Spring cycling essentials
Spring weather brings a unique set of challenges for cyclists who are keen on banking some early season mileage. From hot to cold, dry to wet, the weather can shift in an instant, even on two-hour rides, making arm warmers, gilets, jackets, and gloves all kit you’ll want nearby whenever you head out.
Variable weather calls for highly adaptable layering, after all – pieces that go on and off easily that can also be stuffed in jersey pockets without adding unnecessary bulk. With these essentials in mind, you’ll not only extend your season a little, you’ll also make rides more comfortable, keeping you firmly in the saddle no matter what’s happening with the weather.
1) Lightweight jackets and gilets –Sunny on the climb. Misery on the descent. Always carry insurance in your jersey in the form of a lightweight jacket or gilet. Few pieces are as versatile, stashable and indispensable when weather strikes. Which you choose will depend on your temperature tolerance, but either will add warmth and cut wind when conditions catch you off guard.
2) New helmet day – OK. This is not necessarily a versatile piece of layering, but spring is also the time to look at your kit and see what needs replacing. Cassette, chain, clothing – and yes, even your helmet. Are there dents in the foam? Does yours have rotational impact protection? If there’s one part of your kit worth upgrading in 2021, this is it.
3) Sleeves and leg warmers – Early morning starts call for removable layers. Kit that goes on and off quickly, adds versatility to summer jerseys and bibs, and makes riding across varied temperatures more enjoyable by keeping critical body parts covered. Too warm? Tuck them away. Too cold? Your short sleeves turn long in two minutes. Guaranteed to be amongst the most versatile items you’ll ever ride with.
4) It’s all about the base (layer) – Cycling base layers pull moisture away from the skin – important year-round but especially when the wind is biting. Choose a base layer suited to the temperature. Lightweight for warmer temperatures, merino for rides in cooler weather. You’ll be happy you did.
5) Neck warmers – Neck warmers are the most stylish and functional piece in your kit bin. They keep the chill from getting at your core, double as a face cover or become hats under helmets. The possibilities are endless. Wear it with a gilet and sleeves for a touch of panache and style with the versatility needed to shift along with the conditions.