Winter is well on its way and, sadly, it comes with cold temperatures, wet weather & boggy roads. It’s important to have the right kit for the changeable conditions ahead so here’s a quick run through of my most essential items to keep me warm, dry and comfortable on the roads this winter!*
*Prices correct at time of publishing!
I’ve worn this particular set of gloves for three winters in a row and I’m yet to be disappointed by them. They are more set for the cold, wet conditions of winter than the milder, drier(!) autumnal conditions but still work well as a good all round glove.
The Rapha Pro Team Softshell jacket not only looks great on but also performs incredibly well in all conditions. The versatility of this jacket is what appeals to me most as it keeps you warm in the cold yet breathes when the temperature picks up midday. Whilst it’s not the most waterproof jacket I’ve had, it repels light showers and dries quickly once the rain has passed.
An absolute essential for any autumn or winter ride is a good base layer. Generally speaking, I tend to wear a light, short sleeve base layer throughout the summer, unless it’s really hot, and a merino base layer during the colder, winter months. These help to circulate body heat and keep your core temperature regulated. The Howies long sleeve merino base layer keeps you warm and toasty when needed but also breathes well when you begin to warm up.
It’s about this time of year, when the weather begins to take it’s toll on the roads, that leaves and muck end up becoming a slushy bog that often ends up on your shoes and kit one way or another. If you’re not riding with mud guards, your kit and shoes will potentially be taking a beating so it’s advisable to look into a good over shoe solution, particularly to keep your shoes from getting ruined. Velotoze short shoe covers are a great way to protect your shoes from any residue that might be kicked up off the roads. These overshoes also act as a moderate wind blocker but if you’re looking more for warmth there’s a few more options out there that will accommodate for this.
Over everything on this list, a neck warmer is possibly my number one essential! Nothing’s worse than descending with an open neck in cold conditions!
Thicker than the Howies Merino base layer, the Rapha Brevet long sleeve jersey acts as a jersey that you would wear without a jacket. Maybe on the warmer days where there’s a wind chill but no sign of rain. With reflective panels, it also allows you to be seen in all conditions.
Although the daylight is shorter, that doesn’t mean the sunglasses need to go away too! Wearing glasses with clear lenses eliminates any possibility of debris or flies getting in your eyes! I currently use Oakley Jawbreakers but I’ve also used dhb Pro Triple lens sunglasses, in the past, too.