Not only is it necessary to wear a cycling jacket in the colder months but it can even protect you from an unexpected downpour or cold winds in spring and summer. Plus, only with a great jacket can you complete your tour with the necessary vigour.
You may ask yourself: how should you choose a cycling jacket based on your different requirements? Which details, equipment and other features should you pay attention to before purchasing a cycling jacket? To help you out, we’d like to present to you a few models that are suitable for the most diverse conditions.
Cycling jackets for the warmer seasons
If you enjoy going on a long bicycle tours, then you know that spending days on your saddle is a given. Plus, in both spring and summer, the adventures often start at sunrise and extend into the evening. And, during these times of day, it can get chilly even during the warmer months. So, having a cycling jacket as a protection against the cold is vital.
Not only should the jacket keep you warm but is should also have other features, so that your ride is as pleasant as possible. For example, many of these cycling jackets are windproof, which is important, of course, but some may block out so much wind that you’ll be sitting in your own sweat. And, that’s probably not what you’re hoping for. So, your jacket should provide slight warmth to make sure that you’ll make it up the next hill without perspiring.
This means that the cycling jacket should have sufficient ventilation to allow the cool air to reach your body. This can be reached by either unzipping the zip or by removing the sleeves on select models. As a result, your torso can remain warm and the rest of your body can enjoy the airy, lightweight properties of a jersey in mild temperatures.
Cycling jackets for the colder seasons
In comparison to warm-season jackets, the only purpose of jackets made for autumn and winter is to prevent you from cooling down. This desired effect can be achieved through the use of thermo/functional fabric. The fabric usually prevents cold air from reaching the body to keep the body temperature constant. Similar to a wetsuit, a thermal shield is created by one’s own body heat. And, both excess heat along with moisture will be transported to the outside.
In addition, a high collar is another important feature of a good cycling jacket because both the wind and low temperatures will put a strain on the sensitive neck area.
Special cycling jackets for various weather conditions
When it comes to cycling jackets, distinguishing between warm and cold months is not the only important factor. That’s because the weather can vary within the individual seasons, so a variety of garments is required.
For example, waterproof jackets will keep you dry during your ride and should be combined with the matching waterproof trousers. This type is perfect for rather sporty adventures. However, if you only plan a short journey through the city, then we’d recommend getting a poncho. Due to their shape, they’ll also protect your legs and can even be pulled over both the handlebars and the bike rack. As a result, both your hands and bag will remain dry.
In addition, you should definitely consider getting a windproof jacket for stormy days. This will shield you from cold winds and although it may not be so obvious at first, it may even stop you from catching an annoying cold by preventing your body from cooling down quickly.
Lastly, the advantage of thinner jackets is that they usually have a small packing size. So, they’re the perfect additional jacket to take with you on any bicycle tour and will fit in almost every bag.
The optimal properties of a cycling jacket
If you have a racing bike, then you know that air resistance is inevitable. So, your cycling jacket should have a snug fit. As a result, the fabric won’t trap any wind and will therefore prevent braking and won’t negatively affect your ride.
In addition, it’s quite important to have a jacket with pockets on medium to long-rides. You can stow away your valuables in here and avoid dragging along a bulky backpack. Plus, you can even stow away some tools, energy bars, an air pump or even a replacement hose in some special back pockets, without them being too much of a hindrance.
Ensure enough visibility in traffic
No matter what jacket you choose, one thing is an absolute must for all cycling jackets: It must make you visible in traffic. A general rule of thumb: the brighter the more visible. So, you should probably avoid dark colours and rather opt for eye-catching colours to ensure visibility. Also, your bike clothes should be equipped with reflective elements, so that you’ll be noticed more quickly by approaching cars thanks to their headlights’ reflection at night. Nevertheless, you should never ride your bike at night without adequate and functioning lights.
So, regardless of the season, you should bring along a cycling jacket for your ride. And, if you don’t need to wear it straight away, then it should definitely be in your backpack. That’s why compressibility and a light weight are just as important as functionality. When perfectly equipped, the elements won’t ruin any tour and your tour will be a guaranteed success.