I was a fanatical cyclist (racer, courier, bike salesman) throughout my twenties, to the extent that most of my wardrobe was lycra. Fast forward a couple of decades, and lycra no longer seems my most flattering option. Mostly now I’ll ride in a merino tee. Having said that, the rear pockets in a traditional bike jersey are very handy! I personally prefer plain colours, as I still haven’t forgiven my old sport for many years of EPO and HGH antics.
For riding on the road, moisture-wicking lycra shorts and tights are still king. For mountain biking though, nothing beats commando style loose shorts with a minimal pad sewn in. Dragonfish make my favourites here in NZ. Baggy bike shorts with integral lycra liners are a sound choice, but feel bulkier, and retain a bit more heat.
Auckland can be a challenging place to cycle comfortably...the humidity means waterproof rainwear can be horribly sweaty. I’ve always found it better to focus on breathability over waterproofing. I have a fantastic windproof fluoro rain jacket, which will let through severe rain but doesn’t overheat.
Gloves are a must, to prevent numb fingers and thumbs. I prefer full-finger versions for riding offroad. Good to see others recommending arm and knee warmers, they’re excellent for regulating your temperature in iffy weather – you can pull them up and down without stopping. I also like to wear an old school cycling cap (casquette) under my helmet on cold days.
I keep my riding gear in plastic tubs next to my bikes, so getting ready for a ride is quick and painless. Even so, I’ll still ride to the dairy with jandals wobbling around on the clipless pedals.