Posts Tagged ‘hats’

Winter Draws On – but keep on riding …

Monday, November 10th, 2014

As the last leaves are falling off the trees thoughts turn to the winter. Yes, it’s possible to cycle through the winter, but you need to be prepared …

Prepare Your Bike : Riding cold salty pot-holed roads takes a huge toll on your bike. Salt etches away at frames, paint jobs and metal finishes, and grit and grime gets into bearings and friction surfaces accelerating wear and shifting mechanics out of adjustment. So if you have the choice don’t use your pride and joy.

Rather, pick a bike you can adapt without worrying ruining its expensive good looks. More than ever, ensure your choice is well-maintained and tuned up.

Nothing is as miserable as a preventable mechanical holding you up just as the street lights turn on and the sleet moves in. And of course, carry a small tool- and flat kit just in case.

The ultimate in winter tires, but won't fit all frames ...

The ultimate in winter tires, but won’t fit all frames …

Tires : In the winter flints, glass and rough roads subject tires to the limit. If you’re riding regularly throughout the season consider running heavier duty and wider tires on your road bike. Most road bikes will take 25mm wide tires and many will run 28mm wide tires.

Consider something like Continental 4-Seasons if you’re looking for toughness and performance. Continental GatorSkins provide great flat protection at a lower price and if you’re looking for the ultimate in winter protection look at the Schwalbe Marathons. If you’re regularly riding on ice and snow look at getting studded tires for greater control and security.

Fenders keep water off your back and muck off your bike - these are clip-on fenders

Fenders keep water off your back and muck off your bike – these are clip-on fenders

Fenders : Nothing says winter riding like the black streak up your back which accumulates after almost any ride. Fenders or mudguards not only protect you from the spray which splatters up your bike, but also helps protect the rest of the bike from excessive exposure to the elements and dirt.

Some bikes have fittings for fenders, but it’s possible to fit fenders to almost any regular road bike or hybrid.

Clip-on types are also available if you want the option of removing the fenders on fine weather days.

Stay Warm : Of course, you need to stay warm. As well as wearing winter-specific jackets and tights look after your extremities. Winter cycling shoes are, of course, ideal, but start with Merino wool socks. Wool can carry its own weight in water before it even feels damp and provides better insulation than most synthetics.

Insulated and water-proof shoe covers will help keep most feet warm. Use toe-covers if you’re looking for something you can stick in your back pocket as the day, hopefully, warms up.

Also, check your shoes for cooling vents. Some have the ability to be shut. Otherwise seal them up with some duct-tape or similar.

Lastly, resist the temptation to make your feet too snug. Leave enough room for circulation to help keep your feet warm.

Hands, of course, also need protection from the cold and wet. Choose a full finger, insulated glove, preferably with a high-tech synthetic barrier such as WindStopper or similar. Some people find their hands fare better in a mitten or lobster-claw variation. I find silk glove liners really help.

Heads are usually covered by a helmet, but features which make for a great summer helmet, like cooling vents, may prove too chilly for the winter. Look for a thin cap made from WindStopper or other synthetic which will help prevent heat loss through the top of your head and cover your ears. You might want to consider a face-mask or balaclava in really nasty conditions.

Get Lit Up : Never has effective bike lighting been so good and so available. Virtually all lights now use very bright and efficient LEDs, and many are re-chargeable. Re-chargeable lights cost more, but most are capable of, at least, 600 charging cycles. When looking at a regular battery light remember to factor in the cost of 600 sets of DuraCells into the true cost. A bright rear light is absolutely essential with most having a selection of steady and pulsing modes. Rear lights output from about 10 lumens of red light up to about 50 lumens.

Front lights fall into two types; conspicuity lights and headlights. Conspicuity lights feature a very bright, wide field beam which only minimally lights up the road, but ensures you will be seen – about 50 lumens to 100 lumens.

Headlight focussed beam lights tend to be more expensive, but really light up the road or trail, depending on their power – from about 300 lumens to 2500 lumens. Around 700-1000 lumens will be plenty for most road riders and commuters. The more powerful lights are for off-road use, although the extra power can be useful on the road too.


Visit Halter’s for :
Clothing by : Gore, Pearl Izumi, Castelli and other fine makes
Lights by : Blackburn, Cateye, Light & Motion and Knog
And, of course, we’ll tune-up and prepare your bike too …


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Layer Up

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Riding in winter, whether commuting or communing with nature, can be a pleasurable and generally warm experience.

Riding for pleasure ...

Riding for pleasure …

The clothing you wear will make a fundamental contribution to your ride comfort.

The principle for keeping warm is layering your clothes. That is, wearing thin, but thermally efficient apparel, suited to its position.

... or commuting, needn't be an unpleasant experience even in the cold

… or commuting, needn’t be an unpleasant experience even in the cold

Clothing should also control perspiration and wick it away from areas which are susceptible to wind-chill, especially your chest which is in a permanent 15-20mph gale while you’re riding your bike.

A good base-layer helps maintain warmth and comfort

A good base-layer helps maintain warmth and comfort

Tops:

Keeping your torso warm begins with a base-layer tee- or shirt, which not only provides a thermal component, but also a means of wicking perspiration, because you will sweat even on a very cold day, away from areas which are liable to cooling from wind-chill and away from contact with your body. A good cycling base-layer will also incorporate some form of wind blocker in the front of the piece.

Good base-layers are available with short or long sleeves and various neck treatments. The best will feature a wind-blocking layer on the front of the chest and arms, and panels which will wick perspiration away from areas which will be subject to severe wind-chill.

Base-layers designed for jogging and other outdoor activities may not feature a wind-proof layer, so check if you’re thinking of incorporating this type of garment into your layering scheme.

A winter jacket and base-layer might be all you need

A winter jacket and base-layer might be all you need

A good winter outer jacket will resist the elements and provide yet another thermal barrier to keep you comfortable.

This garment has to balance rain-, wind- and cold-resistance, and the ability to wick away any perspiration which builds up and remain comfortable to wear on a bike. This means that they are constructed from sophisticated and highly technical fabrics which can make their purchase quite an investment.

Bib tights and knickers ... it's up to you

Bib tights and knickers … it’s up to you

In addition, most jackets incorporate reflective strips and piping and are also available in hi-viz versions so you can be seen as well remain comfortable in low light conditions.

Legs:

When it comes to keeping your legs warm the shop favorites are bib tights and knickers.

Bib tights stay in place better and also avoid chilly gaps developing when you’re riding, keeping your midriff and lower back warm. Some prefer the knicker style with long socks. Both are available with varying degrees of insulation and wind-proofing.

You may prefer to wear long tights without the bib. These are available with or without a seat pad, useful if you intend to wear the tights over a regular pair of bike shorts.

No matter which gear you choose you will find that if you wear too much at the start you will quickly overheat with its subsequent perspiration/wind-chill problems and nowhere to stow excess clothing when your on the road or trail.

A wind-proof hat should keep you toasty

A wind-proof hat should keep you toasty

Staying warm and comfortable on a bike in cold and wet weather is a balance which is helped to a large degree by the right choice of apparel.

Heads:

Keeping your head and ears warm will help keep the rest of you warm. Most cycle helmets are designed to enable the maximum air flow, great in the summer, but freezing in the winter.

Use a close fitting cap or hat which covers the ears and, if possible, a wind blocking, rain resisting layer on the front. Some caps feature a peak which can help prevent rain dropping onto your face.


Halter’s sells quality winter cycle clothing and accessories by, Cannondale, Castelli, Gore, Pear Izumi and other quality manufacturers.


If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke | OldCranksCC Forum


 
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