> How I Kit Up For Brisk Rides | CITY GIRL RIDES

How I Kit Up For Brisk Rides

07 November, 2018

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Fall is probably one of the best times of the year to ride, maybe even more than summer! With cooler temps getting outside is a little easier as we won't need to face the heat. But for many of those riding through the seasons, autumn can be daunting; short evenings, colder temps, and changeable weather often mark the time to hang up our wheels or attach them to an indoor trainer. For tips and tricks to stay on the road, learn what to wear and how to wear it with these examples I demonstrate. 

Take note that I'm sharing here two options for cooler temps for around 35F-50F and 50F-65F. You'll see that you can layer either way but you'll also want to consider the temperature you'll be riding to properly kit up.

While we all think our usual cycling kit should be fine with a few layers added, there are some rules that you should memorize when thinking about kitting up for brisk rides: 

Fit: Wear close fitting layers that insulate every curve of your body. If you wear loose kit, you are more likely to pump air into those pockets where cold air can fill, releasing the heat from your body.

Warmers: You are most likely to heat up on your ride so kit up with removable layers on the days you'll be doing really hard rides. That could be arm/leg warmers, vests, jackets etc.

Versatility: Take extra layers that you can pack in our jersey pockets, wear a breathable base layer and mid-layer in case the weather takes a turn.

Conditions vary and the days can be unpredictable, so dress with versatility in mind. Here is one of our recommended outfits for riding in autumn explained from head to toe.

Base layers sit close to the skin, working to wick away sweat – without one, this sweat can turn to clamminess and chills very quickly. Layering is the best way to manage your temperature as the weather changes. Make sure you have options to layer up or down, starting with a good base layer. Base layers are the foundation of a winter riding outfit, and they play a far more complicated role in temperature regulation than simply keeping your upper body warm.


There are few more cosy and comfortable cycling garments than thermal bibs and jerseys. Their warmth isn’t just derived from the weight of their fabrics, but from the use of brushed-back linings – the official name of the soft, fluffy interior of thermal clothes. These soft, short loops of fabric hold onto warm air around your body, creating a layer of insulation. Warm legs will work better, but not just that – thermal bibs and tights add warming material around your lower back and torso to keep your core warmer.

To shield from the rain, you'll need a buffer for the wind and a layer of warmth where you lose heat the most. Choose a cap or hat that reflects the conditions facing you.

A quality merino neck warmer or winter hat can keep you feeling warm and also stashed into a pocket whenever needed.

For days when a windproof jacket is too much, choose a base layer, jersey, or vest with windproof front panels, and breathable rear panels. This will block the wind head-on, while allowing excess heat to escape out of the back, a clever way of staying warm without getting sweaty.


A cold breeze can cut through layers but one sure way of staying warm is to wear an outer layer with a windproof finish, keeping cold air away from your core. A windproof best and warmers allow you to adapt to the conditions on the go. Keeping arms, knees, and neck covered will ward off any wind chill and can easily be taken off as you and the weather warms up.


If the weather looks uncertain or you get caught in the rain, a wind and waterproof jacket that packs easily into a pocket will go a long way in keeping you dry and warm.  A wind and water resistant outer keeps the chilly weather at bay so you can focus on riding in comfort.

Your hands and feet are the first things to feel the cold, and the right choice of gloves, socks, and overshoes can keep you riding through the most bitter weather. Hands and feet are the perfect place to include high visibility detailing – as your feet are almost constantly moving while riding, and hands move while signaling, hi-vis elements are more likely to catch the eye.
A pair of shoe covers can add a much needed boost to the warmth of your feet, offering extra insulation and protecting socks and shoes from water and the grime of Autumn roads.


Twitlight Jacket + MVP Bib Tights + Horizons Jersey + Signature Cap from Machines for Freedom
Proline Vest + Signature Cap + Signature Neck Warmer from Hummingbird Athletic
Thermal Bib Tights from Twin Six
Pro Dri Fit Short Sleeve Base + Long Sleeve Pro Dri Fit Thermal From Nike
Thermal/Waterproof Cycling Shoe Covers from Pearl Izumi

For more gear and kits to wear for the brisky ride, check out these posts...
Cycling Jersey's To Keep You Warm
Staying Warm On A Cold Ride
Keep Your Extremities Warm On A Cold Ride

Hope you enjoy the video and that it gives you inspiration to keep riding throughout autumn. For more videos, you follow along Youtube here.

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