When the fall season arrives, the weather can swing between frigid mornings and balmy afternoons. By having the right cycling apparel, you can stay comfortable as the mercury drops… or rises. Here are some tips for updating your cycling gear for fall:
Layer up. The last thing you slip on before you head out for a ride should be the first thing you want to take off when the temperature rises.
Diversify your cycling apparel. Essentials to keep in your cycling wardrobe include a short-sleeved jersey, sweat-wicking technical clothes, a thermal undershirt, a thermal skull cap, a cycling vest paired with arm warmers, gloves, covers for your cycling shoes and ¾-length cycling pants or tights. Keep in mind that if the temperature outside is 50 degrees or less, you’ll want to cover your knees. If the cycling pants aren’t padded, which is common, wear them over cycling shorts that are.
Go for breathable clothing. While you want to stay warm and toasty, you don’t want your cycling gear to trap moisture when you sweat. Trapped sweat can cause you to overheat, chafe or, if you’re in below-freezing temperatures, develop hypothermia. There are different types of sweat-wicking materials on the market, so you might need to experiment to find the ideal combination for the varying fall weather conditions.
Don’t neglect your feet, hands and head. Helmets alone aren’t generally warm enough when the temperatures fall. The thermal skull caps created for cyclists are thin enough to comfortably fit under a helmet or in a back pocket. Protect your hands with gloves made of wool or a sweat-wicking material. If it’s rainy outside, or if the wind is particularly fierce, wear waterproof gloves over the thinner pair. The same idea applies to your feet: Use comfortable wool socks, and add a bootie over your cycling shoes when it rains or gets cold.
Don’t cut your rides short this fall because you aren’t prepared for the weather. With the right combination of cycling apparel, you’ll enjoy long rides regardless of the conditions.