Billed as "the first and last name in women's cycling," it's no surprise that Terry cycling tops are some of the best-designed and most popular out there. Georgena Terry, the founder of the company, was trained as an engineer as well as an entrepreneur, and this pragmatic mindset applies as much to the cycling tops as it does to the Terry precision bicycles. More than that, Georgena uses her own products to ride over six thousand miles a year - so she tries out all the gear herself, and can tell when something's not up to her high standards of quality.
What Goes into Choosing a Cycling Top?
There are several factors to keep in mind when choosing the best Terry top for your riding needs. It's far more complicated than simply getting the right size; cycling is a worldwide sport, and the developments in textile technology have made the choices as varied as the terrain you're cycling through.
- Weather - what is likely to be the climate of your cycling trip? Terry tops come in a variety of materials, ranging from 100% cotton or polyester to high-tech patented materials with names like "SQ Pro with Mynx UV." This is more than an impressive name - the Mynx UV, for example, is a treatment of the fabric that will block out ultraviolet sun rays that can harm the skin. This is very useful if riding through summertime Texas, for example, but not so necessary if biking through England in the fall.
- Wicking - Wicking is the term for a fabric's ability to lift moisture from the skin and allow it to evaporate into the air. This serves a dual purpose: it helps keep sweat from staying on the body, which can lead to lower body temperature in cold weather, and also helps dry the fabric more quickly (for example, after a rainstorm). Cotton is not very good at wicking due to its absorption and retention of moisture. On the other hand, Gore-Tex is a high-tech fabric famous for its ability to wick moisture quickly and effectively. On the main site there is a link off of the cycling tops section directly to Gore-Tex products.
- Practicality - Practicality in a cycling top takes into consideration what the demands of your cycling trip will be. If you have a long road trip planned, having something that has many storage pockets and can be used in layers may be a good choice. On the other hand, if you are simply doing a mini-triathlon and only going to be riding for an hour or so, a simple mesh tank might make more sense. If the trip is going to last through the day, think about how the weather may change and choose all of your gear appropriately.
A Real-Life Example of Choosing a Terry Cycling Top
Danica lives in Madison, WI and is about to take part in the AIDS Awareness wide. This ride starts early in the day and goes through rural Wisconsin, with some pretty intense hills in the latter part of the route. She knows that based on the distance and her ride time that she can expect to be on the bike from the 7am startoff to 5 or 6pm in the evening.
Looking at the Terry cycling top website, she thinks about the climate in Wisconsin, where the joke is "Don't like the weather? Wait ten minutes." She decides to use a base layer of the "Sun Goddess" jersey, based on the following features:
- Lightweight fabric, cut in a racer-back style but with a feminine cut to the rest of the top.
- Front zipper allows for air venting;
- Dual rear pockets to hold food, glasses and other equipment
- Fast wicking, with UV protection and other high-tech treatment.
The light fabric and racing cut of the jersey means that during the long trip Danica will be able to keep from overheating in the muggy Wisconsin summer. However, as she knows it is often quite chilly early in the day, she also decides to get something to put over the "Sun Goddess" at the start of her ride. With choices ranging from simple arm warmers to full long-sleeve jerseys, she settles on a bolero top (in a plain black color that will complement her Sun Goddess print) because it will keep her arms warm and then crumple up easily to fit in one of her pockets after.
Secure in the guarantee that Georgena puts on all of her Terry cycling tops, Danica has confidence that her new gear will serve her well. After all, the company mission, in a nutshell, is: "We want women to have fun cycling."