Autumn is one of my favourite times of year to ride. The days are still relatively long, there is often a refreshing bite in the air while the fall colours make even the most scenic of rides that little bit more special.
The only drawback of cycling in autumn is your clothing choices. It can be tricky to predict what the weather will do. This September has seen very little rain, chilly mornings and evenings and warm afternoons – not ideal if you are heading out all day.
So to help you out we’ve rounded up some essential road cycling clothing for autumn that will ensure you have the most comfortable ride possible. And do not worry, they will not break the bank!
1. Arm and Knee Warmers
Easy to pop on and off, small enough to stash in a jersey pocket and perfect for those unpredictable days that start off chilly and end up positively balmy!
Arm warmers will typically be available in lycra or merino wool. Our personal favourites are lycra with a fleece lining as they are soft next to the skin and tend to hold their shape better.
Wiggle’s own brand dhb offers a good selection of reasonably priced arm warmers, our favourite of which are the Blok Roubaix Neon Pink Arm Warmers. Priced at £17.99 they are supremely soft and cosy. The neon pink may not be to everyone’s taste but they are fantastic from a safety perspective as you can be seen coming a mile off! They also fit really well, staying in place perfectly without feeling restrictive.
Knee warmers are also a perfect companion for chillier days. Our favourites are the Morvelo Team Issue Knee Warmers which at the time of writing this piece were on sale for £15.99reduced from £29.99. They have a soft fleece lining and the fit is fantastic. Silicone grippers ensure they stay put exactly where you want them to be.
A neck warmer or buff is that little piece of kit that will undoubtedly become one of your favourites. On cold days you can draw it up around your face to protect you from the elements. You can also pop it on your head under your helmet. When it gets warm you can whip it off, wrap it around your wrist and use it to wipe your sweaty brow.
Available in a number of different patterns and colours, there is definitely one out there to suit your personality.
Autumn is still a little early for overshoes, but if the weather is a little chilly a cosy pair of socks will go a long way to keeping you comfortable.
Most road shoes are pretty well ventilated these days so it can get a little chilly. Merino wool socks may seem pricey but they are an investment well worth making. They perform really well when it comes to keeping regulating the temperature of your feet. If your feet do get a little bit warm, they will effectively wick away any sweat. And best of all, even if you do sweat a little, they will not smell due to the fact merino wool is a natural fabric.
A gilet is a super light weight sleeveless vest that you will not notice when tucked into your jersey pocket but that will go a long way to taking the wind off your chest should you feel a little chilly.
At the higher end, Rapha do a great gilet, but at over £100 we realise this is outside a lot of people’s budgets so if you are looking for something at the other end, we would also highly recommend the dhb Wisp Gilet, which at £27 is a winner. It is exceptionally light and has stood the test of time pretty well.
It’s not quite cold enough to whip out those winter gloves just yet but a pair of lightweight, full fingered glove can prove invaluable as the temperature drops.
We love the full fingered, mid-weight gloves from DeFeet. This glove is light, breathable and windproof and is perfect for wearing sole in autumn or as a glove liner on mid-winter rides. They are also high vis which is a welcome addition as the evenings become shorter and we’re more likely to be riding in poor visibility.
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