How to Wash Your Cycling Kit: A Guide for Prolonged Durability


Time to read 5 min

Cycling is more than a sport; it's a lifestyle. And at the heart of every cyclist's wardrobe is the cherished cycling kit – a carefully curated ensemble designed for both performance and style. As you embark on countless rides, your cycling kit becomes a second skin, but with great adventures come inevitable encounters with dirt, sweat, and the elements. To ensure your kit stays in peak condition and maintains its functionality, it's crucial to master the art of washing. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of washing your cycling kit, ensuring it not only stays clean but continues to perform at its best.

The Basics: Sorting and Preparing Your Cycling Kit

1. Separate Your Cycling Kit

Begin by sorting your cycling kit into categories – jerseys, bib shorts, gloves, and any additional accessories. This separation is crucial as different components may require slightly different care.

2. Check for Stains

Examine each piece for stains, paying close attention to areas with higher chances of contact with dirt and grease. Identifying and pre-treating stains before washing can significantly improve the chances of complete removal.

3. Turn Items Inside Out

To protect the vibrant colours and technical fabrics of your kit, turn each item inside out before placing them in the washing machine. This step minimizes friction between the fabric and the machine, reducing the risk of piling and fading.

The Washing Process: A Delicate Dance of Detergents and Cycles

Now that your cycling kit is sorted and prepped, let's delve into the washing process. Keep in mind that the delicate nature of cycling kit fabrics requires special attention:

1. Opt for a Gentle Cycle

Select the gentle cycle on your washing machine to minimize agitation and reduce the risk of wear and tear on the fabrics. If your machine has a sports or activewear setting, that's even better.

2. Use a Mild Detergent

Choose a mild, sports-specific detergent to preserve the integrity of technical fabrics. Avoid using fabric softeners, as they can leave residue and compromise the moisture-wicking properties of your kit.

3. Maintain Cool Water Temperatures

Stick to cool water temperatures – ideally around 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Hot water can damage elastic fibres and cause colours to fade over time.

4. Consider a Mesh Bag for Delicates

For an extra layer of protection, place your cycling kit items in a mesh laundry bag. This prevents them from rubbing against other clothing items, reducing friction and potential damage.

5. Minimize Load Size

Avoid overloading the washing machine. A smaller load ensures better water circulation and prevents excessive stress on your cycling kit.

Drying: Patience is a Virtue

Once the washing cycle is complete, resist the urge to rush. Proper drying is just as crucial as the washing process itself:

1. Air Dry Whenever Possible

While it might be tempting to speed up the drying process using a machine, air drying is the gentlest option. Lay your cycling kit flat on a clean, dry towel, reshaping the garments to their original form.

2. Avoid Direct Sunlight

If you choose to air dry outside, avoid direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure can lead to colour fading and deterioration of elastic fibres. Find a shaded spot or use an indoor drying rack.

3. Skip the Dryer

Steer clear of the dryer, as high heat can damage technical fabrics and compromise the elasticity of your cycling kit. Even on low heat settings, the dryer is best avoided for prolonged garment longevity.

Stain Removal: Tackling Tough Spots with Precision

Accidents happen, and stains are inevitable. Knowing how to address them promptly can make a significant difference in maintaining the pristine condition of your cycling kit:

1. Pre-Treat Stains

Before washing, pre-treat stains with a specialised stain remover or a mixture of mild detergent and water. Gently rub the stained area with a soft brush or cloth, focusing on preserving the fabric's integrity.

2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

When tackling stains, steer clear of harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can compromise the technical properties of your cycling kit. Stick to gentle, sports-specific stain removers.

Long-Term Care: Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Cycling Kit

Caring for your cycling kit is an ongoing process. Implement these long-term care tips to ensure your kit remains a reliable companion on countless rides:

1. Rotate Your Cycling Kit

If you have multiple cycling kits, rotate them regularly. This not only gives each kit a break between wears but also extends the lifespan of your entire cycling wardrobe.

2. Store Properly

When not in use, store your cycling kit in a cool, dry place. Avoid leaving it crumpled or tightly folded, as this can lead to wrinkles and diminish the elasticity of the fabric.

3. Regular Inspections

Perform regular inspections of your cycling kit, checking for any signs of wear, loose threads, or weakened elastic. Addressing minor issues promptly can prevent them from escalating and compromising the overall integrity of the kit.

Exploring Advanced Techniques for Stubborn Stains

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, stubborn stains may linger on your cycling kit. Fear not, as there are advanced techniques you can explore to tackle these tricky spots. One such method involves creating a paste using baking soda and water. Gently apply the paste to the stain, allowing it to sit for an hour before washing as usual. This technique is particularly effective for grease and oil stains. Additionally, for persistent odours, consider adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash. Vinegar helps neutralize odours and acts as a natural fabric softener, enhancing the freshness of your cycling kit.

In Conclusion: A Clean Cycling Kit is a Happy Kit

Mastering the art of washing your cycling kit is more than a chore – it's a commitment to preserving the performance and longevity of your cherished gear. By following these comprehensive guidelines, you not only ensure a clean and fresh kit after every ride but also contribute to its enduring functionality. Embrace the process, make it a routine, and let your well-maintained cycling kit be a testament to your dedication to both the sport and the lifestyle it embodies.


1.Can I wash my cycling kit with other clothing items?

It's best to wash your cycling kit separately to prevent potential damage from friction with other garments. This ensures the longevity and integrity of the technical fabrics used in cycling apparel.

2 .What should I do if my cycling kit retains persistent odours after washing?

If odours persist, try adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle. Vinegar acts as a natural deodorizer and fabric softener, effectively neutralizing odours and enhancing freshness.

3. How should I store my cycling kit between rides?

Store your cycling kit in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid tightly folding or crumpling garments to prevent wrinkles and maintain fabric elasticity. Proper storage ensures your kit remains in optimal condition for future rides.

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