I’ve tried a fair amount of cycling products and gear. I’ve found its critical for a product to perform reliably and as-expected when you are hours away from home with no bail out plan at hand.
I have a few products that I am absolutely in love with and I’ve listed them here. I tend to own these all in multiples, stocking up whenever there’s a sale or whenever I feel that my back up stash is getting too small! If you have questions or want to hear more about how I use a certain product please let me know.
These Pearl Izumi softshell gloves (links to men and women’s models) get me through in temperatures from 20-45F with ease. I have 2 pairs in the active rotation, plus 2 more pairs on reserve for when these wear out. These gloves are my go-to cold weather gloves, seeing much more use than my lobsters.
The second type of glove featured is Giro’s DND gloves. I wear these from 45-65F and for all mountain biking. The fit is great, they hold up well, and they are extremely comfortable.
Next up, tights. Pearl Izumi Amfib tights are AMAZING and I own multiple pairs. They have a wind block front and a brushed fleece interior. I wear them from 50F down to subzero, adding layers under as I go. I own a few different sizes so I can easily layer under the larger pairs when it’s -10F. I prefer tights without a chamois so I can wear my favorite cycling bibs underneath, then customize the midlayers depending on how cold it is.
I’m a huge fan of wool-everything. I sweat a lot even when it’s cold, and it’s true that wool doesn’t FEEL as cold as synthetic fabrics like polyester.
I LOVE this jacket — I own it in multiple colors! It’s semi-waterproof but still slightly breathable. Very light and packable, I take it on long rides when the weather will be finicky. This jacket kept me away from hypothermia during the rain squalls and thunderstorms at 38F during the first half of the Alexander 380 in 2016!
Here I’ve listed two top tube bags. One is fairly small BUT since the top tubes on my bicycles aren’t very long to begin with I don’t have a lot of real estate to spare. It has a removable thick plastic liner so you can wash it easily in case something gets spilled inside. The other is the Topeak Fuel Tank. It is larger so it stores more and it has a cable port, so when I do longer rides I put my back-up battery packs in here and charge my Garmin on the go.
My “normal size” saddle bag of choice is the Topeak Aero line. I have the micro on my road and gravel bikes for normal day to day rides. If you’re judicious with space, you can get 2 smaller tubes crammed in there in case of a double flat, plus a multi-tool and CO2 inflator. The large aero wedge pack is what I take on longer expeditions when I don’t quite want a full pack. Think 8 hour saddle days when I expect to make it home that night.
Nutrition and Hydration
The “Rogue” Camelbaks are my favorites, and I’ve put them to the test on 3 day bikepacking adventures, torrential rain, etc. It’s 2.5 L and has room for a packable jacket as well as extra snacks. I’ve worn this thing EVERYWHERE from 100 mile XC mountain bike rides to long pavement journeys. I often forget it’s on because it fits so well. The straps are adjustable, even the horizontal one across the chest, such that nothing feels like it’s binding or pinching.
My kiddo has his own pack and it’s helped eliminate a lot of on-trail tantrums and stopping when he wants water.
The other item is a budget “Camelbak” option in case you’re not sold on the concept of carrying water on your back, this is a steal so you can try it out and not be out a much money.
On-bike nutrition is a very personal and gut-specific thing, but here are a few of my loves.
Wondering what I recommend for a certain type of jacket or giant saddle bag? Have a product you’d like to recommend? Let me know!
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