Autumn is often seen as a prelude to the cold of winter. Not a season many outdoor athletes look forward to, but it has its perks. First, there’s more oxygen in the air, which comes in handy for your performance during your ride. But how do you protect yourself from the rain and cold which are also inherent to the fall? Stefanie has selected several key items of clothing to get you through the autumn comfortably.
Bike clothing against the wind, rain, and cold…
They’re items I don’t particularly enjoy shopping for, because I just don’t like the rain! Storm… I don’t even want to think about riding through it, simply because I’ve done so one too many times in the past!
Cold isn’t something I enjoy either, since my fingers go numb in seconds. Winter: I don’t much care for it! However -and this is the one concession I’ll make on the subject- I do love to feel the cold and crisp air hit my lungs!
Granted, the infinite blue skies, sun low in the sky, and mist coming off the water are all sights to behold during winter!
Water repellent or waterproof?
You’ve probably noticed: British weather tends to be wet, and usually at a most inconvenient time. Fortunately these days there are plenty of fantastic products out there to help you cope with the weather and get you to your destination without getting wet.
Depending on the duration of your ride as well as the intensity of the rain, you can choose between either water repellent or waterproof clothing. While they might sound similar, there are several key differences to take into consideration. Below is a short explanation of both terms:
– Water Repellent
This means the product has been given a special treatment which causes the first drops of rain to simply run off the garment. Given enough time and rain however, and you will eventually get wet.
The seams aren’t taped off for instance, and the fabric can only handle so much water before it comes through.
These are the true rain jackets. First off, the seams have been taped, so no more weak spots in between the panels of the garment.
They also often use heavier zippers which can better cope with the water. The Castelli Idro is a great example of one such garment!
Pro’s and Con’s of the Castelli Idro
- Extremely lightweight materials
- The zipper on the back allows for quick and easy access to your rear pockets
- No more flapping fabric in the wind because of the slim-fit design
- Only available in one colour
- The price
Shoe covers matter!
They might seem to be annoying, useless items, but we beg to differ! Shoe covers can sometimes be a little hard to get into, and some are a little easy to damage, but they do keep your feet warm and dry!
Warm feet help tremendously in any ride, because once your feet have gone cold, they’re not going to warm back up again. In order to ensure you stay comfortable and dry on the bike, we’ve created an extensive range of shoe covers.
No matter the weather, we’ve got a pair of covers to match! My personal favorite: the Sealskinz Lightweight Halo.
Pro’s and Con’s of the Sealskinz Lightweight Halo
- Extra safe on the roads because of the LED on the rear
- One of the true lightweight shoe covers, ensuring you’ll barely notice them
- The open bottom means your feet can still get wet from spray
Let’s not skip this step, no matter how obvious. My own winter hands scream for gloves when temperatures drop below 15 degrees, even though some of us are still happily riding along in their summer gloves at just 5 degrees above freezing!
Once the temperatures really start to drop however, even they will have to switch to a pair of proper winter gloves. We’ve got a pair of gloves for every type of hand and conditions.
Check the number of stars in the specifications to see how warm a specific pair of gloves is. They’re also a good indication to determine in which conditions they might be most suitable.
Keep your head warm!
All set, or so you might think! Have you thought about those vents in your helmet? How are you going to prevent your head from getting cold and wet in seconds?
Simple: get yourself the right headgear! Most helmets are spacious enough to house a simple hat, but some can accommodate a helmet cover. This is a solid or fabric cover which is attached to the outside of your helmet.
Which one suits your helmet depends on the specific make and model of your helmet. If you’re not sure, feel free to contact us to find out!
These days, more and more helmets are available with a hard cover. This way, your head is protected from the cold air, and your aerodynamics are improved along the way! Our favourite is the DotOut Kabrio.
An adaptable helmet with a matching cover and even an optional visor, thereby optimally protecting your head from the cold and rain.
Pro’s and Con’s of the Dotout Kabrio
- Upgrade accessories available such as a helmet cover and visor
- The inner frame of the helmet ensures it can’t splinter on impact
- Only available in two sizes
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