With the days getting noticeably shorter and the temperatures starting to drop, it’s time to start thinking about fall riding gear. Here are five tips to extend your riding season into cooler temperatures so you can take in all the autumnal beauty as you pedal through fall.
Dress in layers – Wool for the win
Fall commuting is all about dressing in layers. It’s the time of year when the morning commute can be downright chilly and the temperature on the return commute can be drastically different. Wool clothing has outstanding temperature regulation and comes in various thickness so you can fine tune your body temperature for both morning and afternoon commutes. Another benefit of wool is that it naturally resists odors making it a great choice for wearing all day.
Removable layers are also a good option. Gear such as arm warmers and knee warmers can be used in the morning and easily packed away for the warmer temperatures on the commute home.
Lights for Fading Afternoon Light
The summer solstice happened nearly three months ago and now we find ourselves with less and less daylight. Don’t let the shorter days keep you from riding. Instead, make sure your bike lights are ready for action. If you haven’t used your lights in a while, this is a good time to make sure they’re charged up and functioning properly.
If you’re in the market for new bike lights, we love riding with our USB rechargeable lights. They offer abundant lumen output, generous run times and fast charging technology. Plus, we never have to deal with burning through all of those replacement batteries.
We think the Blaze 400 headlight and Rojo 100 tail light are great options for fall commutes. If you prefer replaceable batteries, the Blaze 150 and Superflash Turbo light set is a great choice. To add a bit of side visibility, check out the Button Blinky Amber side light set which easily attach to your bike frame for increased visibility during dark rides. See all of our light offerings here.
Don’t forget that daylight savings time starts on Sunday November 7th so be prepared for the ride home after work to be dark!
Fenders for Fall Rain
The dry days of summer are over! As cooler fall rains become more prevalent and the leaves start hitting the ground, fenders become a must-have accessory. Not only do fenders keep you and your bike clean, but they also keep you dry. This becomes very important for warmth in cooler autumn temperatures. Depending on your rim size, tire width and budget, Planet Bike has fenders for every type of bike. See all of our fender offerings here.
Neck Gaiter for Warmth
One of the best tips from seasoned year-round bike commuters is to add a neck gaiter to your cycling wardrobe when there’s a chill in the air. Covering your neck and closing the gap around your coat collar provides a valuable source of warmth and is easily regulated by simply adjusting your outer layer zipper to release extra heat or trap it in! A gaiter made of any material will work great, but as the temperatures drop below freezing, try a wool neck gaiter for some extra warmth. We really like this one.
Cover the Extremities with Gloves and Shoe Covers
As temperatures get cooler, keeping your hands and feet warm can sometimes be a cyclist's biggest challenge. We’ve found that cycling apparel made with wind blocking fabrics makes a huge difference.
A pair of Dasher toe covers pulled over your shoes will help keep your toes warm when temps are in the upper 40s/low 50s. If you need more warmth than that, check out the Comet neopreneshoe covers or the Blitzen shoecovers with fleece lined windproof material. See all the options together here.
The Aquilo glove is a great option for crisp fall conditions with its windproof backing and split lobster design which keeps your pinky and ring finger together for added warmth.
Fall is truly one of the best and most beautiful times of year to get out and ride a bike. Pedal through the season with a few key pieces of gear and enjoy your ride!