Dressing for a spring ride can open a can of worms. Frost and wind in the morning, sun by lunch, with anything from a force 10 gale or showers in between.
To beat this unpredictable spring weather we recommend you master the art of layering. The key being versatile items, that can adapt your outfit to any number of weather scenarios.
Build on your standard cycling outfit of bib shorts and jersey, with a few essential items that can be used again in autumn and as additional layers in winter and you won’t go wrong.
And don’t be fooled by the blue skies of a spring morning. Always check the weather forecast before you dress, it will help you decide what to pick from the items below.
Nail the basics first.
A good pair of bib shorts is the single most important item of clothing a cyclist needs. Invest in a decent pair of shorts, with suitable padding and you will be rewarded with a chafe-free, comfortable ride.
Short sleeve cycling jerseys are best for spring as you can add accessories to ensure you keep the chill off. As with bib shorts, comfort is key with your jersey too. You will be adding layers to deal with the changeable conditions so just make sure that it’s well fitting.
If you like to head out early, enjoy a more relaxed pace or the weather is set to be on the cooler side we also recommend a short sleeve base layer. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just good at wicking away sweat.
Prepare for spring showers.
Out of the depth of winter, the days of needing a heavy duty waterproof jacket are few and far between.
Instead opt for a lightweight showerproof or windproof jacket. It will offer enough protection from spring showers and will scrunch up small to stash in your pocket when the rain stops or you heat up.
Keep the wind and rain at bay
Cover your core.
Gilets are a fantastic choice for spring riding. If you head out in cooler temperatures, or descend a hill at speed - it’s imperative to keep the wind off your core to keep you warm.
As a gilet is essentially an armless jacket, you won’t overheat as you’re just protecting your torso from the wind.
You can opt for light or heavier weight gilets, the lighter ones obviously being easier to stow away. If it looks like it’s going to be a cooler day the heavier gilet may be a better option as it can be worn throughout the ride.
Most gilets don't have pockets as they’re purely meant to be worn as a layer and your jersey should have enough for your needs.
Cover your core
Arm yourself with arm warmers.
Arm warmers give cyclists flexibility. They turn a short-sleeve jersey into a long-sleeve jersey, while having the option to roll down or take off once the weather has warmed up. All while still riding along in the saddle.
Make sure you get the right fit as you don't want arm warmers that sag at the top leaving a chilly gap between the cuff of your jersey sleeve and your warmer.
#ArmDoping with VeloVixen
Keep your feet happy.
Cold, wet extremities are awful at the best of times, but sodden, freezing feet on a bike are the worst.
If it’s looking like the rain will make an appearance, wear some lightweight waterproof shoes to keep your feet dry, your shoes nice and clean and the numbing wind out.
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Keep your eyes on the road.
Useful at any time during the year, cycling glasses are must-have accessory for cyclists.
Not only to cycling glasses shield your eyes from the sun, they also help protect against dust, road debris and rogue bugs.
In darker, overcast conditions a pair of glasses with the right lenses - such as yellow, pink or blue - can help brighten your view of the road.
Keep your eye on the prize
Keep your mitts on.
Some people like to wear gloves all year round, others shun them at the first sight of sun. If you like to keep your digits covered when the sun shines, we recommend the humble cycling mitt.
Padding on the palm can eliminate discomfort, grips can offer better handling and in the unlikely event you take an unwelcome tumble you'll protect yourself.
Retro-styled gloves like our very own Veeka range are making a welcome comeback. If you like a more modern-looking style, we've plenty to choose from too.
Keep your mitts on
Accessorise your noggin.
A cycling cap worn under your helmet is perfect for cold mornings, hot afternoons, keeping your eyes shaded from the sun and dare we say it, for looking cool...
Another all rounder, the cycling cap really is great in all conditions. The only downside is trying to pick which one to wear with your outfit.
And disregard rule #22 folks, ignore hardcore Velominati-ites and wear your cycling caps with pride off the bike.
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