Season Highlights - 'Kit To Climb Mountains'

Riding a bike in the mountains is a bit like playing roulette with the weather gods. Sometimes you get lucky: you ride light and fast, in blue skies and sunshine. The inevitable will come though... at some point, you will be struck a blow: rain, sleet, wind and snow.

The answer, is protection. More specifically, layers of protection. To stay comfortable and safe, you need to build a layering system of adaptable insulation and waterproofing. This is your shield, against the power of the weather.



Base layer

It begins with a base... The heart of any cycle clothing layering system starts with the base layer. This basic, often seamless garment, plays a vital role.

A base layer wicks sweat away from your torso; transporting moisture to the outside air, and away from your skin. It helps to cool you in the heat, and keep you warmer in the cold.

The Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Base Layer takes things one step further - shielding your front-facing torso from the chill using the Windstopper fabric; yet wicking away sweat and moisture from your back and shoulders. For the transition seasons, this is my choice.





Bib shorts

Long days in the mountains demand a lot from a pair of bib shorts. You will often sit differently for those lengthy hours of climbing, compared to your normal flatter profile rides; that means the pad, fit, and fabric of the shorts needs to accommodate the shifts in position and riding style.

The Gore Bike Wear Oxygen 2.0 Bib Shorts are one of the best pairs of endurance cycling shorts that I have worn to date. The OXYGEN MEN seatpad provides superb pressure relief, and the compression fabric feels supportive and reassuringly strong. The shorts also feature an innovative Windstopper panel on the crotch area, which for lengthy descents has proven to be a significant comfort upgrade.





Jersey

Endurance cycling in the mountains calls for a unique kind of jersey. It needs to be breathable and lightweight, for the climb; close fitting and aero, for the descent; but it also needs to have decent storage capacity for ride food and essentials.

My current favourite, as worn on the #7Countries7Passes tour, is the Gore Bike Wear Alp-X Pro Short Sleeve Jersey. The technical fabric mix in this jersey provides superb breathability, a light weight, and a form-fitting cut. Pocketing comes in the form of 6 stash places - three standard rear pockets, a zippered pocket, and two small side pockets; all of which are supported by Gore's 'Firm Hold' cut, which helps the fabric to support the load in the pockets, and reduce sag.








Gilet

One of the most valuable layers in your wardrobe. A gilet is super packable, but vitally protective for your core. Wear it on its own to keep the windchill at bay on a long descent, or wear it under a jacket for added insulation.

The Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Light Windstopper Gilet is a great example.






Jacket

On my #5MaratonasChallenge, there was one item of clothing that shone above them all - the Gore Bike Wear ONE 1985 Shakedry Jacket. This innovative jacket from Gore is both super-packable, and super-protective.

The constant-beading SHAKEDRY technology means that despite its featherweight feel, the ONE jacket will keep the mountain-top elements at bay, and keep you comfortable. It certainly delivered for me, on some challenging and stormy days in the Dolomites.





Accessories

Windstopper gloves, a Gore-Tex cap, and warm all-weather socks are three accessories that I would never approach high altitudes without.

The Gore Universal Windstopper Gloves will keep dexterity in your digits on those long chilling descents. The Gore Equipe Gore-Tex Cap shields your head from wind, rain, sun, and even snow. Then, for your feet, the Gore Performance Fibre Thermo Socks will keep your feet drier and warmer, for longer than most other brands out there.


Riding in the mountains is a beautiful and rewarding experience. But, whether road cycling in the Dolomites, like on the #5MaratonasChallenge, or bike-packing across the Alps on the #7Countries7Passes; the kit that you choose is vital to keep you comfortable and functioning, whatever the weather can throw your way.

Pack light, but pack smart. You will ride further and ride stronger, if you can beat the weather.

Go conquer the mountains.



A content collaboration piece with Gore Apparel.

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