After the blip of the crazy two days of incredible heat at the beginning of October we are now back to normal service and we are having a little bit of some Autumn (Fall) weather. What has been different over the last few days is the amount of wind about which has made the journey in to the office tough, and the lack of a headwind on the way home feeling like you are cheating and that you’ve fitted a Gruber assist.
I’ve tried a couple of combinations over the last two days, with some interesting results. Monday came in as it does in that it’s always a rude awakening after some down time at the weekend. You could hear the wind blowing through the trees and knocking on the windows. a quick check on the Met Weather App they were saying 24 mph headwind. This could be interesting I thought. So rifling through my kit I opted for a Hotch Pot mentality on kit, here’s what I wore.
dhb shorts – The Aeon Race is perfect for my commute as it’s under the hour mark so I don’t need the most fancy pair of shorts for this trip. The pad now comes from CyTech so it’s pretty good. Fit is close with no bunching of material, a real bug bear for me! Next up was some Gore Bike Wear knee warmers. I like my Knee Warmers long, think Paris Nice as I like the longer length for the added warmth and protection.
A dhb summer jersey was worn over a Craft Cool Short sleeve baselayer, coupled with a pair of Roubaix armwarmers. The finishing items where a pair of Castelli Mitts, a Selle San Marco Cotton cap and my helmet. Not forgetting I wore an Assos Gilet, for some added protection. It may sound like a lot of layers but trying to find a right combination is always tricky.
So to Tuesday, what did I change. Weather conditions were pretty similar (yep the wind banging on the windows), except for it felt a litle windier than Monday. Here are the changes.
Shorts, this time I went for the Brushed option, especially as with my dodgy back I like to keep the lower region a little warmer. I used the new Assos short, what can I say about these.
The fit is excellent and using a custom CyTech pad they offer loads of comfort, maybe a little overkill for the commute, but always an enjoyable experience. But the real treasure in these shorts is the mix of fabrics which keeps different muscle groups warmer, yet allowing the inner part of the legs cooler. This time I opted for a pair of the DeFeet Armskins, originally designed for Cyclocross use as they provide a great balance of warmth and breathability. I choose these as I knew I was going to wear a Windproof jacket to try a different theory on wind protection Vs Warm etc. The only other change I made was the addition of some Belgian Overshoes. Again I used a pair of knee warmers, Gore Mitts, Helmet, Optics and Cotton Cap.
How did I fare overall. The days where similar, not identical but close so it’s a fair test of garments. As it’s been warmish (12-16*c) the brushed shorts ended up being a little overkill. They wicked the sweat away from around the body really well except for a warm patch around the belly.They are not as hot as a pair of winter tights, but ended up being too warm for the moment. The Belgian Shoe Covers just blocked out enough wind to make the shoes a little more Autumnal an keep the wind out, but still allowed the feet to wick the sweat away. The Windproof jacket ended up conserving too much body heat, so Monday’s Gilet was a better option. As the weather changes and it gets a little cooler this option will be called into duty on a regular occurance.
Overall Monday seems to have been the right combo, and it would have been perfect if I had used the Shoe Covers. I’m a big fan of the humble cotton cap, a real essential as modern helmets do such a great job of cooling the head, which when your hairstyle is a grade one cut is very welcome.