Icons of cycling: Assos Lycra shorts

Now the essential piece of road cycling kit, but Lycra shorts have a relatively short history

If there’s one thing that defines road cycling — especially if you ask the man on the street — it’s Lycra shorts. Nowadays it’s inconceivable that they should be made from anything else, but until a Swiss former pro rider named Toni Maier-Moussa borrowed the aerodynamic styling and sleek fabric of downhill skiing, shorts and jerseys had been made from lumpy wool since the dawn of cycling.

Maier-Moussa, whose company, Assos, now produces arguably the best cycling clothing in the world, was a prolific inventor who had a knack for spotting how cycling equipment could be improved.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.