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Dress for Success

Dress for Success

T_{wc}=13.12 + 0.6215 T_a-11.37 V^{+0.16} + 0.3965 T_a V^{+0.16}\,\!

This is the NEW wind chill index implemented in 2001 by the National Weather Service. While it tries to account for skin temperature, it can't take into account the unique conditions of cycling. 

The science of calculating wind chill has always been controversial. Recent attempts have tried to account for skin temperature. What happens when an athlete is fatigued from hours of riding, then may face winds of over 50mph (self generated on a calm day) during a descent while wearing wet clothing? While scientists grapple over the correct formula, we have built cycling clothing that provides the solution.   

Feeling great on your bike starts before you walk outside. 

Every year we see riders out there, shivering in their expensive cycling clothes. They got the right bike, the right shorts, jersey and shoes, but they stopped there. We all see pros riding in just shorts and a jersey in practically all conditions, right? Wrong. What you don't see is what they're wearing underneath. Follow a seasoned rider a while and you quickly see what they put emphasis on. When it comes time to suit up for a ride, putting on cycling shorts is just the start. We call it 'tuning your outfit', and it's critical to your comfort and performance on the bike.

1. What, When, and Where?

is going on with the weather. The sun is shining, but is it only 50 degrees out? How does the air feel on your skin?
WHEN will you be riding. Heading out for a few hours at 5pm in September could only mean one hour of relative warmth. 60 degree July mornings could be 30 degrees warmer after two hours. The time of day and the time of year seem like simple things, but riders get them dramatically wrong at times. 
WHERE will you be riding. Whenever you head into the mountains or even rolling hills, you need to be well prepared for large temperature swings. Even flat rides that head into wide open spaces can see big temperature swings at different times of the day just from wind chill. Starting at the coast and heading inland? Could be 20 degrees warmer where you're going. Work up a sweat and things could get frigid on the way back. 

2. Underwear, socks, and accessories.

Armed with information about the ride you're dressing for and the conditions, it's time to get dressed. Cycling jerseys are designed to feel cool and look cool. As good as their fabric was initially, when they heat it up and sublimate all those nice colors and logos on them, the jerseys get lazy. They'd rather sit in the sun bathe for an hour after you get a little sweaty then keep riding. Are they ready to descend a pass at 50mph ten seconds after you just climbed for an hour at 8mph, filling them up with six pints of sweat? Hail no! Amazingly, that cool jersey, suffocatingly hot on the climb, is about to turn you into a freeze pop even though it's 72 degrees at the summit. 


Cycling Specific Base Layers

Start by putting on the right base layer top. DeFeet makes the most expansive line of cycling specific base layers anywhere. Each is made from a different fabric so that you can fine-tune your body for the conditions. They are super-thin to fit under your bib shorts and closest fitting jersey. They do the heavy lifting against your skin so that cool jerseys can hang out, look cool, and bask in the sun.



 "Head, hands and feet." That's what experienced outdoor athletes often respond with when asked how to stay warm in the outdoors. We say, taking care of those vital areas keeps you warm when it's cold, and they can also make you too hot when it's warm. Choosing the right sock for the condition is important. We make socks from different fibers and in different thicknesses to help you tune better.  CoolMax® EcoMade™ is a great fiber for warmer weather and higher aerobic output. For cooler conditions or for those that want extra insurance against cold extremities, our wool socks are the answer.


Is it a little cooler or a bit nippy in the wind? When your feet start to get cold, it's hard to bring them back. It's important to keep the chill off them in the first place. That's what Slipstreams® do. Wear them over your cycling shoes. In warmer temperatures, they won't overheat your feet. In cooler temperatures, they can really save you. Not to mention, they look hot. Riders tell us they feel better just looking down at themselves pedaling in this attractive product.




We'll say it again.. "Head, hands and feet." Stay warm and protected, but don't get too hot. Hand are especially sensitive to output while riding. Just a little too much insulation up a climb and your hands are sloshing around inside soaking wet gloves. That moisture can in turn freeze your fingers on the way down. Our gloves are designed with high aerobic output in mind. They let the moisture out so you can ride as hard as you can without getting wet.



Long sleeve jerseys are good looking pieces. ArmSkins® make your outfit work better and they're more versatile. Our ArmSkins® fit closer, don't flap around, they're made of higher performance fibers, and you can push them down when you get too warm like up a climb. If it's heating up for good, remove them and stow them in your jersey pocket. They take up less room than a peanut butter sandwich.


Protecting your quads, knees and calves against the cold is just plain smart. While those areas are quite adept at handling cooler temperatures, they also don't mind being toasty. Kneekers™ are light and low bulk, but they pack several extra gears of warmth when needed. That's because like all of our products, they can breathe when they need to. Keep a set ready at all times. Put them on before you put on your cycling shorts and you won't need to tuck them in.

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