After months spent cocooning yourself in every layer, bootie and glove available, the first forecasted double-digit degrees Celcius day can see you looking to shed your winter chrysalis in favour of something less thermal.
Nailing your spring cycling clothing choices isn’t as straightforward as going full summer though (unless you happen to be reading this from the climes of the Cote d’Azur). The majority of the Northern hemisphere has to contend with a variety of conditions between the start of March and late May as temperatures rise, winds drop and the rain turns from ride-ruining deluges to the seasonal showers.
At its heart, a spring cycling wardrobe should be able to handle anything thrown at it but remain lightweight and easy enough to pull off and on while on the go.
Including a core selection of bib shorts, jerseys and socks, and a host of stuffable accessories, our latest Desire Selection rounds up some key spring cycling essentials.
Le Col Pro All Weather jersey
April is famous for showers, but not all spring downpours are of a biblical nature. Plus, on warm-but-wet days, a waterproof jacket will keep you dry from the elements, but won’t cut it on the inside.
This jersey from Yanto Barker’s Le Col is an ideal all-rounder for the season’s unpredictability. Protection from light spotting to determined drizzle comes courtesy of its integrated Polartec waterproof membrane, while its lightweight and breathable construction is a dab hand at keeping you comfortable in all but mid-summer’s more Mediterranean conditions.
Pas Normal Studios Mechanism bib shorts
There will still be spring rides where you have to dust down the winter thermal tights for one last hurrah, but as the days start to lengthen, the amount of coverage required on your legs can do the opposite.
Pas Normal Studios’ new Mechanism bib shorts are the ideal accompaniment to those longer, harder sessions that will get you fighting fit for the new season. A four-layer anatomically-specific chamois leaves you with padding where you need it and is quick-drying if you’re at your limit or encounter a bit of road spray. A mesh panel between the bib’s straps aids sweat wicking up top, regardless of how many layers you’re wearing.
Fingerscrossed Merino socks
£23, Shop unisex
Merino is something of a miracle fabric. Renowned for its warming properties, as the mercury rises, the natural material gets a chance to show off its airflow capabilities too.
Available on the Rouleur store in a range of sizes and styles – from subtle pastels through to an in-your-face neon number – these Merino kicks from Fingerscrossed keep your toes toasty on cold starts but absorb and release any moisture from your feet to ensure they stay dry. A reflective strip just below the ankle also adds some extra visibility in low-light settings.
MAAP Draft Team vest
If there’s one garment that symbolises spring, it’s the gilet. An additional buffer on blustery days, they take the edge off when it’s too warm for a belt-and-braces approach and are a handy thing to have in your pocket for downhills or a dreaded mid-ride mechanical.
The Draft Team vest from Antipodean ateliers MAAP fits snuggly (minimising any distracting flapping during a descent) and juggles wind and water resistance with a mesh back panel that ensures your jersey and base layer perform as designed, rather than smothering them like a bin bag.
Isadore 100% Merino SS base layer
£60, Shop unisex
Martin and Peter Velits have a good idea of what’s required for riding during the Northern hemisphere’s spring. The Slovakian twins and founders of Isadore each competed professionally on the WorldTour stage for over a decade, logging thousands of hours of training in all conditions – and pushing a lot of kit to its limits as a result.
When they’re confident that their brand’s base layer can be a year-round wardrobe staple, it’s hard to argue with their superior experience. Made from 100% Merino wool, it benefits from the material’s natural odour-resistant properties, keeping you feeling and smelling fresh from start to finish.
Rapha Merino arm warmers
£45, Shop unisex
Look, we all like new kit. But we’ll let you into a secret – all those summer jerseys you’ve got tucked away from last year can be given a new lease of life during spring with the simple addition of some arm warmers.
These Merino ones from Rapha are understated and subtle in design, meaning they’re guaranteed to pair seamlessly with any jersey.
Assos Spring Fall knee warmers
£40, Shop unisex
There’s a time and place for ¾ length tights, but we’re yet to be convinced they’re an essential addition to the cycling canon. Instead of splashing the cash on a halfway house, you’re better off investing in a set of knee warmers.
This set from Swiss specialists Assos cost a fraction of a new set of capri tights and, like a solid set of arm warmers, will allow you to break out your summer cycling kit a few months early.