tight-fitted, non-athletic clothing like trousers or jeans while cycling since they can restrict your movements. It's best to wear stretchy materials like nylon or spandex since they give your muscles the right amount of compression. Rough clothing like jeans may also chafe your skin, so it should be avoided.

Q: Should I wash my cycling gear after use?

A: Yes! Cycling can make you sweat and once it accumulates, your gear can start to smell. Each piece of cycling gear has different washing instructions, so make sure to follow those well. To wash harder equipment like helmets, all you need is a wet wipe.

Q: What cycling gear should I wear in the rain?

A: If you plan on cycling in the rain, it's best to invest in a good windbreaker jacket. It will help keep you dry and also regulate your body's temperature, so you don't get too cold.