Sunday, 21 November 2010

What I wore on my ride today ... Sunday 8°C

I've thought a lot about doing this when I get a chance and remeber what I've had on, but I've always forgot to do it. So today is a strange day, not typically cold at 8°C with a 13 mph wind, so it can be a descison in what to wear and where you are riding may influence your choice of gear.

Although many jackets claim to be a broad church (with the Castelli Radiation Jacket being one of the best excamples on paper) I decided to go for a multi layer approach as it gave me some flexibility if the conditions changed, so heres my list.

Base Layer - I went for Descente Pro V seamless. Super soft and wicks really well. Good option if you have long arms.

On the legs I went with the Castelli Nanoflex Leg warmers. These I have to admit had me slightly worried. You see they are super thin and I thought that they wouldn't keep me warm. They are a water resistant fabric which are meant to perform the same as the companies Thermoflex ones. I have to say that not once did I feel cold. I reckon these would be a great choice for racing as they are light and don't restrict movement. I'll be packing them in the bag come April.

I used Bib Shorts, but of the thermal variety. I've long been a fan of this product and I have maybe around 4 pairs in my wardrobe. The Castelli Claudio bib short was excellent. Castelli quote a temperature range of 10° - 18°, as I said earlier it was 8°C and I had zero issues at all. I reckon if you where pushing hard and going quick (thus generating a lot more natural heat) I'd think in those circumstances you'd be able to go as low as 6°, but everyone is different. The fabric is a bit thicker than what is used on the Leg warmers, in an ideal world I'd like that same lush feel to be applied there as to the shorts.

[[posterous-content:pid___0]]I was testing a product from Teko, a Merino cycling sock. Fit and construction was excellent. The only issue I had was that they weren't warm enough for this Fall/Early Winter day. My feet never froze but they would be better placed when the temperature dial is above 10°. Also on the feet was a pair of Northwave Aerlite shoes but with a pair of Castelli Nano booties over the top. Castelli claim a temperature range: 6° - 14°, my feet where never frozen, but I wouldn't say they where warm. They are really light and super stretchy, and very aero. As they provide no warmth as such (except for blocking out the wind) they do a very good job. I suspect that using either the Castelli Quindici or the DeMarchi Contour Plus would make that 6° a reality. I'll test the theory out and get back to you. But I can see these being used a lot when the days are a little warmer.

I had an older dhb mid layer Long Sleeve brushed jersey on. I've has this ages and it works well wicking the sweat away and keeping me warm. I was never a fan of mid layers until I left the big smoke, now they work really well for me combined with a gilet or a shell.

I've had the Gore Xenon AS (active shell) for a while now and to be honest it's a go to piece. Not waterproof as such but I know from having an older model I can do 45 minutes in tipping rain and it only starts to come through on the seams, where it isn't taped. The benefit over a full on waterproof is that it breaths better leaving you less moist, it fact today the combination of layers left me bone dry, which I put down to all three layers working well together.

[[posterous-content:pid___1]]Buying an expensive shell may seem like an over indulgance, but if you like your gear you won't be left unhappy as it really performs well and as its Gore it will last and last. That is one thing you can say about GBW, they make things that last. Head wear, well for most of the ride it was a classic cotton cap, but as I've been suffering with my ears I stuffed a Risvolto cap in one rear pocket. I popped it on in the last 10km. I'm always amazed how much difference making sure your extremities are warm everything else suddenly feels warmer. Theres solid logic, the hands and the feet are further away from the vital organs and the brain uses a lot of blood and energy, so you lose heat.

[[posterous-content:pid___2]]And finally I used my trusty Super Nano gloves. This is my second winter on them and they show very little sign of wear. They are a Spring/Fall glove but as it has to be very cold before I don something warmer so I have used them loads. Great product, no padding so you really feel in touch with the handlebar.

[[posterous-content:pid___3]]So that was my kit today, a very Castelli day for sure. If you've found this interesting I'll post another, or if you want a more detailed thoughts on a piece listed leave a comment.



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