How do you keep motivated to ride in the darkest and coldest of nights. When the weather is against us we all know how easy it is to fall out of a routine and how hard it is to get it back again. We need all the help we can get to keep us out on the bike, regardless of if your trying to stick to a training routine, commuting or simply just for the enjoyment of cycling. They key to this motivation is a very simple one, clothing. Being prepared for what the elements have to unleash upon you can keep you going all the way through to spring and summer. The right bit of kit to protect you from the onslaught that you can be faced with, this will make all the difference when it matters the most and you can be left thinking what was all the fuss about.
So we have got together a few essential items that you can not do with out at this time of year.
First of all is the skull cap, one of the simplest of items in the list but also one of the most important. With road helmets one of the most important factors is ventilation to keep your head cool in the those all so important summer months. When the weather changes for the worst then you need some protection against those chilly mornings and through the winter months. Constructed of a Thermo Stretch material this ProBikeKit Exclusive is close fitting so it will easily fit underneath your helmet and keep you warm and dry. It’s windproof front panel blocks out the direct impact of icy cold air against your head and keeps that ever important organ operating when you need it the most. Fleece lined it is comfortable to wear and being small enough to keep in your back pocket it can be always there when you need it.
Gloves are a cyclist must have item, no matter what time of the year it is there is a glove for every occasion. With the autumn/winter selection nothing changes, it may even get a little more complected. So what we have done is to simply your choices down to two styles.
First up on offer are Gore’s Universal II full fingered glove. An extremely versatile, light weight and thermal glove that can be used through out the majority of the year. Its Thermo-stretch functional fabric keeps your hands warm inside by keeping the heat in and the cold out. It is a close fitting glove to aid this process but it will also help with the feel on the bike. The silicone coated palm and fingers makes for better grip when the weather is bad.
Next up is something at the other end of the glove scale which is the easiest way to distinguish the selection you have on offer. Have a pair for the worst conditions so there is nothing to stop you from getting out there and enjoying rinding your bike. Then the second a lightweight pair that will be the most useful out of the two pairs but nether will work without one and another.
The Descente Wombat winter gloves fit into its role extremely well and does what a lot of gloves of this style are incapable of doing. The key to this is in its clever design, its actually 2 gloves in 1. We all know that mittens keep our hands warmer than gloves and during the course of the ride the conditions can change dramatically. From riding up a long clime to descending over the other side into an icy wind the Wombat has the solution. Its Softshell material will keep the elements out for most conditions then when the weather turns really bad the unique, pull-out windproof mitt section comes into it play. Transforming the glove into a mitt and making the glove work throughout a ride range of temperatures.
An important part of cycling at any time of the year is to layer up. Simply by wearing layers makes it is a lot easier to regulate your temperature and help protect you from the elements whilst riding. Starting with a base layer to assist in wicking away moisture from your body is very important to keep you warm. As you ride you perspire and it is that moisture that will make you cold when your body temperature drops due to a change in the weather or stopping on a ride. Items like this do not have to cost a fortune, but choosing one that consists of the right wicking material and the right tight snug fit to act like a second layer of skin will make all the difference.
Something that is of the up most importance at this time of year is making yourself visible to others. We all spend lots of money every year on lights and hi-viz clothing to stand out in the dark and there is always a good chance its going to be raining. Now if like me you commute at this time of year you will have experienced turning up to work with what were some dry clothes in you rucksack, to find the rain has managed to get in somewhere (normally through a zip) and get your clothes wet. No matter how many plastic bags you put your clothes inside some how they still manage to get wet and it can get expensive buying a fully waterproof bag just for the winter months. So what we have here is the answer to all those problems, a Hi-Viz, waterproof rucksack cover with a Electro-luminescent light system built into it. Respro really have come up trumps with this one, it really does what it says on the packet. The cover fits nicely over the rucksack and creates a fully waterproof barrier over your bag. As there are no zips on the cover and it has fully taped seems so the water just runs off, leaving your bag dry and more importantly your belongings inside dry. With the 3M reflective transfers which cover the back and sides the cover really stands out and with it covering such a large area on you back it really makes you visible to other road users. Then just to finish it of the luminescent light system built in to the piping of the cover which has 3 different settings from a constant mode to 2 flashing settings this cover ticks all the right boxes. A must have item for the commuter which works all year round.
|Another key area is keeping your feet dry and warm. One of the most useful overshoes we’ve seen this year is the Pearl Izumi Shine Shoe Cover. It incorporates into the neoprene shell an LED strip which can be turned on when the light dips and you need that extra visibility.A great idea that doesn’t cost a fortune and should keep you safer, the strips rotating with your feet are sure to catch drivers’ eyes. The tough 3mm neoprene with fleecy lining will keep the water out and your toes warm in the worst conditions (just remember to tape your sole vents up!)Once you’re home the light strip can be removed and the overshoe put in the washer with the rest of your kit. The pre-cut heel and cleat hole make fitting easy and prevent them wearing out too quickly.
“If your winter rides take in unlit stretches of road, then simple products such as this one provide extra help to stay visible. Each bootie comes with a CR2032 battery installed, and changing them is a two-minute job. The Shines cost twice as much as other shoe covers on the market, but for extra peace-of-mind, we reckon they’re worth it.”
|[rating:5]On long cold days a good pair of bibtights is invaluable.The Endura Thermolite Pro’s have teflon coated fabric which will repel and awful lot of road spray and by doing this prevent as much wind-chill as other tights. The cut and quality is second to none, as you’d expect for £75, we’re pretty sure that these will put up with any weather conditions (the take up of Endura clothing in the office backs this up!).Other features include the 600-series chamois which is antibacterial and has Silver Dry® technology. Zippers on the front and ankles make for a good fit, and the double layered knees help to keep this often fragile joint warm and comfortable. The logos are also reflective for night time visibility, also useful in urban environments to catch drivers’ eyes.