You know where you're at when you dress for winter on the bike. It's all about layering-up and keeping warm to protect you from the elements.
Spring on the other hand throws up a whole load of unpredictable, quick-changing conditions and temperatures that mean you have to find kit that can keep up.
You don't have to break the bank to be prepared for the transition from cycling in winter to spring. Just a select handful of accessories can transform the wardrobe you currently have into outfits you can don over the coming months.
1. Glorious Gilets
A gilet is a lightweight shell that has no arms, covers only the torso and aims to protect you from the wind, all while ensuring you don't overheat. We are staunch supporters of the gilet here at VeloVixen and over the years have amassed quite a collection.
Most gilets have a windstopping front section and breathable back panel to help regulate your body temperature. Sometimes they have pockets like jerseys to stash goodies, but most don't to keep them lightweight and fitting. They can be worn over long sleeve jerseys or our preference is to combine with a short sleeve jersey and arm warmers.
When not in use, you can roll it up and stash it in your jersey pocket.
2. Arm Warmers - The Unsung Heroine of Cycling Accessories
The key to a successful transitional outfit is versatility. If you ride out early in the morning, chances are it's going to be a wee bit nippy. Rather than be stuck wearing a long sleeve jersey that will make you overheat as the day warms, one of the wisest purchases you could make is a pair of arm warmers.
Don them as you head out of the door, roll them down your arms as the sun peaks its head up and then pull them back up when you dip down into a windy descent. Perfect versatility, and you don't even need to get off your bike to make the adjustments!
3. Lightweight Gloves
There's nothing worse than cold extremities on a ride, especially on your hands as they're constantly on show, working hard on the handlebars.
We recommend keeping your digits covered on early morning rides, so a lightweight full-fingered glove would be a good option, but if you're heading out in the warmer hours a pair of sturdy mitts would suffice. Look for soft materials and some palm-padding to keep you comfortable.
4. Sunglasses - Not Just Reserved for the Sun
Glasses shouldn't be reserved purely for sunny days. They are a must-have accessory all year round.
To get the most out of your purchase look for a pair that have interchangeable lenses to help cope with the varying levels of brightness you'll experience throughout the year.
Not only do they protect your peepers from the glare of the sun, but also from rogue road debris. They can also help brighten a very gloomy day if you wear the right lenses!
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Don't pack away the heavyweight neoprene overshoes just yet, you may still need those on some of the worst days. But, it's perhaps time to look at lighter options to keep the wind at bay and your toes free from ice cubes.
Not only do lightweight overshoes keep the wind out, they also help keep road spray at bay, so your spangly shoes stay clean - bonus!
6. If The Cap Fits
Caps are another accessory that can be worn all year round, but they really come into their own in Spring.
Cotton caps offer a layer of warmth without causing you to overheat. They also help protect your hair from helmet straps and liners.
The peak shields your eyes from the sun, and if there’s a rain shower while you’re out, the material stops the rain from dripping into your eyes.
As an added bonus they also look pretty darn chic when you’re off the bike sans helmet.
Be prepared, don't let the unpredictable British springtime weather ruin your ride. Pick the correct kit and you will barely notice the transition from winter to spring!
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