There are so many accessories that parents have to buy with a bicycle for their kids. Bells, horns, streamers, helmets, jerseys, and bike lights are all the necessary accessories that you will have to buy at some point.
In the case of bike shorts and jerseys, I’ve been asked many times whether it is needed to buy separate apparel for kids or not. Can they not ride in their regular shorts and tee shirts?
The answer is yes. Why not? It’s up to you to decide.
But there are reasons why you would want a set of bike wear for your kid. And I think they are very valid.
Is it necessary to Buy Cycling Apparel for Kids?
It is not necessary to buy cycling apparel for kids but it's good to have one.
One of the main reasons is that it looks cool and kids love them. You can match the clothes with the aesthetics of your kid’s bike. It looks stylish, which makes your kid distinctive and recognizable from other riders.
There are many bike clubs for little kids. You might have some in your locality too. It is a good idea to get your kid to be a member of one of the clubs for better learning.
These bike clubs have or require riders to have bike shorts on while riding. Then, you will have to buy one anyway.
Many of the bike shorts are padded, which makes the ride comfortable for kids. Also, bike jerseys come with pockets for storage.
All in all, it will not be a bad deal to spend on jerseys and shorts.
What to look for while Buying Bike Shorts and Jerseys?
While looking for suitable shorts or jerseys for your kid, you might have to consider a few things. You can only invest your money after inspection of the apparel.
1. Flexibility and Comfort
The main point to consider is that the shorts should be stretchable and flexible enough to allow enough freedom of movement for your limbs while cycling.
To be able to ride smoothly, the clothes that the rider wears should be comfortable enough. They must be able to move around freely.
If you are going to buy shorts that are snug fit, check how stretchable the fabric is. It should not be all stiff and unable to stretch.
Also, do not buy too baggy shorts or jerseys. You do not want those baggy shorts to keep flapping with the wind. It is irritating and quite distracting while riding. Loose-fit apparel is good enough.
2. Texture of the Fabric
Usually, bike apparel gets made up of polyester or nylon. Polyester bike shorts are softer and colorful, while nylon shorts are rugged and a great fit.
Make sure to look for apparel with at least 15% spandex content. Spandex provides maximum stretchability.
The best bike shorts would be the one with approximately 80% nylon or polyester and 20% spandex.
Cycling for a long time and going on a long ride produces a lot of sweat. The material of the fabric of both jerseys and shorts should be sweat-absorbing type. Also, the cloth should not be too flimsy that can damage with slight wear or stretch.
The fabric has to be elastic, especially around the waist area. If the rubber is too tight, it can be irritating for the kids during long rides.
The most crucial function of padding is to work as a shock-absorbent on bumpy or rocky roads. They are a must for their anti-chaffing ability on long rides.
It is always a better idea to buy bike shorts with padding.
Many modern bike shorts have an extra layer of padding (usually with foam) around the hip bone-buttocks. It works as s good cushion for the buttocks that protect from chaffing due to the bike saddle.
If you are planning to use the pair of shorts for a long time, get the ones with a thick padding of foam and gel inserts. These prevent the shorts from abrasion and make them more durable.
Finding the suitable size of jerseys is very difficult in the case of cycling apparel.
Online shopping sites like Amazon have size charts that come with the products to make it easier to decide on the most suitable clothing size. But the charts are not very reliable most of the time.
Every child grows differently and has a different build at different ages. So it is hard to generalize their size and height and you end up buying apparel that doesn't fit well.
In my opinion, you should take the necessary measurements of your child’s body proportions before shopping.
To measure the size of the jerseys you will need a measuring tape. Take measurements of your kid’s chest and hips.
Measure the widest part of the chest hip area and note it down. You can compare the data on the size chart and order one that matches the best with your data.
Kids are growing every day. So they tend to grow out of their clothes quickly. Thus, make sure to buy one size larger than the actual size. It should be large enough to last for a while but not too baggy.
To measure the size of shorts, the two necessary measurements are waist size and inseam.
Measure the narrowest part of your kid’s waist area with the measuring tape and note the data.
You can measure the inseam (between crotch and knee of the inner leg) to determine the length of the shorts you want- either you want it to stay above the knee or to fall below the knee.
I would recommend getting one that stays at least an inch above the knee for freedom of movement.
Do not worry if your kid is in between the sizes and there is no exact size for him/her on the size chart, especially the waist size. Look for the clothing of a size larger or smaller than the actual measurement.
If your kid is tall, then get a larger size. If he/she is short, then a size smaller would be better.
I have covered about measuring child’s inseam in my another article in detail.
5. UPF Rating for Sun Protection
Cycling is pretty much a sport for summer. We love to ride for long hours or go for long rides. Spending too much time in the sun is fatal for everyone, not to mention kids.
Long exposures to the sun cause sunburn or, even worse, skin cancer. Kids already have sensitive skin and, it gets even worse if they are on medication.
Therefore, bike apparels with a good UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating are necessary. The higher the UPF rating, the better the protection from the sun.
The best apparel is one with a 50+ UPF rating because it lets only 1/50th (approximately 2%) radiation pass through the fabric.
My Pick of 12 Best Bike Shorts and Jerseys for Kids
There are many brands and designs of bike jerseys and shorts sold separately or in a kit on the market. I have tried to make this list as comprehensive and all-encompassing as possible.
Based on price, quality, reviews, and personal experience, here are the twelve best ones in my opinion:
1. Short-Sleeve Cartoon Road/Mountain Bike Jersey and Shorts
- The fabric is 100% Polyester which dries quickly after washing. It is breathable mesh-like material that wicks away the sweat and keeps the rider dry.
- This apparel is suitable for both boys and girls. It is available in various cute and fun cartoon designs that kids love to wear, girls and boys alike. The patterns are vivid with fitting color combinations.
- It comes in various colors and sizes for kids of all ages.
- There are three individual pockets on the jersey to keep little things.
2. LONG AO Children Cycling Jersey Set
- The product comes in various sizes.
- The jersey fabric is 100% polyester, while the fabric of the shorts is 80% polyester and 20% Lycra spandex. So, it makes them more stretchable.
- The shorts are padded at the buttocks and legs to protect them from chaffing.
- It has a breathable mesh fabric with good wicking capability that increases the evaporation speed of sweat to keep the kids cool and comfortable during the ride.
3. Ateid Children Boys’ Girls’ Jersey Set
- The fabric is 100% polyester in the jersey and, the shorts fabric is 80% polyester and 20% Lycra spandex which is suitable for stretching.
- The shorts have 3D padding that is efficient for long rides.
- It has a full-length zipper which helps the rider cool down quickly when opened.
- It has form-fitting stretch shorts with an elastic waistband that supports the free movement of legs.
4. Rocky Mountain Rags Children Cycling Jersey
- Similar to the above apparel, they have lightweight and moisture-absorbing CoolMax fabric. The fabric provides good ventilation and wicks moisture quickly. They have high-quality 100% polyester material.
- They have a tacky ribcage design that many kids love to wear because of their cool concept.
- There are three rear pockets for storage.
- It is suitable for both boys and girls. The jersey is also fit for mountain biking.
5. Weimostar Children Cycling Jersey Set and 3D Padded Shorts
- They have 100% polyester fabric with zipper closure.
- The jersey and short’s designs are cute with bright and vibrant colors that are very eye-catching.
- They are likable for both boys and girls. The jersey set comes in all sizes.
- The back hem of the jersey is longer than the front. It is good for extra coverage. Also, it prevents the jersey from riding too far up, exposing the skin while on the bike.
- They have 3D pads on the shorts with three rear pockets.
- The fabric needs to be hand-washed and tumble-dried.
6. Free Fisher Cycling Jersey Set for Kids
- They have 100% polyester fabric with a full-length zipper. The zippers are highly durable that persist even if they get stretched ten million times.
- The fabric is breathable mesh-like material with good air permeability that carries moisture away from the body.
- The back of the jersey has a reflective strip that makes it visible even at night time that helps prevent accidents due to invisibility at night time. The back hem is also longer than the front one.
- The jersey has a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50+ value. This rating means that the jersey can block out 98% of harmful UV rays while riding in the sun.
- The shorts have a high stretch factor. They get padded with a high-pressure sponge and silicone that work as shock-absorbent during a bumpy ride and have good wicking capability.
- The jersey and shorts come in professionally engineered fitting and vibrant designs.
You can buy Free Fisher Cycling Jersey Set on Amazon.
7. Showerpass Cross Over Jacket
- In a jacket-like style best suited for windy and rainy seasons because of their waterproofing property.
- They have a cross-over feature suitable for riding, climbing, and many other outdoor activities.
- Made with fully seam taped Artex hard shell breathable fabric.
- The jacket is lightweight and durable.
- It has a 360 degree 3M reflective trim visible from a long-distance or even dim light.
- The design is simple yet elegant, paired with bright colors.
You can check on showerpass.com to buy this amazing jacket.
8. Kanu Bike Boys Roadster Cycling Jerseys
- The jersey is 100% polyester and has a breathable meshwork design.
- The price is less than the others.
- It has high-tech lightweight fabric with advanced wicking technology.
- It also has a rating of 50+ UPF sun protection to prevent harmful UV radiation.
You can check on Amazon to buy Kanu Bike Boys Roadster Cycling Jerseys
Also, check out the Kanu Bike Girls So Sweet Cycling Jersey on Amazon for girls. It is pink in a color pretty flower design on the front. Little girls adore this type of design.
9. Seppado Short Sleeve Jersey
- The fabric is 100% cotton. Cotton absorbs a lot of sweat. It is ideal for bike rides in summer.
- They have a slim-fit design and come in various size categories according to height. The design and structure of the apparel are overall well-constructed with high durability.
- They have buttoned rear pockets with a lot of room for storage where the kids can keep their trinkets, candies, or anything that fits.
If you are interested to buy, you can check Woombikes.com
10. Fox Racing Ranger Short Sleeve Jersey and Defend Shorts
- The fabric is 100% polyester for jerseys and TruMotion (94% polyester + 6% elastane) for the shorts. They have a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
- This type of jersey is most suitable for mountain rides. The jersey is quick-drying and has mesh vents. The mesh vents keep the rider cool and comfortable during long mountain climbs.
- The shorts are stretchy, durable, and water-resistant.
- The waist size is adjustable to fit different waist sizes of kids.
- The jersey has a media cord loop to keep the headphone wires tidy.
Price- jersey $25.98 and shorts $79.95
11. Spindaroos Cycling Jerseys for Kids
Spindaroos have two series of age-specific cycling apparel. They have their Little Rippers series for kids of 6 to 24 months age range. Their other series is Spin2 Kids for kids of 2 to 12 years of age range.
- Little Ripper Skin Suit
- The fabric is a poly-bend four-way stretch. It is necessary for protection from UV rays.
- They have been designed similar to the professional Time-Trial Skin Suit.
- They have two large elastic pockets on the back and a sturdy snap on the inner legs.
- These onesies are smooth and comfortable for little kids.
You can buy this Little Ripper skin Suit from Spindaroos.com
- Spin2 Kids series
- The jerseys come in a variety of colors and patterns to select from them. The fabric has UV protection with a full front zipper.
- It has a gripper at the waist. The waist gripper protects the jersey from riding up.
- Some of their designs are cool and commemorative. The Frenchy Cycling Jersey commemorates the Tour de France cycling festival in Paris, and Elephant Rock Blue Cycling Jersey takes inspiration from the Subaru Elephant Rock cycling events in Colorado.
You can buy this amazing jersey from Spindaroos.com
12. ZOIC Lucas Bike Jersey
- It has a 100% lightweight polyester fabric material with a lifetime warranty.
- The jersey features ZO-wick properties to wick sweat away from the skin on hotter days trail rides.
- It has a tagless neck design to prevent itching and irritation due to sweating.
- It is available for girls of age 5 to 12 years.
The above list only consists of short- sleeve jerseys and shorts. But some parents even prefer long-sleeve jerseys for their kids to protect from the suntan or keep their hands warm in windy and slightly cold weather.
The same goes for the shorts. Sometimes people prefer long pants. So if you’re one of them, here are some good ones for you:
1. Endura Kid’s Long-sleeve Kids Bike Jerseys
These are 100% polyester jerseys for kids who love to ride mountain bikes. The fabric is pretty durable and lightweight. The jerseys come in sizes for 7 to 12 years old kids.
You can buy Endura Kid’s Long-sleeve Kids Bike Jerseys on Amazon.
2. LSERVER Kids Cycling Jersey Set with Padded Pants
These are unisex long sleeve jerseys with 100% polyester fabric, cute and stylish designs and, 50+ UV protection.
They have full-length pants with 90% polyester and 10% spandex with 3D pads.
The jersey and pants are suitable for road bikes, mountain bikes, and any other outdoor activities. They are multipurpose apparel.
3. Troy Lee Designs Kid’s Bike Jerseys
The fabric is 100% lightweight polyester with quick-drying properties. The neckline and sleeve have a SE-PRO moto jersey design for unrestrained movement and comfort.
They have sleeve cuff panels to keep the sleeve in place.
I have tried to keep the list as comprehensive and inclusive as possible. So, I hope you find the one that best suits your kids in overall style and size and fits your budget too.
And I also hope that this article helped make your purchase easier.
Proper fit bicycle apparel does put a person in ride mode, be it adults or kids. So make sure to choose the best of the products.