If you are ready to take the next step into competitive bicycling, it's time to also invest in some gear. Along with the proper shoes and a helmet, you are going to want to update your cycling wardrobe, including the all-important jersey.
Try On All Brands
As there are literally tons of choices out there, both online and at your local cycling store, you cannot just buy the first jersey you see or try on. You may find that there is one manufacturer whose gear fits you best. Unless you are made of money, and can afford to order a slew of jerseys to try on, your best bet is to search the local athletic store. Such a place will have a number of different manufacturers (and fits) available. Try them all on and get a better idea what you like, and which brand fits you best. After that, you may find better deals online, but at least you'll have an idea of what you're looking for.
Who Are You and How Do You Want to Feel?
What you are always looking for in an athletic jersey, especially in a bicycling outfit, is comfort and performance. Some cyclists prefer a skin-tight jersey, with no annoying bunches of fabric or flapping panels to distract from the serious business of bicycle racing. Others may be more dedicated to comfort and don't find it annoying in the least to have some extra fabric in their jerseys.
It also boils down to knowing yourself as a competitive bicyclist. Are you the type who wants to win at all costs, and look like a star while winning? Or are you just happy to be in the fresh air and rolling forward, getting your exercise and enjoying the day? The answer to these questions may help you quantify which type and which fit of jersey will help you in your riding pursuit.
The fit of your jersey is a matter of personal preference, but purists will say that the tighter fitting the jersey is, the more dedicated the cyclist is to the sport. Often, the choice will be dictated by how easy it is to get the jersey on and off. Still others will simply expect to be covered from the elements, and will accept less than skin-tight jerseys in their pursuit of the sport. It really all comes down to one key element - which jersey makes you feel more comfortable? There are really no hard and fast rules about what fit is best. All that really matters is how you, the rider, feel. If you feel restricted because your jersey is too tight, you might not ride as well as you'd like. If you feel sloppy and overdressed in a jersey that's too loose, you might also perform poorly.
It's All Up to You
A bicyclist forms an intimate physical and spiritual connection with his or her bike. The clothing is meant to support this connection, and searching for just the right jersey will provide a foundation for that connection. Just be sure that the jersey you choose is pleasing to you, first.