Five items for your bike to get you through this winter
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It seems the cold season has hit early this year. With snow falling in the alpine region at the end of May, the last few weeks have featured chilling mornings for all of us cycling to work. However, just because the weather is cold, doesn’t mean you have to be. RACV has put together a list of the five items you’ll need to make your commutes as warm as your lounge room this winter.
It seems the cold season has hit early this year. With snow falling in the alpine region at the end of May, the last few weeks have featured chilling mornings for all of us cycling to work.
However, just because the weather is cold, doesn’t mean you have to be. RACV has put together a list of the five items you’ll need to make your commutes as warm as your lounge room this winter.
Aim for water-resistant or repellant gloves, so when the rain comes during your commute your hands remain dry. Gloves lined with fleece can add an extra layer of warmth, with a number of manufacturers also offering reflective features for safety when signalling and riding along. Whilst black gloves offer an easy ‘keep clean’ solution, bright gloves can make you stand out when the sun is going down.
2. Neck Warmer
Commonly a forgotten item in a cyclists’ closet is the neck warmer. The winter chill can make its way through a number of layers, so an open collar is no match. Neck Warmers come in a variety of styles and makes, but we have found those that cover the neck and chin have the best impact. Look for neck warmers made from moisture-wicking fabrics.
Whilst we mention jackets in Point Four, below - we understand that warmers can be an easier option for quick put on and put off during non-rain days. The most popular warmers are for the arms and the legs, with both offering another layer to combat the crisp Victorian mornings.
Depending on your riding intensity, jackets can offer the largest range of winter protection in the cycling apparel industry. If only commuting, you may be able to afford a heavier jacket. For these, look at water-proof covers, with sealed seams to prevent water leaks. Look for adjustable hems, that will allow you to easily adjust should conditions change quickly. These jackets are designed to be work over clothes, so remember this when picking your size. If you’re doing some more riding than just your commute, investing in an ‘all rounder’ jacket might be a better option for you. For these jackets, look for water-resistant (or waterproof) and windproof garments, that are lightweight and tight fitting. Ensure that the jacket is breathable (look for ventilation holes under the armpits), so you’re not covered in sweat when you arrive at your desk. Taped seams will keep water out, and zips can assist with easy removal if the winter sun comes out. With either jacket, ensure reflective features are present, there’s no such thing as too noticeable whilst on the bike.
As per the final sentence, above - always be seen. Investing in a great set of front and rear lights are imperative for road safety. Lights’ ‘brightness’ is referred to in lumens. For comparison, the bulb in the lamp on your coffee table next to your couch is approximately 200 lumens. Bike lights tend to range between 250 - 2,000 lumens; the bigger the light (usually), the more lumens it is. Lights of 400 lumens and above are usually suitable for well-lit road riding, with 1,000 lumens and above for mountain biking or lightly-lit bike paths and similar.