HOW TO DRESS FOR CYCLING?
THERE IS NO BAD WEATHER...
...just a poorly dressed rider. As the autumn chill sets in, a sneaky thought begins to germinate in the minds of some cyclists: isn't the season over after all? We have an answer for you: it is NOT! But the main challenge is not the damp, the mud or the disappointing reading on the outdoor thermometer. The biggest challenge is the decision itself - to dress well and just get on the bike.
Don't wait long months for warm sunny days.
The time to ride is now!
Specialized's new collection of clothing for autumn and winter is now in stock, and we'd like to give you some tips on what clothing to choose and, above all, how to layer it properly so you can enjoy your autumn and winter rides to the full. Let's start with an introduction to the materials used to make Specialized clothing. Our designers always carefully select the best materials for the job.
MiniR® fabric, which is used for the base layers, is most appreciated in the summer months. It uses exclusive fiber technology that is able to keep the rider at the correct operating temperature by reflecting 65-75% of near-infrared light. In addition, the fabric protects against UV rays with a UPF 50+ protection factor.
In base layers, but also in jerseys, we use VaporRize™ technology, which excels in wicking away body moisture. VaporRize™ causes a "capillary action" that uses a combination of "water-loving" hydrophilic fibers and "water-hating" hydrophobic fibers to keep the body dry and significantly aid in regulating body temperature.
In the mid-layer range, we offer a material from the renowned manufacturer Polartec® called Power Grid™. This fabric is an evolution in fleece fabric design. Thanks to the special grid construction, better insulation and breathability is ensured with significantly less fabric volume.
Another Polartec® material, Alpha® Direct, is also included in the middle layers. This provides innovative insulation thanks to the new shape and "loft" (or fluffiness) of the fibers. The material is very comfortable to the touch and can therefore be worn directly on the body. It is lightweight, very breathable and allows a wide range of movement.
The outer softshell layers use technical three-layer fabrics manufactured in Italy - WR Platino and WR Gold. Their construction keeps riders dry and warm no matter the weather. These fabrics have a breathable membrane that is sandwiched between an outer, water-repellent layer and an inner, stretchy insulating layer.
Finally, Polartec® is used for the outer layer in the form of a waterproof Neoshell® membrane. The manufacturer describes it as the most breathable membrane on the market, making it an ideal candidate for use in cycling. In addition to great breathability and waterproofing, Neoshell® offers unique 4-way stretch for unrestricted freedom of movement.
Don't forget visibility
With the arrival of autumn, the days are getting shorter, the light is diminishing and cyclists should think about their visibility. Not just lighting but also on appropriate clothing. Specialized offers a collection of HYPRVIZ that combines the extra-visible colour hyper green with hyper reflective material. The rider is thus perfectly visible during the day and in the dark.
With the technical introduction out of the way, let's now look at the alchemy of concrete layering.
The base layer should fit snugly against the body. Its main function is to wick away sweat and keep the body dry. For warmer days, choose a thin version SL (Superlight), slightly thicker versions are referred to as Seamless (seamless) and the most insulating, for really cold conditions, is Power Grid™. There are also models that use natural wool Merino in addition to man-made fibres.
We usually wear a jersey as an additional layer. Depending on the weather, cyclists choose short or long versions, with or without insulation. Specialized jersey collection The range of jerseys is extensive, so there's something for everyone. Insulated jerseys are labeled as Thermal Jersey and use the aforementioned unique Polartec® Power Grid™ construction or brushed interior as insulation. If it's even colder outside, accessories made of Alpha® Direct material. Small, dense bundles of fibres hold a volume of air that keeps the cold out. Choose from the Trail collection, which has a more civil, loose fit, or the Prime collection, where the fit is more body-hugging and the outer material is more water and wind resistant.
The outer layer
The outer layer should effectively protect against the weather. If you don't need 100% water resistance, lightly insulated and elastic jackets made of softshell. In rainy weather, you'll appreciate the water resistance of our shell materials. There are options for road cycling enthusiasts and off-road enthusiasts. If you're looking for wind protection without insulation, these are for you. Specialized windjackets. Again, you can choose from a snug road fit or a casual trail fit.
Clothing for the upper body is essential for thermal comfort as it moves the least when cycling. However, the lower part must not be forgotten when choosing the right equipment. In warmer weather, cyclists can get by with shorts which can be supplemented warm-ups for the legs. Long tight Long tight trousers They are usually already insulated, i.e. the inner part is made of brushed fleece. Some models are equipped with a non-pillowing membrane in the front. For bikers, there are loose Long tight trousers that can be supplemented with a base layer.
Other accessories are also important, as we can't do without them in cold weather. Keeping our feet warm will allow us to Specialized socks , which range from thin, midweight to thick (Deep Winter) with a Merino wool blend. A large proportion of body heat is also dissipated by the head and therefore needs to be well protected. For this purpose, the Specialized hats or neck gaiters .
Fitted or loose fit
All Specialized clothing comes in 3 different fits. The most snug and performance oriented is the Form Fit, which provides a degree of compression and can be found on the SL collection. The Semi-form Fit is looser, still providing light compression but allowing a comfortable range of motion. It is available in the ADV and RBX collections. For the freestyle enthusiast, there's Relaxed Fit in the form of the Trail collection. It is characterized by freedom of movement and a more civil look. If you want to be stylish off the bike, there's a range for you Legacy that complements the sportswear collections with leisurewear.