Spring presents lots of challenges for cyclists looking to take a break from smart trainers and Zwift, the biggest of which is the weather. But fortunately, spring riding apparel is starting to catch up, which means you don’t need to sacrifice comfort for base miles.
“We started questioning everything,” says Castelli’s Steve Smith. “For example, the industry used to accept the idea that a rain jacket could never let even a drop of moisture enter from the outside. Yet we all knew that those jackets would get wet from the inside.” So with input from its sponsored athletes, Castelli created the Gabba, a non-waterproof rain jacket hybrid with short sleeves, a water-resistant but highly breathable garment that focused on keeping you warm and comfortable instead of creating an impenetrable outer barrier. Garments like these have taken the sport by storm (no pun intended), because they keep your core warm without causing you to overheat or soaking you in your own sweat.
It’s no surprise that Smith cites flexibility as a key consideration when buying spring cycling clothes. Things like arm warmers, light jackets, and vests can easily be pulled down, zipped open, or removed and stuffed into a pocket. And while layering certainly helps, he adds, don’t overdo it. “Dressing right for cooler temperatures also means being slightly chilled for the first 10 minutes of a ride,” Smith says. “Your body warms up quickly. A chilly start usually means you’ll be comfortable for the rest of the ride—especially if temperatures are expected to rise.”
Here, with these tips in mind, take a look at some of the best pieces of riding gear you should try this spring.