While a helmet is essential for your safety and a good pair of bib shorts are vital for your comfort, a cycling jersey is one area of bicycle attire that allows you to bring your discerning sense of style to the saddle.
Of course, there’s plenty more to a good cycling jersey than the retro Italianate charm its torso-hugging silhouette and chic prints afford, but there’s a lot to be said for this pedalers piece purely as a fashion statement.
Like all good menswear, though, there must be a balance between fashion and function, especially when it comes to a pursuit as popular as cycling. From an elite perspective, the cycling jersey’s slim fit is all about getting the aerodynamic advantage.
Perhaps more relevant to the everyman are the sweat-wicking credentials of its fabrication, combined with a nice stretch that’ll keep things comfortable for hours on end.
And as with a quality pair of running shorts, the importance of pockets cannot be understated when it comes to cycling jerseys.
Traditionally, they come with three pockets to the rear primed for essential tools such as mini-pumps and tubes, although a cycling backpack will stow these just as well.
A jersey with pockets for a smartphone, keys and wallet, however, won’t go amiss if you’re looking for something to commute in.
So without further ado, here are GQ’s picks of the best cycling jerseys.
Rapha + Mr.Porter’s
What happens when the best-known cycling lifestyle brand knocks heads with one of the biggest platforms for luxury menswear? Part of this year’s charitable “Health In Mind” capsule collection, Rapha and Mr. Porter’s collaborative cycling jersey boasts all the tech the former employs for a comfortable ride and all the discerning style that Mr. Porter is known for. mrporter.com
Eschewing the bold designs that so often embellish cycling jerseys in place of super-wearable, minimalist pieces, Albion’s cycling apparel line is all about embracing Blighty’s cycling landscape.
This burnt yellow jersey boasts a high-stretch, moisture-wicking and highly breathable fabric for the ultimate in two-wheeled comfort, with the traditional three pockets to the rear to keep your essentials close by. . albioncycling.com
If you’re looking to join the elite peloton, here’s a jersey that’ll take you to the front of the pack.
A meticulously engineered close fit offers ultimate aerodynamics on the bike, while the 3D knit fabric from which it’s made means it remains highly breathable all the while.
To the back, a stabilizer textile also ensures it won’t ride up as you really put the pedal to the metal. wiggle.co.uk
Cafe Du Cycliste
Cycling brands don’t come more chic than Café du Cyclist. The Nice-based brand combines state-of-the-art fabrication (a mid-weight stretch jersey that wicks moisture and dries quickly on warm-weather rides, accented with ventilating mesh panels and silicone-gripped hems) with styles deserving of a place in our casual wardrobes.
A Breton striped cycling jersey? Pure class. mrporter.com
Morvélo’s graphics are unmistakable, and this brightly-hued, colour-blocked jersey showcases them in all their glory.
With an aesthetic that looks primed for racing, the tech spec is well suited to competitive cycling, too.
It boasts long raw-cut aero sleeves for unrestricted rides, and is extremely moisture-wicking, lightweight and breathable.
On your marks… morvelo.com
London creatives whose work uniform rarely contains the slightest hint of color can rest easy knowing that their commitment to all-black everything needn’t be compromised on their commute.
The streamlined, mesh design of this MAAP cycling jersey is just about the most stylish addition to your commuter wardrobe there is – and, worn with wide-leg trousers, wouldn’t look out of place among Berlin club kids. farfetch.com
Pas normal studios
Leave it to the Scandis, where cycling to work was the norm long before a global pandemic made public transport even less desirable, to bring the freshest approach to cycling gear.
A Northern European climate not dissimilar to ours is accounted for here for an all-weather piece, given the cycling elite treatment with its perforated panels for enhanced breathability and silicone grips to keep everything in place.
When life gives you lemons, put them on a cycling jersey.
This Stolen Goat bodyline jersey is made from an ultra-smooth lycra that’s not just comfortable on the bike, but feels smooth and luxurious.
The fit is particularly malleable thanks to the four-way stretch in its fabric, meaning it’ll sit tight to the contours of your body, no matter your shape.