Cycle clothes for tall people

by 7thGalaxy   May 9, 2014  

I'm having endless trouble getting a good fit on my cycle jerseys & to a lesser extent bib shorts. I'm 6' 6", and find that if I get a tighter jersey/'sprint' cut, its nowhere near long enough, and if I get one that's long enough, it's quite flappy (apparently all tall people are fat). Same problem with Gilets.

With the bib shorts, again, if they're the right fit around thighs/waist, they tend to be a bit constrictive vertically, and if they're fine vertically they're a bit loose around the waist (which tends to not tuck things away properly). With these more expensive bits of kit, I can't buy too many.

Does anyone have a similar problem? Any solutions? Any good brands?


17 user comments

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One of my statuesque colleagues gave up on getting bibs to fit and had the straps lengthened with the addition of extra material; seams either side of the shoulders to minimise seam rubbing.
(He hasn't found any decent long jerseys, though - sorry!)

posted by Dr_Lex [210 posts]
9th May 2014 - 13:27

1 Like

You'd have thought that if they make 63cm frames, someone must make clothes the right size for people to ride them!

posted by 7thGalaxy [47 posts]
9th May 2014 - 13:43


I'm 6ft 4, so I don't have quite the same problem, but it is a consideration. My advice would be to choose a bib tight with more elastane/ Lycra in it as it will provide more stretch and feel less tight. I've got on fine with dhb offerings, but I'm not quite as tall.

For jerseys, I suggest searching for performance fit styles, or race cut if you like. You can then go up a size, for length, whilst still achieving a fairly snug fit. Might depend on quite how long your body is.

Canyon Roadlite Centaur/ Veloce groupset, Shamal wheels

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posted by Miles253 [209 posts]
9th May 2014 - 13:47

1 Like

I don't get along with bib shorts, so I wear waist shorts secured by clip on braces that I bought from a gents outfitters for under a tenner. If that's good enough for Eddy Merckx it'll do for me.

Crosshouses's picture

posted by Crosshouses [264 posts]
9th May 2014 - 19:05


I'm 6'5" and had the same problem as you. Most of the larger kit available was clearly designed for girth.

Bizarrely, this situation is worse with running kit where some really high end specialist kit such as lightweight softshells, etc were cut for a very non-athletic fit. I always thought it strange, as generally guys running casually aren't the ones I see getting in the training in all weather.

For cycling I've had a lot of luck with Sportful and also Castelli. As Sportful own Castelli, there is a lot of similarity between the model lines and Sportful seem slightly less emblazoned with logos. Make sure you go with the Bodyfit line (Sportful) or the equivalent in Castelli (I think it's designated as Bodypaint and Free Aero Race). Unfortunately this is the race kit so generally the more expensive stuff.

I'm 195 with 108 chest, 89 waist and 99 hip. XXL works quite nicely in any of the Bodyfit range from Sportful, or the racier stuff from Castelli. In some of their stuff I'm probably an XL (Castelli Pocketliner XXL is fine but I often think an XL would have been better.) I've a Gabba in XXL and that's a great bit of kit and a good fit for tall guys.

I've not had an issue with bibs being too tight. They all feel a little tight standing but that disappears once on the bike and in a cycling position.

As an aside, I've some Icebreaker stuff as I love merino and it's understated, but the waist on the jersey just hangs down when I the bike and the bibs are super long.

Finally, if you go with Sportful, get the bibs with a Total Comfort Pro pad in. I believe the bibs are the Bodyfit LTD ones. More comfortable than the Total Comfort and the lower end chamois in the standard Bodyfit shorts, plus the wide Total Comfort straps are more comfortable.

posted by dannycarr2k [23 posts]
10th May 2014 - 10:28


For cycling I've had a lot of luck with Sportful and also Castelli.

Exactly the same here. I'm also 6'6 and spent a long, long time trying to find gear that fitted me as I wanted, and these two brands are the best.

I take a Large in both brands' jerseys, and an XXL (I think, or maybe XL, I can't remember) in Castelli bibs to get the right length in the straps.

I also have pairs of DHB and Morvelo bibs that fit well, and the Howies cycling gear is also great because it's so damn stretchy (when I went to try it on, I thought there was no way it would fit, but it was surprisingly good).

I'm assuming you also have issues with jackets and getting the right sleeve length without having to size up and be left with a baggy fit? If so, I found Gore and Mavic to both be good in that regard. (Never tried a Castelli jacket, so have no idea how they fit.)

For tights (hopefully not an issue for a few more months now!) I found Lusso the best. They even said that if they didn't fit, they could make me a custom pair for a small surcharge (about £20, iirc). Excellent company.

Hope that helps.

posted by ashfanman [107 posts]
10th May 2014 - 12:03


Thanks guys - very useful!

posted by 7thGalaxy [47 posts]
12th May 2014 - 15:51

1 Like

What about arm warmers?
can anybody recommend any that are long without being baggy? nothing seems to fit right!

Starley JKS R1

posted by dlparr [10 posts]
12th May 2014 - 16:15


I just settled for ones that are too short..

Maybe we need to set up a clothing brand!

posted by 7thGalaxy [47 posts]
12th May 2014 - 16:25


winds me up, they're all either too short, or really baggy round the wrists.
tempted to try and get some bespoke ones, but realise i'd be paying through the nose!

possibilities are endless!

Starley JKS R1

posted by dlparr [10 posts]
12th May 2014 - 16:44


What about arm warmers? Can anybody recommend any that are long without being baggy? nothing seems to fit right!

Castelli Nanoflex. I have long and (relatively) skinny arms and the pair I have (size Large) are snug and go all the way from my wrist to my armpit. I actually wonder how shorter people manage with them - they're really very long indeed. Really good quality too, and can usually be had for less than £30 if you shop around.

posted by ashfanman [107 posts]
13th May 2014 - 13:28


I'm only 6'2 and this annoys me. You can spend £20 on a work shirt and choose collar and sleeve length separately. Yet, spend £100 on a cycling jersey or bibs and you get S, M, L and XL to choose from.

In my experience, the size of cycle clothing refers solely to the waist/chest. L and XL good usually only for someone who is 5'8 and weighs 18 stone.

posted by srchar [87 posts]
14th May 2014 - 12:04

1 Like

srchar wrote:
I'm only 6'2 and this annoys me. You can spend £20 on a work shirt and choose collar and sleeve length separately. Yet, spend £100 on a cycling jersey or bibs and you get S, M, L and XL to choose from.

Only more people buy those £20 work shirts than they do cycling gear...

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [638 posts]
14th May 2014 - 12:07


For bibs, I found that Endura do a 'Long' in their FS260 Pro SL range. I'm 6'6'' and 194 K, 42 chest

posted by Gulliver75 [1 posts]
5th May 2015 - 14:33

1 Like

Howie's bib shorts, of which they only do two sizes (s/m and L/XL), fit me perfectly at 6'6", 34" waist and 96cm inseam. As someone says above the material is really stretchy.

The Crane branded jerseys at Aldi are pretty darn long too. I have a long sleeve one which also has a bit of a flap at the bottom to cover your arse.

posted by gonedownhill [34 posts]
5th May 2015 - 15:15


6'4", 34" waist here, and I find DHB XXL bibs a good fit. Santini XXL jerseys good, the race fit ones are crazy, tighter and shorter, too. Maloja jerseys are a great fit, but I can't find them in the UK any more. Morvelo a bit loose in XXL, but too short otherwise. I've got some POC XXL bibs in the post, will see how they go.

posted by DrJDog [254 posts]
5th May 2015 - 16:01


I'm 6ft6 and 85kg, sportful is spot on in an XL, I have jerseys and jackets from them. Rapha shorts are fine in large and are also slightly longer, but pricey. Free Aero jerseys from castelli fit in an XL and the bib shorts are fine in xxl even if you are slim. The best one recently was Torm, I have two of their jerseys in medium and they fit like a glove, check them out!!. Go for the tight fitting European brands and you should be OK.

What about shoes though!! I take a 52 european size, that makes is almost impossible to get nice cycling shoes. It's Shimano or Sidi and the choice is often limited

posted by sean evans [35 posts]
6th May 2015 - 16:16