This post builds on my last post “Fall outdoor clothing – Practical or Parisian?“. Time to hit the lower body layers …
Shorts – There are a couple ways to do the base layer for cycling – 1. Typical bike short with Knee Warmers or Leg Warmers. 2. Knicker bib short (chamois bike short that goes past the knees). No merino wools in these, just your typical bike short material (synthetics).
Full-length tights – There are many designs of basic full length tight that can be pulled over bike shorts or just worn straight up for running. Thickness ranges from a basic spandex layer, to a mid-thermal layer with fleece lining. There are also thermal layers that have wind-proof front paneling and stretchy rear paneling for movement. These pants are great for light rain or moderate intensity workouts. A snugger fit is better for cycling and running. Look for reflective stripes for outdoor activities at night or early morning. Example: Sugoi Midzero Zaptight or Sugoi Firewall Tight.
If it’s a deluge, or you’re going to be out in the rain for a while, a waterproof pant might be the way to go. I tend to find the waterproof pants too hot when cycling, but they’re worth it when it’s cold and absolutely pouring. GORE makes a baggier, waterproof pant that can be pulled over tights or shorts. They might even go over small body armour for freeriding. Example: GORE Solid2 windpant or Sugoi Majik Shell.
Socks and Shoes
Don’t forget your feet! There are a few options here … waterproof socks, booties (not booty, you can shake it, but we’re talking about shoe covers here …) or Gore-Tex shoes.
Wool socks are great for running and cycling. There are also waterproof socks that are apparently somewhat breathable, but I’ve heard they can still get a bit sweaty. I imagine if you have room in your shoe, a merino wool sock with a waterproof sock overtop would be ideal. Or, go straight to the gore-tex shoe! Both Shimano and Northwave make them.
There are many different brands and designs of shoe covers. It’s worth taking your shoe in to ensure that the booties are a tight fit. There are windproof or thermal booties that aren’t waterproof, and there are full-waterproof shells. Some don’t fit cross-country shoes as well as road shoes, so I suggest again, bring your shoes in to try them on.
Example: GORE Race Power 2 shoe cover, Pearl Izumi soft shell Cyclone shoe cover.
When looking for new fall clothing, think:
Base Layers – merino wool, wicking and comfort, snug lines
Outer layers – water/windproofness, reflective stripes, pockets, breathability