Summer might be rolling to an end in the northern hemisphere, but for most committed riders there the cooler weather is a mild inconvenience, not a reason to park your bike. Having the right gear can make all the difference – staying warm and dry doesn’t mean staying indoors.
Fall riding can include cool temperatures, wind, wet roads, less sunlight, and sometimes a combination of these conditions on the same ride. The right kit will keep you comfortable, dry, and motivated to stay out on the road or trails – and, ideally, you’ll want to be highly visible, as many drivers don’t expect to see riders out on the road from October onwards, and the low sun and shortened days in the fall will put you in low light situations at times.
Always at your service, the BikeRoar team has once again gone the extra mile to bring you our pick of the best riding gear available this fall.
These easy-to-stash lightweight arm warmers are just the ticket for those early autumn days when there’s still a hint of summer in the air. When it’s too warm for a long jersey, but just a bit too cold to have bare arms, break out these patterned arm warmers from Primavera... and if you heat up too much, simply slip them off as you ride and stow them away in a jersey pocket.
Sportful lists the Primavera arm warmers in their 'Womens' section, but if you like the pattern and colors like we do, don't let that stop you, just check the sizing chart to ensure the right fit.
As the days get shorter, visibility becomes more and more crucial. You need to be seen in order to be safe, and these super-bright (40 lumens front, 20 rear) Knog+ lights are perfect. They're waterproof, USB rechardgable, and run between 2 and 40 hours depending on the mode: steady, strobe, pulse, flash, and eco-flash. If you're crosstraining, maybe running or inline skating, you'll love the tool-less removable silicone straps with magnetic mount; strap them onto your bike or helmet and easily twist the lights off to use their integrated wearable clips to attach them to your shirt, pocket, or socks.
This tire is able to handle any conditions, although it really thrives when things get nasty. It’s been specifically designed to cope with variable weather conditions. The new compound adapts extremely well to lower temperatures and maintains grip, where other tires harden and become less effective. Cornering becomes easier and better, too, regardless of how wet the tarmac may be, thanks to the progressive tread voids which displace water to allow for more confident turns and reduced stopping distance.
Unlike other tires designed solely for wet winter riding, the All Season, as the name suggests, performs admirably when the sun is shining too… the perfect autumn boots for your bike.
If you’re out shredding the trails as the weather begins to turn, one of the first areas of your body to feel the cool down is your feet. Cold water and mud can make life miserable for your toes – the cure is to warm them up with these sweet shell covers from our friends at Pearl Izumi. The 3-layer soft shell fabric provides optimal wind protection and water resistance, and the innovative power band secures the front of the shoe cover under the toes. The Kevlar mountain bike bottom spreads open for easy removal, and the reflective tabs make them stand out in low-light visibility.
As the weather gets cooler base layers become more important than ever; this one from Craft is a winner. Suitable down to the coldest temperatures, it features a high neck to block out the wind and uses Gore Windstopper fabric in the front torso panels and across the shoulders, front and back. If you’re putting one on for the first time be prepared – this material is not nearly as stretchy as you probably anticipate. But once you have it on it’s as warm and comfortable as anything on the market, and even on the coldest autumn days you’ll only need a vest or light jacket to go on top.
If there’s a chill in the air, but it’s not quite cold enough for full-length tights, these bib knicks from master manufacturer Assos are perfect. They are much warmer than other shorts, thanks largely to the comfort and warmth of the waffle-pattern fabric that wrap your legs, butt, and lower back. The chamois is amazingly comfortable, and they look fantastic. Like most good things in life, though, they don’t come cheap.
As fall morphs into winter, the weather can get cool enough to warrant full-length legs. Castelli’s Sorpasso 2 Bib Tights are the top model in their range of winter tights and offer an exceptionally wide comfort range and an amazing fit. This is due to the combination of Castelli’s highly advanced Thermoflex Core2 fabric and their standard fleecy Themoflex fabric. They provide optimal compression and excellent insulation for cold temperatures, along with excellent sweat wicking properties to keep you comfortable as the temperature rises.
Castelli sizing is notoriously small, so order one size bigger than you think you’ll need.
Theses awesome long-fingered gloves from GripGrab are perfect for autumn and winter alike – when the temperature is cool to moderate, they work perfectly to keep the chill from your hands and to ward off moisture on dewy mornings. When winter fully rolls in, they’re designed to double up as a liner for serious heavy-duty winter gloves. Lightweight, breathable, and robust, the Insulator gloves also easy to bundle up and stash in a jersey pocket, and they feature silicone grips on the palm and finger pads to ensure plenty of handlebar traction.
Like the Insulator gloves from GripGrab, the Vega Acquazero from Santini doubles-up nicely in fall and winter. In temperatures ranging from 40 to 60 F degrees, it can be worn on its own or with a slim base layer; when it gets colder again, just put a wind vest or jacket over the top and you’re good to go, even in the coldest weather.
The Vega is mainly made from a super-soft nylon/elastane fabric that wicks sweat away the body without letting heat escape or outside moisture to penetrate. The main fabric is water repellent thanks to its Acquazero treatment, meaning that rather than soaking in and spreading, road spray and drizzle bead up and roll off. The full-length front zip has a puller that's chunky enough to find even when you're wearing your biggest winter gloves, and it locks in place wherever you set it.
The rear is cut long so you get good coverage back there, and it's finished with a jacquard elastic waistband that has a silicone print inside to stop it riding up after hours in the saddle. The collar is tall and close fitting, and the spotted cuffs sit close around your wrists to prevent cold wind getting in. One final plus for the Vega is that, due to its slimfit Italian design, it’s not so bulky that you can’t slip a larger waterproof jacket over the top of it if conditions become truly brutal.
Fall is when many riders give their road and mountain bikes a rest and turn to off-bike pursuits, or if they decide to stay on two-wheels, at least try something different. Gravel grinding is just the kind of riding for a change in season, and the Giant Revolt has all the right stuff to mix it up.
The new Revolt Advaced 0 is a performace gravel bike built around a lightweight composite frame with endurance geometry. Coupled with D-Fuse components, the bike soaks up rough terrain to ease longer, harder rides. The Shimano Ultegra drivetrain gives you race-level quality and performance, but not the high-end premium. You can have great confidence riding the Revolt into dirt or gravel, and if you care to dabble in some cyclocross, it could do that, too.