Warm and Cold Weather Bike Apparel Essentials

bike apparel essentials

What you wear on the bike can quickly make or break your experience. For me, layering is the key. Over the course of the summer and through the fall, these have been my go to road bike apparel pieces. I included my favorites for both warm and cool weather.

Warm Weather

During my ride across Japan, these are the two “kits” I wore regularly.

Velocio Signature Bib Short ($199): For extra long days on the bike, it’s hard to beat the comfort of bib shorts. Made from a smooth Italian lycra fabric, these bibs use minimal seams and a silicone gripper leg band for a comfortable fit. A sheer stretch mesh front panel keeps you from overheating while stabilizing the straps. Velocio uses a custom Elastic Interface Technology (EIT) chamois by Cytech in their shorts, which I found slightly bulky but super comfortable for 7+ hours on the bike.

Velocio Stripes Jersey ($159): This ultralight jersey is made from a thin and soft polyester/elastane with mesh side panels for added breathability. The Velocio jerseys are close fitting with a rear hem gripper to keep it in place as you ride. Four back pockets include one zippered, water-resistant pocket to protect your phone from soaking up too much sweat.

Pearl Izumi Elite Jersey ($100): This form fitting jersey uses sweat-activated In-R-Cool technology to keep you cool in warm weather while offering UPF 50+ sun protection. A full length zipper with zipper garage comes in handy for extra venting. Three back pockets may be standard but one is sweat-resistant, keeping your phone safe from harmful moisture buildup. A gripper on the back hem secures the jersey in place, while reflective hits add some low light visibility.

Pearl Izumi P.R.O. In-R-Cool Short ($150): In the P.R.O. category, In-R-Cool fabric is powered by Schoeller Coldblack finishing technology that reduces heat buildup and provides UPF 50+ sun protection. The P.R.O. Transfer Dry fabric means these form fitting shorts wick away moisture and dry quickly once washed. Minimal seams and the P.R.O. Seamless 3D Chamois make for chafe free rides, even if you are on the bike all day (Pearl Izumi spends a ton of time researching the perfect chamois design and it shows). The silicone leg grippers ensure your tan lines remain consistent throughout the summer. Note: These bike shorts are meant to fit really tight–that’s what makes you fast! If you like a looser fit, go up a size.

Petal Power Joy Ride System ($34.95): I did not bring chamois cream with me to Japan and boy did I regret it–since then I have been following the Petal Power routine, even for my short weekly training rides. This before, during, and after solution drastically cuts down on the potential for developing saddle sores and will keep you riding happy day after day.

cool weather cycling apparel

Cool Weather

With the right gear, you have no excuse not to ride.

Pearl Izumi Symphony 3/4 Tight ($120): The best feature on these tights? The V waistband. Say goodbye to muffin top and your stomach being squeezed as you lean forward for hours on end. The Elite 3D Chamois is not overly bulky and offers support in all the right places.

Hincapie Chantilly Long Sleeve Jersey ($100): This lacy design long sleeve jersey is made from QuadroHot–a moisture-wicking fabric with a brushed inner layer of fast-drying, hollow-core fibers to help keep you drier and more comfortable in cooler conditions. Three back pockets offer plenty of storage room, while reflective hits on the arms add some low light visibility.

Hincapie Power Tour Vest ($130): Unless it is puking rain, it’s rare we ever need a full jacket when riding around San Francisco. The 4-way stretch, polyester laminate fabric at the front repels wind like a boss, while the unique Advansa ThermoCool knit at the back provides evaporative cooling or thermo-buffering according to your current needs. The one gripe–the waist is very tight so tends to ride up, pulling your jersey with it.

Cyclone Gel Glove ($40): ELITE Softshell fabric on the back of the hand protects your digits from wind and rain, while gel padding on the palm cuts down on the potential for pain and numbness. Conductive synthetic leather has been added to the index finger and thumb, so you can operate your bike computer or phone without taking off your gloves.

Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Shoe Cover ($50): These fleece lined shoe covers are wind- and waterproof to keep your feet happy throughout the fall–they work great up against Japanese typhoons. The Kevlar road bottom and a new two stage hook and loop closure makes it easy to get the covers on and off.

Pearl Izumi Race Road III ($150): My current road cycling shoes of choice. With a tongue-mounted precision Boa closure system, these well ventilated shoes offer all day comfort. The lightweight, stiff, and durable soles feature a power plate to ensure high pedaling efficiency. Built-in arch support adds to the fit and comfort.

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