Cotton cycling clothing

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Senior Member

Does anyone know a supplier of cotton cycling tops/shorts/windproof wear? I seem to react to anything polyester or man-made - I realise I can just wear a t shirt and shorts but like the rear pockets on the jersey. I guess even a woolen outer layer would be OK but again would like something specifically designed for cycling (bright colours, pockets, zips etc)
Thanks for any suggestions



Legendary Member
Bamboo clothing is popular for cycling :smile:
Cotton isn't very popular is it's not very breathable

The other option would be merino, and Shutt seem to do alternative fabrics


Well-Known Member
I know it seems counter intuitive but cotton is far from being the best textile to wear for cycling.

It does not wick sweat well, it’s not waterproof, it absorbs water quickly and is very slow drying, it has a very poor weight to insulation ratio and if it gets wet whilst you are riding it will draw heat from your body at an alarming rate and drain your energy.

It is possible that you are allergic to polyester but it is far more likely that you are reacting to the bacteriological build up that occurs rapidily with most synthetics when you exercise in them, which is why they can smell so badly after an energetic ride.

Merino wool baselayers and underwear worn next to the skin are the most likely answer, they cost a bit more but solve most of the above issues.

Good quality merino kit can be bought from the likes of Shutt, as mentioned, also Goundeffect, Hincapie, Rapha, Swobo, Icebreaker and lots more.

An online search for these names will soon offer up sites and further information.

Good luck & ride on!


I've got some tops from Tenn Outdoors made from recycled coffee grounds. Excellent "natural" material that is almost impossible to get smelly, unlike cotton shirts which I can turn into something which could be used as a weapon of mass destruction in a 10 mile commute.

I've got a couple of different styles but my favourite is the Sprint, as the "phone" pocket on the Octane isn't big enough for a smart phone.


Legendary Member
Says that one is 35% polyester - I don't know if the OP is actually allergic to synthetics or they just get pongy xx(


Senior Member
Great answers - thanks.
I should have explained what I really need is something anti-allergenic and polyester definitely isn't!

I will investigate those suggestions...

If you are looking at merino On-one sells at good prices. I've not got any of the baselayers but really like my L/S tops from there.
BTW merino is not windproof, you need some sort of windproof layer over it.



I have banged on about these guys before but there 'sport wool' is very un polyester! At least on teh skin if not in performance for cycling...

And I agree with some of the above, Merino base layers - especially now it is officially dark at 5pm :smile:
That, I believe, is the first thing you should try!

Careful though; they are warm.....
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