As larger women know, being bigger doesn't mean you are not fit; so of course you need good quality plus size cycling clothing to race, participate in events, get to work or school, or just have fun on the weekends. Whatever your needs, the gear is out there.
Shopping for Plus Size Cycling Clothing
If you are involved in marathons or other serious cycling events, you may feel more comfortable being able to try on sports bras and other necessary equipment, rather than shopping online. The annoying irony is that it can be difficult to find a decent plus size selection in a shop dedicated to women's sportswear.
However, the good news is that most online resources for plus size cycling clothing offer a reasonable exchange policy, so if you buy something that doesn't quite measure up, you can try again without too much bother.
If you can't find a good selection of sports apparel in a brick-and-mortar shop, your next best option is an online shop that specializes in women's sportswear.
- Start with Team Estrogen "where style meets the road." They have over eighty choices in bras, tops, jerseys, shorts and leggings.
- Aero Tech Designs has a smaller but good selection of plus size cycling clothing with a lot of detailed information about the performance capacity of each garment. They also offer gel bicycle seats.
- Junonia is another favorite resource for plus size active wear - they have clothes for cycling, running, tennis, golf, yoga and many other sports and include shoes and socks in their selections.
Specific Items to Consider
If you're an avid cyclist, then you need serious equipment from helmet to shoes. But if you're only going to invest big money and effort into a few items, those should be your shorts and your sports bra.
You may not think a sports bra is so important when cycling, as your upper body doesn't move so much, and opinions do differ, but for any physical activity, you want your breasts to be properly supported.
The Enell Hope Bra with Pedometer, as seen on 'Oprah', is one of the best choices in a sports bra. While it's more expensive than what you might get at Target, $6 of your purchase goes to FORCE, which is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by breast and ovarian cancer. The bra comes in breast-cancer-awareness pink and is the bra for women who have been otherwise unable to find true support. The bra will accommodate up to a 60-inch bust line and a 53-inch rib cage, so you can be as active as you like and know your breasts are getting the support they need. Enell warns that the bra may feel small at first, but that's okay because it should be snug. Remember, you need to be able to perform a full range of movement, but have the bra remain still.
Shorts, or track pants in colder weather, are crucial to comfort and performance. Long shorts are best to prevent chafing. You want a fabric that wicks away moisture, is durable and lightweight and feels soft even when you're working and sweating hard. Another thing to consider is how much padding you may want. Many cycling shorts are padded in the seat, groin, inner and outer thighs. For a long ride, even a gel seat can get uncomfortable and padded shorts are necessary. If you're not already a member of a forum, consider joining something like Cycling Forums to post questions and get information on the best equipment for your cycling needs.
Remember, you'll have the most fun if you have your best gear!