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Best upgrades to improve your cycling setup for fall? Check out our full write up on all the hot gear!
It's always a little bittersweet for me during the onset of Fall. Shorter, cooler days often means many folks start winding down their cycling season.
Personally it's my favourite time of year to ride. Knowing that winter is around the corner I feel extra motivation to push myself to get out to ride to make the most of everyday.
Trails and paths tend to be a little less busy plus I don't need to wake up at the crack of dawn just to avoid the heat and sun. I will happily sleep in and enjoy the late afternoon fall sunshine!
With a few key accessory and clothing choices you can continue to cycle in style and comfort.
If you've been around Urbane before if will come as no surprise that Cleverhood raincapes are probably best bang for your buck item to have in your all-weather cycling kit.
While this might not be a "performance upgrade", it makes riding in the rain actually enjoyable and is perfect for commuters! Ponchos/raincapes also are great year round- waterproof and breathable, just add whatever layer to adjust for fall weather temperatures. A good raincape is also great off the bike and would 100% be one of my camping essential items too!
Cleverhood raincapes use thumb loops so you can hold the front up and over your handlebars to effectively create a small tent shape to keep you knees and legs quite dry. These have an optional (but encouraged for cycling) strap to keep the back from blowing up in the wind.
*Poncho/Rain Cape considerations*- these are sized so check the side guide below, and take into account the style of bike- most hybrids will work just fine but on a more aggressive (forward leaning) road bike the front of the poncho may start to dip into your front wheel!
Neutral (most hybrids) or neutral - upright bikes (Dutch/Dutch style, or bikes that fit with closer to 90 degree back angle) are usually ok, but of course feel free to ride down to the shop, try on the poncho and make sure it works well for you and your setup! Lights are a consideration- most cycling ponchos will cover a handlebar mounted front light, so you might need to relocate it to optimize your setup. We have a few ways around this but a couple are shown and linked below (the Velo-Orange mount can be run upside down to drop the light below the rain cape)
Bells may also be muted by poncho contact, but most bells will have similar function (i.e. won't work well) when covered in rain water anyway! Horns can solve this or alternate bell positioning (upside down).
I would also consider full fenders essential with ponchos or raincapes- there's not much point in keeping the rain off you from above if you are spraying dirty road water and grit up from below.
An example of a great fall riding setup pictured below from one of our friend's over at Cycle Toronto. Maggie is the Communications lead over at Cycle Toronto and has this Marin Presidio 3 setup with full fenders and a rack for maximum utility and all-weather function.
So if you have read my past blog "Underrated upgrade - Heat Hack" aka my undying love of wool arm warmers it shouldn't be surprising that a few of my must haves for fall would of course be some nice wool for your extremities.
Arm warmers are great for layering and will keep you from overheating your core and are nice and small to bring along on a long ride that might see varying temperatures or conditions. I also recommend a selection of varying weight wool or wool blend socks. This same logic goes for gloves.
Fall glove choices will obviously vary and if you are a dedicated 3 or 4 season cyclist you will want to have a range of gloves for different conditions. Wool gloves are a great breathable option, but won't be impervious to water although the still do offer some insulation when wet - our top choice for weather resistant fall early winter gloves would be the Endura Deluge for cooler/ wet conditions.
Its good to check your tires for wear and make sure you have ample brake pads if you are going to continue to ride into the shoulder seasons or even into winter. We have a walk-through video of different Winter cycling bike setup considerations here- most of the advice would carry over for fall although Studded tires would be overkill!
Wet leaves can be as slick as ice! Adjust your riding accordingly and slow down! If you want to make sure your bike is in tip-top shape for fall or winter you can always book your bike in for service here.
Bonus heads up if you read 'till the end! We have gone through our overstock area and have some really great mark downs for some fall and winter cycling essentials so you should come check them out before they go (sale and clearance are final sale!)
Happy riding and hope to see you out on the road and trail!