Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for Cycling Apparel: Bib Shorts, Jerseys, Gloves, and Shoes

Cleaning and Maintenance Guide for Cycling Apparel: Bib Shorts, Jerseys, Gloves, and Shoes

It’s wet and muddy riding season! Cycling apparel, including bib shorts, jerseys, gloves, and shoes, require specific care to maintain its performance and longevity. This guide will help you keep your expensive cycling kit looking and feeling fresh.

Cleaning Bib Shorts and Jerseys

  1. Preparation: Turn your shorts and jerseys inside out before washing. Place items with hook-and-loop closures in a zippered mesh bag to prevent damage to other garments​.
  2. Washing: Use cold water and a mild detergent. Avoid bleach or fabric softeners, as they can damage the performance fabrics. For stubborn odors, add OxiClean or a similar odor remover. Separate your cycling apparel from other laundry to prevent color bleeding​.
  3. Drying: Always air dry your cycling kit. Avoid the dryer, as heat can break down the synthetic fibers and cause shrinkage or damage to the adhesive in reflective logos​.

Cleaning Gloves

  1. Preparation: Secure all closures on the gloves to prevent snagging during washing​.
  2. Soaking: Soak the gloves in cold water with antibacterial liquid soap. For strong odors, add a bit of white vinegar​​.
  3. Scrubbing: Use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub the gloves, focusing on areas like the knuckles and inside​.
  4. Drying: Air dry the gloves by hanging them up or laying them flat. Avoid using a dryer​.

Cleaning Shoes

  1. Basic Cleaning: Wipe down your shoes with a gentle, damp cloth after most rides​.
  2. Deep Cleaning: For more thorough cleaning, especially after riding through mud, remove the insoles and immerse the shoes in warm, soapy water. Use a gentle brush to clean off dirt from the buckle, soles, and other parts​.
  3. Rinsing and Drying: Rinse the shoes in cold water and dry them by stuffing with newspaper to absorb moisture. Avoid direct sunlight or high heat sources for drying. Lubricate any metal parts after drying​​​.

Additional Tips

  • Washing Machine Settings: Use gentle, cold water settings for most cycling apparel. For bib shorts with padding, a steam setting can help kill bacteria without damaging the fabric.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regular cleaning after rides helps prevent the buildup of sweat, bacteria, and odors, prolonging the life of your cycling apparel.
  • Spot Treatment: For heavy stains, such as those common in mountain biking, pre-treat with a stain remover before washing.


Properly caring for your cycling apparel not only maintains its appearance and comfort but also extends its lifespan. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your cycling gear remains in top condition, ride after ride.

For specific product care instructions or further details, refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines provided with your cycling apparel.