Best indoor cycling clothing to keep you going nowhere in comfort

The best indoor cycling clothing can help prevent saddle sores and keep you cool indoors

Indoor training clothing on turbo
(Image credit: Future)

There's no denying, no matter what your setup or session, indoor cycling (be that via an indoor cycling app or a class at a gym) leads to a lot of sweat, and the best indoor cycling clothing can help make the whole experience a lot more bearable.

There is still some debate as to the need for specific indoor kit, and some riders will be just fine sticking to their standard cyclewear. However, as former British Cycling head of physiotherapy Phil Burt put it: “If you allow the area to get hot and wet and apply pressure, you’ve got a recipe for a certain type of saddle sore."

Therefore, the best indoor cycling clothing (specifically, shorts) will aim to wick sweat away, allow breathability and offer a pad suited to a static indoor position.

Based upon Burt's expert opinion, the best indoor cycling clothing options will aim to keep riders as dry as possible whilst offering a pad "that doesn’t bottom out completely when you’re loading it for a sustained amount of time."

We've taken a look at some of the best indoor cycling clothing options available to help you navigate this growing market.

The best indoor cycling clothing - our pick

best Indoor cycling clothing: dhb Aeron Turbo shorts

Best for value

Specifications
Sizes: Women's 9-16, Men's XS-XXL
Colours: Black
Construction: Waist short (no bib upper)
Reasons to buy
+Quick dry fabric is effective+Comfortable chamois
Reasons to avoid
-Waist band is annoying

dhb's Aeron turbo shorts are available in a men's and women's fit. Designed to be work with a base layer, the brand has decided to go without bib straps. We found that the waist on the women's model slipped down, and we'd have preferred a bib version, but those used to waist shorts might be more comfortable with the simpler option.

The shorts feature a lightweight and quick-drying fabric, which we did find held on to less moisture when compared with standard shorts making these the best indoor cycle clothing for hot sweaty rides.

The chamois in the women's shorts is Cytech Elastic Interface's Paris HP Super Air pad whilst the men's uses an Elastic Interface NICE HD Super Air pad. Both are very high density, and created to offer extra breathability.

Assos superleggera indoor shorts

(Image credit: Future)

Best for luxury comfort

Specifications
Sizes: XS-XLG (men's)
Colours: Black
Construction: Bib short
Reasons to buy
+Empty List
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Released as part of a collection, the Assos Equipe RSR Cycling Bib Shorts Superléger S9 provide the S9 construction - with braces which cross at the rear in order to prevent the pad from moving around.

Assos is renowned for its chamois pads, and the insert here is no exception - it's a little less bulky than that in the S9, but our tester found it extremely comfortable.

The fabric is lightweight, but not perforated - this means it provides compression and still appears like a normal short, so you can wear these outside on hot days, too.

Currently the range is in men's only options, judging by our 5/5 review, we'd like to see Assos extend this to to the women's range as well. 

best Indoor cycling clothing: Madison Turbo shorts

(Image credit: Madison)

Best for padding and breathability

Specifications
Sizes: Men's: S-XXL, Women's: 8-16
Colours: Black
Construction: Includes bib for men, waist for women
Reasons to buy
+Value better than competitors +Pad is thick and comfy
Reasons to avoid
-Fit isn't as good as premium options-Legs did ride up when pedalling

Madison was one of the first players on the indoor cycling clothing market. The bib shorts are available in a men's fit only, but the brand has now added a women's waist short. 

The shorts use an anti-bacterial polyester fabric all over, with open mesh straps at the upper. The pad in question has been designed specifically for this short, and comes pre-curved in the riding position to offer a better fit making these the best indoor cycling clothing for anyone who tends to wriggle around on their saddle.

Commenting on the design, apparel designer Rachel Preston said: “Indoor turbo sessions are usually short – 30 to 60minutes – but we did find that our riders would shuffle around a lot in their saddles. As a result, we selected a pad that offered fantastic moisture management, and offered really good elasticity to accommodate the continual position adjustments between different types of riding efforts during their workout session.”

best Indoor cycling clothing: Madison Turbo jersey

Madison Turbo jersey

Best for specificity (no pockets)

Specifications
Sizes: Men's: S-XXXL, Women's: 8-16
Colours: Black, or fade (as pictured)
Contruction: : No poockets
Reasons to buy
+Mesh fabric is breathable+Lack of pockets means less heat build up
Reasons to avoid
-No pockets mean you can't use this for outdoor rides, too

At the top half, Madison has gone for a short-sleeved jersey as opposed to the mesh base layer seen elsewhere.

The jersey - available in men's and women's fits - uses an open mesh fabric, though, and as well as having an anti-bacterial coating to prevent bacteria from multiplying, so the ideal indoor cycling clothing option for anyone who gets a good sweat on!

No rear pockets does mean that there isn't much scope for taking the jersey for a ride outside, but inside the lack of bulk and layer makes sense.

best Indoor cycling clothing: Castelli Insider shorts

Castelli Insider bib shorts

Best for short, hard rides

Specifications
Sizes: S-3XL
Colours: Black
Construction:
Reasons to buy
+Thin pad will suit those who want less padding+Very lightweight fabric
Reasons to avoid
-No women's version yet-Thinner pad might not suit long indoor rides

Castelli created its Insider shorts using the 80 per cent polyester material it calls Inferno, with lightweight Giro Air elastic at the cuffs.

Interestingly, it's opted for its KISS Air2 seat pad, a lighter construction and uses a lower density foam, based on the expectation that indoor rides will be shorter and therefore require less cushioning. This approach differs from other options on the market, but could be up your street if you prefer less chamois between you and the saddle, ideal indoor cycling clothing choice for short and sharp sessions.

Again, frustratingly this is a men's short and there isn't yet a version for women.

best indoor cycling clothing: Castelli Insider jersey

Castelli Insider jersey

Good for providing versitility, can be used ourdoors on hot days

Specifications
Sizes: XS-3XL
Colurs: Black or Black/Orange fade
Construction: Includes pockets
Reasons to buy
+Rear pockets included so could use on hot days outdoors
Reasons to avoid
-Pockets aren't needed if you are staying indoors-No women's version

If you want to go matchy-matchy, there is a jersey to match the Castelli Insider bib shorts.

This is made from a 100 per cent polyester mesh, and weighs in at a claimed 88 grams.

With two rear pockets, the idea is that you could still wear it for outdoor rides in hot weather so highly recommended indoor cycling clothing for taking outside too.

Rapha Women's Core Cargo cycling shorts

Best for pocketing the remote (and snacks!)

Specifications
Szes: XS-XXL (men) XXS-XL (women)
Colours: Black (men), Black and Navy (women)
Construction: No bib upper, pockets
Reasons to buy
+Excellent chamois+Comfortable fit+Pockets could be useful in right scenario
Reasons to avoid
-Bib option would be nice

Rapha has taken a different approach to its indoor turbo-specific range clothing range. There are some new specific pieces, but the brand has chosen to gather many of it's existing ranges and group them under the indoor banner.

Not that it's a bad thing as we felt the Rapha Cargo shorts offered an excellent pad and a comfortable fit. Our only criticism was no bib, but now arguably the waist shorts are now a more desirable feature for indoor riding.

Rapha Indoor Training T-Shirt

Rapha Indoor Training T-Shirt

Best for using as basic gym wear

Specifications
Sizes: XS-XXL (men) XXS-XL (women)
Colours: Many!
Construction: Sleeveless
Reasons to buy
+Great for wearing for turbo warm ups as well as gym sessions or cross training
Reasons to avoid
-Not really a jersey!

The Rapha Indoor Training T-Shirts are indoor specific pieces of cycling apparel.

Available in both female and male fits, Rapha say that the lightweight and breathable sleeveless shirt has been cut for comfort on the turbo.

Both versions are made from 100 percent polyester, known for it's sweat wicking properties, high stretch side panel and armholes cut for on-bike position.

Cut shorter at the front to avoid bunching, and longer at the back to keep you covered, the Indoor Training T-Shirt is also looser fitting than a standard bike base layer, but tighter than a regular t-shirt, Rapha say it strikes the perfect balance between airflow and sweat absorption the perfect indoor cycling clothing if you don't want a tight fit.