It’s tough to decide what to take with you on a bicycle tour but being comfortable on and off the bike is important. The space and weight of your clothing and accessories in your panniers needs to be a consideration too.
Bicycle Touring Clothing List
I decided on the Pearl Izumi Canyon Shorts. These are great on and off the bike. They sit about two to three inches above the knee and have a removable chamois; perfect for riding long distances. You can definitely wear these shorts for trekking or just casually walking around town. They dry pretty quick too.
2. Bicycle Skirt
I know, I thought the same thing, a skirt on a bike but the Pearl Izumi cycling Skirt is a nice alternative to wearing shorts. It’s noticeably cooler on the bike and again you can wear it without the chamois so its another multi-functional item for the pannier!
Take a pair with you that are travelling specific (for quick drying and antibacterial properties). I have Ayacucho Trousers which are a brand by Cotswold. They are very reasonable in price and I personally really like the fit.
A pair of nylon leggings are also useful to pull out for slightly cooler days to wear under dress, shorts or skirt.
Now this is where I have over packed! I have one merino summer dress (which I recommend taking) and one multifunctional dress by Emami. It’s not essential for a bike tour but it’s really nice to have, read my previous post about it for more information.
Don’t forget to pack a light cotton sarong. I use mine as a halter neck dress, a skirt, a scarf for cooler days and generally on the beach.
If your are planning to go on a bike tour don’t skimp on this, you’ll only regret it. Merino wool is a traveller’s friend, it keeps you warm, keeps you cool, keeps you dry and stops you smelling. I have a Merino Hoody by Emu (an Australian brand) but for a more outdoor specific brand go with Ice Breaker. They have a great range of jumpers, tops and thermal underwear.
I’m not a big fan of wearing a bra in stinking hot weather, they get sweaty and uncomfortable.
So for our bike tour I decided on the Shock Absorber Underwire Sports bra and I am so glad I did. I use this on and off the bike because the movability is great, it’s moisture wick plus it has an classic eyelet fastening at the back.
Top tip I’ve discovered that are a must have on the road are Yoga Bras! Throw them under a T-shirt, a dress, use it as a headband, a belt or wear them in bed for that ‘almost naked’ feel. They are cheap and weigh very little.
How many pairs of pants do you need? I have four pairs of Red Level moisture wick undies and they seem to be enough. On sale you can buy them really cheap, just beware of the sizing, make sure you order a size bigger and don’t choose the white ones! Trust me on this!
Keep cosy where ever you are! I have one pair of merino wool thermal bottoms with me, (I use my merino hoody and vest top to make up a set) when its cold and your camping you’ll be glad you packed them.
Three pairs of cycling socks. Why I packed five pairs with me, no one knows!
8. Bike Accessories
Sunglasses. Very important. In the past I have always spent very little on them but the Oakley Scalpel ones I bought for our bike tour are more than worth it. The grip on the arms and the nose bridge are fantastic, really comfortable to wear even in the most sweaty of conditions!
I also have a pair of casual sunglasses by Rayban. I got these the same day as my Oakleys because they were buy one get one free!
Every cyclist needs one of these! Keep the sweat from dripping in your eyes or to keep your head warm. I have an Endura Bandana in pink paisley.
Fingerless gloves for the hot countries and full gloves for the cold ones! Mine are mid range ones by Endura and seem to be holding up just fine.
Three years and who knows how many miles and they are still going strong! Teva sandals have to be the best sandals I’ve owned. Being leather they also look a lot smarter than many other walking sandal on the market. Without compromising on comfort you can pound the pavements in style!
Take a pair of flip flops! I have Havaianas. They are durable and won’t soak up water. Nice to wear in your not so clean hostel shower or on the beach.
Giro make great mtb shoes. These are really supportive and easy to walk around in off the bike.