Your cycling kit is almost as important as your bike, and spring riding is all about layers. It can feel icy in the shade with a little bit of wind. Then, out of nowhere, comes a blast of sun and the need to shed one or maybe two layers. But it is spring and we need to ready for anything – snow, rain, hail. In fact, I think I saw all of it last week. This month’s kit features a lot of Sugoi. I like the thought that has gone into the functional design and I like the price point.
How great is this - same jacket as above showing off all its reflectory awesomenesss.
I love – LOVE – this jacket. If you are ever riding in low-light this is my number 1 safety recommendation – yes, I said safety. Zap technology blows me away. It’s docile day-to-day in a variety of colours but is electric at night – there is no doubt I am a safe wearing this jacket. My particular version transforms to a vest using magnets – talk about quick flexibility. It sheds water well and most importantly is a high-visibility item. The jacket also has great pockets for all the other layers to tuck away. It is now a well-used part of my spring cycling kit. Arm warmers
Arm warmers are a necessary piece for any rider. In spring and fall they might be all you need to take the edge off a mild wind. For winter they are an essential part of a larger layering plan. In summer they can help protect your arms from sun damage. Most riders have a couple of different pairs for different seasons. I love that, without having to stop, they easily fold up and tuck away once you are warmed up.
Where have you been all my life? I just discovered knee warmers – I’ve seem them whizz by on other riders but I either wore tights or suffered in my shorts. My knee warmers are a lovely soft mid-layer. Tucked under the edge of my shorts they stay in place. Even with arm warmers, jersey and a jacket, my knees have been my warmest part – love it.
In general I prefer full-finger gloves and, for four-season riding, you need something that is both waterproof and windproof. Mine are an old Castelli pair that have served me well. I love the nose wipe – yep, that's right – and the multiple layers that stop wind. I will have to switch them out soon to something cooler. I am in the market for some new full-finger gloves and will be starting here.
Pearl Izumi Unisex Elite Thermal Toe Cover
Chilly toes will get any rider down – shoe covers are crucial for so much of the year. There are many different types of shoe covers to choose from: toe covers, fully insulated covers, water-resistant, thin, wind resistant, stretchy covers or even Gore-Tex. As you start riding these may seem like a luxury but warm feet will keep you on the bike longer. A couple of different pairs for different seasons will have you on the road all year long.
All riders should have some sort of eyewear. Glasses are mandatory for safety and comfort. No one likes the wind blasting their eyes on a descent. For safety, riding a paceline means all manner of debris can be kicked up into your face; you can’t ride with gravel or pine needles in your eyes. For spring conditions, where light is variable, choose red or yellow lenses. Red or rose lenses will increase contrast and brighten overcast days. Yellow lenses also increase clarity in hazy or overcast conditions.
This is just the beginning of a spring cycling kit. The key is to build it up slowly with adaptable layers that will have you ready for all conditions.