Just because winter is here doesn’t mean you have to hide yourself inside on the trainer. Trainer time is an important tool for keeping your fitness, but nothing compares to actually getting out on the bike. To do so, a bit of the right gear will go a long way to keeping you comfortable and motivated. Inside you’ll find gear that is as functional as it is stylish from Pas Normal Studios, Bontrager and Endura…
Pas Normal Studios out of Denmark, makes some hardcore gear because they deal with a lot of cold, and aren’t about to stop riding. Their Autumn/Winter Jacket, while breathable, is water and wind proof, yet can wad into a jersey pocket in case things get warm. The solid color with minimal logos are a nice touch and the jacket is a “race fit” for those that are of “race build” that want a “flap proof” fit. Retail on the Autumn/Winter Jacket is €320 / $350.
Regardless of temps, staying dry is key, and PNS has both winter bib tights and shorts that have a coating making them water repellent. These would likely save you should you get into a situation where any sort or moisture, including snow melt should occur. They come in a bib short version for those in a “shedding state” where you may like the option to peel off clothing as temps increase. The Bib-Tights retail for €255 / $278 and the Bib Shorts retail for €215 / $234
One item I think is more overlooked than any other, yet is one of the simplest, is a neck gator. It’s a versatile piece than can perform multiple functions, and if you’re on the fence on whether you need ear covers or just a hat, this is a great add-on that can be used as either or stowed away. Even when you want to unzip your jacket to let things breathe, something like the PNS X SNS Merino Neck Collar would keep you comfortable enough. Knitted in Denmark from ultra-fine merino wool, the X SNS Merino Neck Collar retails for €69 / $75.
We recently covered some snazzy jackets from Bontrager and these underlying long sleeve jerseys are no slouch. Part of their new Classique lineup that pays homage to the “Golden Era” of cycling, the Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey is made of Profila Thermal fabric and Merino wool to keep things soft and cozy, with some reflective touches to increase visibility. It has three rear pockets with a sweat-proof, security pocket, and a dropped tail. We’ve been pedaling around in a Classique jersey for awhile now and couldn’t be happier with the fit, performance, and style. Kudos to Bontrager for including a large zipper tab which is easy to use with fall/winter gloves. To be honest, if you weren’t shown the Bontrager logo, you’d have a hard time figuring out what high end clothing brand made this jersey. It’s that good. Retail for the Classique Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey is $179.99.
While not technically in the Classique family, the Bontrager Starvos 180 softshell jacket is a great companion to the Classique jerseys. Pretty minimalist when it comes to the styling, the Starvos matches the Classique aesthetic and adds a layer of Profila Softshell protection from the elements plus an additional level of warmth. Even though it’s labeled a jacket, the Starvos still has three rear pockets and a semi-fitted cut that falls somewhere between a jersey and a jacket. The Starvos isn’t quite as special as the Classique jersey, but priced at $119.99 it’s actually more affordable (and substantially more waterproof).
For really cold days, a quality base layer will make a huge difference in your overall comfort. The Bontrager B3 1/4 zip baselayer continues to be one of our favorites due to its toasty Profila Thermal merino wool construction with a 5″ zipper to allow you to regulate your temperature. The fitted cut keeps it from bunching under fitted jerseys and keeps the wicking level high. They’re not cheap at $109.99, but ours seem to be holding up well to abuse without getting smelly which is a good thing – you’ll be grabbing your B3 a lot during the winter months.
Following suit, the The Classique Thermal Cycling Cap is constructed of Merino and Profila for a warm yet breathable head-covering that looks good on or off the bike. Retail is $49. Sold in one size, these definitely err to larger end of the spectrum so if you have a big melon you should check out the Classique (for my S/M head, it’s a little too big). Together, all the pieces highlight Bontrager’s commitment to improving their clothing range – every piece we try is better than the last.
Endura’s new FS260-Pro SL Thermal Windproof Jacket was inspired by the windproof jacket they made to keep the Movistar pro cycling team warm. It’s constructed of a hi-tech 4-way stretch material that is windproof and breathable to keep riders warm and comfortable in any position on the bike. An often over-looked feature for those with a larger wing span, the jacket has extended sleeves to better merge with gloves and a gripper waist-band to keep it in place. Three standard pockets out back with a zippered security pocket keep valuables from getting lost. Retail on the FS260-Pro SL Thermal Windproof Jacket is £129.99 / $185.00