How long should cycling kit last

Over the years I have owned cycling kit from a number of brands, big and small, premium and lower cost. In my experience high end does not necessarily equal good quality, particularly longevity. I tend to have 3 or 4 sets of kit which I rotate thru wearing each no more than twice in a week. Always wash on a gentle cycle and dry in the shade. How long would you expect to get from a set of bibs or jersey before the lycra gives up and need replacing?

Highly individual in many cases….if you are a heavy sweater, expect your kit to last significantly shorter.

I’m pretty easy on my my kit / gear….most of my shirts and jerseys last many, many years, no matter the cost or brand. Most times I stop wearing it simply because I have bought enough other new pieces of kit that it just drops out of rotation, having never really worn out.


I have jerseys that are literally decades old. Shorts and socks don’t have nearly the same longevity.

Heavy sweater here, and sweat has about zero impact on longevity–as long as you wash them afterwards–my bibs last for several years, with the pads going first–flattening out so as to no longer offer any real relief, and general wear to the outer material in the seat area which is the only real constant contact point (with the saddle), other than that, sometimes after many years, the shoulder straps lose some of their elasticity.

I have actually sourced some great aftermarket pads and have sewn them into old bibs (a major pain to do but worth it in the end), and have been able to keep a few of my favorites for many years more than you would normally expect.

I don’t do cycle jerseys, much to the odd disdain of some members here, as I don’t like being an advertising billboard on the street–rather, I use simple brightly colored sports (soccer, running) shirts–those last forever.

Overall, I’ve found that my pricier kit looks and feels good for longer. I don’t rotate through a lot of kit - if I like something, I wear the living daylights out of it. Still got plenty of stuff 5+ years old and I feel comfortable selling jerseys of that vintage described as vgc. Yes, that’s a sample size of just me before anyone gets bent out of shape about the pros/cons of pricier kit :wink:
For washing, zips are done up, bibs inside out and those items and base layers into their own laundry bags. Zips get an occasional rub with a very small amount of WD40 on a cotton bud - gotta love a smooth running zip. Or maybe that’s just me….


At this point I own more cycling kit than regular clothes, so hopefully they last a long time. I imagine the style will pass before the fabric wears out.

Lots of trainer use is hard on bibs, I find, and if you have a medium-weight jacket in the UK, that will see a lot of use. In both those cases, you might not see much more than a couple of years. I also find that if you’re a heavy sweater, items with a ‘furry’ liner (like some Rapha jackets) retain a very slight smell after a while, no matter how much you wash them.

Other than that - and Velotoze shoe covers, which last about 10 minutes - I can’t recall anything actually wearing out. Plenty of stuff has got quite scruffy, though, and usually that ends up as freecycle items on a UK cycling forum.


I have too much…I usually buy local team kit annually and I’m part of a national team (not racing anymore) and I usually try and get a kit every couple years. I will toss anything that is 10 years old…if I don’t set a cutoff, I’d use the stuff until it was shreds.

1 Like

Fabric is getting thin and stitches come undone on my Sportful Fiandre bibshorts, but I’ve worn them extensively for years, so it’s only normal.

My overshoes wear out, mostly where they are under tension around shoes.

I’ve had shorts that have started transitioning from opaque to transparent at the rear from years of use. That’s the point I usually chuck them.


haha on Velotoze lasting 10 minutes or less!

Jerseys can last a long time if well made, especially when rotating.

Bibs, not so much. Replace them before that part at the back on top of the chamois end up transparent to avoid showing your plumber’s smile, or use them as inner layer for mtb shorts when they reach that point.

1 Like