A guide to autumn layering
The month of the falling leaves is fast approaching which means both the clocks going back and a change in the ride conditions that you will face. With similarities to spring, autumn can be a difficult season to prepare for given that many rides will begin in the freezing cold of early morning, but may end in beautiful golden light. At least in summer and winter you know where you stand from the off, you’re either wearing a lot or little, but in autumn it’s sort of both.
This is the time of year when the practice of layering your kit comes in handy. It means not only strategically planning out your ride wardrobe so that you are warm and toasty from the off, but also keeping in mind that you’ll finish wearing less than you started in. Here we’ll take a look at the pieces of Specialized cycling kit that will take you through this tricky season.
The first thing to don on a frigid autumn morning should be hidden underneath your jersey, the base layer. Like our more summer-ready short-sleeved designs, Specialized merino concepts keep your core warm by wicking the sweat away to stop you getting cold as the moisture cools. The first line of defence against late season colds, base layers keep the chill off your chest so that you can make the most out of your summer legs.
As with the base layers, look for jerseys with breathable qualities to prevent you from getting cold or even overheating. Long sleeves and thermal insulation will provide ample comfort and warmth on the coldest mornings, but don’t be afraid to don a short sleeve jersey as they can easily be paired with arm warmers.
The same goes for on the trails where you’re likely to feel the fast-cooling, fast-warming nature of physical exertion in autumn more keenly than you would on the road. Long sleeve trail jerseys go a long way to keeping you warm, comfortable and stylish just like world champion Loïc Bruni who is the inspiration for the Butter Collection. Great for taking the chill off early morning adventures, MTB riders can go even more hardcore with a trail wind jacket if needed.
Autumn rain showers are inconsistent, unpredictable and frequent which means that whenever you leave the front door, starting in or having a packable rain jacket to hand is crucial. We’ve all been there, if you leave the coat at home to save some weight then it’s doubtless going to rain on you, but if you take it along then the sun will shine, the sod’s law of UK weather. Our windproof jackets lock in vital body heat and protect against the rain and high winds. Visibility is also taken into account on those dark mornings so that you can stay as safe as possible as the sun hangs lower in the sky.
The cornerstone of layering, arm and leg warmers really come into their own during autumn. This is because they are removable layers that you can begin a ride in, then shed when the sun shines and you begin warming up, before putting them back on when you’re feeling chilly. Specialized’s thermal pieces are ideal for inclement weather conditions and can be stashed away easily. Furthermore, autumn is the season for gilets as they protect from the wind.
“Is it shorts weather?” Just one of the things we have to ask on the regular during autumn. Usually, it is shorts weather and you can pair them with leg warmers, but to stop the cold from getting to you it’s worth having some thermal bib tights. These are ideal if there’s no chance to take off leg warmers anyway and the sun isn’t breaking through.
Our trail pants are perfect for autumn shredding. Paired with some baggies, they can protect you from the trail spray and also wick sweat if you find yourself putting the power down on the climbs.
Protect the extremities
Arguably the most important things to protect from the conditions are your extremities as it’s through the hands and feet that we lose the majority of body heat. A thinner pair of full-finger gloves that isn’t too heavy duty work great in autumn conditions, and can also be taken off as your body temperature and the air temperature rises.
It’s also super important to keep your feet and toes toasty, especially if you’re contending with the road spray. Merino socks as well as shoe covers are key in this regard.
How will I have room for all this?
Carrying more kit than there is space for in your back pockets? Why not take advantage of Specialized’s partnership with renowned Swedish apparel company Fjällräven. Luggage solutions are provided instantly with the frame and handlebar bags, and the pack-down nature of much of the mentioned kit in this article means that whatever the conditions, you can take all the clothing that you might need as well as those crucial ride snacks.
Are you ready for autumn? To find out more about all the Specialized apparel and equipment mentioned here, come down to one of our stores and try it out for yourself.
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