As you get more into cycling you’ll notice the cold is a foe to contend with. As the temperatures start dipping below 60-degrees, there’s two rules of dressing you should follow:
- Windproof yourself. Ever heard of wind chill? Even if it rains and you get wet, if you protect yourself from penetrating drafts you’ll manage to stay warm.
- Layer up. The weather and your core temperature might fluctuate, so its better to have layers you can peel off or open up to regulate heat.
So, here are the essential Spring/Fall riding clothes.
- Arm warmers- They are basically tubes of
lycra with soft-brushed fleece on the inside that cover your arms. Why? Because if it gets hot, just roll them down your arms. These are perfect when the weather settles between 50-60 degrees- not cold enough for a full blown base layer, but a tad chilly for sleeveless riding. They are versatile, and can make up for not having a long sleeve jersey any day. They are perfect for racing too. If it gets colder, use them as extra layers.
- Pro tips: when you wear them, fit them under your jersey sleeve.
- These are notorious for sliding down the biceps of particularly skinny people. Price: $25-$45
- Leg Warmers and Knee Warmers– It’s the same
concept as arm warmers but with legs. A good pair can make up for not having tights. Leg warmers are for colder days and start at mid-thigh and end at the ankle. Knee warmers are for more temperate weather and start mid-thigh and end mid-calf.
- Pro tip: Whichever you get, wear the warmers under your shorts at your thighs. Price: $35-$55
- Lightweight wind jacket- We recommend the lightweight jacket because of its versatility. Bigger, bulkier jackets are for deep winter, but these bad boys can be worn anytime with the right layers. If you get hot on a ride, just roll it up and put it in a pocket. If you can’t decide if you’re hot, open the front zipper. These jackets are hands down one of the most important pieces of a cyclists wardrobe. Vests exist too, and they’re sometimes called gilets (jil-aye), and they’re for temperate weather (like early summer mornings) or ever-changing conditions.
- Pro tip: Use these instead of a cheap rain jacket. They’re more breathable, more durable and chances are you’ll end up wet regardless of what you wear. Just layer up right! Price: $55-$85
- Wind-proof gloves- Even if you failed to layer up right and your arms are cold, if your hands remain warm the ride will stay enjoyable. Windproof gloves are a must-have if you plan on riding into the winter, or out of it. There’s a million different types of gloves out there. Buy the ones recommended for temperatures right above freezing (32-45). As far as fit goes, make sure there is a gap between the end of your finger and the glove so your fingertips stay warm. These are the perfect blend and hit a sweet spot of price, performance, comfort, and looks.
- Pro tip: If it gets too warm, roll down your arm warmers, or take one glove off. If your hands and feet are happy then you’ll be happy. Price: $25-$45
- Windproof Shoe Covers- Speaking of happy feet (not the penguin), you should get a pair of wind-proof shoe covers. If your toes get cold easily, these could be a game changer. There’s a million types out there, but the basic windproof kind should do the trick even in the rain (they remain windproof).
- Pro tip: For colder weather just wear thicker socks. If you’re doing a summer time trial, use them as aerodynamic shoe covers! Price: $25-$45
Our favorite part about all of these clothes is that (with the exception of shoe covers) they last longer than any other cycling clothing you’ll buy. If you care for them properly and they’re high quality, you’ll be able to rely on these bits year in and year out for as long as you need them.