The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between women's cycling and cycling dress from 1868-1900, by examining three periods of cycling: The velocipede (circa 1868-1869), the tricycle (circa 1880s), and the safety bicycle (1890s). My research examined intersecting discourses relating to women’s dress and bicycling. Bicycle technology was in tension with women’s dress, as the bicycle was difficult to ride without adapting women’s dress. However, the bicycle also was adapted in relation dress to in the late 1880s. The study of extant bicycling garments has been neglected in previous research. My research addressed both women’s actual clothing, including extant garments, images, and written descriptions, and the significance of women’s cycling clothing. The way I approached my research varied depending on the period I was researching, due to differing availability of sources. My research on bicycling dress is not exhaustive, nor is it possible to determine whether or not the existing examples are “typical” of the period in which they were worn. My interdisciplinary methods included the study of extant artifacts, material culture, cultural studies, and literary sources along with visual analysis of different types of images. I developed a process for how to find, keep track of, and analyze written materials. I took notes and wrote memos, roughly basing my data coding on a qualitative social science method. I integrated my analysis of extant garments with analysis and interpretation of other period sources, particularly articles and bicycling guides that women wrote during the period under analysis. Using material culture methods, I analyzed extant bicycling garments from the 1890s, following the basic steps of identification, classification, analysis, and interpretation. I utilized a variety of American and British bicycling magazines, along with popular magazines and newspapers. For visual analysis, I looked primarily at fashion illustrations and photographs from the periods in my study. Each type of cycle (velocipedes, tricycles, and safety bicycles) necessitated different clothing, which was determined both by the structure of the machine and by which types of clothing were fashionable at the time. Women riders who were successful at convincing others of their legitimacy as cyclists often did so by dressing in a manner that was sufficiently modified to make cycling physically possible, but not so modified as to appear too out of place when the rider was off the machine. Their dress and behavior was meant to show others that women who cycled were just ordinary women. Written and illustrative materials that argued in favor of cycling must be understood as creating an ideal concept of how women should dress for cycling, not as providing a comprehensive description of what all women actually rode in. My most important finding is that writers from 1868 to 1900 had similar discussions about women’s dress, with recommended styles tending to be adapted from fashionable dress. In the late 1860s, writers grappled with how women could ride a velocipede in a ladylike manner. By the 1890s, cycling was both more common and more acceptable, but writers still wondered as to how women could best dress in order to both be able to safely maneuver a bicycle while still looking feminine. Women’s dress was one of the most significant aspects of cycling, both because well-to-do women were expected to have costumes for many activities and because the physical structure of cycles necessitated adaptations. My central argument is that discussions of women’s cycling dress were meant to legitimize the idea of women as cyclists. Proponents of bicycling believed that women who dressed both practically and appropriately, that is following the precepts of fashion just enough but not so much as to appear frivolous, served as positive examples that could both help other women become cyclists and convince skeptics of cycling’s benefit to women.