Fall Bike Riding Favorites
Fall Bike Riding Favorites
Kate has compiled her 2020 fall bike riding favorites
Depending on where you live in Colorado, the period between September and December can bring extreme temperature fluctuations with anything from temperatures in the 70s to the low teens.
2020 has been no exception. One day, I’m mountain biking in shorts and no jacket with the sun beating down my back, while snow flurries appear three days later. Layering with the right pieces is essential.
I’m sharing my favorite and most versatile riding pieces that I’ve worn the most this year. Selected for their versatility in both performance and use in a variety of cycling environments, several of these items I liked so much, I purchased more than one.
Pearl Izumi Rove Long Sleeve Shirt (MSRP $80).
My favorite plaid shirt from last year, I bought another for this season (this time in a solid black). This is my shirt of choice for both mountain biking and bike commuting.
Slightly longer in the back like all bike shirts, the Rove’s performance polyester twill feels soft like flannel, but maintains shape (wrinkle-free all day long) and doesn’t absorb moisture, thanks to the fabric’s wicking properties.
As a bike commuter, I wear this shirt for months- paired with a vest or a light jacket, it is perfect to wear on errands, to work, or grabbing a pint on an outdoor patio. I like the solid color for occasions where I need to be slightly more dressed up, and keep the plaid for weekends mountain biking and grabbing post-ride pints on a patio. The ultimate all-purpose shirt, I hope the Rove becomes a staple of Pearl Izumi’s Bikestyle collection and more solid colors are offered in the future.
Chrome Industries Face Mask Two Pack (MSRP $16). If I were to nominate a face mask for gear of the year, it would be the masks developed by Chrome Industries.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, I have tried several types of face masks either purchased, or provided to me at work. None of them lasted long for a variety of reasons such as one-size-fits all sizing, fabric that was either too loose or too heavy, lost shape or structure after washing, fabric that retained moisture, ties that either stretched out, or were too difficult to quickly remove and put back on.
Enter Chrome Industries. Their face mask is the best available in terms of comfort, style, and durability.
Offered in two sizes (XS/S, M/L), each intentionally designed mask has adjustable slides to make the mask conform comfortably to your face. Neither too thin or too thick, the straps are comfortable and do not dig into skin.
Constructed from 2-layers of Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) 100 percent cotton canvas, the masks are durable and look good wash after wash. When I put one on, it stays on. No adjustments required. Sporty, stylish and functional the masks come in two packs of complimenting colors/patterns. I like them so much, I purchased three additional packs.
Mammut Runbold Hoody (MSRP $119) is a fantastic multi-sport technical piece. It’s octagonal grid backing wicks away moisture and dries fast, no matter how grueling the activity.
I wear this mid-layer pullover when I ride on chilly mornings; it keeps me comfortably warm without overheating. Soft and stretchy, the Runbold Hoody is also my go-to for any outdoor activity (snowshoeing, hiking, etc.)
Its functionality (quick drying properties, adjustable hoody, cross over cinched collar, UPF 50+ sun protection) makes it a good choice for those who want a technical piece that does it all.
However, what puts the Runbold Hoody over the top is its uber-flattering athletic fit accentuated with a partial elastic hem and feminine hoody. I have seen this worn by women with different body types and it flatters all.
Thousand Chapter MIPS Bike Helmet (MSRP $135)
Thousand has perfected the urban bike helmet with the Chapter MIPS.
As an urban commuter for nearly a decade, I have had difficulty finding a bike helmet that didn’t look like I was about to go on a training ride. I needed something more refined to wear around the city.
However, several of the helmets designated “commuting” lacked MIPS technology, weighed too much, or lacked proper ventilation. Finally, I disliked the extra bulk that came with adding lights to light-compatible helmets.
Enter the Chapter MIPS bike helmet. Weighing in at a trifling 360g, it addresses all of my previous grievances with commuter helmets.
For a minimalist helmet, the Chapter MIPS is loaded with a surprising number of features:
- MIPS technology for added protection against concussions
- 50 lumen magnetic tail light with 1 hr runtime solid, 2 hours flash
- Multi-use adapter to attach the tail light to your bike
- Visors in premium finishes to increase your field of vision
- Secret PopLock for securing your bike helmet with your lock
- Integrated dial fit system for precise measurements
- One-handed magnetic fastener and nylon straps
- Active ventilation with 8 vents and internal channeling
Even the color (matte black shell with inconspicuous, all-black details that happen to match my bike) was on point. In my opinion, making a good helmet even better. If I had designed it myself, I could not have created a better helmet.
Now a staple among urban bike commuters and scooter enthusiasts for its style and affordability, Thousand has come a long way since I first tried one out five years ago shortly after their successful Kickstarter campaign.
Mammut Aconcagua ML jacket (MSRP $179)
Designed as a mid-layer jacket, the Aconcagua is one of my favorite jackets to wear while cycling or hiking.
Super soft, Aconcagua brings serious warmth without the bulk. The athletic fit hugs my body in a very flattering way. On the hanger, it appears too thin and more appropriate for summer evening camping. While it is a year round mid layer, I found it most useful in spring/summer shoulder season and late fall.
The Polartec® Power Stretch Pro® differentiates it from other fleece jackets. I have taken a couple of spills while wearing it mountain biking and the jacket’s unique abrasion-proof nylon surface kept it free from tears.
Thoughtfully designed,the Aconcagua has pockets that are backpack and climbing-harness compatible. The Goldilocks of jackets, the Aconcagua is neither too long nor too short, too warm or too light. It is just right.
EnduraSport Hummvee Chino Short (MSRP $89.99) continues the theme of leveling up your look with bike style clothing that is versatile enough to be worn in different settings and doesn’t scream technical gear.
The 4 pocket Hummvee Chino Short is almost too nice to wear mountain biking (I wear them primarily because I like the weight of the fabric- not too heavy, not too light), but get regular use when I bike commute.
The understated chino shorts are tailored, do not wrinkle and could easily be mistaken for dressed up shorts for commuters. A dimpled, 300 series antibacterial pad featuring a wicking finish and detachable liner with “clickfast” technology is included.
EnduraSport Singletrack Lightknit Glove (MSRP $49.99) protect my hands while providing just enough ventilation.These are different from any bike gloves I’ve worn; no padding and knit construction backhand. They feature a pull on stretch cuff, terry sweat wipe, and synthetic leather palm. I wear these for short commutes where I need my fingers covered, but I want to wear gloves that look less tech and more fashion.