Here in the Midwest we’ve been waking up to a chill in the air more mornings than not lately. While that’s usually a sign of the winter ahead, for now it means some of the best riding to be had all year. At the very least it’s an excuse to enjoy quiet nights in the woods on the mountain bike, sliding along like a ghost over the single track.
As the mercury drops, HOW you dress becomes critical. You’ve got to have enough in the way of insulation to keep your core warm and as much of you warm ad dry as possible, but not so much that you overheat. Too far to either side of that comfort zone and you’re in danger of ruining a ride, or worse.
The most basic of items for dressing in the cold is the bottom you wear. You still have to protect everything you normally would, so riders have a choice of wearing their usual shorts and layering over them, or having tights with a chamois. We prefer a bib tight like the Assos LL Uno S5 Bib Tight – it provides a little more protection from the cold by better covering the kidneys and lower core but does so without adding additional bulk. Bibs, as many people are finding, are also less restrictive on the rider. Whether you are a trim racer-type body or carrying a bit more in the mid section, you benefit from the comfort of no waistband that bibs provide.
The Assos LL Uno S5s also feature a fleeced lycra for comfort against the skin and a cut that is tailored to riding so it won’t stop you from getting into the right position in a corner. Assos considers the climate range on this piece as 42-56 degrees °F, but its important to note that everyone’s different. Some guys I’ve ridden with in California would pull these out on an overcast day, while many riders here will still be in shorts down to about 55 and add knee-warmers until it gets to 45. If you’re a cold body, figure on adding more layers later in the winter if you’re still riding – if you’re like me, these could keep you happy through the winter.