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Getting Ready For Autumn

Getting ready for the Autumn

There are three things about a UK autumn that are as predictable as a VW Golfs reliability, and no, it’s not that UK riders will be holding all three Grand Tour titles! That my friend is a fluke , albeit a very nice one from our perspective! Here goes the real issues to be concerned with as a cyclist: it will get colder, the wind will blow stronger, and you will at some point during your ride get wet. Your options are therefore quite simple: you can retreat indoors and become attached like a cyborg to a computer cycling contraption, or you can accept that it’s all part of the cycling culture. After all, do you think Eddie Mercx retreated from the Flanders winds – no!

Thankfully G4 have it covered, and they’ve got you covered too – literally speaking. Time then for my three essentials for Autumn rides in the UK, and indeed anywhere in Northern Europe or beyond with a similar climate. And the first thing to remember, is not to wrap yourself in swathes of clothes at this early stage in what will be a long absence of searingly hot sunshine. Hopefully you’ll still be cycling at a reasonable pace and not slowed by snowstorms, and so don’t overdo things! There’s nothing worse than an overheated cyclist. Remember, this is after all, a physical activity and sport. So here goes – three UK Autumn essentials.

1.    Leg and Knee Warmers

For me, especially at this stage of the year, I still like to ride in bibs and simply add a pair of leg or knee warmers to keep away the chill. Last winter, and already this autumn, I’ve been using the G4 compression knee warmers, which are super light, super stretchy, and super comfortable too, whilst also allowing my legs to breath.

These high end warmers are noticeably lighter and softer than many others, and have a super soft knitted feel to them, which clearly helps with the breathability and ventilation. They’re also ergonomically cut, with a well thought out elasticated band introduced into the design at the knee, assisting in the tight fit. The material itself is super compressive, looking and feeling sleek and performance orientated, and the warmers are neatly finished at either end with a  high quality elasticated cloth weave.

In terms of performance, my legs have been well protected from the colder winds, and even light showers and dealt covered, with the warmers drying quickly afterwards. The fit and materials used ensure that the warmers stay in place and don’t move down, allowing you to simply concentrate on riding, which is all that counts.

2.    Waterproof Overshoes

There is not a cyclist alive who likes wet feet. On occasions a mountain biker will revel in splashing through a river, but essentially, we all like our toes to stay dry and warm. Bring on the overshoes then, and a super essential piece of kit for the UK autumn. A good pair will not only keep the rain away, but will also act as insulation layer, and as a wind break on colder days, of which there will be plenty.

The G4 Thermo-Rain overshoes gives you duel protection, with the excellent Mantex membrane being both windproof and waterproof. Add to this a super strong and waterproof zipper, neatly tucked away at the rear, tough anti abrasion toe and under shoe protective layers, and a reinforced heel, and you’ve got the perfect performance required. The material is super strong, with a tight weave, to bead away the water, and stretchy enough to fit perfectly around your feet, keeping you sleek and stylish.

G4 have also thought a lot about the ankle cuff, using the strongest of terraband fabrics for their wide ankle hugging cuff, making sure that there’s no possibility for water getting in though the top.

In action these high performance and high style overshoes repel the rain superbly, and will keep your feet warm and cosy on the inside, especially with partnered with the excellent G4 socks.

3.    G4 Ultra Lightweight Rain Jacket

The main things that a cyclist should look for in a rain jacket are these: lightweight material that still performs well, high collar to keep the wind and rain off your chest, tight cuffs to keep the arms dry and warm and to remove any unnecessary flapping on the arms, and a tight waistband to keep things sleek and as aero as possible. Thankfully, the G4 rain jacket is designed by a former top professional rider, Geoffroy Lequatre, and all of these points have been designed into the superb G4 Lightweight Rain Jacket. Add to this the super accessible buttoned flap at the rear, which allows easy access to the jersey pockets, and you have the perfect wet weather cycling jacket. Best of all, the sleek black design goes with all the G4 ranges.

G4 have chosen the highest of technical Italian fabrics for this jersey. The main body is a hard wearing, super tightly woven and technically layered cloth, to repel both rain and wind, and to add thermal properties to these essential areas. For the sleeves, it’s a lighter, yet equally strong neoprene material, keeping the weight to a minimum and ensuring free flowing movement. The design and cut is ergonomic, fitting your form perfectly and reducing wind flap, a common problem with some jackets. The lightweight soft  neoprene feel is taken to the high collar too, with neat reflective trim to hide the zipper.

Down at the waist, the elasticated cloth has three strips of gel bonded on the inside to assist in keeping things tightly in place, and is finished off with subtle G4 branding keeping things super stylish. Super strong  UFC’s do the job superbly at the wrists, and the jacket is neatly finished with a  reflective G4 logo on the rear, and reflective edging along the rear opening.

In action this has become a jacket of choice for cooler days all year long, and an essential wet weather choice here in Yorkshire. Best of all, it packs away small and easily into the jersey pockets.

So there you have it; our guide to the top three autumn essentials for the UK cyclist. There will still be days of sun and warmth, so the main thing is to remember not to overdress at this early stage. Adding good quality performance warmers, overshoes and an ultra lightweight rain jacket to your cycling wardrobe will keep you outdoors and smiling, as you enjoy the magnificent colours of nature’s changes - and you won't get that on Zwift.