Cycling tops have always been popular on the mod scene, but brands and ranges tend to come and go. Here are 10 of our favourite cycling tops, covering both the functional and fashion end of the market.
De Marchi heritage cycling tops
De Marchi has been making cycling tops since 1946, so you presume they know what they are doing.
They also have a rich archive and its those archive shirts we fell for. The heritage line has both branded, national and Olympic shirts from the 1950s onwards, with a 1950s France shirt pictured above, along with a 1970s one below it. Not cheap from €130, but there are Merino wool and handcrafted.
Magliamo vintaqe cycling shirts and track tops
A label that needs no introduction. In fact, we did an interview with the man behind it a while back.
A passionate cyclist who has made his own range of replica range of shirts, jerseys and t-shirts, all of which look amazing. Also, Paul Weller counts as one of the label’s biggest fans (as you might have found out from that interview). We have picked out the Great Britain track top in wool above, but many more to check out.
Solo cycling shirts and track tops
Now, this is a tricky one, as it looks like the label is on a bit of a sabbatical.
But you can still contact them and they might well have stock. I featured them in 2015 when they used classic ‘mod’ albums to promote their designs. The track tops work best for me, but the shirts are good if you actually do get out on a bike. Since then, the label went on a break, but reappeared fairly recently.
However, I can’t see the old designs listed there. You can drop them a message via the site though, as they might still have some old stock. With that in mind, the price is unclear, but I recall it being quite reasonable at the time (I got two of the knitted tops).
3M Caverni vintage-style cycling shirts
If you want value, then you really need to check out the classic designs from 3M Caverni.
3M Caverni is a Florence-based company that had been making cycling tops for a very long time. Whole many similar companies stopped when cyclists moved to Lycra, 3M Caverni didn’t and is still making some throwback gems.
You can get club and national jerseys, but for real value is the generic shirts, which are the ones that probably work best for casual wear. So many to choose from too (you should take a look) with the one pictured here selling for just €44. Perhaps a place to stock up.
Ben Sherman cycling-inspired polo shirt
A fairly recent arrival, this is Ben Sherman going down the cycling route for non-cyclists. If that makes sense.
By that, I mean this is not intended for someone serious into their cycling. This is a polo shirt for general wear, but with a design borrowed from classic cycling jerseys of days gone by. I like it.
No logo (which is even better) and a choice of white or the dark navy with contrasting trim you see here. All the sizes and priced at £75.
The Italian cycling jersey by Jura Cycle Clothing
This is a ‘performance’ top for proper cyclists, but it has a look of a top that could work for casual wear too.
So if you like a bike ride, this one is a lightweight jersey made from 100 per cent Italian merino wool with three-part pockets to the rear and half-zip fastening.
Not just this design, there are other colours and patterns too, with all being on the affordable side. £49.95 for the basic top.
Woolistic cycling tops
Woolistic is another brand that focuses on replicating shirts of the past (so do check out those designs), but it’s not their only thing.
The label also produces more generic vintage-inspired tops, like the one you can see above. But this is cycling clothing rather than casual wear.
Vintage-style cycling tops by Tiralento
Tiralento is a brand created by vintage cycling obsessives (and cyclists of course) with a love of the clothing of a bygone era. They created a range of clothing and footwear worn by race cyclists up until the 1970s, with much of it adaptable as casual wear too.
The range currently offers cycling tops, shorts, shoes, training jumpers, caps and a vintage training tracksuit, but it is premium clothing, so does come at a price.
So much to choose from here, but just to pick something out, this Grand Prix de Fourmies lightweight training jumper, which is made in Italy, sells for €120.
Madcap cycling shirts
These are unashamedly casual designs and with price on their side.
Mainly short-sleeved designs, they have a classic look, a cotton construction and zip collars. If you need something for the bike, perhaps look elsewhere.
Le Coq Sportif L’Eroica range
This is a range that comes and goes. When it does hit the mark, it does so impressively.
L’Eroica is a cycling event inspired by the values of ‘past cycling’, reconnecting with the sport’s authentic past, right down to the clothing. Le Coq Sportif produces a range annually, with some years better than others. The one pictured here is from a few years back, probably still popping up on eBay if you want it. Otherwise, keep an eye on the current ranges.
Honourable mentions to the following too…
The one pictured above, which is the Fred Perry Winter Training Half-Zip Sweatshirt, currently heavily discounted to just £66 at Hip. Also, the classy John Smedley x Rouleur magazine range of shirts and the more functional (if you cycle) Rapha range.
Missed any? Do let me know.