Another mom recently told me how much trouble she was having finding cycling clothes for her kids. She was looking for bike shorts that were both affordable and “cool” and coming up short (no pun intended).
While I can’t promised all of the options listed here are affordable (how much are you willing to spend on a kit that will last one season?), I can assure you that I’ve compiled the most comprehensive list of kids bike clothes on the market.
But why even bother?
You might be asking yourself why kids need bike clothes at all. The short answer is that they don’t NEED them. Little kids in particular might be perfectly happy biking in their street clothes. My son tends to prefer his pajamas. Whatever—it works.
As kids start riding more seriously however, cycling-specific clothes become more important. Padded bike shorts can make long rides much more comfortable. Bike jerseys provide pocket storage and wick sweat.
But the biggest reason to buy your child bike-specific clothes is that they are COOL. Of course, non-cyclists might not think they’re cool, but we don’t care about them. For kids to feel like they fit in on the bike path or at the bike park, a bike jersey can go a long way. Putting on bike clothes can also put a child in the “lets go biking” frame of mind and help motivate them to ride.
Consider joining a club
Does your child love to ride? Consider having them join a junior cycling club. These groups often offer cycling kits at more affordable prices—in addition to offering group rides, skill clinics, and more. Check out our list of youth cycling programs to find an organization local to you.
Clothes for girls
I will admit the list I’ve compiled is pretty pathetic when it comes to girl’s clothes—there’s just not that much out there. A lot of the stuff listed below are marketed as “Boy’s Clothes”—but I would just ignore that. Baggy black shorts are going to work just as well on a girl as a boy. That said, hopefully in the future we’ll see more companies offering girls-specific bike clothes.
Kids Bike Jerseys and Jackets
Altura—If you are looking for a professional looking road-style jersey or jacket for your kiddo, look no further than Altura.
Dakine—Dakine makes gorgeous long-sleeved mountain bike jerseys sized for kids.
Endura—Endura makes high-quality kid-sized jerseys and jackets. Of course, high-quality equals high price tag as well.
Fox—The kids Ranger jerseys are t-shirt style downhill jerseys that look pro.
Kanu—If you are on a budget, check out the Kanu jerseys. They come in sizes that fit kids ages 4-8 and are easy on the wallet.
One Industries—The Atom jersey is just about the cutest long-sleeve jersey around. Although it is marketed as a “boys” jersey, I think it would be adorable on a little girl.
Rocky Mountain Rags—These jerseys come in a wide variety of colorful and fun designs sure to please little riders.
Scott—Scott makes some fantastic kids bikes and they make jerseys to match. Choose from the mtb-style progressive jersey or tighter fitting RC team jersey.
Troy Lee—This brand makes surprisingly affordable—and super bright—downhill jerseys.
Kids Bike Shorts
Aero Tech Designs—If you are looking for affordable lycra-style bike shorts, these are your best option. They come in a wide variety of fun colors.
Altura—Choose from either the lycra Sprint short or the baggy Spark short.
Dakine—The super cool Pace baggy shorts come in sizes small enough for a 5 year old.
Fox—The Ranger short is a favorite amongst mountain bikers everywhere, and Fox makes them in kids sizes as well. Unfortunately, they come with an adult-sized price tag.
Spindaroos-Just like their jerseys, Spindaroos shorts fit all sizes of kids ages infant to 12 years.
Troy Lee—If your little ripper likes to spend their days at the bike park, they’ll fit right in with some Troy Lee baggies.
Zoic – I have a couple pairs of Zoic shorts and LOVE them. These are the same high quality, just sized down for smaller riders. They even have awesome baggy shorts for girls.
Kids Bike Clothes Comparison Chart
Looking for a particular style or a specific price-point? Use this comparison chart to help you shop.
Note: I’ve categorized these clothes as “road” or “MTB” but clearly you can use both for any cycling discipline (to include bike rides to the ice cream store).
|Clothing Type||Brand||Name||Style||Price (MSRP)|
|Jersey||Altura||Road/MTB– Short sleeve||$28|
|Jersey||Dakine||Dropout||MTB – Short sleeve||$25|
|Jacket||Endura||Luminite II||Road/MTB – Long sleeve||$90|
|Jersey||Fox||Ranger||MTB – Short Sleeve||$45|
|Jersey||Kanu||Road – Short Sleeve||$16|
|Jersey||One Industries||Atom||MTB – Long Sleeve||$23|
|Jersey||Rocky Mountain Rags||Road – Short Sleeve||$50|
|Jersey||Scott||RC Team||Road-Short Sleeve||$45|
|Jersey||Spindaroos||Spin2Kids||Road – Short sleeve||$39|
|Jersey||Troy Lee||Sprint||MTB — Long sleeve||$38|
|Jersey||Troy Lee||Skyline||MTB – Short sleeve||$45|
|Shorts||Aero Tech Designs||Road||$20|
|Shorts||Spindaroos||Spin 2 Kids||Road||$32|