With the changing leaves and clean air, fall is one of the most beautiful seasons for cycling. But this gorgeous season also brings cold weather and low light – both of which can be unsafe and uncomfortable if you don’t have the right cold-weather cycling gear. So, we put together this list of nine must-haves to help make sure your cycling adventures are fun and safe all season long.
Cold-Weather Cycling Gear From the Top Down
#1 – Under-Helmet Skull Cap or Head Band
Today, these cozy accessories come in all kinds of materials, from microfiber to microfleece. But, whatever material you settle on, skull caps and head bands will go a long way toward keeping you warm. Just be sure the one you pick fits snugly under your helmet.
#2 – Low-Light Glasses
Changing light in the fall can make seeing the road ahead a lot harder. Glasses with specialized lenses, like our StimuLight® Vision Enhancement lenses, can make a huge difference. Ours have unique micro-infused amber lenses to improve definition and enhance contrast in low light conditions like dusk and dawn, rainy, hazy, or foggy weather. The optical grade anti-reflective coating helps reduce reflection and glare, even in very dim environments. With these types of glasses, you won’t get caught off guard by fast-changing fall light.
#3 – Night Glasses
Oncoming cars, street lights and bright billboards can be deadly to cyclers who accidentally find themselves out at night or caught in a sudden, late day fall storm. Night glasses are the ultimate safeguard for these situations. Lenses like those in our Night-Lite® night driving glasses can save your life. Ours filter out that high-intensity glare and soften the harsh lights that can blind you, while enhancing clarity and your visual experience at night.
#4 – Windbreaker Vest
Keeping your core warm can be a big challenge during cold-weather riding. But, today’s windbreaker vests make it a cinch. Many include back vents so that your front is protected from chilling winds while your back stays cool. Thanks to lightweight tech fabrics, vests are small enough to store in a pocket or pack, so you can slip them on when needed.
#5 – Arm Warmers
One of cold-weather cycling’s greatest inventions, arm warmers are easy to store, versatile and highly effective. The greatest thing about arm warmers is their comfort adjustability. All you have to do is slide them up or down to achieve the perfect level of comfort. And, of course, arm warmers are compact and easy to take along.
#6 – Gloves
Gloves are an absolute necessity for cold-weather cycling, because even in above-freezing temperatures, frostbite is a risk due to the wind chill as you ride. Because temps can fluctuate so much in the fall, we recommend you take along a pair of full and fingerless versions. You might also want to invest in a convertible pair for the sake of convenience.
#7 – Weather Jacket
An ultra-warm jacket is unnecessary for most fall rides because, chances are, you’ll be working out hard enough that a warming vest will do the trick. However, for fall commutes and if there’s rain in the forecast, a water-resistant jacket will serve you right. Also, consider a convertible version with removeable sleeves; that way, you’re prepared for whatever might come your way.
#8 – Knee Warmers
Cold knees are a big risk in fall, when temperatures can drop suddenly. Shorts will probably be perfect during midday, but as temps drop in the afternoon, you’ll want to keep your knee joints warm and loose. Knee warmers are an ingenious solution to this fall-riding problem. Like arm warmers, they’re easy to adjust for comfort, and they store quite nicely in a pack or pocket.
#9 – The Right Socks
You definitely want to keep your feet warm and dry on chilly fall rides, and the hands-down best way to do that is by wearing wool socks. But don’t worry, we’re not talking about the bulky, itchy type. Modern wool socks are thin and comfortable, and do an awesome job of insulating your feet – even when the socks are wet.