Tips For The Perfect Fall Riding Season
With the summer season coming to an end, the cool weather will not stop many cyclists from getting as much time outdoors as possible before the indoor season starts. This time of year, most cyclists will take advantage of riding in the mornings when the sun still rises early. The fall morning rides can differ from summer riding in many ways so protecting yourself from the outdoor elements and taking extra safety precautions to ensure your ride is worth while is easier than one may think.
You may be going on a 100+ km Sunday morning club ride, your morning commute to work, or getting in a quick ride in before the work day starts, you want to make sure you are prepared for an unappreciable weather. Being seen on the road in traffic in cloudy or what may look like rain can be an extra challenge this time of year, having a bright set of lights can make all the difference. We suggest the bike lights Cobber by Knog, they provide exceptional lighting from a 330 degree viewing angle and can be seen much better than traditional front & rear lights. They offer a front and rear light with 320 lumens for the front and 170 lumens for the rear. They are rechargeable via USB (included in the box) so replacing batteries is a non-existent issue. Another really cool feature these light offer is Mode Maker, allowing the rider to pre set the brightness, flashing patterns, and runtimes. This can be done simply by using the Mode Maker app available on the Knog website. The Knog Cobber lights offer major lighting visibility, 100% waterproof and also look great on any bike. Besides being seen on the road, being heard is just as important, having a bell is a quick way to allow cars, pedestrians, and other cyclists to know you are present. A bell that has a loud sound and is quick reach is a bonus to have while riding in the fall season. The Knog Oi bell is definitely a choice that has a very distinctive “PING” that will get the attention of almost anyone on the road. The Knog Oi bell comes in different sizes and colours that sit on either the drop or top of the bars, blends in nicely with a current set up and is easy to use if a last second attention grabber situation occurs. Another option many cyclists install on the bike I the fall season are front and rear fenders. Now you may be thinking, why would anyone want to put heavy and bulky fenders on a carbon road bike? Having fenders on the bike will definitely help protect you and your bike from getting covered water, mud or any other surprises the fall season may offer. A great option by the brand Crub are the Road Racer MKII, they are light weight, thin, easy to install and remove, and most importantly engineered to blend in well specifically on a road bike, with a the sleek and minimal design, you may forget you have fenders on your bike entirely.
Most importantly, dressing appropriately with the right gear will make your ride a much enjoyable one. The weather at 7 am can be completely different from 9 am, how does one cater to this? Some cyclists will believe they will be fine in a summer kit, that mind set change about 20 min in to your ride when the cool wind sets in resulting in an uncomfortable and unenjoyably morning ride. You can actually use most of your existing gear with a few add-ons such as a fall base layer, arm and leg warmers, head warmer, and some fall gloves. Investing in a few extra items will be worth it and you will find you will get a lot of use out of them this time of the year. The Assos brand offers a great line of fall riding gear that is lightweight, insulated, looks and fits great. The Assos Tiburu line offers items such as full finger gloves that allow the rider to use a smart phone touch screen without removing them (what a time we live in), bib & non bib knickers, full length tights, head gear, socks, and lightweight jackets and vests that can stand up to the cool fall weather and light rain for both males and females. One great option I have had personal experience with the Assos Tiburu bib knickers. At first the knickers seemed a thin and questionable, but that opinion changed on my first ride in them. The insulation was the perfect amount to keep warm and not feel weighed down, and as the morning temperature warmed up I did not feel over heated at all. They cuffs sit below the knee and with the silicone band around the cuff they stayed in place the entire time. In colder conditions it’s important to have your knees and elbows covered, not just to stay at the correct body temperature, but this helps speed up recovery time after the bike. When looking at arm & leg warmers, these options are great for when the temperature does rise on longer rides. Simply put on the leg and arms warmers in the earlier hours, as the temperature warms up, slip them off and in the back jersey pockets they go without having that “bunched up” feeling on your ride. Leg and arms warmers will also help protect again the sun and light rain and have an excellent fit and feel. The last and maybe one of the most important pieces of riding gear is a base layer or body temperature regulator. In a previous blog post, we mentioned the importance of base layers and temperature regulators. Assos offers the Skin Foil line that caters to hot summer days to the coldest of riding conditions and everywhere in between. The fall Skin Foils are offered in long and short sleeve that have comfy and snug fit that can be worn with your favorite summer jersey. It was a pleasant surprise to see how well these Skin Foils work with wearing minimal clothing articles and still being warm and comfortable on the bike, investing in one is a great decision and can be worn multiple times before throwing them in the laundry bin. We highly recommend investigating the perfect base layer or temperature regulator to take you as far into the fall riding season as possible. Keep in mind, many outdoor fall gear can be worn in the springtime as well, two birds with one stone if you ask us.
Taking a few extra simple steps from safety to on the bike comfort will make all the difference this fall season. Make sure you lights are charged along with your Garmin or Wahoo cycling computer, you are equipped with your favorite Assos Skin Foil, down that double shot of espresso, and be sure to post great photos the fall season has to offer on your Strava segments.
Be Safe & Ride Strong,