New Winter Road Riding Gear

Here in the Southwest, autumn has been mostly warm and choking dry, turning the trails to rubbly moondust and me into a total whiner about even the faintest whiff of cold. I've braved a few icy mornings and misjudged the light a few times to end up out in the plunging temps of evening, but for the most part, if you organized to ride midday, it's been pleasant.

Until this week, that is, when our first real storm left the trails snow covered and the mercury hanging in the 20s. Timing couldn't be worse, either, as I began a new training block last week, so there is no skipping workouts on account of cold. Fortunately, I've found a few favorite new pieces on the brisk mornings this fall. Here's a sampling of what's keeping me warm on the road bike right now. Now, if only some company could find a solution for whingeing.

Assos iJ.intermediate_s7

Let's first get past one thing: Assos products cost a ton. That said, I'm comfortable recommending them at these prices because I honestly believe they are better than anything else out there. If I could own just a few pieces of cycling apparel, it would be T FI.13_S5 bibs, the iJ.haBu5 jacket, and the SS.Uno_s7 jersey. Or so I thought until I tried the Intermediate_s7, which is decidedly not a winter jersey but has been in full rotation nonetheless. The Windblock material in the front panels is surprisingly warm but still extremely stretchy, the neck and cuffs lock out all air, the back panel breathes incredibly well, and the tailoring is second to none for a fit that simply does not flap or pull. On its own, this jersey is comfy to around 65 degrees. With a short-sleeve baselayer, it's good to around 45. And with a full-length baselayer, I've been wearing it almost down to freezing. It's one of the most versatile pieces money can buy.

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