Love me some Chicago weather. Mmhmm. 37 degrees and raining in January. Most people don’t like going outside in this stuff, much less ride their bike in it. I used to be one of those folks. That was before I had the right gear for the weather. I rode in cotton t-shirts and cheap “rain” gear that really didn’t keep the rain out. And the cheap gear that did, was not breathable at all. I’ve used plastic garbage bags for rain kits. Kinda like a sauna on wheels. Plastic bags on the feet. Done that too. Yeah, it works better than nothing, but there is nothing that compares to having the right gear. Once you have some truly solid rain and cold weather apparel and outer wear, you will understand when you hear people say….
“There is no bad weather, just bad gear.”
In the time before good gear, I was using Performance this and Pearl Izumi that. Now I ride in Gore Bike Wear Gore-Tex & Windstopper on the cold/wet days, and life is grand. No, it is freaking sweet. Like smiling while you ride your bike on days you used to dread freaking sweet. Smiling because you realize just how much a difference the right jacket and pants make. Then a bigger smile when you think that the gear you are wearing cost more then the bike you are riding in the winter. I’ve been using the Fusion jacket and pant from Gore Bike Wear for 5 years now, and it keeps getting better each year. Not that you will need new jackets from Gore that soon, I just love me some technical stuff, and like to try everything I can get my hands on.
I am not saying to go out and put yourself in the poor house on gear. But, if you ride when the weather turns to pewp, you owe it to yourself to pick up some pieces as you can. Not the pieces of pewp of course, but rather the articles of superb winter excellence. Perhaps a set of Gore-Tex socks to start. Or some City Overshoes. Windstopper gloves make a tremendous difference. The most spendy items of a cyclist’s winter arsenal tend to be the jacket and pant. If you get cheap on this, you will be disappointed with the results. One $200 Gore-Tex jacket will outlast three $80 rain jackets, and actually keep you dry. If you have not had a chance to see a demo of Gore-Tex or Windstopper material, stop by our store and demand to! You can also check out Gore-Tex here, or Windstopper here.
|Gore Bike Wear Fusion jacket & pant, Tool jacket, Tool gloves, City Overshoes, Sidi Diablo GTX, Bell Volt, Mission Workshop Vandal. Not pictured, Gore Bike Wear Xenon Sonic bibs & Windstopper tights.|
Don’t forget your helmet! Also, I always have my RoadID on my wrist whilst cruising on my bike. And to make sure the stuff I carry stays dry, a waterproof Mission Workshop Vandal. The harness system on the backpack is amazing. Make sure to get the optional waist strap.
Some days are cold, and some days are wet. But I have yet to find a day that I didn’t want to ride my bike.