Autumn Riding – the crossover between Summer and Winter

Autumn LeavesWe all know winter is on the way. You donbt need a fancy iPhone app to see that the nights are drawing in, the temperatures are dropping, and the weather is changing. However, it isnbt actually winter yet b so what do you do differently in Autumn to Winter?

This time of year the temperatures are still reasonably mild, especially in the middle of the day. We donbt need Winter clothes just yet. Winter clothes tend to be heavily insulated, extremely thick, and actually far too warm for this time of year. In particular, winter gloves are bulky and heavily insulated.

Dress Accordingly
We call this btemperature managementb. Just because winter is coming, doesnbt mean you need to leave the house dressed like a cycling yeti every day. Similarly, just because yesterday was mild, it doesnbt mean today will be too. Top tips:

b” Dress to be slightly chilly as you leave and youbll be warm after 10-15 minutes
b” Check the weather forecast the night before
b” Get your kit ready the night before
b” Check the weather forecast again in the morning
b” Use an external thermometer and check it before setting off
b” Have a wide range of cycling clothing for all eventualities
b” Look after your Autumn kit and you can use it in Spring
b” If you are riding to work and there is no where to dry your cycling gear, consider a second set for riding home in

The ideal set up for this time of year would be:

b” Long sleeve base layer
b” Long sleeve windproof layer
b” A gilet
b” Tights
b” Underhelmet Cap
b” Socks & Overshoes
b” Long finger gloves

Base Layer
Base Layers
This time of year, layers are key. As the temperature is changeable, you remove or add layers depending on the weather. A good base layer is a fantastic place to start as this keeps you warm but also wicks away the sweat. It will also act as the foundation to rest of your kit.

Long Sleeves & Tights
Unless youbve booked a training camp to Mallorca, itbs definitely time to put the short sleeve jerseys and bib shorts away until next year. Keeping your arms and legs warm is key to avoiding injury. Cold legs will result in pulled muscles and unpleasant riding. According to Doctor Andy Pruitt of the Boulder Centre of Sports Medicine b bbelow 18 degrees cover your kneesb. See what he did there?

Leg, Arm and Knee Warmers
As winter tights might be too warm and shorts too cold, a good set of leg warmers or knee warmers is probably a good idea. You may also be riding with a jersey and a gilet, in which case arm warmers would be a good idea too.

Socks and overshoes
Socks alone will not keep your feet completely warm, especially if you are prone to poor circulation or cold extremities in the first place. Something like a Mavic Thermo sock is a good starting place, with a good knitted overshoe such as the Castelli Belgium Booties.

Gloves
Long finger. No question. Riding without gloves does not make you hard. Nor do is make you bEurob. Nor is it clever. As the bodybs temperate drops, it reduces circulation to your extremities in order to keep blood flowing to your major organs. If you fall off (which is more likely on slippery roads) your hand will have nothing to protect it. Webd recommend a good Autumn/Spring glove such as the Mavic Spring Race glove or the Castelli Lightness glove.

Gilet
Gilet
Pronounced bjeelayb (French for bvestb), this is one of the most useful pieces of clothing in the cyclistbs kit bag. On milder days, the gilet is perfect for the start of the ride until it warms up, and then it can be removed and put in the jersey pocket. It is also good for putting on when descending after a long climb. Mavic and Castelli both offer a good range of gilets but the pick of the bunch has to be the Castelli Gabba. If itbs good enough for Dan Martin and David Millarb&

Underhelmet Cap
Keeping your head warm is important b cold ears and head can leave you in pain all day, and the peak will keep the rain, low sun and sweat out of your eyes. It is also easily removed if you get too warm. Speaking of the low sun b be careful as it hampers drivers visibility.

Lightweight Jacket
At this time of year, jackets donbt need to be warm enough to go snowboarding in. They do have to be windproof, and preferably waterproof. It is also a good idea to carry a waterproof shell that can be packed away into a jersey pocket.

Be safe b be seen
If you are commuting, this time of year still requires a high vis jacket in a bright colour such as yellow or orange. By Winter, it will probably be dark for your commute and a night vision jacket will be more appropriate. These tend to have more reflective panels on that a standard high vis, and light up in driverbs headlights.

Lezyne Zecto Drive
Lights
It might not be dark yet, but it can get overcast, misty and dull, and if you have a puncture or mechanical, which delays your ride, it may start to get dark. Ensure your bike has at least some lights on just in case. We have the full range of Lezyne LED lights in stock, of which the Zecto Drive rear light is proving most popular.

Tyre Pressures
Drop them b more rubber on the road means more grip. Watch out for slippery leaves. Look where you WANT to go rather than where you DONbT want to go.

As you can see, far from being an extension of Winter, Autumn has itbs own very important set of riding conditions and considerations. If you have any questions, or need to kit yourself out for Autumn (and indeed Winter), please pop up and see us at Cycle Art. Webll be only too happy to help.