Cycling in the fall (spring too), even here in Toronto I am able to easily go riding, the only difference is the wool cycling clothes I wear.
This is where the benefits of wool cycling clothing really shine. The qualities of the merino wool fibers are such that they wick away the sweat from your skin so it does not freeze and you do not get cold. Actually, wool is a great insulator.
Some of the wool cycling clothes you should consider
Wool Cycling Jerseys – many cyclists wear a base layer along with their long sleeve cycling jersey, both made of wool which wicks away moisture to keep you dry such as Castelli Mauro Wool Jersey. Another option is your cycling jersey with a wool vest.
The vest keeps my core body warm and leaves it easy to move my arms. When I start out in the morning I first put on my wool arm warmers. As I warm up I take them off as they can easily be stored in my pannier. It is amazing how much heat you generate even in cold weather, you only get cold when you stop for extended periods of time.
Wool Cycling Jackets – I go with a lightweight wind resistant cycling jacket. Like all jackets of this type it has an extended panel at the back covering my butt. Combined with the wool jersey and vest it is all I need. Do not make a mistake and go for a heavy jacket as you after a very short distance along the route you will overheat, sweat and start to get cold.
Cycling Tights – experts say the rule of thumb is to keep the knees covered at 50 degrees (10 C) or lower but I find it varies from person to person with some cyclists using 60 degrees as a guide. Also depending on the weather many cyclists switch to wool cycling Capri or knickers even in summer. Like all similar products wool cycling tights are a breathable fabric that are great at wicking away moisture with superb insulating qualities.
Some cycling tights are not padded so you can wear them over shorts. I personally wear them over my cycling shorts liner which is padded and easily to wash as well.
Wool Cycling Gloves – just switch from your summer fingerless gloves to the full fingered gloves. This is the only area I get colder and that is generally when I am just starting the ride from the parking lot (having waited for the other cyclists to get ready) or if we take an extended stop (I try not to).
Wool Cycling socks – you definitely want those merino wool socks for the warmth. Some cyclists also wear a thin liner sock against the skin if it fits as you do not want your shoes to be too tight. I have never found it necessary. To get a pair go to Pearl Izumi Men’s Elite Tall Wool Sock
Booties – some cyclists find that booties (also known as overshoes, shoe covers) help protect against not only rain but wind and the cold as well.
I stay away from some of the bike trails that may have frozen puddles and focus on routes along country roads or using city bike lanes. Once you get started cycling in the fall (or spring) is a wonderful experience. Take the time to choose good wool cycling clothes.
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