The pro peloton’s calendar might be up in the air this year – Paris–Roubaix AFTER the Tour? Worlds BEFORE the Giro? – but for the #HardcoreRoadie, the seasons march on as in any year. For northern hemisphere riders, the earth’s tilt is now not working in our favor. Days are getting shorter, the leaves are falling and the roads never seem to dry out. That said, it’s a brilliant time of year to be heading out for a ride – is there anything better than a cold and crisp morning enjoying one of your favorite routes.
Autumnal riding isn’t without it’s challenges though and to get the most out of your saddle time you’re going to have to make adjustments. We’ve a wee while to wait now until we can spring out of the door in just a jersey, bibs and baselayer… Here are our top tips for the next couple of months, before winter arrives in earnest.
Layer-up – effective layering is always key to comfort and for autumn, you’ll need to add extra insulation to protect you from chillier days and protection from wind and rain. Ian Young, our Brand Manager and self-confessed kit obsessive, pulled together a masterclass in layering earlier this year.
See clearly – eyewear = more than just sunglasses. A set of glasses with a clear, light enhancing or reactive lens will help keep rain and road crap out of your eyes on club runs – there’s nothing worse than crossing into someone else’s rooster tail of road spray – and prevents your peepers getting watery in cold air.
Protect the extremities – in addition to Ian’s layering tips, we’ve big fans in investing in high quality gloves and overshoes. For the hands, the new Windchill Gloves are your first line of defence – a windproof softshell backhand with a soft lightly brushed inner. At the other end, we like to think we know a thing or two about overshoes, so take a look at our latest selection here. Not quite ready to go full-overshoe yet? Dip a toe into the world of foot protectors with the FS260 Pro Slick Toe Covers.
Mudguards – once upon a time every roadie worth their (road) salt would switch to a bike with proper mudguards for winter. A bit like face coverings in a pandemic, a full mudguard provides protection for you and for those around you. Bike doesn’t take ‘guards? Sounds like a great excuse for your next N+1.
Indoors is OK – this mightn’t fit with our #HardcoreRoadie theme, but sometimes it’s OK not to go out. When the weather is exceptionally crap then slip into a pair of Xtract Bibshorts, switch on the fan and buckle into a indoor session. Doesn’t matter if it’s the circuits of Watopia on a smart trainer or a leg loosing session on the rollers, chamois time is always training time.