I’m quite enjoying autumn so far this year, temperatures have been nice and mild, the sun is still shining and the beautiful colours of autumn are in full swing. Despite the sunshine I have had to adjust my cycling wardrobe to suit the lower temperatures, so what have I been wearing so far this season?
With the temperatures dropping to around 16 degrees Celsius I didn’t really need to change much – maybe if there was a cool wind then wear full finger gloves and for road riding a long sleeve jersey, but that’s about it. Below that magic 15-16 degrees marker though I added a Merino wool base layer (Endura BaaBaa, works a treat for me).
The temperature did drop to around 5-7 degrees for a week or so, a cold snap during which I went full winter gear – neck buff, thick winter gloves, Merino wool base layer, middle layer, windproof top layer, Merino wool skull cap, and for road my waterproof overshoes for added dryness and wind protection. All worked a treat, even if I did sweat a little.
So that pretty much brings us up to this weekend, we’ve had a bit of a reprieve in the temperatures as they’ve been up as high as 16 degrees in some places during the week, today as the Easterlies are bringing colder air from Scandinavia and Russia it’s back down to around 9 – 10 degrees, so what to wear for my mountain bike ride today? I decided to go half-way on my winter gear, here’s my choice which seemed to work well for today’s sunny but cool conditions:
- Ear protection wind proof head band
- Long finger gloves
- Thermal base layer
- Short sleeve jersey middle layer
- Long sleeve jersey outer layer (same one as for summer riding)
- Long wool socks
- Regular canvas top flat pedal Five Ten shoes
- 3/4 Waterproof baggy shorts, leg vents zipped up
- Neck buff carried in jersey pocket in case needed
- Transitional cycling glasses (in and out of forested areas which can be quite dark during the winter even when the sun is shining)
There was a little bit of sweat going on but mainly where I had things in my middle jersey pockets, generally I keep moving so if I do sweat it doesn’t get a chance to cool down much, that’s when the cold can really start to grab you.
I could have worn thick winter gloves but for sure my hands would have sweated, but they would also have been warmer. If I had worn a windproof top layer then I would have sweated more, even without the middle jersey; in my experience a windproof is never as good as a regular top for allowing sweat to escape despite any claims by the manufacturer, I generally only wear a windproof or waterproof if there is a cold biting wind that I need to keep out.
The forecast is for much lower temperatures in the week to come, we shall see what the next ride entails!