Designing a custom cycling jersey gives you a chance to exercise your creative side and set yourself, your team, or your brand apart from the competition. A well-designed cycling jersey is designed with technical fabrics and features that enhance performance, but that doesn’t mean creating your custom jersey should be all work and no play. The design process should be fun and frictionless, and you don’t need to shy away from designs that show off your team spirit or brand’s personality. After over 20 years designing cycling jerseys for teams, clubs, non-profits, and businesses, we know what it takes to create a performance-ready jersey that you or your team take pride in wearing. We’ll guide you through the Hincapie design process, share expert design tips, and reveal 10 of our favorite cycling jersey designs to inspire your creativity.
How to choose a type of cycling jersey
The type of cycling discipline or event, the terrain, and the weather all influence the fit, features, and materials of your jersey design. Here are a few things to consider as you make your selection.
1. The discipline and fit
Cycling jerseys are generally designed for three types of riding–recreational, racing, or professional. Cyclists in each of these three categories perform differently and require a unique jersey fit to accommodate their style of riding. Recreational cyclists don’t need the skin-tight, sleek jerseys worn by the pros because slight aerodynamic gains don’t impact their performance. Additionally, aerodynamics matter even more in a time trial than they do in a road race.
Our designs come in a relaxed fit, a race fit, and a pro-fit for each type of cyclist, from least to most aerodynamic. The Arrow fit, for instance, is an aerodynamic skinsuit designed for cyclocross, criterium, or time trials. The Signature fit contours to the body to improve speed while road racing. Learn more about different cycling jersey styles or use our cycling apparel size guide to find the right fit for you.
Each type of Hincapie jersey style has a unique fit and features. You can compare each style using the chart below to find the best fit for your jersey design.
|Hincapie Cycling Jersey Collections|
|Velocity||Max||Signature||Gravel||Axis||Mountain Biking||Fluid Plus||Element|
2. The features
You no doubt want to design a high-quality jersey, and features can indicate the quality of your jersey or the quality of your ride while wearing the jersey. Jerseys are made up of a certain number of panels. The more panels a jersey has, the better the fit and the more opportunities available to fine-tune fabric to wick sweat, add warmth, or flex in prime locations. Zippers and pockets can impact your comfort while riding if you overheat and need to unzip, stash extra fuel, or pack a spare jacket or gloves.
3. The weather and terrain
Weather dictates your jersey design well beyond the decision between short or long sleeves. You can’t choose materials for your jersey until you have a particular climate in mind. You need to determine if your jersey should be wind or water-repellant, thermal, breathable, moisture-wicking, or all of the above. If you want a jersey that’s both thermal and moisture-wicking or wind-repellant and breathable, you need to use materials that strike the proper balance. Also, consider the terrain you’ll encounter. If you’re going to be riding over muddy trails, it may not be a good idea to choose a light-colored jersey.
4. The fabric
The best fabrics for a cycling jersey are either merino wool or synthetic technical materials, like lycra or polyester. Merino wool is best for cold or cool weather, and technical materials provide better aerodynamics and moisture-wicking. Often, cycling apparel is made from a blend of materials for optimal comfort in different environments. Some synthetic materials also protect from UV rays with SPF protection.
Best fabrics for cycling jerseys
Every Hincapie cycling jersey design is constructed in our family-owned factory and tested by pro cyclists. We engineer materials for cycling jerseys that are proven to withstand different environments and meet performance demands. Here are some of the best cycling jersey materials for different weather.
Best for hot weather
Breathable cycling jerseys with excellent moisture-wicking materials and UV protection are best for riding in hot weather in direct sunlight. Jerseys for hot weather are made from lightweight synthetic materials, like polyester, elastane, nylon, or Lycra. They often feature mesh ventilation and quick-dry technology.
Best for cold weather
The best fabrics for cycling in cold weather are good insulators, made from either soft and heavy synthetic materials, merino wool, or a blend of both. The fabrics also have good moisture management.
Best for wet weather
Stretchy fabrics with fast absorption are best for cycling in wet weather. Wet-weather jersey materials can either be light and ventilated for warm weather or soft and warm for cold weather.
Best against wind
Cycling jerseys optimized for aerodynamics may have channels knitted for airflow and are made from tight synthetic materials, like polyester or elastane.
Best for moderate weather
The best cycling jersey materials for moderate weather are often made from a blend of Lycra with other materials, like elastane or nylon. Most cycling jersey fabrics have some degree of temperature regulation, compression, and moisture-wicking properties.
There’s a lot to consider when designing a jersey, but we don’t expect you to make these decisions on your own. Reach out to our design team, and we’ll help you choose the best style, material, and features for your jersey.
How to design a custom cycling jersey
We love helping cyclists turn creative designs into jerseys they love wearing. Creating a great custom cycling jersey requires collaboration, so we’re available at every point of the design process to assist whenever you need us. Our design process is simple because as much fun as designing a jersey is, wearing it is the best part. Our goal is to get you on the road in your jersey as soon as possible. Here’s what you can expect if you decide to design your jersey with Hincapie.
1. Start a conversation with us.
Contact our team so we can help bring your jersey design to life. Let us know what type of riding you’ll do in your jersey and how many other riders will need a jersey, and we will provide more information and give you a quote. We have no minimums for custom designs and are happy to create a jersey for a large team or event, a few friends, or just yourself. Here’s what you can expect based on your custom jersey requirements.
- Custom team or club jerseys: We design custom jerseys for groups of all sizes and riding styles. Your group will also receive a free promotion on our social media channels. Learn more about how to build your team jersey.
- Custom collegiate jerseys: Our custom collegiate jerseys are made from materials tested for performance in wind tunnels by professional cyclists. We also extend the option to license your collegiate jersey and provide 10 free entries for the Gran Fondo Hincapie.
- Custom corporate and non-profit jerseys: If you choose to design jerseys for your business or non-profit with us, you’ll receive free promotion on our social media and 15% off Hincapie cycling apparel.
- Custom event jerseys: We’d love to collaborate with you on designing jerseys for your event. We’ll also provide you with free social media promotion and a 25% discount on Hincapie apparel.
2. Decide on your jersey’s most important features.
Features and materials your jersey will need to include would not be the same for a jersey worn in mid-July on the road, in November on a muddy trail, or for a time trial event. If you aren’t sure of the right technical specifications for your jersey, tell us when and where you plan to ride, and we’ll help you figure it out.
3. Choose a jersey design style.
Your cycling needs, discipline, and environment will narrow down your list of options for materials and styles for your jersey. The lists of jersey styles and materials can guide you in choosing the best style from our collections, and we’ll help you make the final decision.
4. Try a sample jersey to find the right fit.
Once you know what style of jersey you need and are ready to try on a Fit Kit, let us know! We’ll send you various sizes so you can make sure everyone on your team gets a comfortable jersey and looks great.
5. Finalize your jersey design.
You’re welcome to design your jersey on your own or to take advantage of our free design services. We don’t think you should have to choose between the look and performance of your jersey. Our expert designers are skilled at creating fun and functional jerseys ready to tackle the challenges of your rides.
After you’ve finalized your jersey design and placed your order, our team will create your one-of-a-kind jersey and ship it to you in 5–7 weeks.
7 tips for designing a custom cycling jersey
We’ve seen a lot of cycling jersey designs through the years–the good and the bad. Here are a few design tips we’ve learned through experience.
- Design your jersey in neon colors or with bright accents if you plan to ride in the evening or early morning. For cyclists, staying seen on the road means staying safe. So if you’ll be riding in dark or dim light, you’ll need a jersey that keeps you visible.
- Don’t use white for cycling on muddy terrain. Your white jersey simply won’t last as long or look as good if it gets splattered with mud every time you wear it.
- Use white or light colors if you’ll be riding on a hot day in direct sunlight. Light colors are the better choice if the sun will be beaming down on you. A light-colored jersey will reflect the sunlight, but dark colors absorb the heat. You should also consider jersey materials that provide UV protection.
- Don’t design a boring jersey–have fun. Don’t be afraid to go bold with team spirit and personality in your designs.
- Create a cohesive look. You don’t have to cycle in a perfectly matching kit, but your jersey should at least coordinate with your overall look–from your helmet to your shoes.
- Think about every panel. Remember your jersey is made of multiple panels, which means you can be strategic about where you use which materials. And make sure you design the jersey from every angle and don’t devote all your attention to the front.
- Think about logo sizing and placement, especially if you have multiple sponsors. Choose colors that make logos stand out, and make sure they’re positioned on the jersey so they’re visible when your bent in a riding position. If a sponsor logo is long, think carefully about sizing and placement so it fits in a spot where it’s easy to read or see.
10 best cycling jersey design ideas we love
If you’re looking for inspiration for your cycling jersey design, here are 10 of our favorite custom jerseys we’ve designed for corporate teams, colleges, bike shops, events, and the Hincapie brand to commemorate our heritage. Our favorite jerseys are listed in no particular order because they’re all uniquely awesome.
This jersey design celebrates our brand’s 20th birthday with a cool, old-school vibe.
Shop the women’s Hincapie Anniversary jersey in bright pink.
2. Naval Academy Custom Cycling Jersey
We love the subtle anchor pattern on this clean and crisp jersey design.
This jersey memorialized our Columbian heritage with a subtle salute to the Columbian flag. 15% of sales from this jersey are donated to World Bicycle Relief in Columbia. Read the full story of the Mi Patria Jersey.
4. Penn State Custom Cycling Jersey
This jersey is the perfect blend of fun and professional with a bold pattern and clean logo placement.
5. Clemson Tigers Custom Cycling Jersey
This bright and exciting jersey was designed to celebrate Clemson’s national championship and undefeated season in 2019.
6. Playland Velo Custom Cycling Jersey
A local cycling club in Rye, NY asked us to design this fierce dragon jersey gleaning inspiration from a local amusement park ride.
7. Harper Auto Square Custom Cycling Jersey
We designed this sleek jersey for a high-end car dealership near Knoxville, TN, with a topographical design and high-vis reflective orange accents.
8. Big Tree Cycling Custom Cycling Jersey
We love the fun pattern and vivid green on the jersey design for the Big Tree Cycling club.
9. The Drink Simple Custom Cycling Jersey
This jersey is a toast to a local small business whose plant-based recovery drinks we swear by.
Feeling inspired? Let us help you design an awesome custom jersey for your team or brand. Or, choose from the men’s cycling jerseys or women’s jerseys from the Hincapie store.
If you’re interested in learning more about what to wear while cycling, we’ve got you covered. Here are all the buying guides and items you’ll need for a new cycling kit in addition to your jersey.
- How to Buy Bike Shorts
- Best Bike Shorts for Women
- How to Wear Bike Shorts
- Bike Shorts vs. Bib Shorts
- How to Buy Cycling Tights