Training for a Struggle sportive in 2021 will mean the long winter base miles soon begin. With the temperatures taking a sudden plummet, we thought we'd inspire you to think about your winter wardrobe with our top picks for cycling kit we're wearing now - and throughout the winter.
New! Goccia Cycling Jacket
We can't wait to try the new Castelli Goccia jacket. It's so new it hasn't quite hit the shops! Our local bike shop owner John from Prologue Performance Cycling says: "It's designed to bridge the gap between the Perfetto and the Idro jackets. Unlike the Perfetto which is water repellent, it's a fully waterproof jacket. Yet, it offers better stretch and fit than the Idro so you can wear it comfortably all day on a long Struggle sportive training ride."
Best For: All day wet riding!
Spettacolo Ros Cycling Gloves
Offering rave reviews, the Castelli Spettacolo Ros winter gloves are made for long days in cool to cold conditions. They are ideal for a long Struggle sportive training ride when you need comfort and grip as well as warmth. Stopping for a mechanical, bite to eat or even to take a picture, the touchscreen fingertips and easy on/off zip makes these winter cycling gloves really functional too.
Best for: On-off ease
Chpt3 Cold Weather Cap
Cycling cap aren't just there to look cool! It’s peak keeps sweat out of your eyes. In winter the peak offers the same protection from the rain. The Chpt3 Cold Weather Cap is also thermal, moisture wicking and offers ear covers to keep the cold wind off.
Best for: Keeping the warmth in
Perfetto Cycling Jacket
If you buy one jacket this winter, the Perfetto should be it. It’s the Struggle team’s go-to garment for autumn rides. Then coupled with a Spatz base layer (below), it can see you through all winter riding.
You can ride up climbs without overheating or down descents without needing to pull on a gilet; perfect when training for a hilly Struggle sportive. It’s wind proof, water repellent and breathable. Plus, it offers an awesome colour range for both men and women.
Best for: If you're only going to buy one jacket buy this one!
Ale Winter Bib Tights
We picked up a pair of Ale winter bib tights in the sale, as a back up for double days of winter riding. However, they quickly became our favoured bib tights and we’ve just bought another pair. They’re super warm and water repellent. We haven’t worn a comfier chamois, which is what you want on a long day out training for the Struggle sportives.
Best for: Comfy chamois
Idro Waterproof Cycling Jacket
We never leave home without the Castelli Idro in our pocket during winter training rides. Most waterproof jackets protect you from the rain but leave you wet from sweat. The Castelli Idro offers the best breathability we’ve every come across in a waterproof cycling jacket. What’s more, it rolls up so small and tucks into your pocket with ease.
Best for: Waterproof protection and packability
Spatz Basez 2 Cycling Baselayer
The Spatz Basez 2 baselayer is designed to marry perfect with a Perfetto (or similar jacket) to provide warmth and wicking properties.
Designer and Ex Pro Tom Barras says: "The most important garment is the one which sits next to your skin. In the winter many cyclists (myself included) like to wear garments like the Castelli Gabba or Perfetto jackets. We resort to using 3-4 layers underneath them. Nobody has ever created a base layer like this. It is totally revolutionary and will change your cold weather riding forever.”
Best for: Moisture wicking!
SKS Raceblade Pro Mudguards
Mudguards are a must for winter riding with your mates. The Raceblades are great for bikes that don’t have clearance for mudguards or for people who don’t have the luxury of a winter and summer bike.
Top tip: Buy mudguards from your local bike shop and pay for the fitting too. Rubbing from a badly fitted mudguard will ruin your winter!
Best for: Bikes with little clearance or all season bikes
For really wet weather days the Spatz overshoes would be our go-to. For fast group riding we’d pull on our Castelli Pioggia, designed for foul weather racing. For long, steady winter training rides we’d go for something warmer like the Ale winter overshoes designed for 0-8 degrees.
Ok, we admit it! We always forget lights and often find ourselves caught out by the ever-earlier sunset. So we asked our local bike shop Director Sanjai at Chevin Cycles for his tips on a light we can leave on the bike. Sanjai's pick is the Bontrager Ion Pro RT. It connects with Garmin and Bontrager ANT+ devices for always on, battery status and includes an adjustable mount.
Best for: Leaving on the bike
The Exposure rear light with Peloton mode enables the light to automatically flare under braking and when entering areas of higher ambient light to create a contrast in brightness. Peloton mode, for use in group rides, dims upon detection of a rider to prevent a dazzling effect, but flares up as a beacon at the tail of the pack.
Best for: Group riding and commuting
Le Col Indoor Training Jersey
And if it's just too grim to go out and get the sportive training in, the Le Col x wahoo indoor training jersey is designed to make your Zwift ride even more manageable. It delivers maximum airflow to keep you cool and focused on your indoor training sessions, with a 3D mesh fabric that works hard to wick sweat away from your body.
Start your winter training with Purpose. Pre-register for Struggle 2021 and set your goals now! Pre-register now >>