Hi guys...I've recently started commuting on my rubbish Big W bike, and upgraded to a new one with a view to riding more often. I have a request for advice...
Now that it's getting colder my previous outfit of t-shirt + shorts is getting a bit uncomfortable (not to mention they're often still sweaty by the time I want to return in the afternoon). Anyone got recommendations for a) gloves b) a top? To be perfectly honest if it's going to be heavy raining I doubt I'll bother going out so I'm not looking for a waterproof jacket. Ideally I'd like something I can wear all year round...maybe a short sleeved shirt + a vest? The many options out there are confusing me. My commute's very short (along the Linear Park), but I'd like to eventually ride longer on the weekends.
I'd start with a few quality base garments and build a cycling wardrobe from there. I can recommend the NZ company Ground Effect (which I am sure you will find echoed by other members of this forum) - while not the cheapest out there it is absolutely quality , bomb proof clothing - I have a top which is now on its 4th winter (a Baked Alaska) and it still wears like it is new (and it has had a lot of use) - it is made out of wool and technical windstopper fabric. Good gloves - anything windproof - a vest works well because you can take it off if you get hot. Layering is the key with cycling in winter - which is why lots of cycle clothing has long front zips - you can layer and vent to cool off once you heat up, and then zip up again when you start to cool off. A good waterproof - even if you don't intend to ride in the rain, is always good. It will be windproof, visible and if you do happen to get caught int he rain, then it will keep you dry!
With the pants, again I like the Ground Effect gear - depends. If you are just doing a short commute then day pants (jeans, trousers) should be fine, longer commutes, especially when the weather is cold and you are sweaty - then cycling specific is the way to go! Good luck :-)
Yes, I have been recommended Ground Effect by all and sundry, and they do look quite awesome (always important :-P) but wasn't sure what to go with: Alaska, Frosty Boy or one of their summer tops and a Thermos...so many options :-O
I might just get an Alaska and a set of gloves (Ground Effect ones look perfectly serviceable once again) and see how I go from there.
The "Two Timer" is really good. It's a jumper that can zip off into a vest and it's got a hood. Not high viz though.
The "Flash Gordon" is the same design in a waterproof jacket minus the hood. Put these two together and your upper body won't feel the cold (tried and tested by me).
Anaconda are good for bargains. I've got a hi-viz windproof vest from there and it's plenty warm enough for all but the foulest of days. I commute nearly 50km every day come rain or shine. I generally only need the vest on top of my usual jersey from May to September.
Gloves are a good bet anyway, regardless of weather. I wear fingerless year-round. Some mornings are a bit chilly this time of year, so you might want some full gloves just for the winter.