When ISN'T it the wet season?
Rise above autumn and winter with these rider essentials. You’ll be loving it through till spring.
1. Eye protection
Wearing goggles is the best way of keeping mud and wind out, but you do look like a plonker. If you’re happy with that, just use cheap goggles because they all scratch up at the same rate anyway.
If you’re going down the glasses route, the best we’ve found are the Adidas Evil Eye Evo or the POC Do Half Blade — they have the most coverage of any glasses out there.
2. Up top
There’s no point wearing a jacket if you picked it up from the market for a fiver, because it won’t breathe your sweat away. Instead, invest in a good one, like the Gore Fusion Cosmo jacket — yes, it’s pricy at £180 but it’ll last you years.
The cheaper way is to layer up with warm, merino layers that’ll get wet but still keep you warm
The best solution to keeping mud off your legs. Pick a well-fitting, breathable pair and they can be just as comfy and unrestrictive as shorts. Treat them gently in the washing machine though or the membrane will perish — so 30°C, pure soap powder or liquid and definitely no tumbling. Iron afterwards to help regenerate the DWR.
If you’ve already got shoes you love, waterproof socks are the best thing since people discovered sliced bread was horrible. There’s only one pair worth having, from Seal Skinz, because it’s the most comfortable and feels most like a regular sock.
Another great approach is to use Drymax socks — they draw water away from the skin quicker than any regular sock.
Does water bead on your jacket and run off like little marbles? If the answer is no you need to replace the durable water repellent coating (DWR) because it stops the material becoming saturated, heavy and unbreathable. It’s a cheap and easy fix with proofer. Granger’s makes the best; a spray version is good for localising the proofer (short seats, jacket front and back, shoulders) or a wash-in does the whole garment.
Get hold of a water-resistant short and your riding grin will angle up a couple of degrees. Don’t go for a fully waterproof number unless you usually ride in the rain, because it’s overkill.
Instead go for a more comfortable water-resistant pair that’ll fend off splashes. Fox, Gore, Altura and Madison all make good ones.
Wet feet aren’t fun, but cold wet feet make a ride really miserable — don’t let it happen by investing in the right footwear. The Five Ten Freerider Elements offers good water resistance and is easily the best flat pedal shoe in terms of grip.
The best SPD shoe for extreme conditions is Shimano’s MW7 — it’s a boot, fully waterproofed and sturdy enough for years of carrying your bike up mountains in the sleet.