Spring Sportive Clothing Guide
Paul Wilson – Polaris Sales Rep
The key to a comfortable ride is kit choice. This can be less of an issue if you are riding short rides from home but more of an issue if you are away from home on an event, especially at a longer distance event!
Firstly I would always recommend having a wider range of kit selected than will be required with you to an event or ride
Obviously this is not always easy to do, especially if you are not driving to an event, but it is always prudent to have flexibility on the day. For example if it is scheduled to be 15 degrees and still then there is a slight change on the day of a couple of degrees and a stronger wind then it would be great to have some extra layers to have with you and the same goes if the weather changes for the better, which can happen and best to be taken advantage of!
The sportive season gets into full swing in spring, what is classed as the start of the British summer but the weather is usually anything but sunny. April can be a very changeable month and it is easy to get caught out by this. Every rider has a preference as to how they like to feel on a ride, I always prefer to be hotter than cooler myself and will always aim for this comfort level. I have put a list of kit I would wear in certain weather conditions, obviously, this is subject to terrain, ride length and other weather conditions.
6- 12 Degrees Celsius and still
I always recommend having full-length thermals. So I would layer up with the following :- long sleeve baselayer, thermal bib tight, merino socks, windproof overshoe, thermal jersey, skull cap and lightweight long finger windproof gloves. I would always have a jacket in my jersey pocket as well. If there was a chance of rain then I would take a waterproof jacket, If there was no chance of rain then I would take a windproof jacket as its lighter. On the day I would have an option of long or short sleeve base layer, thick or thin socks, lightweight or heavy duty gloves and overshoes also a windproof gilet. These options offer a lot of flexibility depending on the conditions. In addition to clothing, I always recommend using eyewear I tend to either use clear lens for reduced light,night time visibility or in the evenings. Glasses with a dark and clear lens option.
In the image above (Hexon Waterproof Jacket, Tornado Windproof Jacket, Torsion Long Sleeve Baselayer, Torando Windproof Bib Tights, Lucid Sunglasses, Blitz Windproof Gloves, Skullie Cycle Cap, Limit Merino Socks, Tornado Overshoes)
12-18 Degrees Celsius and still
At this sort of temperature, my core kit would be bib shorts, or thermal 3 quarters short sleeve base layer, short sleeve shirt, arm warmers, knee warmers and mitts with a packable jacket. Optional kit for this kind of weather would be windproof gilet, lightweight overshoe, lightweight long finger glove. Glasses with a dark and clear lens option.
In the image above (Shield Jacket, Force Jersey, Torsion Short Sleeve, Echelon Gilet, Bib 3 Quartz, Windgrip Glove, Limit Merino Sock, Lucid)
18 Degrees Celsius and above
Short sleeve base layer, bib short, short sleeve shirt and mitts. As a back up I would have lightweight arm warmers . Arm warmers can be handy should you get sunburnt as they can be used as a sun block. Even in this temperature if there is a chance of a shower the trusty windproof jacket would be a great option to have in the pocket. Also, I find the windproof great if you are waiting around especially at the top of a hill! Glasses with a dark and clear lens option.
In the image above (Shield Jacket, Geo Jersey, Torsion Short Sleeve, Geo Armwarmers, Omnium Bib,Latitude Mitts, Geo Sock, Lucid)
In the image above (Aqualite Jacket, Vela Jersey, Torsion Short Sleeve, Armwarmers, Emotion Bib,Vela Mitts, Vela Sock, Lucid)
Another variant not to be overlooked is visibility, this is a factor to be considered all year round and not just in winter or night time.
As any type of road user I think it is your duty to be seen by other road users. In the event that it is likely to become dark on a ride or be overcast I usually take some sort of increased visibility/reflective product. My favourite for convenience and cosmetic impact is a slap strap. Slap straps are cheap versatile and very effective. They can be used on the body or the bike. When used on ankles and arms they are great for hand signals and a fast pedalling reflective catches peoples attention. The reason I push increased visibility as well as lights is that LEDs offer little side lighting so a reflective will solve this. A couple of slap straps should be in every kit bag as an emergency back up. Alternatively an increased visibility gilet or jacket.