Jackets are your final outer layer designed to cope with everything the elements can throw at you. Whether its extra thermal insulation for very cold winter days, windproof jackets, or waterproof jackets for the inevitable rainy day, having the right outer layer will transform your ride.
Whether you are looking for a tight-fitting, aerodynamic jacket for road riding or a weather beating jacket for shredding the single-track it is worth investing in a great jacket as these highly technical garments prove that there is no such thing as bad weather.
What do I need to look for in a cycling jacket?
Your jacket is likely to be the most technical piece of kit in your cycling wardrobe, not only does it have to protect you from the elements outside it also needs to be highly breathable so you can control your body heat and allow sweat to evaporate.
Look for breathable panels and zips for ventilation allowing you to adjust your jacket on the fly. There is nothing worse than feeling damp and cold as your jacket slowly boils you in the bag.
What is a cyclist’s biggest concern?
Wind-proofing and insulation are your number one concerns as a rider, whilst feeling damp may be unpleasant if you can stay warm you can keep enjoying your ride. However, a great wet weather jacket will revolutionise your riding experience.
Do I need a different style of jacket on a road bike vs a MTB?
Road cyclists favour slim-fitting cuts that prevent the jacket flapping or inflating in the wind slowing you down, they are cut long in the back to protect your backside as you lean forward over the bars. Whereas mountain bike jackets are cut much looser to allow for full body movement on the bike.
Weatherproof mountain bike jackets also often feature hoods to pull over your helmet. If you are mountain biking it is not just rain from above that gets you wet, you also need protection from mud on the trail!
Are there lighter alternatives to cycling jackets?
Some days the weather is changeable so what you really need is a lightweight jacket that can fit in your rear pocket or your hydration pack. There are packable jackets that provide an extra layer of insulation and wind protection which is incredibly useful for keeping warm if you have a mechanical or get caught in a shower. Never leave home without one.