In my part of California, we have at least another couple of weeks of unseasonably cool weather. After several years of heat waves and drought in the Golden State, I forgot how to kit up for riding when it’s 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
My upper body is fine — a windproof vest or jacket feels about perfect, and a warm core helps to keep my extremities warm. My legs — which are the engines that power my ride — never get warm.My summerweight shorts aren’t quite enough, but my heavy fleece-lined winter cycling tights are far too warm.
Should I look for my leg warmers that I haven’t seen in five years? What about a lighter weight pair of tights or three-quarter tights?
I think I like the idea of fleece-lined bib shorts like these thermal cargo bib shorts from Ornot in San Francisco. Who else has shorts like this?
How about you? What do you wear when it’s cool with maybe a bit of fog or mist?
Postscript: I asked this question on Twitter and received good responses. Thank you! Let me know what you think.
I and many of you favor high-tech fabrics for your active wear apparel. If you see trademarks like Lycra, Coolmax, Thermolite and Cordura on your cycling bibs, jerseys, jeans, jackets, backpacks and saddlebags, you’ve done your part to Make America Great Again.
These brands are produced by Invista, an important manufacturer of textiles and chemicals that was spun off from DuPont and sold to Koch Industries in 2004. Although headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, most textile manufacturing takes place in Mexico, Brazil and India.
The more you know!
I love love love every piece of Sugoi cycling apparel I own (includes bike shorts, bib tights, sun sleeves, jacket, etc) because they fit well and work great. My Sugoi bib tights in particular have this magical ability to keep me cool when I push my way up a mountain in the sun, followed by insulating warmth as I zoom down the other side through shade and fog in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Sugoi now offers you a chance to win their ZAP Concept Kit, which is not available in stores. Check it out.
I don’t generally like to participate in the conspicuity arms race, but this looks pretty sharp and incredible to me. The grand prize is this the fully retroreflective long-sleeve thermal jersey and bib tights made with Sugoi’s Zap MidZero fabric.
The prize is the men’s large size only, so it would be slightly long and baggy for me, but good luck to those of you with a 36 inch waist and 33 inch inseam. Hat and shoe covers aren’t included in this contest, but they’re available for purchase.
To learn more about Sugoi’s ZAP apparel and to enter their contest, click through to Sugoi’s contest web page.
Those who follow me on Instagram know I’ve just returned from a road trip to visit family and friends in Colorado, where I managed to also sneak in about a hundred miles of road riding. A 50 mile ride on July 4 around Colorado Springs resulted in bike gear soaked with sweat, which went into a plastic bag before the trip home. I figure sweaty bike shorts, jersey and socks stewing for three days in the trunk of a hot car make a perfect test for my newest sports apparel detergent.
The short story: WIN Detergent works, and it works well. I’m very impressed with its performance, and at $10.95 for a 32-load bottle, it’s a decent value as well.
I’ve mentioned SealSkinz waterproof socks a couple of times on these pages. They’re thin socks with a waterproof, breathable lining and are a favorite among kayakers and winter cyclists.
I recently discovered similar socks branded “Dexshell” from a Chinese company. I’m still reviewing them but I’m already impressed.
Sandy Plenty was diagnosed at age three with primary pulmonary hypertension, which leads to shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing and other symptoms that limit physical exertion.