Fall riding is some of the best riding of the year. Summer just ended so the heat is starting to go away. Race season is coming to an end, you’re in the best shape of the year and the trail conditions are as prime as they are going to get. It’s time to enjoy the scenery and have fun. In order to fully enjoy all of the time you get on the saddle, there are a few things that you may want to pick up.
Jackets are one of the hardest pieces to get right. You need something that is warm but not too warm when you get riding, something that is windproof but can still breathe, and you may want it to be water resistance or waterproof. I would suggest the Pearl Izumi Escape Softshell Jacket or the Bontrager Rxl 180 Shoftshell Jacket. Once again, jackets can be difficult to buy and there are tons of them out there. As long as you get a shoftshell, you will be fine.
Gloves are easy. You need long fingered and windproof. Don’t be like me and think that your summer long-fingered gloves are going to work. They will get cold very fast. Just like jackets, you can get varying levels of warmth. These are my current favorites; Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel glove.
If the temperature isn’t quite cold enough for a full on jacket, you would be happy just wearing arm warmers with your standard jersey. This way, when you are working up a sweat, you can take the arm warmers off and stow them in your back pocket. Jackets aren’t quite this easy to stow away. From what I have seen, there are two types of warmers: wind breakers and soft shell. I prefer softshell because I tend to deal with the slight cold that the wind breakers would help with. I recommend softshell sleeves and my favorite product for this is the Bontrager Thermal Arm Warmers.
When it comes to pants, you can get long bibs; pants that go over your chamois or leg warmers. Long bibs or tights are ideal if you like the feeling of only having one layer on. Leg warmers are great if you like being able to shed layers mid ride. Riding shorts are my favorite for fall, specifically the Zoic Reign Knicker. These are semi-fit shorts that reach just under the knee. They are a softshell material with a light fleece lining.
Cold toes on a long decent are never fun and would often stop me from going out some nights. That is, until I decided to invest in some shoe booties. These things are amazing! I have worn them in the rain on road rides and on colder days when thin wool socks just wouldn’t cut it. I think the best all around ,and by far best looking, booties are made by Pearl Izumi. For road, I suggest the P.R.O. Barrier Lite Shoe Cover For the mountain, the P.R.O. Barrier WxB MTB Shoe Cover is best.