Taking care of your cycling kit

We all have a piece of kit we use day in, day out because it looks good, functions well, or feels good on us. However, that means it needs to be washed frequently, which if done wrong can lead to a very short lifespan of said kit. To make sure you get the most out of your kit, avoid these five common mistakes. Your kit will last longer, which both you and the environment will profit from.


Using fabric conditioners

Why? The most heard answer is that it will destroy the fabric, which is not exactly true. To be more precise, the fabric conditioner contains wax and other chemicals that coat the fabric to leave it feeling soft but block ‘pores’ in the fabric, preventing the ability to move moisture and also leaving them more prone to smelling bad.

Washing with too much spin

Using the sport cycle on your washing machine with a lower spin speed and shorter duration is more than enough to get your kit clean. Cycling kit is all made from lightweight fabrics that don’t retain moisture so a lower speed will use less energy and the lower spin speed will help fabrics to last longer.

Not cleaning your kit

Leaving your kit sitting in sweat after your ride leads to two main problems. Firstly, the sweat will start to break down the elastane fibres, which are found in all parts of your kit, from your socks to your chamois. Secondly, bacteria from your kit will breed in a sweaty wash basket. If you don’t want to run an empty cycle, just rinse your kit with some fresh water and hang it out to let it air.

Putting your kit in the tumble dryer

The tumble dryer will destroy the fabric. The heat will damage and break the elastic and any adhesive or rubber in the garment. Rubber is used in Tactic grippers and will come away in the Tumble Dryer. Furthermore, extreme heat from the tumble dryer will also damage DWR and waterproof coated fabrics. It is always better to air dry your kit, just make sure not to hang it in direct sunlight.


Washing your gloves with your kit

Cycling gloves and any other products with Velcro pucker a jersey and scratch away at the coating on waterproof fabrics. Either washing them separately or putting them in a white laundry bag can stop the puckering caused by Velcro. A gentle approach is the best approach with lightweight and performance fabrics so also avoid washing them with heavy items such as backpacks.


How many of these were you aware of? We think there’s just room for a bonus tip that even surprised us.

Dry your kit in the shade. Once dry, fold and put your kit away. Intense sunlight can cause the colour present in the dyes to fade. The fading is more noticeable in dark coloured shorts but this can be. Drying your kit indoors or in the shade will keep the kit looking fresher for longer.

Following these guidelines will ensure that your kit retains its performance, look and feel for as long as possible. This ensures that you get the most value from your kit and reduces consumption and your environmental impact.