May is national bike month—the perfect time to dust off our frames and settle into our spring saddles. While this time of year speaks most strongly to cycling enthusiasts, it also has a significant affect on the world of graphic design.

This is the time of year that cycling companies release their new fashion lines. As you might guess, these are often designed by graphic designers like those at 99 designs. This article takes a closer look at the three main graphic design trends in cycling jersey design.


pink white and black cycling jersey design
Louis Garneau

If there’s one thing that sells in the cycling market, it has to be performance. Cyclists everywhere are always seeking ways to go faster and farther—and cycling companies naturally want to provide apparel that will make a consumer feel like they are improving.

The method this is often achieved by—and one of the most prevalent motif in cycling jersey design—is the incorporation of “high tech” design.

In this first jersey example, we see several elements that could only come into existence through technology—fluorescent hot pink, reflective silver, geometric lines and sharp cuts. These are not organic or analog aesthetics. Further, the stripes exist in two different resolutions, both large and small—something that would be quite difficult to achieve without the exacting nature of technology and computers.

Whether functional or not, many of these features create the illusion of technological functionality. The white-dotted pink detail on the bottom hip creates the illusion of breathability, the fine striping up the side looks like venting, and the large stripes in the center emulate a sun reflection.

neon and black cycling jersey design
Louis Garneau

Similarly, in the men’s jersey to the right, we see a digitized hexagonal pattern, creating the illusion of a cooling affect. The reflective grey material communicates slickness and speed, along with a fluorescent color pop.

Keep in mind, this is all subjective. What do these design aesthetics say to you? Nothing about this design is natural—and that is perhaps the point: Many cyclists want to feel like they are utilizing technology in a futuristic way that makes them feel like better, faster and stronger cyclists.

More technological cycling jersey design ideas:

This jersey by Voler features dots that emulate mesh and curving lines that give the rider a slick, aerodynamic look.
The neon colors and pointed stripes of this Pearl Izumi jersey make it feel modern and tech-forward
The geometric pattern on this jersey by Primal is reminiscent of a computer motherboard.
This “ombre” jersey by Twin Six Escape takes on a pixelated look, giving it a digital feel.


There are certain fashion designs that will simply never die. Stripes, polka dots, and camouflage are just a few examples of fashion trends that have existed for decades, and are reinterpreted in current fashion time and time again.

polka dot cycling jersey design
Twin Six

In cycling apparel, these classic fashion themes are just as prevalent and are often reinterpreted specifically for cycling apparel.

Take the polka-dot cycling jersey to the left for example. Following the technology-inspired style of cycling jersey design, these classic spots get a technological makeover.

Commonly polka-dot designs use even sizing and spacing. In cycling shirts, however, we see more digitization with precise halftones. The ratio between white and red is flipped in this transition, creating a sense of technological control and exploration.


camouflage cycling jersey design

Similarly, in the example to the right, we see a classic camouflage pattern reinterpreted. This camouflage pattern gets “sifted” through a negative-space mesh pattern, which creates the effect of the camo existing behind the base jersey material.

This is another way cycling apparel absorbs the appearance technology—in playing with the illusion of convergence between physical materials and 2-dimensional design.


More fun cycling jersey patterns:

This polka dotted jersey by Tim Lillis takes the graduated pattern and gives it a pop art feel with layers of offset colors.
A play on standard stripes, this jersey by Abalone adds modern graphics to the pattern.
There’s nothing more classic than argyle. This jersey by Voler modernizes the pattern with aerodynamic, techy details.
Another classic pattern reimagined? This plaid jersey by Voler blows up the pattern for a modern feel.
This jersey by Primal pairs polka dots with the modern graphic tee aesthetic for a quirky feel.
Can you say postmodern? This jersey by Ride 7b plays with the graduated dot pattern popular in cycling jerseys by making it into playful perspective.


Lastly, cycling jerseys often inherits the fashion trends all apparel does—with similar sensibilities to what’s seen on runways, t-shirts and look-books. In other words, cycling apparel designers aren’t afraid to put a hip design on a jersey. No technology, no illusions, just eye-candy, from computer to jersey.

pattern cycling jersey design
Twin Six

In the left example, we see a geometric, psychedellic pattern that bleeds off the edges of the seems similar to many t-shirt over-prints. There is no real concern for the dimensions and cuts of the jersey, and it feels intentional. This design is strictly about fashion.

It’s not about technology or cliches, and there is certainly a market for that. Some cyclists just want to look cool! A cyclist wearing this jersey is certainly out to get looks.


astronaut on a bicycle cycling jersey

Lastly, we see familiar t-shirt subject matter; space, astronauts and bicycles. Yet again, cycling apparel has a tendency to enhance these trends. In this example, textural and color gradients are heavily implemented throughout the various curves and shapes of the jersey.

The composition is less concise than ones commonly seen on t-shirt designs featuring similar subject matter. This jersey design aims to overwhelm, amuse and astonish—in the way that high fashion often makes your jaw drop.

More modern cycling jersey designs:

Riding the wolf howling at the moon shirt trends,Primal created an epic jersey for those looking to be edgy while cycling.
Photo-realistic graphic prints are all the rage in t-shirt design these days. It’s In My Heart brings this to jerseys.
Squid Bikes brings the trend of quirky patterns to cycling jersey design in this rad shirt.
Again, Squid Bikes keeps it cool with this street-art inspired jersey.
You know what’s trending right now? Vintage. This tie die jersey by Voler updates it for cycling with a modern color palate.
Both vintage and repping your home are hot in t-shirts these days, likewise in cycling, as evidenced by this California flag jersey by Performance Bike.


When thinking about cycling jersey design, it can be extremely helpful to be understand what’s popular. Use this article as a guide to find out what direction you might like to explore. Are you (or your client) more of a fashionista or a performance athlete? Or are you drawn to old-fashion, classic patterns?

Questions or comments? Post below!