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It’s more important than ever to dress correctly and maintain your immune system so you can avoid any nasty lurgy. Let’s be honest, the weather at the start of the year has been pretty dreary, and very few of our jerseys have seen the light of day since about September. But that’s no bad thing, because at Bicycle Chain we stock a great range of kit for tackling the spring conditions when you’re out on the trails.
Of course, we Brits know better than anyone how to judge the weather. If Inuits have 50 different phrases for snow, we must be approaching 50 different terms for overcast.
Head and neck
You lose a lot of heat from your head without really realising it, so it’s important to keep the noggin warm when you’re on your ride. You can protect it when you’re milling about with your mates at the bottom of the trail too with a fashionable merino beanie hat. And help to keep the cold off your chest with a buff which can plug any exposed areas.
The all-important extremities
You also lose heat at a faster rate than the rest of your body through your hands and feet. So when you get super cold or wet on the bike, the first thing your body does is reduce the blood flow to the extremities, which makes them very cold very quickly. It is of paramount importance then that you keep your hands and feet dry in the mucky spring weather. Insulated socks are your best bet for the latter, so your toes stay toasty even when you’re hammering it down muddy, wet trails.
Similarly, you want to keep your fingers from being exposed to the elements and the track spray. Thermal winter gloves are the perfect retort to the chilly mornings. It is important to remember to keep these thermal gloves on throughout your ride as their linings are less effective the more you take them on and off – think of it this way, keep the heat inside the gloves, don’t let it out.
All about that base
Base layers are the first thing you should put on before a morning tear-up. This underrated, rarely seen bit of clothing is one of the most important things you can don. The sun may still be shining but it might not be warm. The base layer is your first line of defence on such days and if it can stay dry and mud free on your cyclocross or mountain bike rides, your core will stay warm.
Fighting the spray
Trail spray can be quite grim. The way it seeps into your jersey and shorts ever-so slowly, and then all of a sudden making you really quite wet. It’s a real issue in spring as well because once you get wet, it’s a real struggle to get dry again. To combat against this slimy foe, top off your outfit with a thermal gilet or, if it’s particularly muddy, a pair of over trousers.
The extra layer
The most important bit of kit for spring has to be the trusty waterproof jacket. Protect yourself from those sudden midday downpours and that very annoying fine, mist-like rain with one of our jackets. Some even come with hoods for when you’re off the bike waiting for your mates or the shuttle. The benefit of a cycling specific jacket is that it will neatly pack down and tuck away into a pocket or bag for when you no longer need it – say, in the pub after a long day on the trails.
Next time you get out, make sure you dress for the conditions. To see all this kit for yourself, come in to one of our stores and find everything we have for spring off-roading.