As the leaves turn shades of red and gold, and the air gets crisper, the autumn and winter riding seasons begin. While the colder months might present some challenges, with the right gear and preparation, cycling can still be an enjoyable experience. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best gear you can pick up for road cycling.
One way to make cold weather cycling more enjoyable and comfortable is a quality base layer.
Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your body. Add a jersey for warmth, a favourite with Castelli’s sponsored pros is the Castelli Pro Thermal Mid Long Sleeve Jersey. Which gives you some extra warmth for those early Autumn days. Top it off with a windproof or waterproof jacket to protect against the elements. Make sure your clothing is breathable like these two choices are to prevent overheating.
Built for long adventure rides, the Unlimited Puffy Jacket has an outer shell in a windproof and water repellent woven fabric. Inside there is Polartec® Alpha® Direct insulation that delivers maximum loft and warmth with minimal bulk. Another good idea is to have a fully waterproof jacket in your layer arsenal, the Castelli Emergency 2 Rain Jacket is ideal to have tucked away in your saddle bag or jersey pocket…
Keep toasty with the right accessories, the last thing you want is freezing fingertips or toes…
Gloves that offer decent protection in mild to cool weather should feature in any cyclist’s wardrobe. The Mortirolo Glove (pictured below) is a mid-weight glove ideal for those days where the weather can’t make up its mind, but you’re set on riding.
Invest in thermal cycling gloves that provide insulation throughout the colder months. A skull cap will keep your ears and head warm, and consider a neck gaiter or a Waterproof All Weather Head Gaitor for added protection on exceptionally chilly days.
With shorter daylight hours, visibility becomes paramount.
Wearing high-visibility clothing or accessories, such as reflective vests or bands, can also make you more noticeable to drivers. Compact and light enough to carry, this Castelli Perfetto RoS vest will keep you warm on a cool day when the wind picks up or the roads are throwing up spray. Perfection indeed!
Equip your bike with powerful front and rear lights, and don’t forget to charge or replace the batteries regularly. Reliable lights to stay seen on the road can be found at an affordable price, check out this Cateye Orb Bike Light Set which are currently priced at just £15! Or you could opt for a premium set with a build in powerbank to charge your other devices like the Knog PWR Road 700 + Blinder Square Rear Light Set.
Autumn and winter often bring rain and wet roads. Mudguards or fenders are essential for keeping your back and bike clean and dry. They’ll prevent water, mud, and debris from splattering onto your clothing and components. We have a range of mudguards available to fit different wheel sizes.
If your bike is not compatible with mounted mudguards there is also plenty of zip-tie options available too! Muc-Off’s Rear Guard takes seconds to install and adds very little weight to your bike…
Hardy and Grippy Tyres
Wet, muddy and sometimes icy roads increase the risk on the road. Consider investing in some sturdy tyres to reduce the likelihood of flats and falls during your rides. Tubeless tyres or inner tubes filled with sealant are also an excellent option, as they provide added protection against punctures.
If you want a tried and tested option for the winter the Continental GatorSkin tyre is a favourite training tyre (formerly known as Ultra GatorSkin). An excellent raining tyre with the weight and performance of a summer race tyre.
I opt for using my gravel bike in the winter months paired with Gravel King SK tyres, offering excellent grip on any road and any weather conditions.
Cold weather can make it easy to forget about staying hydrated, but it’s just as important in the winter as it is in the summer.
Having a durable bottle with a built in protection cap to help keep out mud and debris on the road. The last thing you want is to find something unsavoury on your bottle lid!
Cold feet can make your ride uncomfortable, but cycling shoe covers and waterproof socks can prevent this! Our top recommendation would be a pair of Sealskinz to keep your feet dry despite what you ride through on even the wettest of rides!
Cycling in harsh weather conditions can take a toll on your bike.
Having a decent bike cleaning kit ready post ride can make your life a lot easier! You should also carry a basic maintenance kit, including a multi-tool, tire levers, a spare tube, and a pump to handle minor repairs and adjustments on the go.
A bag like the Evoc Stage 12 (pictured below) is ideal for keeping your essentials dry and secure with it’s built in waterproof cover. I’ve used this bag for a few months now and it’s organiser section makes pulling tools out quick and easy.
Don’t let the cooler temperatures and unpredictable weather deter you from enjoying the thrill of cycling during autumn and winter. With the right gear, you can embrace the crisp air of the colder seasons. So, gear up, stay safe, and make the most of your autumn and winter cycling adventures!