We are showing you the Japanese version of our site: would you prefer a different location?
Women’s Winter Riding
Collyn Ahart, a London-based cyclist, writer and brand strategist, has recently tested Rapha's latest Autumn Winter products for women. Here she discusses and reviews three key pieces in the wider context of her winter riding.
Temperatures have plummeted and just as that old familiar freeze creeps into our fingertips and toes and the icy wind blushes our cheeks, we’re planning a winter full of riding. Rapha's expanded collection of women’s apparel includes a few key new items and new colours that make for a season of comfort and refined style, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you.
Like a lot of women, I’m really good at making excuses not to get out on the road when the weather takes a turn for the worst. But I’ve also got some pretty big plans for next season so with a little help from the right kit, I’m hoping I can break through those excuses. In March I’m going to be mountain bike racing across South Africa in the Absa Cape Epic, so I need kit that will withstand punishing muddy sessions in the cold. I’ll also be doing a lot of long road rides over the next few months so I need to make sure that whatever I wear at the start of the ride will see me through rain or shine, and very likely a mix of everything in between. I don’t want to overheat when I’m commuting to work, or find myself surprised by sudden temperature inversions when I get out of town. Most importantly, I really don’t want to feel like someone other than me, even if I’m layered in waterproofs and Lycra.
Fitted to flatter and constructed with the best materials to keep you dry and comfortable for any type of wet-weather riding, the newly designed Women’s Rain Jacket comes in two understated colour options, navy and light grey. With greater water repellency than the classic Wind Jacket, the Rain Jacket is specifically designed for a downpour. With slightly longer sleeves and a soft neoprene elastic around the wrists, the jacket has been tailored with a nipped-in waist and a flattering high collar that won’t make you sacrifice style for comfort. So whether I’m commuting or training for next Spring’s big adventure, the Rain Jacket is definitely going to be a year-round staple stuffed into my back pocket for seasons to come.
"Light, breathable, fitted and most importantly waterproof after hours of riding. Cut superbly, it stays out of the way, by which I mean it doesn't flap about when I'm descending. The neoprene cuffs are impenetrable and after several washes still snug. Its' packability makes it insanely versatile, so I take it with me on every ride during the autumn and winter."
- Claire Beaumont, Condor Cycles
An evolution on last Winter’s hit, the Men’s Deep Winter Tights, these are going to be my go-to Deus ex Machina for nasty weather comfort. They are cut with a slimmer waist, for versatile movement and shape in the hips, and with fabric panels designed for a more flattering effect that doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of function. A high bust-line means your stomach, lower back and chest stay fully insulated on the coldest of rides, but the best part of these tights is in the bum. Unlike most winter tights with built-in padding, these are designed to be worn over your own much-loved shorts, with the support you’re used to, and all within the dry warmth of a super high-grade water resistant material panel on the bum where the inevitable water spray kicks up.
Long Sleeve Jersey
I’m already a dedicated fan of the new on-trend fig colourway on the updated Long Sleeve Jersey. As comfortable as ever, this merino-blend jersey is my staple for winter riding, cross-training, and even race season warm ups.
Some other tips:
Make sure you put a set of mud-guards on your bike. Any local bike shop can advise you on the size and will be able to help you put them on.
A super-soft Merino Base Layer is the best way to keep your body temperature regulated whatever the season and makes for excellent pajamas. And no need to steal them off your boyfriend … the Rapha unisex base layers are a perfect fit for women. Go two sizes smaller than you’d usually wear.