Washing Your Cycling Kit

George Hincapie

Your favorite cycling kit: aside from your bike, it’s the most important piece you own. So it makes sense that you take care of it to ensure it lasts as long as possible. To maintain its structure and performance, you should wash it with care. Here’s how:

Give it some space

Your cycling kit has been through a lot. So give it some space—in its own wash. Wash it by itself in its own cycle, and be sure to separate the lights from the darks.

Go all-natural

It’s tempting to choose the strongest-smelling detergent to cover up that long-ride funk. Resist the urge. Perfumes can clog the fibers and ruin the wicking ability of the fabric. Choose a detergent with no added perfumes or dyes, and if you really want to be good about it, purchase a detergent that is specifically engineered to protect athletic apparel.

Chill, baby

To keep your jersey’s materials breathable and light, set the washing machine on the delicate cycle with cold water. To give it a little extra TLC, you could also wash your cycling kit by hand, though that’s not necessary.

Finishing touch

Dry by hanging or lying flat. Heat and motion from the dryer can break down the fabric.

With these tips, your cycling kit should last you a while. It’s important to note, however, that no matter how careful you are with washings, no cycling kit will last forever. When you start to notice chafing and stretched fabrics, it may be time to say goodbye to Old Trusty in favor of a fresh one.