It’s Cold. No. Now it’s warm. Nope. It is definitely chilly. And where is that breeze coming from? Does this sound like you?
Fall riding can be great with the cooler temperatures, the hint of crispness in the air and the beautiful foliage. Yet, riding in the fall has its challenges from a temperature perspective. One minute you may feel warm, followed by feeling chilled, and then warm again. When your focus shifts from enjoying your ride to your increasingly cold and numb hands and feet, then you either cut your ride short or just suffer. Given you have the right cycling apparel and you know how to dress for winter riding, you don’t have to do either. The trick is having the right cycling apparel with you for modulating your body’s temperature while riding.
With that said, the following are the must-have items to have in your cycling wardrobe for fall riding.
1. Wind Vest – The wind vest is one of the most used pieces of cool weather gear. It keeps your core body protected from frontal winds, but vents in the rear to keep you from overheating. The wind vest is also very versatile and can be added to different clothing combinations, using it with regular jerseys, winter jerseys, and arm warmers. It’s also easily stowed in a pack or shirt pocket.
2. Wind / Rain Jacket – It’s always a good idea to keep a water-resistant jacket handy when rain is in the forecast.
3. Arm Warmers – Arm warmers are a must during the Fall season. While they don’t take up much room, they are great for temperature control.
4. Full Finger / Windproof Gloves – When riding in cooler temps, one of the first things to get cold are the fingers. Protect your hands with full fingerers and/or windproof gloves.
5. Knickers, Knee Warmers, and Pants – As the temperatures drop, it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclists prefer tights whereas others prefer leg warmers. There are also knickers which allow more airflow over the legs, and they are good for those in-between days. Consider trying out each option and experiment to dial in your preference.
6. Head Band or Skull Cap – The vents in your helmet that are such an asset during the summer months become a major liability when the temperatures begin to drop. To prevent from losing heat from your scalp, be sure to wear a thin skullcap or headband under the helmet
7. Wool Socks – Keeping your feet dry and warm can be a challenge in the cold weather, but nice wool socks are your best bet.
8. Shoe Covers – Shoe covers, also known as booties, cover the exterior of your shoes and protect from cold and wind. There are several options: some that cover just the toes and others that encompass the entire foot. Toe covers are great for Fall but as you transition to Winter riding, you may wish for a pair that covers your entire foot.
9. Lights – Daylight Savings Time has ended and if you have noticed, the days have gotten much shorter! Plan ahead and get your lights ready. Get a red blinker for the rear that mounts to the bike or your pack, and a decent headlight for the front.
10. Tool kit – Nothing is worse than experiencing a mechanical issue with your bike when the weather is cold, wet, windy or a combination of all three. Make sure you have handy bicycle tools or a multi-tool to have on hand in inclement weather.
Ultimately, dressing successfully boils down to experimenting with what works for you. You may find you it’s important to keep your head and core warm for a productive ride rather than dressing full out and including knee and leg warmers. Or, you may find a long-sleeved jersey sans a base layer works. Do your best with the weather and be sure to stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up any cycling accessories, bike parts, or cycling apparel you may need. And lucky for you, we have some great sales on winter tops right now. Up to 60% off jackets. https://bit.ly/2WLkYFT Stay warm and see you soon!