Best indoor cycling clothing 2023 to keep you going nowhere in comfort

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

Image shows a rider wearing indoor cycling clothing.
(Image credit: Future)

The best indoor cycling clothing can help make a turbo session a lot more enjoyable. There's no denying, no matter what your setup or session, that 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 will help keep you cooler and more comfortable.

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

Why you can trust Cycling Weekly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best indoor training shorts

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

+
Lightweight, with very thin material
+
Still compress and support despite being thin
+
Legendary Assos seat pad

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

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 the women's range as well. 

Read more: Assos Equipe RSR Cycling Bib Shorts Superléger S9 full review

Image shows a rider wearing the Madison Turbo Shorts.

(Image credit: Owen Rogers)
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.  (opens in new tab)

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 these shorts 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 60 minutes – 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.”

Read more: Madison Turbo Indoor Training Shorts full review

Image shows a rider wearing the dhb Aeron Turbo shorts.

(Image credit: Myles Warwood)
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

The dhb Aeron Turbo Shorts are available in a men's and women's fit. Designed to be worn 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.

Read more: dhb Aeron Turbo shorts full review

Image shows a rider wearing Rapha's Core Cargo shorts.

(Image credit: Future)
Best for pocketing the remote (and snacks!)

Specifications

Sizes: 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 with its indoor turbo-specific range clothing range. There are some new specific pieces, but the brand has chosen to gather many of its 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 the lack of a bib, but arguably the waist shorts are a more desirable option for indoor riding.

Read more: Rapha Core Cargo cycling shorts full review

Image shows a rider wearing the Le Col Pro Indoor Training Shorts

(Image credit: Myles Warwood)
Best for range of options and sizes

Specifications

Sizes: XS-3XL (men) XS-XL (women)
Colours: Black, Navy
Construction: Bibs/non-bib

Reasons to buy

+
Available for men and women
+
Bib and non-bib options
+
Non-silicone grippers

Reasons to avoid

-
On the expensive side

With wide mesh side panels and bibs for comfort, but fuller coverage from the lycra middle panels, Our tester found that the Pro Indoor shorts help preserve your modesty while still being lightweight.

There's a full range of options, including waist shorts as well as bib shorts and men's and women's versions. Plus there are two colour options: black or navy, making this one of the most comprehensive indoor training selections out there. Another nice feature is the non-silicone leg grippers, helping to avoid irritating sweaty skin.

Read more: Le Col Pro Indoor Bib Shorts full review

Image shows a rider wearing the Van Rysel Ultralight Racer Shorts.

(Image credit: Joe Baker)
Best for indoor and outside versatility

Specifications

Sizes: S-2XL
Colours: Black
Construction: Bibs

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Brilliant temperature regulation
+
Subtle styling
+
Good build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Chamois not quite up to the mark for long rides

The Van Rysel Ultralight Racer shorts are super lightweight, hot weather aimed bib shorts, and have proved to be functional, well fitting and modest in both styling and price.

Our tester was especially on more intense indoor sessions, where the mesh panelling makes a real difference to sweat wicking. Although no 40 degree heatwaves occurred during the test period, it is clear to see the application of these shorts outdoors in hot weather.

The fit on the Ultralights is great too, if a little on the tight side. The chamois is pretty comfy, or at least what you would expect at this price point.

And any presumptions on durability have been all but silenced so far too. This, coupled with sleak style and a nice race cut makes for a great summer, or indoor use bib short for Zwifters and those on holiday abroad alike.

Read more: Van Rysel Ultralight Racer shorts full review

Best indoor training jerseys

Image shows a rider wearing the Assos SS Superléger Skin Layer.

(Image credit: Owen Rogers)
Best for versatility

Specifications

Sizes: 0, I, II
Colours: Black
Contruction: : No pockets

Reasons to buy

+
Base layer construction makes it ultra-lightweight
+
Decent level of compression
+
Front stops drips without getting sweaty

Reasons to avoid

-
No pockets
-
No women's version

Assos's entry into indoor cycling tops, the Skin Layer Superléger is a baselayer with an opaque front, but open mesh shoulders and back, meaning it could work for summer baselayer duties, not just on the turbo. 

Despite its light weight, Assos's base layer is mildly compressive, so it doesn't flap around and the thicker front does a good job of catching your drips without getting too damp.

Read more: Assos SS Skin Layer Superléger full review

Image shows a rider wearing the Castelli Insider Jersey.

(Image credit: Future)
Good for versitility, as 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.

Read more: Castelli Insider Jersey full review

Image shows a rider wearing Rapha's Indoor Training T-Shirt

(Image credit: Myles Warwood)
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
+
Good weight
+
Nice fit

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 says that the lightweight and breathable sleeveless shirt has been cut for comfort on the turbo.

Both versions are made from 100 percent polyester with 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 - the perfect indoor cycling clothing if you don't want a tight fit.

While training on the turbo, our tester found that it effectively wicked sweat away and due to the weight of the jersey, it didn’t flap about annoyingly in the fan-induced breeze. 

Read more: Rapha Indoor Training T-Shirt full review

Image shows a rider wearing the Le Col Pro Indoor Jersey.

(Image credit: Myles Warwood)
Best for size range

Specifications

Sizes: XS-3XL (men) XS-XL (women)
Colours: Two
Construction: Mesh

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight mesh construction
+
Pockets up versatility
+
Strong pattern helps make the design less see-through
+
Non-silicone arm grippers

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive for a piece designed for indoor use

Like its shorts, Le Col offers its Pro Indoor Training jersey in both men's and women's cuts and a wide range of sizes. There are two colour options as well.

The sleeve grippers are made of mesh and don't use silicone, so they're great if you suffer from a silicone allergy. The fabric is designed to be thin and lightweight for good wicking, but opaque enough and with a strong enough pattern not to be see-through. There are two rear pockets, making the Le Col Pro Indoor jersey an outdoor option too.

Read more: Le Col Pro Indoor Jersey full review

Best indoor training shoes

Image shows Shimano IC102 Indoor Cycling Shoes

(Image credit: Andy Turner)
Best lightweight budget shoe

Specifications

Sizes: EU 36-44
Colours: Only in black

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value
+
Comfortable 
+
Both three and two-bolt cleat fixings

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great for maximal power transfer

The Shimano IC102 shoes are very good value and a perfect introduction to cleated shoes for spin classes or training indoors on the turbo. 

The sock like upper fits very comfortably and doesn’t put pressure on any areas of your feet. The Velcro strap offers reasonable fastening for your feet but there is some give when sprinting and the strap can cause pressure on the side of the foot. 

The sole is reasonably stiff but suffers when doing big gear efforts or sprinting. This isn’t a problem for static bike training, but for E-racing it will limit performance. The ventilation in both the sole and the upper is reasonable but not exceptional.

Although not made for high performance maximal efforts where ultimate power transfer is key, as a spin class or training shoe at such a low price, these are exceptionally good value and do everything that is required of them. 

Read more: Shimano IC102 Indoor Cycling Shoes full review

Image shows Specialized S-Works 7 Vent Road shoes.

(Image credit: Andy Turner )
Best 'money no object' buy for staying cool

Specifications

Sizes: EUR 36-49
Colours: 2

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Supremely comfortable
+
Stiff
+
Well ventilated

Reasons to avoid

-
Some of the ventilation is lost with an arch support fitted
-
Expensive (at retail price)

Although Specialized gives the S-Works 7 Vent only a 13 out of 15 on its own stiffness scale, I couldn't tell the difference between these and a pair of the classic S-Works 7 shoes that do top out the scale.

I felt perfectly planted in the shoes and had no issues with power transfer – even setting a few sprint PBs. There was no heel slippage or excessive movement at all. In fact, with the 'give' of the mesh side panels, I found the Vents to be even more comfortable that the classic S-Works 7 shoes 

The extra breathability offered in the S-Works 7 Vent was significant, leaving my feet noticeably cooler. The downside is that this is partially down to the insole used in the shoes, which maximises airflow from the vents in the sole. This means that if using a different insole (I have a set of custom Specialized ones to help support my arches) then the breathability is a little more muted.  

In all, they're still a great shoe and perfect for indoor racers and the hottest conditions. Just bare in mind that you won't get the full effect of the shoe if you will be using your own insoles.  

Read more:  Specialized S-Works 7 Vent road cycling shoes full review

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.


Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 


Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.


Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.