If Wintertime Is All The Time – Or not!
A pocket guide to rain gear
Chances are, if the inclement winter weather is just the thing holding you back from riding, this gear guide might not help you much. But, if you’re the type who insists on getting out no matter what the conditions, some of the gear featured here will definitely help keep you bragging to your friends about the gruesome weekend ride you did in the rain while they were inside watching football.
BONTRAGER VELOCIS STORMSHELL
Bontrager got the name right on this one—the Stormshell is an ideal jacket in a deluge. The outer layer is a waterproof fabric that slicks rain away but still allows sweat to escape to maintain the ideal core temperature. The inner layer uses minimal insulation to keep the weight low for use in mild temperatures. Recommended for use in 50–70 degrees Fahrenheit.
CASTELLI PERFETTO ROS CONVERTIBLE
Castelli separated themselves from the pack with their Gore-Tex and Nano-Flex-infused, water-resistant Gabba a decade ago. Since then, the Italian brand’s do-it-all cold and wet weather garb has remained popular. Castelli changed the name to Perfetto in 2018 and has gone on to increase breathability and durability all the while increasing utility by adding removable sleeves. Recommended for use in 39–61 degrees Fahrenheit.
GORE WEAR C5 SHAKEDRY
When the temperature starts to drop below 40 degrees, heftier protection is necessary. Gore Wear’s C5 Shakedry jacket brings a layer of knitted Polartec Alpha insulation in between the water-resistant Shakedry outer layer and mesh inner layer to efficiently regulate body temperature while keeping you dry. While the C5 is near the top of Gore’s price list, the Shakedry technology is permanently water-repellent and does not wear out after washing. Recommended for temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hestra’s Nimbus shell glove solves the problem of getting stuck on a ride with the wrong gloves on when the weather turns bad. The Nimbus is essentially a water and wind-repellent glove for your gloves. Ideally, you would use your regular riding gloves and stow the Nimbus’ until the weather sours and—voila!—your fingers are covered. Recommended for use in 40–65 degrees Fahrenheit.
PEARL IZUMI ELITE THERMAL WARMERS
An essential for cold-weather riding is a set of arm and leg warmers or knee warmers. Pearl Izumi’s Elite line of warmers features a fleece lining surrounded by a water-slicking PI Dry outer layer. Easy to stow when the weather is on your side. A proper set of warmers is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing any cyclist can have.
Price: $35 (arm), $45 (knee), $55 (leg)
SEALSKINZ ALL WEATHER LED OVERSHOE
One of the worst feelings when riding in the rain is the first splash of water through your shoes. Sealskinz water-repellent shoe covers use a neoprene outer with Kevlar patches along the heel and toe for increased durability. A useful addition is the red 4-lumen LED light located on each heel that increases visibility in low-light conditions.
Top Photo: Bettini