Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cycling in winter: essential clothing

I have been cycling to the University of Warwick from my home in Radford, Coventry for little more than a month now. I have definitely come a long way and what initially started out as a means to save money and get some exercise in the process has become a bit of a passion. IN fact I now know a lot about bikes, repair and different brands.

As it's getting colder , I also have had to think about specialised clothing. I go with 3 layers of clothes:
1. A wicking baselayer,
2. Insulating fleece and
3. Waterproof/ windproof jacket

I learnt that a wicking baselayer is absolutely important to get a dry layer next to the skin and keep you warm at the same time. My old 100% cotton t-shirts would soak up the sweat and I would feel really uncomfortable with the wet sensation which also took ages to dry when I ultimately got to the campus.

I just bought a red long sleeve Surfanic baselayer and it's really great. It is made of a fabric they call Surftex Dry 100% polyester and just cost me £9.99 at TK Maxx. However, one baselayer is not enough if you ride regularly,and I went to TK Maxx and bought another baselayer, this time a blue Trekmates baselayer, which just cost me £8.99 (apparently the retail price is £24.99), so I think I got some great deals.

The fleece was a really cheap one from Go Outdoors (£5.99). I am still using my old trusty Nike Jacket but I probably need to get a good waterproof cycling jacket. However, all the ones I like such as the Endura stealth jacket, are extremely costly and out of my budget.

However, I have read from the reviews that there is no such a thing as waterproof and breathable jackets. Do tell me if you know of a good winter cycling jacket that's both breathable and waterproof.

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