Most riders know how to dress for winter and summer rides – wear pretty much everything you own in the depths of winter, and the absolute legal minimum plus sunscreen in summer. The in-between seasons are a bit trickier though; the BikeRoar team got together and came up with this list of the best clothing and kit for springtime riding.
Start at the top: Walz Cycling Caps - from $28.99
A good cycling cap is a wonderful springtime accessory. Small enough to fit snugly under your helmet or in a jersey pocket if necessary, a cap will offer sun protection on a warm day and insulation on a cold one. Walz Caps makes cotton, wool, and moisture-wicking functional cycling caps in a range of styles.
Flip up the peak of your cap to better see the road ahead, thereby avoiding a stiff neck that comes from hours of tilting your head back to look up.
Next, the eyes: POC Do Low Sunglasses - from $189
Do Low is a sports frame from Swedish manufacturer POC, and is designed to work well on the bike and look uber-cool off it. The frame is a high-tech Grilamid carbon compound for low weight and durability, and the adjustable nosepiece made with hydrophilic rubber keeps the frame firmly in place. All POC lenses have exceptional optical performance, and their oversize lenses offer extra protection from sun, wind and rain. Do Low is also available in a polarized lens version.
Morvelo Xerocks Stormshield Arm Warmers - from $35
One of the most versatile pieces of kit in any cyclist’s wardrobe is the humble arm warmer. Small enough to stash in any pocket and easy to put on or take off whilst on the move, these beauties from Morvelo are made from strong Thermoroubaix fabric and are insulating, water-repellent and durable, created to keep you cycling through any conditions.
Keep your hands warm, too: Craft Hybrid Weather Gloves - from $34.95
Having hot, sweaty hands during a ride is just as bad as having frozen fingers; Craft have come up with a solution for spring’s unpredictable weather with their ingenious Hybrid Weather Gloves. They’re a two-in-one glove made from a blend of exclusive Craft fabrics. For easy shift and brake lever functionality, the exterior of the inner glove features silicone grippers at the fingers and palm. Additionally, the pointer finger and thumb tips are smartphone compatible, meaning that they can effectively swipe and select on a phone's touch screen. The inner lining uses the soft brushed Flex fleece fabric that is not only warming, but also adds an extra layer of windproof protection. The exterior of the inner glove is made from a laminated polyester knit with an elastic microporous film. Together, the layers' fabric blend makes for a hand-conforming glove that's windproof, waterproof, and highly breathable.
For colder weather, the glove can be covered with the included Vent Air Wind removable mitten to work as an encapsulating shell that adds additional warmth and element protection. The mitten is also windproof, waterproof, and features a reflective print for safer night riding.
Look after your knees: Sportful NoRain Knee Warmers - from $40.99
The perfect solution when it’s too cold to just wear bike shorts, but not quite cold enough for full-length tights or leg warmers, these knee warmers from Italian designer Sportful are water repellent, nice and warm and easy to stash in a jersey pocket if you need to peel them off.
Rub on the warmth: Castelli Embrocation Cream - from $14.99
This lovely solution from the team at Castelli will keep your legs toasty warm, especially on windy spring days. Just squeeze some cream onto your palm and rub vigorously onto your legs. A few minutes later you’ll feel the warmth start to spread, and you’re good to go.
Never, ever get your embrocation cream mixed up with your chamois cream. There are some parts of your body that don’t appreciate being that hot.
Take care of your feet: Spring Socks from GripGrab - from $14
Good quality socks are crucial in any conditions, and even more so in the unpredictable spring weather. Danish company GripGrab have designed this pair specifically for the spring and fall, with the high elastic cuff and stretch arch support ensuring a comfortable fit and the Thermolite® fabric and padded sole guaranteeing optimal cycling comfort.
Keeping things basic: Base Layers from DeFeet - from $29
Any experienced cyclist knows the value of a good base layer. It will help regulate body temperature whatever the weather, transfering moisture from the skin and proving a vital aid to performance.
DeFeet's UnD Shurt Sleeveless is a thin, form-fitting base layer good for mildly cold to mildly warm riding. They're made of recycled fibers that are sustainable and environmentally friendly, yet look good and feel comfortable on the skin.
For a bit more warmth and natural comfort, DeFeet's UnDWool HC Short Sleeve base layer is made from natural merino wool combined with a layer of polyester to add stability and strength. With superfine Merino fibers that are soft and comfortable on the skin, it offers moisture control, odor resistance, and core temperature regulation in cool to cold weather.
And finally – a new bike! Giant TCX SLR2 or Liv Brava SLR - from $1240
What good is all this cool gear without an equally cool bike? Spring is a great time of year to venture off the tarmac and explore gravel roads and back-country lanes. With the new Liv Brava SLR for her and the Giant TCX SLR2 for him no trail is too daunting, no ride tough enough to be thrown into the “too-hard basket”. Doubling up as CX race machines and gravel/adventure explorers, these bikes feature bulletproof Shimano 105 shifting, rigid symmetrical chainstays, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, top tier ALUXX SLR-grade aluminum frame with D-Fuse composite seatpost and carbon forks and the reliable durability Liv/Giant are renowned for. These bikes are made to be ridden, not polished and stored in a pristine garage. Go get dirty this springtime.