Sweltering one day, baltic the next – with its unpredictable temperatures and often very variable ride conditions, autumn can be a real mixed-bag and, let’s face it, a bit of a nightmare to choose the right clothing. Follow our autumn clothing accessory tips, and check out our recommended products for when the weather doesn’t know if it’s Arthur or Martha.
Long Shorts / Short Longs
Whether you think of long shorts or short longs, 3/4 bibs are ideal for straddling the gap on slightly warmer days between summer and winter. Great for spring too. 3/4 bibs were first made popular in 1991 by dutch pro rider, Edwig Van Hooydonck, who won the Tour of Flanders in a pair. They are also ideal for getting an autumn ‘Belgian tan’ – brown lower legs from the road filth.
Cover Your Bases
Base Layers are awesome. Their primary job is to keep you dry when sweating by wicking moisture away from your skin. Pick the right base layer for the conditions and you will be warm enough without getting a chill from being too sweaty. If you are planning a long ride with a food stop, take a rolled-up spare base layer, swap when you stop, and stay fresh and dry.
Jersey v Jacket v Gilet
Choices, choices, choices…One of the key questions for autumn kit. It really comes down to your own preference, do you prefer to be on the warmer side or colder end of the spectrum? Do you pick a jacket or a long sleeve jersey? Or maybe hedge your bets with a gilet or a rain jacket which you can always fold away if not needed…
Now, gloves in autumn is another big question. If the weather is dry and not too cold, you may well get by with your summer finger-less mitts. If the weather is cooler or wet, you may well feel the need to cover up the digits.
Nothing gives you ‘cold feet’ about riding more than the thought of… cold feet. Banish cold feet with light overshoes or over-socks. If autumn weather isn’t too cold, a lightweight set of overshoes or even toe-covers should do the trick. However, if you are planning ahead for the more extreme cold and rain, there are more industrial options available from Spatzwear.
Put a Lid on It
Under helmet wear is pretty important all year round. However, when the autumn chill sets in, or wet / windy rides become regular, they are vital. If you are planning a cafe stop, take a spare cap – avoid having to re-use a sweaty one. Options vary from a traditional cotton cycling cap, to skull caps and head-warmers – there are no excuses for having a cold head!
Sock it to ’em
In colder weather, warmer socks make a world of difference. Choose warmer materials such as Merino wool for maximum comfort on cooler days. Keeping your toes warm is vital if you are to enjoy your ride (and not moan about cold feet to your ride mates). For the ultimate protection on a chilly morning try winter socks with overshoes. Toasty.
Tyred & Deflated
Whilst not actually clothing, here’s a top tip for autumn. Tyres with puncture protection a great idea to combat all the extra debris on the road. Thorns, twigs, branches and all the other random stuff that find their way onto the road require a tougher tyre to keep you rolling.
Autumn Off Road?
Autumn is a great time to hit the gravel tracks & green lanes dotted around the UK. Autumn leaf colours will definitely brighten your ride. Most gravel bikes will fit proper full mudguards too, so when the weather does take a turn for the worse, at least your clothes won’t get too filthy. Check out our Full range of Gravel Bikes here.