It’s almost winter in the southern hemisphere and time to break out the Superman underwear, gloves, balaclava and all-weather jackets.
I recently rode in “brisk” Victorian weather and was reminded just how cold the windchill factor can be when riding a naked bike in single-digit temperatures. While I had remembered to take my BMW Motorrad waterproof gloves and FinnMoto balaclava, which is thin, yet incredibly wind-resistant, I was ruing the fact that I had forgotten my wooly thermals.
However, these days, riders are doing the Superman thing and wearing modern Spandex “under garments” that are much more comfortable than the old Long Johns I’ve been wearing for years.
Adventure trekking clothing suppliers Vigilante make a range of Spandex Thermotech Base Layer gear that is suitable for beating the winter chills while riding. It combines contemporary design with the latest in technical performance fabrics – 95% polyester and 5% elastane – so you stay warm.
It also features a breathable ‘soft-touch’ suede back for warmth but also softness next to the skin.
The Thermotech material wicks away moisture and is quick-drying so while it retains the heat, it also releases excess moisture, such as sweat, so there’s no prickly over-heating like you get with wool.
Vigilante claims it stretches 360 degrees so it won’t lose shape or develop “droopy knees” like my old Long Johns and is made with anti-microbial material to keep you fresh. Again, unlike my smelly Long Johns!
You can get them in a long-sleeve jersey and as full-length leggings for $49.95 each.
To go over the top, you’ll need a warm and protective jacket that also keeps out the rain.
Ixon’s latest textile jacket, the Dune HP ($399.95), is designed to handle all weather conditions with a removable winter lining and additional insert that’s claimed to be waterproof and breathable. The adjustable flaps on the front also provide added airflow while the fixed grids on the back and sleeves help with ventilation to keep you cool as the day warms up.
The Dune is CE certified with back, elbow and shoulder protectors. It has a reflective stripe across the back for visibility in fog, four pockets on the front and a big rear pocket where you can store the lining if you take it out.