With the tremendous influx of new riders cycling since the start of the pandemic, it is inevitable that many new cyclists will not want to lose all the momentum they have built up during the spring and summer months, and into the fall.
Why let all that hard work erode? , to only find yourself back at square one next spring. The key is to keep the wheels in motion. We are going give you some ideas over this off season as to how you avoid falling off the cycling bandwagon and become a seasoned cyclist …. Some of us might need to be on a tight budget, which is fine, some others may be able to spend like they have bottomless pockets, or at least pretend that they do. The beauty is that there is something for everybody.
As summer turns to fall, the days of riding in jerseys and shorts disappear rapidly. If you are someone that might pack it in regarding riding outside once the temps get into the low single digits. You may be able to extend your ride with a few key accessories, to turn your summer apparel into fall riding apparel.
A must have staple in every cyclists wardrobe. Arm warmers can be used in the spring, fall, and on the rare cool summer morning. A versatile piece that can be stripped off and tucked away in your back pocket if things get to warm. Specifically for fall or spring riding, arm warmers convert any short sleeve jersey into a long sleeve jersey.
Just like arm warmers, the ones for your legs are equally as effective. A staple piece for those crisp fall mornings, and converts any pair of shorts into a pair of tights.
Still a debate on why you go half way, when you can go all the way. Basically this garment is taking a bib short and converting it to a knicker, which we will get into next. The leg warmer extends your short just past the knee.
The best part about knee warmers, is that they really extenuate the calves… But if you can only have one of these garments, you are better off with a pair of leg warmers.
Many cyclists don’t appreciate the benefits of knickers. It is probably because they’ve never worn a pair before. Once we get into the low double and high single digit temperatures, there is no more stripping down layers because things heat up during your ride. What you put on, stays on. Knickers provide a more seamless feel, and look better than the combination of shorts and knee warmers. Looks are everything right?
The most critical area of your body to keep warm as the temps start to dip is your core. Without your core temperature being stabilized, your body’s natural response is to pull blood from its extremities to protect it. The largest battle we face as cyclists when the air gets cold, is the wind. A vest helps to block the wind and help retain heat to assist in the regulation of your core temperature. The vest is such a valuable piece, as its versatility and effectiveness is worth its weight in gold.
Not to regurgitate what was mentioned about the vest, a baselayer is doing the same thing, but at a higher degree. Another must have, and will pay dividends when your riding buddies are riding in pure discomfort..
Some of us just say “screw the warmers, and layers, lets cut out all the confusion and get a jacket!” That’s not a bad idea. Simplicity is a great thing, a jacket is even better. A spring/fall based jacket brings together all the benefits of arm warmers, and a vest to provide better performance against the elements. Let’s not forget about those seamless looks right.. ☺
If you’ve ever had freezing toes on a ride, it nearly, or sometimes drives you to the limit that you need to turn around and go home. Toe covers are an incredible bang for buck. They keep the front of your shoes hidden from the wind, and in certain type’s dry from wet conditions. This garment keeps you forging on, so you don’t embarrass yourself when your ride on Strava loads up and you have to title it “I turned around because my toes were too cold” But in all seriousness, Toe Covers work wonders and are a must.
Many cyclists view cold weather gloves as being the same thing as any other glove they already have… we beg to differ. A proper cold weather cycling glove, have similar palm padding as your summer gloves, keep you warm, but are strategically set up, as to not take away from the shifting dexterity you still need to have, especially on bikes equipped with electronic shifting. It is quite impressive how much thought, research and testing, the top cycling apparel companies have done when it comes to cycling gloves. Reap the benefits everybody!
We hope these tips and suggestions carry you along until we release part 2 of our Offseason blog series…