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Daily Archives: November 8, 2014

Fall Cycling: The Importance of a Windbreaker Vest

When I purchased my vest two months ago, the owner of our shop said that I picked the most important article of cycling clothing one can buy for enjoying fall cycling.  He wasn’t kidding.  Vests can create and solve a lot of problems at the same time, though if you choose the right one you can win all the way around.

Mine is made by Louis Garneau and has a nylon, windproof front and a mesh back.  This may seem a little counterintuitive when you’re looking to stay warm but the truth is, all of the cold comes from the front.  With the mesh, a lot of moisture is let out the back so it keeps the sweating to a minimum, which in turn helps keep me warm.  If you’re reading this thinking, “yeah right”, you’re not alone.  That’s exactly what I thought when I was laying the cash down for mine.  I can tell you right now, arm warmers, a short-sleeved jersey, a light long-sleeved jersey and my vest and I’m good all the way down to the mid-30’s.  I lose the long-sleeve for 50+ degrees and the arm warmers too for 60-65 degrees.  The mesh back works.

With that out of the way, there’s one more important thing to look at when you’re buying a vest:  Pockets.  Mine has three deep pockets, so I’ve got the three from my jersey for things I probably won’t need (spare tube, pump, tire levers, etc.) and the three in the back for more important needs (food, phone, a spare pocket for gloves or my hat if it warms up…).  I’ve seen a lot of vests out there and after having one with pockets (and having several friends comment on how cool it is that my vest has them), I would never want one without.

If you want to ride comfortably in the cold, may I humbly suggest a decent vest. They’re worth every penny. Mine made this fall vastly more enjoyable than the last two – and spring will be a lot less daunting when it rolls around too.