Riding all seasons in Seattle can be a challenge. Between the blustery rain, mischievously hidden muddy, potholes, wind storms, and slippery, wet leaves, it becomes a bit more of a challenge to stay enthusiastic about bike commuting. For those of you who are first time all-season commuters, or those who are sick of having an uncomfortably cold and wet commute, this post is for you.
The most essential piece of winter riding wear is, of course, a breathable, waterproof rain jacket. These two things seem like they would be contradictory… However- just know you should be looking for a jacket with vents for breathability. There’s no point in having a waterproof top layer if you are sweating so much you still get wet. The shop is offering Bellwether’s Aqua-No Alterra Jacket for $150 as a suitable winter riding jacket. The jacket also features reflective accents to help keep you visible to cars, as well as adjustable vents and a removable hood.
As a commuter, I’ve never enjoyed the idea of riding in rain pants as they are often way too cumbersome, and overly expensive. Rainlegs, however, offer a less expensive, a little bit sillier, more efficient way to keep your legs dry while riding in the rain. As long as you are riding with fenders, your thighs are really the only part of your legs that are at risk of getting soaked in the rain anyway. The coolest feature about these waterproof chaps is that you can wear them rolled up around your waist and pull them down once it starts raining. At $50 a pair, Rainlegs are a great addition to any winter riding wardrobe.
What’s worse than running into the grocery store to grab a few items and coming back to find your saddle completely soaked? For those of you who ride with a leather saddle, it’s pertinent to protect it from the rain. For those of you who ride with a synthetic one, it’s still an annoyance when it gets rained on. Brooks offers a $10 solution to this problem with their waterproof seat cover. A great winter riding accessory, the Brooks Rain Cover can easily be rolled up and stored under your saddle while not in use.
If you’ve been by the shop lately and haven’t checked out our selection of Toast Tea Threads caps, I highly encourage it. Locally made by Ricky Rodriguez, Toast Tea Threads caps offer a way to keep your ears warm while riding in cold weather. These wool caps are designed to be worn under a helmet, or all day long. Find out more about Toast Tea Threads at http://toastteathreads.com/ or stop by the shop to check out our Toast Tea Threads caps in person.
Another essential winter riding accessory is gloves. I avoid riding with cold and numb hands at all costs. Even if it means buying 2-or more pairs. At Bike Works, we have 3 glove options. High-Vis Cordura Nylon Defeet gloves feature visibility and durability for $20 (picture above left). Wool Defeet gloves are slightly warmer, and will stay warm even when wet. These go for $25. Both Defeet glove styles also function in addition as glove liners and can be paired with the Louis Garneau Monsoon Glove to make an extra warm, and waterproof glove. The monsoon glove goes for $40 and is totally worth it.