What to Wear Under Cycling Jersey?

What to Wear Under Cycling Jersey?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered what the best options are for wearing under your cycling jersey.

As avid riders, we want to be comfortable and avoid chafing when we’re pedaling for miles.

But we also want to look stylish when cruising around town.

So what should you wear under your jersey?

Let’s break it down.

Do You Wear Anything Under Your Cycling Jersey?

Some riders go commando under their jerseys, while others prefer undershirts or special cycling base layers.

There’s no definitive right or wrong approach here.

It really comes down to your personal preference and what makes you feel most comfortable in the saddle.

For shorter rides, you may be able to get away with nothing or just a basic bra underneath.

But for longer distances, you’ll want something that wicks away sweat and prevents chafing.

Personally, I like to wear a breathable cycling tank underneath my jerseys.

The lightweight material keeps me cool while also providing a little extra coverage.

And I find it helps prevent any embarrassing sweat stains from showing through!

What to Wear Under Cycling Jersey?

Here are some of the most popular options cyclists choose to wear under their jerseys:

Cycling Base Layers

These form-fitting tops are specifically designed for cycling.

They come in short and long sleeve versions.

Cycling base layers are made from moisture-wicking technical fabrics that help regulate your body temperature.

This means they keep you warm when it’s cold out but also cool you down when you heat up from exertion.

Popular brands like Pearl Izumi and Castelli make excellent cycling base layers.

I prefer sleeveless ones on hot summer rides.

During colder months, long sleeve base layers add warmth underneath my jersey.

Compression Gear

Tops and bottoms made from compression fabrics are another good choice under a cycling jersey.

The tight fit increases blood flow and reduces muscle vibration.

This helps prevent fatigue on long rides.

Brands like CW-X and 2XU offer compression gear in various styles.

You can wear a compression top by itself in warm weather.

Or layer it under a jersey when you need extra warmth.

Compression shorts or leggings are also great for cooler rides when paired with cycling tights or bibs.


A plain polyester or wool undershirt can also work well for cycling.

Look for moisture-wicking technical fabrics versus cotton undershirts which will get heavy with sweat.

I prefer sleeveless undershirts in the summer to help keep me cool on hot rides.

Sports Bras

For female cyclists, a good sports bra is a must under your jersey.

Make sure to choose one with compression that minimizes bounce but isn’t too restrictive.

The right sports bra will keep you comfortable and supported during hours in the saddle.

Brands like Shefit and Moving Comfort design bras specifically for high-impact exercise like cycling.

I recommend getting professionally fitted to find your ideal sports bra for biking.

Cycling Tank Tops

Breathable cycling tank tops are made to wear right under your jersey.

They provide an extra layer while still being lightweight and form-fitting.

Brands like Louis Garneau and Primal make cycling tanks with moisture management fabrics.

For warm-weather rides, a cycling tank adds coverage and helps wick sweat.

Tanks also come in handy for the cooler months, allowing you to layer up underneath your jersey.

What Not to Wear Under Cycling Jersey?

Now that we’ve covered good options to wear, here are some things you’ll want to avoid under your cycling jersey:

  • Cotton Shirts – Cotton absorbs sweat and stays wet against your skin.
    This can cause chafing on long rides. Save the cotton tees for pre/post-ride.
  • Bras with Bulky Straps – Thick bra straps can potentially dig into your shoulders when in aggressive cycling positions.
    Opt for a bra with a racerback or other minimal strap design.
  • Oversized Clothing – Baggy shirts will flap around and feel uncomfortable as you ride.
    Form-fitting cycling tops or base layers are best under a jersey.
  • Denim and Heavy Fabrics – Heavier materials like denim have no place under a cycling jersey.
    The roughness can lead to saddle sores or rashes.
  • Winter Layers – Bulky sweaters and jackets restrict movement on a bike.
    Only layer lighter breathable fabrics under your jersey.

Following these guidelines will ensure the highest comfort and performance from the skin out.

Do You Wear a Bra Under Cycling Jersey?

If you’re a female cyclist, wearing a quality sports bra under your cycling jersey is non-negotiable.

But finding the right bra for biking does require some trial and error.

The key is getting a bra that fits snugly, offers compression, and has features catered to cycling.

Here are some top tips for picking a sports bra to wear under cycling jerseys:

  • Get Professionally Fitted – Every brand fits differently, so get your correct size for cycling.
    A bike shop or running store can help with fittings.
  • Opt for Compression – Bras with compression bands across the chest minimize bounce best.
    Encapsulation-style bras alone may not cut it.
  • Choose Low-profile Straps – Thick straps can potentially interfere with backpack shoulder straps.
    Look for thinner racerback straps.
  • Consider Moisture-wicking Fabric – Technical fabrics that wick sweat will keep you cooler and drier on rides.
  • Buy Two – Rotate between two good bras to extend the lifespan of each one.
  • Focus on omfort – No underwire or scratchy seams that could irritate on long rides.

My recommended bra for cycling right now is the Shefit Ultimate Sports Bra.

The adjustable velcro straps and bands allow you to dial in the perfect fit.

And the compression keeps the girls fully secure no matter how rough the terrain gets!

Should You Wear an Undershirt When Cycling?

Wearing an undershirt while cycling can have some benefits depending on weather conditions and personal preference.

Here are a few pros of adding an undershirt to your cycling wardrobe:

Temperature Regulation – A moisture-wicking undershirt helps wick sweat off your body.

This keeps you cooler on hot rides and warmer with a thermal undershirt on chilly rides.

An extra layer provides more insulation and temperature regulation.

Prevents Chafing – A form-fitting undershirt creates a smooth base layer preventing skin irritation from your jersey.

The shirt absorbs friction instead of your skin.

Sun Protection – An added layer provides increased UV ray protection for sensitive skin.

Opt for shirts with UPF (ultraviolet protection factor).

Extra Coverage – Undershirts give you more coverage and opacity if your jersey fabric is on the thinner side.

Prevents see-through issues.

Prolongs Jersey Life – The jersey itself stays cleaner longer since your base layers absorb the brunt of sweat and oils.

Compression Option – Compression undershirts increase circulation and reduce vibration.

Great for muscle recovery.

Of course, there are also some disadvantages to keep in mind:

Added Heat – More layers mean more heat retention on hotter rides.

Make sure undershirts are lightweight and breathable.

Extra Laundry – You’ll have more cycling clothes to wash after each ride.

But some argue this helps extends the lifespan of the jersey itself.

Binding – Some tighter-fitting undershirts may feel restrictive, especially compression gear.

Test what levels of compression work best for you.

Bulk – Adding layers can add bulk underneath the jersey, impacting aerodynamics.

So weigh the pros and cons when deciding if wearing undershirts suits your cycling needs and preferences.

Try out some different options to find what works for your individual rides and conditions.

Final Thoughts

Figuring out what to wear under your cycling jersey comes down to personal preference, weather conditions, and the specific demands of your rides.

Take into account factors like temperature regulation, sweat-wicking, coverage, support, aerodynamics, and comfort.

Breathable moisture-wicking fabrics are best directly against the skin.

For female riders, dialing in a quality sports bra is key.

Base layers, compression tops, undershirts and cycling tanks all make good jersey layers too.

Just avoid heavier fabrics like cotton that can cause chafing.

Experiment with different options to find your perfect under-jersey wardrobe.

A good rule of thumb is to opt for form-fitting layers made from technical quick-dry fabrics.

With the right base layers, you’ll stay comfortable, supported and chafe-free out on the road or trails.

Now get out there, layer up properly, and enjoy the ride!

Let me know if you have any other tips for dressing in cycling kits.

Ride safe my fellow cycling friends!

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Joey B. Ramsey
Passionate cyclist, father, and blogger.
I've been riding bikes since childhood and enjoy sharing my knowledge with fellow cycling enthusiasts.
My diverse bike collection allows me to write reviews and advice based on personal experience with various bikes and accessories.
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