How to Dress for Cycling in Spring
By Stan Portus – 15 February 2021
Riding in spring is when the anticipation begins to set in. The Classics have started. There is warmth in the air. The days are getting longer. Read our guide on what to wear in spring to get the most from your cycling.
Chilly starts, sudden rain and balmy sun. Spring has it all. This can complicate things when it comes to choosing what to wear out on the bike, but by keeping a few things in mind and choosing some key items to fill the gaps in your cycling wardrobe, you’ll be riding in comfort in no time – whatever’s happening outside.
Castelli is perfect for this time of year. Its Rain or Shine collection is perfectly suited to the kinds of changeable and inclement weather that characterise spring, and the cool season apparel it developed in collaboration with the pros for their battles in Belgium and beyond has also led to some remarkable innovations that will aid your riding even if you never pin a number on.
Wear a Windproof or Mid Weight Jersey
It’s the first time in months that the weather calls for short sleeves, but as opposed to thin summer jerseys, spring calls for something a bit heavier. Choose a jersey with a mid weight or a windproof and water-resistant fabric.
The Castelli Mid Weight Pro Jersey is ideal for Spring rides. It uses the Castelli’s mid-weight Warmer X-Stretch fabric throughout. The fabric is lightly brushed on the inside to provide insulation while letting any excessive heat and moisture escape. The high stretch to fabric combined with the race cut results in a close-to-body, aero fit that doesn’t feel restrictive. Suitable for temperatures in the mid-teens.
Made famous at the Spring Classics, the Gabba really needs little introduction. The original jersey-cum-jacket the Gabba provides protection from the elements in a short sleeve package. Like all items in Castelli’s Rain or Shine collection, the Gabba uses GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ fabric to block the wind out and protect you from unexpected showers. In a race cut, the Gabba is ideal for no compromise riding.
Lay Solid Foundations with a Base Layer
A high wicking and breathable base layer provides a solid foundation when riding in spring, helping to keep you dry and your core temperature stable.
The Pro Issue Short Sleeve Base Layer was requested by Castelli’s pro riders for the mild temperatures that characterise spring. Warmer than a summer base layer, cooler than a winter one, the Pro Issue base layer will wick sweat away from those hard efforts on the hills.
The Prosecco Tech Base Layer has strategically placed fabric panels to provide the best wicking and correct levels of insulation right where you need it. The main body is made from a rib knit fabric with Prosecco hydrophilic treatment to trap air against your skin for warmth whilst pulling moisture away. Thin PrimaLoft® panels at the waist and back mean you don’t overheat where you have multiple layers from your bib shorts and jersey.
Wear Water Resistant Bib Shorts or Light Weight Tights
Bibs with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating, a slightly heavier fabric, and a bit more length in the leg are ideal for the cooler conditions of spring. Breathable tights or knickers are also a great option if you prefer a bit more coverage.
The men's and women's Tutto Nano Bib Shorts use Nano Flex 3G Fabric making them ideal for wet weather riding but just pairs it with Castelli’s super soft and stretchy Kiss Air2 seat pad. The Tutto Nano is also available in a bib knickers or bib tights design for men, and a knickers or tights design for women.
The Nano Flex Pro Race Bib Shorts are perfect for cool conditions and wet weather. The shorts run to just above the knee and use Castelli’s Nano Flex 3G fabric which is soft to the touch, warm and water repellent. Reduced seaming eliminates points where water can enter the shorts. The bib shorts are complete with the Castelli Progetto X2 seat pad.
Castelli’s LW 2 Bib Tights bring maximal breathability, and just the right amount of insulation for cooler conditions. The cut of the tights in the top section is the same as Castelli Free Aero Race shorts with a ‘Doppio V’ construction for superb comfort, whilst the bottom of the legs has Nano Flex to ward off any road spray. The tights use the Castelli Progetto X2 seat pad.
Carry a Packable Layer
To ride out the rain and wish the wind a farewell, carry a packable layer in a jersey pocket for any unexpected or sudden changes in the weather.
The Perfetto RoS Vest is ideal for when the wind picks up or the heavens open. The front of the vest uses the same GORE-TEX fabric as the Gabba while the back uses Castelli Nano Flex Light to introduce some extra breathability and let moisture escape.
The Aria Vest completely blocks wind on the front while allowing breathability on the back, making it perfect for long descents in the mountains or early starts closer to home. The rear panel’s stretch material means that the vest sits tight to the body without being restrictive. It is super-lightweight at 60g in the women’s and 75g in the men’s and packs into its own pocket for easy stashing.
Create a Fully Adaptable Outfit with Warmers
Prepare for cool starts with warmers protecting arms and legs. Take them off and stow them away when the sun comes out.
The Pro Seamless Warmers from Castelli were developed for Team INEOS. Many seamless arm warmers use a nylon/Lycra blend that tends to hold moisture, but Castelli resolved this issue by introducing polyester into the fabric. When the warmers are on their high stretch means you hardly feel them, and when you take them off, they occupy a fraction of the space that normal warmers would take up in your pockets.
Castelli’s Nano Flex 3G Warmers are ideal for riding in wet weather thanks to the fabric’s water-repellent treatment. Flat-lock stitching keeps comfort levels high and dual-sided silicone grippers hold the warmers in place over extended periods.
Protect Your Extremities
Thick winter gloves and over shoes are no longer the order of the day in spring, but a bit of extra coverage doesn’t go amiss, especially when the mercury is only just breaking into double digits and the wind is up.
The Perfetto Light Gloves are super thin and windproof, keeping the chill off without making your hands overheat. The minimal rolled-seam construction and Castelli Damping System in the palm also keep your hands super comfortable on the hoods or the drops.
Shoe Covers aren't just for winter. Light covers can provide welcome protection from road spray and keep the wind at bay.
The Castelli Pioggerella Shoer Covers are non-insulated, waterproof overshoes made from a PU-coated waterproof stretch fabric making them ideal for milder conditions.
The Castelli Toe Thingy covers the front vents in your cycling shoes to keep the wind out and your toes warm. Made from neoprene the shoe caps slot on easily and have an opening for your cleat.
A buff is a great way to keep the chill off, providing protection from cool weather as a neck scarf or face mask, and when the temperature rises, they can be worn as a bandana, or headband. Traditional peaked cycling caps are ideal for keeping the rain or sun out of your eyes and providing a little bit of welcome insulation underneath your lid. Alternatively, headbands keep the chill off your ears whilst letting any excess heat escape from the top of your head.