Transition Gear: Layering for Early Fall
I admit it.
I like to rock a team kit. Maybe I’m a joiner, maybe it’s just my mad Veloforma-Pride, maybe I just like nearly-see-through white side panels… whatever. I’m coming at you unapologetically. Shameless style. I do love the high-octane spandex.
That said, there’s a time and a place. Moreover, there’s a certain time of year that just screams WOOL AND KNICKERS at me. And that time is now. Until, say, March.
On a long winter training ride I do so love the HUGE squishy chamois in my Rapha ‘Cross 3/4 Bib Shorts. But the plain fact is? That shit is expensive. When I’m making a call between FMB tyres or replacing my recently-stolen car stereo or a $300 cycling jacket? Well. I’m going to go with the tyres. Thems the breaks.
Not all of us can have a “tab” that runs $43k deep, right? (To be fair, Mr. Velodramatic including all his bikes, tools, and accessories, so the figure really isn’t that bad when you think about it.)
But there’s good news! There’s a bunch of companies making really nice cycling gear that can look nice and understated and streamlined. You don’t have to wear the screamin’ team kit… and you don’t necessarily have to spend a normal-person’s salary on a cycling wardrobe either.
Case in point. Last Thursday was skills practice. I needed to be a little bit warmer than usual to compensate for the lack of “real riding” but it was love-crushing Fall-worthy sunny outside. I hit the middle ground with this combo, which was understated, non-racey, and pretty affordable to boot.
Hat: Plaid wool by Little Package (local hat rockstar) $30
Jersey: Castelli winter long-sleeved black and white jersey on massive warehouse sale $20
Baselayer (not shown): Swobo featherweight wool SS baselayer $58 ($40 when I bought it a few years ago)
Vest: Showers Pass Pro-Tech Vest $60
Knickers: Ibex wool 3/4 El Fito $125
Gloves: DeFeet DuraGlove Merino Wool $18.50
Socks: DeFeet Wooleator D High-Top $11.50
This combo was a little warm for Thursday’s immaculate Fall weather, but not too bad. Substitute a short-sleeved jersey for the long one and I would have had things on the money. The Swobo baselayer is The Yummiest and I like the wind blocking power of a light vest in chilly weather. Adding the shiny-see-throughness of the Pro-Tech gives a little subtle bling to otherwise ho-hum.
Fall is my favorite season for a number of reasons and super-fun layering opportunities (on or off the bike!) rank right up there. Play with texture, keep things functional, and remember – style counts!!
Now go ride your bike.
Score some wool while you’re at it.
Support a local guy.
Keep it simple.