Best indoor cycling clothing 2022 to keep you going nowhere in comfort

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

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

Best indoor training shorts

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

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 our full review of the women's dhb Aeron Turbo 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. You can read our full review of the Assos Equipe RSR Cycling Bib Shorts Superléger for more detail.

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 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 our review of the Madison Turbo shorts for more.

best Indoor cycling clothing: Castelli Insider shorts

Castelli Insider bib shorts

Best for short, hard rides

Specifications

Sizes: S-3XL
Colours: Black
Construction: Bibs

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 that 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 - an 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.

Rapha Women's Core Cargo cycling shorts

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 our full review of the Rapha Women's Core Cargo Shorts.

Le Col Pro Inside shorts

(Image credit: Future)

Le Col Pro Indoor Training Shorts

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

Best indoor training jerseys

With wide mesh side panels and bibs for comfort, but fuller coverage from the lycra middle panels, Le Col says that its 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.

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 pockets

Reasons to buy

+
Mesh fabric is breathable
+
Lack of pockets means less heat build up

Reasons to avoid

-
No pockets mean you can't easily use this for outdoor rides

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, as well as having an anti-bacterial coating to prevent bacteria from multiplying. So it's 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 indoors the lack of bulk and an extra layer make sense.

Assos Indoor jersey

(Image credit: Future)
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 our full review of the Assos SS Skin Layer Superléger.

best indoor cycling clothing: Castelli Insider jersey

Castelli Insider jersey

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.

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 says 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 its sweat wicking properties, 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, Rapha says it strikes the perfect balance between airflow and sweat absorption. The perfect indoor cycling clothing if you don't want a tight fit.

Le Col Pro Inside jersey

(Image credit: Future)
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.

We've reviewed the Wahoo collab version of Le Col's jersey, which follows the same design, but emblazoned with Wahoo's logo - it has limited current availability though.

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