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Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team

Layering up for Cycling

By Dan Thompson
08, Nov, 2018

Wherever you ride, a proper clothing system can make a big difference! Introducing our new Rhythm cycle clothing and the layering systems that work for us

The AK bikers on what to wear for year-round cycling

Dressing for bike riding can be a tough business. It's an aerobic activity so you can generate lots of heat on the climbs but then lose it all on the descents. Having an adaptable and functioning clothing system isn't the be-all-and-end-all but it can be integral to having a nice time...

We've been doing some redevelopment on our Rhythm cycling range recently, so we're been thinking a lot about how we layer up for cycling. Dan tells us more about how his cycling layering system keeps him comfortable all year round. For a quick look at our Rhythm and Floe ranges, click the links below:


How to layer for cycling


How to layer for cycling

We all dream of riding like the tour riders do... ascending an Alpine Col, the only sounds are cowbells and the wind rustling through the lush meadow grass either side whilst your jersey, unzipped entirely, flutters in the breeze... but in the real world this is a state few of us ever achieve, especially when your local ‘col’ is Winnats Pass, Constitution Hill or Ditchling Beacon... in October.


 

We’ve done our best to pool our experience here and try and come up with some ideas for what to wear and when. We’ve tried to think about changes in weather, recovery breaks and clothing for the evenings as you set up camp and chat through the day’s events. 

Obviously, everyone is different but these are good starting points for the air temperatures given. If you prefer looser fitting clothing you may want to layer overshorts over your bib tights - the Floe Shorts are ideal - or swap out your Rhythm jersey for a Floe jersey.

 

15˚C plus
  • Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey (eg Rhythm Elite Cycling Jersey)

  • Bib Shorts (eg Rhythm Bibshorts)

  • Windproof Shell (eg Squalline in the back pocket for wind and light shower protection or rest stops)

 
10˚C-15˚C
  • Thicker cycling jersey with some windproof qualities (eg Rhythm Thicky Jersey)

  • Bib Tights (eg Rhythm ¾ Bib Tights)

  • Shell (eg Squalline for wind and light shower protection)

5˚C-10˚C
  • Jersey and a base layer (eg Rhythm Thicky jersey over the Rhythm Elite Jersey)

  • Full-length bib tights (Rhythm Bib Tights)

  • Headwear for warmth (eg Kepler draught excluder)

  • Squalline jacket for wind and light shower protection.

 
-5˚C-+5˚C
  • Thick cycling jersey and baselayer (eg Rhythm Thicky jersey over the Rhyhm Elite Jersey with Koulin Trail Long Sleeve or Kepler base layer)

  • Full-length buib tights (Rhythm Bib Tights)

  • Kepler Draught Excluder (for neck protection)

  • Skulcap for use under helmet (eg Kepler Beanie)

  • Windproof Shell (Squalline jacket for wind and light shower protection or Gravitas 3 layer waterproof)

  • Overshoes

 

Rain! 

When the inevitable happens and it really starts raining, a waterproof jacket becomes essential. You can swap the wind/showerproof for something with taped seams like the Gravitas jacket, which is ideal really stowable when you're not using it.

 

If you find other systems that work for you we'd love to hear them! 



 

 

The new Rhythm cycle clothing range

When you go out for a ride in badly made cycling clothing, you notice. But when your bib tights and jersey are doing what they’re mean to, when they’re really good, you don’t notice them at all. They’re just like a second skin. 

We ride in our Rhythm cycling clothing all the time, and we really like it, but we reckon there’s always space for improvement. We wanted to make our Rhythm cycle clothing so good that we didn’t notice we were wearing it. Unnoticeably good. 

Anyway... what’s new with our cycling clothing? 

 

Rhythm Chamois 

When it comes to your cycling troos, it’s the chammy that makes all the difference to your comfort – after all, it’s the a weight-bearing contact point with your bike. We’ve engineered completely new padding for our new range, geared at riders heading out on anything from a short, fast blast to a 5-hour ride. The new Rhythm chammy has the following features: 

  • Multi-density foam: more cushioning around your sit bone, less padding around your soft areas so that your circulation isn’t restricted. 

  • Shaped wings to create a smooth and flush surface that doesn’t rub. 

  • Slim and flexible profile that contours to your shape. 

  • Perforated for airflow and ventilation, reducing bacteria and moisture build-up. 

  • Silvadur anti-microbial treatment keeps it fresher for longer. 

 

Holding the new padding in place, our range now includes bib shorts and two styles of bib tight:


Bibshort

Shop Men's | Shop Women's

What? Padded cycling bib shorts with a wicking finish. 

For… comfort in the saddle in mild to warm weather. 

When and where?  

Summertime in the UK, or warmer climates further afield. You want the comfort of a chamois but you want the least coverage and a wicking finish to help you keep cool too. 

 


3/4 Bibtight

Shop Men's | Shop Women's

What? ¾ length padded bib tights with a wicking finish. 

For… a bit of insulation for your working muscles and padding for comfort in the saddle. 

When and where?  

These are super versatile: ace for layering under baggies when it’s cool out or wearing alone in milder temperatures. 

 


 

Bibtight

Shop Men's | Shop Women's

What? Warm padded bib tights with a DWR coating. 

For… warmth, comfort and protection in cold and wet conditions. 

When and where?  

We’re especially grateful for these troos on the winter rides and commutes through the Peak District. The MTBers wear theirs under baggies.  

UK year-round riding, the Winter Trailquest series or bad weather for cooler temperatures further afield.  

 

Range Features 
  • Mesh upper body for ventilation and airflow when you need to cool down. When layered under a windshell this traps pockets of air to keep you warmer.  

  • Quick-drying and moisture wicking materials help you to stay drier and more comfortable. 

  • Flatlocked seams sit nicely against your skin to minimise any chafing.  

 


Jerseys

We’ve made changes to the fabric and fit of our jerseys but the main change has been to the pockets, which we have repositioned and reinforced for comfort and security. We’ve also added reflective detailing, both on the rear and sewn into the front zips, to help you stay safe on the roads.  Here’s what our range of jerseys look like… 


Short sleeved jersey 

Shop Men's | Shop Women's

What? Quick-drying, moisture-wicking and breathable lightweight cycling jersey. 

For… warm weather riding or layering up under a shell when it’s not so warm. 

When and where?  

All-year round, think a summer afternoon in the Peak District or cycle touring on the continent.   

Features:  
  • Moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabric helps sweat to evaporate away. 

  • Mesh panelling and a full-length zip for when you want to cool down. 

  • 3 rear stash pockets and a zipped valuables pocket. 

  • Extended back for coverage when you’re go down into the drops. 

 

Thicky jersey 

Shop Men's | Shop Women's

 

What? Wind-resistant and warm cycling jersey with a DWR coating 

For… keeping you warm when it’s cold out 

When and where?  

Year-round riding when it’s wet, cold and windy, think UK winter (and spring and autumn for that matter!) or cool summer night rides.  

Features 
  • Wind resistant and insulating fabric keeps you warm, water repellent coating (DWR) sheds the showers. 

  • Soft brushed inner that feels amazing next to your skin. 

  • Full-length front zip to give you plenty of ventilation.  

  • 3 rear stash pockets and a zipped valuables pocket. 

  • Drop hem and high neck at the back for the best coverage.


 

Floe MTB clothing

Floe Jersey

Shop Men's | Shop Women's

What? Light and airy fast-wicking, long sleeved MTB jersey

For… Year-round mountain biking

When and where? All year round on the trails, layered over your base layer when it’s cool out or alone in hotter weather.

Features
  • Fast-wicking and light fabric to whisk your perspiration away from your skin

  • Light and airy fit, ideal for layering over a base layer (go up a size with under armour)

  • Articulated arms and dropped rear hem for comfort in the forward riding position

 


Floe shorts

Shop Men's | Shop Women's

What? Durable, comfortable and practical MTB shorts

For? Year-round mountain biking

When and where? All weather on all terrains– alone when it’s warmer or layered over tights in the cooler months.

Features
  • Spandex in the fabric adds stretch, a C6 DWR sheds dirt and water better

  • Thigh zips with mesh inserts to accommodate under armour

  • Heavy duty snaps and adjustable waist band for a secure closure and good fit

  • Deep stash pockets that don’t get in the way when you’re riding

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