Product Round Up: Wrapping Up Winter & Stepping Into Spring
Winter is winding down (hopefully) and the warmer weather is starting to make a showing.
Here's a roundup of PDF editor picks (along with a few guest contributions!) to get you through the last of the cold weather and step into spring cycling with style and function.
Chris Hadgis | PDF Contributor
I’ve tried other neck gaiters from brands like Rapha, and while I like the Rapha merino “Winter Collar” I found it thin and not warm enough on days below 45 degrees. Added bonus: the Smartwool neck gaiter is $20.00 cheaper than the Rapha collar.
You can wear this gaiter as a neck warmer, face warmer/mask, ear warmer/beanie, hand muff or even a helmet liner if you forget a hat and/or need an extra layer of warmth on your head.
- Buffers the cold and the wind: blocks the wind from entering the gap between the neck and the jacket
- Not too bulky
- Can fit over or under a jacket collar
- Stays in place: not too tight, not too loose
- Versatile: multiple ways to wear it: can warm face, neck, ears, head, and hands
- Can pull it up and over ears at mid or post-ride coffee stops
- Adds a pop of color to a dark kit: teal makes me happy
Addie Levinsky | Managing Editor
Oh look, Addie picked another piece from Velocio's new collection (surprise, surprise). With most of my ride time being commutes nowadays I'm always looking for a mix of fashion and function. This time of year, the most important element being the ability to layer, and the Mission Workshop x Velocio faroe is one of the best tops I've worn on and off the bike. It's merino wool (crucial for a piece of commute wear to wick the sweat), and features a high neck line and hood for added warmth and comfort. The top also has a roomy zipper pocket that can easily fit a phone, small wallet, and keys
Caitlin Dumas | Senior Editor
I never want to recommend a product that I haven't thoroughly tested so I can give you an honest review. To say I have thoroughly tested this speaker is probably an understatement. That photo is of my speaker - with all the wear and tear.
We have owned this speaker for years and while it says is water-proof it is also sweat proof, puppy proof (those are teeth marks you see on the speaker), sand proof, bike proof, drop proof, and food proof. The speaker comes with us everywhere: on the trainer in the winter, we hook it to a bag while we commute in the summer, and it perfectly fits in the back pocket of a jersey. The newer version also doubles as a power bank if your phone is a little low after taking too many Insta photos on your ride.
It's the perfect, extremely versatile, speaker for any type of outdoor/cycling fan.
PRO PICK: Ridge Supply x Cutaway Alpine Neck Gaiter | $18
Sarah Guilbert | CAT2 Domestic Elite Road
This neck gaiter is a winter staple for any rides at temperatures below 50 degrees. It is flexible, soft, and breathable, making it easy to wear pulled up on the face (unlike some balaclavas that feel suffocating because of the tension on the face and fabric). On less-frigid days, wear it around the neck to stay warm and comfortable. The pop of color helps the rider to stay visible (and stylish), making it perfect for low-light conditions in the winter.
Cyclops Hammer Trainer | $1200
Lori Nedescu | Senior Nutrition Edtior
Due to sub zero temperatures, I've been stuck indoors for most of my winter riding. To keep my fitness high and progressing through this time, I've relied heavily on my CycleOps Hammer Direct Drive 'Smart' Trainer & Zwift combo. Being able to have a real ride feel, join others for rides, load workouts, get a change of scenery, and have a challenging workout has really kept me riding all winter!!
Zwift Subscription - $15.00 per month
Katharine Erwin | PDF Contributor
I thought I gave up black tights a long time ago, but Smartwool has brought me back in. I am a mountain biker and although I have some great thermal chamois tights, I prefer the merino wool of the PhD tight without chamois.
This winter I haven’t been on a fat bike or done much cycling training indoors, instead I have been run/hiking up to keep my lung strength for those climbs when I get back on the bike in the spring. Also doing some XC skiing. I can’t count how many times I have worn the PhD tights this winter, but I have only washed once. They haven’t sagged out either. Their only downfall is that they only come in black and I sometimes get some unwanted attention because they make my butt look good.