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How to find the perfect size for your cycling clothing

Choosing the right size of cycling apparel is vital as it guarantees top performance of our garments: comfort, breathability, insulation and ease of body movement at the same time.

As shopping online is gaining in popularity, knowing our measurements becomes crucial since we do not have the chance to try on clothes in a physical store. In order to answer the question “What is my size?” as accurately as possible, you need to know your current body measurements. It may seem like a lot of hassle but it is better to take a few minutes to measure yourself than to buy the wrong size and have to return it.

How to take your measurements?

To take your measurements you will need a sewing tape measure. If you don’t have one, you can use a regular measuring tape or a ruler as a last resort, but it is not recommended. 

A pencil and a piece of paper will come in handy to write down your measurements. You can also use your smartphone to take notes of the measurements and always have them at hand. 

You should take your measurements with your clothes off. Do not do it with a jersey or a jacket on because you will surely end up choosing a size that’s too big for you. 

The sewing tape measure should fit closely around your body. Do not tighten it too much or let it be too loose.

What should you measure?

There are three main measurements: chest, waist and hips. The first two plus your torso length will help you choose garments such as a jersey, base layer, vest or jacket. The last two plus the length of your inseam (inside leg) are the measurements you need for bib shorts.

  1. To measure your chest, place the tape under your armpit at the widest part of the chest. For women, the tape measure should go over the nipples, never under or over the breasts.  

  2. To measure your waist, measure yourself at the midpoint between the costal margin (rib cage border) and the upper edge of the iliac crest. For some people this point matches the navel, for others the navel is 2-3 centimeters below.
  1. To measure your hips, close your legs and measure the circumference at the widest part of your buttocks. 

  2. To measure the torso length, start measuring where the shoulder meets the neck and measure down to the hips level. This is a secondary measurement that can serve as an indication of how far the garment will reach. Keep in mind that on the bike you lean forward and cycling jerseys, jackets, etc., have a drop tail, meaning that the back is slightly longer than the front.

  3. To measure the inseam, take a book and squeeze it between your thighs, the book reaching your crotch. Measure from the upper edge of the book to 4-5 cm above the knee. This is also a secondary measurement that can serve as an indication of how far your bib shorts will go. Keep in mind that there are bib shorts that cover less thigh, and longer ones that cover the thigh almost until the knee.    

These are the most important measurements. Once you have them, check the brand’s size chart to compare them with the product, taking into account these details:

  • Cycling apparel in general, and garments such as bib-shorts in particular, offers high elasticity and resistance. This allows for a certain margin in choosing the size.

  • Fabrics do not shrink by nature. If your measurements are between two sizes, always choose the smaller size. You won’t regret it because cycling clothing has to fit snugly. Unless you like a loose fit, if you buy big you’re sure to regret it.

  • The fabric matters. The blend and composition of the fabric determines its elasticity and fit. As you know, lycra is more elastic than merino wool.
     
  • Some garments go on top of others. If you choose a size that is very tight, you might feel excessively constricted. Example: a windproof cycling vest that goes on top of a jersey and a base layer.

Finally, here is one last important point for you to keep in mind:

Within one brand there are several collections of the same type of garment, such as cycling jerseys, each one offering a different fit. The same happens with jeans: you can find regular, slim, relaxed, skinny, super skinny, etc. In cycling apparel you can also find different cuts and patterns that offer different fits.  

The most common names are Active Fit, Performance Fit, Sport Fit, Pro Fit…it’s a mess. The key is to look at the differences between collections described by the brand to see what kind of fit they offer. For instance, at Siroko we currently have two collections of cycling jerseys: M2 and SRX. Both offer Race Fit with a close-fitting cut, but SRX is a higher-end line than M2, hence its fabric and cut offer a better fit and more lightness.

14 thoughts on “How to find the perfect size for your cycling clothing”

  1. Avatar

    You sizing chart for V1 mountain gilet appears very small !, can you let me know what size I should purchase with a 106-111 cm chest, 185cm hight and 90 kgs in weight

    1. Siroko

      Hello Matt,

      The chest measurement in the V1 gilet size guide is only the front at its widest part, not the full chest circumference. Therefore, you should measure the front of your chest from armpit to armpit.

      I hope this helps you and in any case you can also consult with the support department through this form: https://www.siroko.com/i/contact

      Regards

  2. Avatar

    Hi
    I would like to buy a cycling bib, but the measure for hips in size chart is very small.
    My size is 191cm height, 85kg and hips 100cm.
    Is XXL size still to small for me?

    1. Siroko

      Hi,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you have a bib at home, please measure it and compare the measurements with our sizing guide. This way you can check if you really need an XXL or if an XL would be enough. For example

      The fabrics are very stretchy and it is always a good idea to wear tight shorts so that the chamois doesn’t move around, but you shouldn’t wear them too tight either as this can be uncomfortable.

      For your guidance, I am 183 cm tall and weigh 65 kg. My hips is 90 and I wear a size M.

      I hope this helps you and in any case you can also consult with the support department through this form: https://www.siroko.com/i/contact

      Regards

    1. Siroko

      Hi,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you have a jersey at home, please measure it and compare the measurements with our size guide. This way you can check if you really need an L or if an M would be enough. You should measure the lenght of your torso and also your waist to choose one of these two sizes.

      The fabrics are very stretchy and it is always a good idea to choose the small size so jersey doesn’t flap. But maybe you don’t like tight-fitting cycling clothes. In this case it’s better to choose the large size.

      For your guidance, I am 183 cm tall and weigh 65 kg. My chest is 86 and I wear a size S.

      I hope this helps you and in any case you can also consult with the support department through this form: https://www.siroko.com/i/contact

      Regards

  3. Avatar

    hello, I am 1.73m tall for 63kg. I have 92cm in chest circumference, 80cm in waist circumference and 91cm in hip circumference. I have long legs (84.5cm inseam). What size should I take for a srx world series bib short? Thanks in advance 😊

    1. Siroko

      Hi,

      Thank you for your comment.

      For your guidance, I am 183 cm and 65 kg. Hip 90 and my inseam measurement is like yours. I was wearing a size M until I tried on a size S this summer. It is very tight but I like it that way, although the first few days it was really tight. If you like it that way, I recommend a size S because you are 10 cm shorter than me. If you don’t like it too tight, a size M will be fine for sure.

      The fabrics are very stretchy and it is always a good idea to wear tight shorts so that the chamois doesn’t move around, but you shouldn’t wear them too tight either as this can be uncomfortable.

      I hope this helps you and in any case you can also consult with the support department through this form: https://www.siroko.com/i/contact

      Regards

  4. Avatar

    I’m 1.88m, 95 kg , 914 mm waist, and 107cm chest. Your size chart states I should be XXL for both bibs and jersey, but the jersey I ordered was quite loose. As such, can you confirm what will be a more appropriate size…XL or L? Thanks.

    1. Siroko

      Hi Ben,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Our size guide are based on measurements taken directly from the garment, so if you have a jersey at home, please measure it and compare the measurements with our size guide. This way you can check if you really need an XL or if an L would be enough.

      The fabrics are very stretchy and it is always a good idea to choose the small size so jersey doesn’t flap. But maybe you don’t like tight-fitting cycling clothes. In this case it’s better to choose the large size.

      I hope this helps you and in any case you can also consult with the support department through this form: https://www.siroko.com/i/contact

      Regards

  5. Avatar

    Hello!
    Can’t decide about winter J1 jersey size. Usually I wear size L, my chest is 102 cm, waist 92cm and hips are 96 cm, according to size chart I should go for size M or L, but it’s ridiculous small for me on my opinion. Can you provide me some information about correct sizing? Thanks in advance!

    1. Siroko

      Hi Eugenio,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Our J1 jackets size guide are based on measurements taken directly from the garment, so if you have a jacket at home, please measure it and compare the measurements with our size guide. This way you can check what size you will need. J1 jackets sizes are quite large and relaxed fit. Fabric is not as streachy as other Siroko garments.

      For your guidance. For your guidance, I am 183 cm and 65 kg. Chest 96 cm and waist 84. I’m very skinny and I wear S size because I always use this jacket over a base layer. In other brand I usually wear M size.

      I dont know how tall are you and if you like tight-fitting cycling clothes but I recommend you size M.

      I hope this helps you and in any case you can also consult with the support department through this form: https://www.siroko.com/i/contact

      Regards

  6. Avatar

    Hi
    I would like to buy the base layer sleeveless (Velocity and Attack). I weigh about 80kg, chest is 102cm is and waist 80-82 ish. I would like it to fit tight – but worried if S/M would be too small – it is either that or L/XL.. Any advice on the fit of those products specifically?
    Thanks
    Nick

    1. Siroko

      Hi Nick,

      Thank you for your comment.

      For your guidance, I am 183 cm and 65 kg. Chest 96 cm and waist 84. I’m very skinny and I wear S/M size.

      I dont know how tall are you and if you like tight-fitting cycling clothes but I recommend you size L/XL.

      I hope this helps you and in any case you can also consult with the support department through this form: https://www.siroko.com/i/contact

      Regards

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