Autumn/Winter Ridewear - Part One
Winter is Coming...
...did it ever really leave?
It’s that time of year again…
The leaves are changing colour, the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping. It hasn’t felt like much of a summer in the UK, but what little we did have is well behind us as. Don’t let the weather put you off grabbing your bike and hitting the trails though…
Those of us that brave the trails in the coming months are rewarded with crisp air and loamy trails, leaves to roost and puddles to boost. All it takes is a little bit of preparation.
From our home on the Yorkshire Dales we’ve plenty of experience dealing with wind and rain so we’ve had a chat over a warm brew and pulled together a selection of our favourite products to get you through to the spring. In this feature we'll focus on your top half, with a pants and shorts feature to follow.
Once the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to bring out the base layers. Seemingly magical garments that keep you warm when you’re cold and cool you down when you are hot. Designed primarily to keep you dry by wicking away sweat and provide a layer of insulation, a good base layer can transform a ride, taking away the stress of worrying about the temperature and letting you concentrate on the trails. Here’s a few of our favourites;
ION BEYOND BASE TANK
A superbreathable, lightweight and highly moisture wicking tank top from ION with Channel Flow Lite Technology to keep you dry no matter how hard you push. Its knitted structure allows for a cooling effect as sweat is efficiently soaked away from the skin and quickly evaporates on the surface. An anti-bacterial treatment keeps the Beyond Base Tank fresh long after other polyester base layers would have started to smell, which means you can ride to the pub and not have drink alone when you get there.
ION BEYOND SS BASE LAYER
With all the same features and technology as the Beyond tank above, but with short sleeves. Looks good enough to be worn on its own, on the trails or out and about
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While a base layer will do a great job of keeping you dry on those crisp autumn days, once the heavens open, as they invariably do, a good jacket will be invaluable. I almost said it would be worth its weight in gold, but some of these jackets really don't weigh all that much, making them worth quite a bit more.
Choosing a jacket even just a few years ago would have meant weighing up protection from the elements against comfort on long rides. Being fully protected from wind and rain would have meant a bulky, heavier jacket that would get sweaty on long rides and take half a pack to stow away, whereas choosing a lighter jacket would mean gambling on just how far you could ride before the elements inevitably crept in.
These days there is no need to compromise, the latest Jackets use super high-tech fabrics and technologies to keep you comfortable and protected no matter what the weather has to throw at you.
Here’s our pick of the 2018 range;
ION SHELTER 3 LAYER JACKET
Designed specifically for Mountain Biking, but more than stylish enough to be worn anywhere you go, the ION shelter 3 is a great jacket for cold and rainy days, which makes it pretty handy in our neck of the woods. There's loads to love about this jacket - the little details are great - like an integrated goggles/glasses wipe and a hood that fits over your helmet if needed and stays snug if not.
The adjustable hem and cuffs as well as four way flex fabric means this jacket fits perfectly and adjusts to your body position, whether you're smashing descents, fixing a flat on the side of a mountain or propping up the bar down at the local.
Three Layer fabric protects you from the elements; 20.000 mm water column & 20.000 gr/m/24h breathability, or in other words, it'll keep out the wind and rain but wick sweat and allow air flow so you don't feel like a boil-in-the-bag dinner.
Zipped pockets will protect your essentials from the apocalypse. Zipped vents allow for increased airflow if needed and shut water tight.
FOX ATTACK WATER
A great value jacket that performs much higher than its price tag would suggest it should. Packed with technology to keep the elements out including TruSeal fabric, taped internal seams and a DWR (durable water repellent) coating. Lined with a Polartec Alpha Direct 90g/m2 temperature regulating and highly breathable insulation and featuring underarm vents, so you'll not overheat on the climbs either.
Designed with Rider Attack Positioning patterning and 3L stretch fabric around the shoulders and underarms - and super lightweight - you'll hardly notice its there. Drawcord cinching at the waist and velcro wrist adjustments allows for a fit a glove would be jealous of. Large waterproof pockets are enough for a snack, multitool, wallet, phone and keys so there is no need to bring a backpack on shorter rides.
Available in a dark red for those who want to be seen coming and a camo print for those who prefer to blend in with the woods.
SWEET PROTECTION DELIRIOUS
It's the GORE-TEX ACTIVE fabric that is the magic of this jacket. Its super lightweight, durable and breathable, the secret lies in the 9billion pores per square inch. We don't know how they have squeezed 9billion of anything into a square inch, but we can attest to the fact it does the trick.
Designed for riding, there's no fuss or gimmicks here, just a jacket that behaves exactly how you would want it to. The cut feels tailored specifically for you, its snug, but throw a leg over your top-tube and it will move with you in every direction. Weighing in at only 270g its entirely possible you will forget you are wearing it at all.
Updated for 2018 and available in steel blue or true black, you'll be the envy of everyone you overtake on the trails.
FOX ATTACK FIRE PRO SOFTSHELL
The Attack Pro Fire Softshell jacket is a new product in the Fox range for 2017-18.
Designed to handle the absoloute worst of weather conditions - if you find yourself caught riding in a freezing snow storm this is the jacket you'll want to have.
What makes this jacket unique is its Polartec insulation. Designed for the military, the syntetic fabrics offers breathability as well as warmth, actual sat by the fireplace cozy, snug wamth, without overheating. The harder you work, the harder it works to keep you dry. So if you stop at the top to admire the views and grab a snack, you won't freeze. If that snow storm happens to catch you, a DWR coating will keep you dry all the way home and, along with Cordura lined elbow panels, adds a level of durability that should keep this jacket as your go-to for years to come.
SWEET PROTECTION AIR JACKET
The air jacket has long been a favourite around the office thanks to its super light weight and does-what-it-says-on-the-tin philosophy. There's no unpronouncable technologies or ground-breaking features for us to shout about here. It just keeps the wind and the rain out and lets body heat escape. Simple, yet so effective - like a warm brew on a cold day.
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See you in part 2 for a look at Pants and Shorts