Hints and Tips: Wet Weather Clothing Accessories

Photo - RB-Create
Wet weather has hit the UK in abundance in the last few weeks, and I've had more damp rides than dry ones.

The old mantra of "there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad kit choices" rings truer than ever in damp, dark and cold conditions, so here are a few accessories that are definitely the "good kit choice" and should make things more bearable when the heavens open.

GripGrab Neoprene Gloves

I've been using neoprene gloves for years, but up until this year it has always been for sailing... Neoprene provides fantastic protection from the wet and cold, and even if the water does infiltrate into the gloves, they remain warm (something you don't get with polyester gloves). 

During the 2013 Festive 500 I did in fact end up drafting in a pair of my Magic Marine neoprene gloves to use in the torrential downpours; they worked well, but I was very pleased to hear that GripGrab were bringing out a cycle specific pair earlier this year. 

These new GripGrab gloves have fast become one of my go-to riding accessories when the heavens look like they're about to open. Unlike other neoprene gloves that I've tried, they have a stunningly good fit. They also have a padded and grippy palm (with GripGrab's very durable DoctorGel pad); this makes them comfortable enough to be worn for prolonged winter miles in the saddle.

The long cuff helps to create a good junction with a waterproof jacket, and like all GripGrab products, the little details have been considered, like the reflective detailing on the back of the hand.  

Neoprene gloves are one of the big things for autumn/winter 2014, and there's a good reason for that. In the UK conditions, they're a clothing accessory that will provide unparalleled protection from the wet, and when combined with a good liner glove, they are great for really cold conditions too.

GripGrab RaceAqua Overshoes

Probably my favourite overshoes, ever? These are top-end protection from wet roads in all kinds of conditions; whether it's summer downpours or winter hail storms. 

The RaceAqua is fairly clearly designed by people that love bikes, and understand what riders demand in a set of overshoes. Versatility is the name of the game: the upper fabric is stretchy and thin, yet waterproof and durable; that means it's capable of keeping your feet dry, warm and aero all at the same time, at whatever time of year.

For 2014, the RaceAqua got a significant re-design. It was a great cover before, but it now has a better elasticated seal added to the cuff, and a zip garage/flap to make things even more aero. It also now comes in Storm-Trooper white! (I got a pair because they're good for visibility, honest). 

These have had more outings that I can count, and they continue to perform well. The thin water-shedding fabric means they dry quickly after use, and the Kevlar lowers mean they don't wear through when you are forced to walk in them. A great protective accessory for your feet in wet conditions.

GripGrab products are available exclusively from Wiggle in the UK (Link)

SealSkinz Waterproof Cap and Mid-Length Socks

SealSkinz have been making waterproof socks for a good few years now, and I think I've owned a pair for the majority of that time. They're a pretty invaluable accessory when you're taking on wet roads and mud caked trails, and mine get a significant amount of use in the wintertime.

My current pair are the new Mid-Length Mid-Weight SealSkinz socks: they're a similar length to high-cut summer socks, and provide a great balance between bulk and insulation. Whether you step off the bike into a muddy puddle when you open the gate on that off-road venture, or you need extra protection from road-spray and wind-chill whilst racking up the winter base miles, these are a sure fire way to keep your feet dry and warm.

Another great wet weather accessory from SealSkinz is the Waterproof Cycling Cap. Traditional cotton cycling caps do a good job of protecting your head from downpours and wind-chill, but this cap takes things to the next level. It uses SealSkinz's A.D.D (Aqua Dynamic Design) technology to provide a waterproof yet breathable layer. It has a mesh lining too, which seems to help to wick away moisture. The short and stiff peak moves the drips away from your face and protects from spray, whilst the elasticated headband should mean it fits most riders' heads. It's lasting very well even with machine washing too.

SealSkinz products are available at Wiggle (Link)

To round things up: waterproof socks and caps, overshoes and neoprene gloves will all do wonders for making wet weather riding more enjoyable. If you really suffer you can opt for all of them (I often do!).

Wet weather riding is never likely to be as great as warm weather miles, but some essential accessories can help to make you a lot more comfortable, and provide good protection for your extremities.

They might be small accessories, but they'll make a big difference.


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