As sports go cycling is pretty low impact. That’s good news for anyone with breasts, as most sports bra designs will work decently well for cyclists.
Unsurprisingly in a male-dominated industry, most cycling apparel brands haven’t really dipped their toes in the sports bra game yet (though there are a few exceptions such as the Rapha and Outdoor Voices collab and Giordana). Thankfully, running and sports apparel brands sell bras that work for cycling.
There are a few factors cyclists should look for when buying a sports bra. Firstly, is it breathable? The cardiovascular nature of this sport means that even if you don’t notice yourself perspiring as you pedal, you’ll still be sweaty pretty everywhere on your body by the end of a ride. Over time sweat builds up, and taking off a sweat-soaked sports bra at the end of a ride is an extremely unpleasant experience.
If you track your heart rate with a heart rate monitor strap (which you should) you’ll want to make sure your bra doesn’t block the strap. Some sports bras have wider bands at the bottom—these are good for support but get in the way of your heart rate monitor strap and can push it down all the way to your lower ribs.
Finally, you’ll want to look for bras don’t get tangled in your shoulder blades. If you have the ability to try it on, bend down into the position you’ll be in on the bike and make sure the straps won’t cause discomfort when you’re in the drops.
Here are some bras for more specific riders and situations.
Nike Swoosh Bra ($55)
Good for: Smaller breasts
This bra is comfortable and fits just tight enough for someone with smaller breasts. The Nike Swoosh Bra comes with a one-piece removable pad and uses Nike’s Dri-FIT Technology to lift sweat away from your skin.
New Balance Power X Bra ($70)
Good for: Larger breasts
The New Balance Power X Bra has a clasp at the back and adjustable straps, two features that larger breasted cyclists should look for in a sports bra. The fast drying bra pulls moisture away from your body and is available in size S-XL. Those outside of the XL size range should look into the Shock Absorber bra bellow.
Saucony Skyrocket Bra ($20)
Good for: An affordable option
Currently on sale for $20, the Saucony Skyrocket Bra is a basic sports bra that will hold everything in place. The racerback design fits nicely out of the way of your shoulder blades whether in the hoods or the drops.
Smartwool Seamless Racerback Bra ($75)
Good for: Winter rides/Long descents
A sweaty sports bra in cold weather is an extremely unpleasant experience. If you’re riding in the winter or descending after a long climb, this wicking Smartwool Seamless Racerback Bra will stop you from getting unbearably cold.
Lululemon Enlite Weave Bra ($98)
Good for: Trainer rides
The Lululemon Enlite Weave Bra was designed for running but it works well for sweaty trainer rides. The smooth fabric has a tight hold for out-of-saddle efforts and the thin cups separate your breasts slightly, which helps reduce sweating. This bra also looks great and would be good for any pain cave selfies.
Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra ($78)
Good for: Gravel or mtb
On bumpy roads or trails some lighter sports bras just won’t cut it. The Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra is a cult classic with runners and athletes with bigger breasts. The bra has two clasps and adjustable straps that work together to keep your breasts completely still.