Winter Clothing Ideas (Guardian article by Miles Brignall)

If the dark nights have left you wondering if you need to upgrade your bike lights, jacket and winter kit, be assured you are not alone. UK cycle shops traditionally sell the largest number of lights and other hi-vis gear this week as commuters decide it’s time to take stock. While you can spend a fortune on the latest kit, you don’t have to. Here are our tips on how to stay warm and dry – and highly visible – on the road this winter, without having to take out a massive overdraft.

Jackets

The best commuter cycling jackets feature a combination of hi-vis materials – a bright yellow or orange body that will make you stand out on the morning ride and a good proportion of the night-vision materials that will sparkle in a car’s headlamps on the way home.

Proviz arguably produces the UK’s most visible night cycling jackets. Its Reflect 360 jacket, which costs £90, lights up better than a Christmas tree at night.

However, it is less good during the day as it is all one colour. Opt instead for the firm’s £100 reversible Switch jacket. It is pricey but it offers hi-vis yellow by day, and once pushed inside out, the light-up technology keeps you visible as you ride home in the dark. If you’d prefer a traditional model, the company also has a conventional £85 Nightrider jacket that is predominantly orange or yellow, with the shoulders and back covered in light-up material.

Note these Proviz jackets are not the most breathable, which won’t be a problem if you pootle along. However, those riding with a bit more verve may find they arrive too hot and sweaty. Proviz offers breathable jackets but they cost more than £100.

dhb Flashlight Force waterproof jacket

                                                                                                                                                                                             

Next up is the dhb Flashlight Force Waterproof Jacket, which Wiggle has on sale at £88 this week. These come in hi-vis yellow or red and feature plenty of flashes. They are well made and perfect for riding in winter, although you will probably want something less heavy for spring. If you are less susceptible to the cold, Wiggle also offers a lighter £63 version of the jacket.

The Madison Prime jacket (£60 via sites such as eBay) is also a good quality jacket for the money and comes from a proven manufacturer. It has just enough night-vision material to make sure you are seen, and should be a bit more breathable than some others.

If you are on a budget, or don’t cycle as much as you should, take a look at Mountain Warehouse’s Adrenaline Iso-Viz jacket, which is currently on sale at £40 for the men’s version and £50 for the women’s model. Again, it won’t be the most breathable jacket but it will keep you warm and dry – and visible. It doesn’t have as much night-time visibility as the others, but it’s great value. Make sure you buy a size down, as this company’s sizing is not standard. Ideally, go into a store to try before you buy.

Hump Strobe waterproof jacket

                                                                                                                                                                                        A Hump Strobe waterproof jacket. Photograph: Hump

If you only have £30 to spend, try the Hump Strobe waterproof jacket or head to eBay where there are plenty of good-quality used jackets and lots of new Chinese-made models of mixed quality to choose from.

If you have a perfectly good waterproof but it isn’t visible enough, why not add a hi-vis gilet over the top? Cheap ones used on building sites won’t add much in the fashion stakes but will get you seen for very little outlay.

Hi-vis gilets made from similar material to the Proviz jackets start at about £20, while the company itself offers its version for £40 and up.

Lights

The Lezyne Hecto Drive 500XL front bike light.

                                                                                                                                                                                           The Lezyne Hecto Drive 500XL front bike light. Photograph: Lezyne

When it comes to bike lights, there is an absurd number to choose from, some costing in excess of £500. Having lights is a legal necessity and how much you need to spend is largely defined by whether your ride involves leaving the urban area and unlit roads. Most decent lights are USB rechargeable, so you don’t have to keep buying batteries.

If you regularly ride down country lanes, the £27.49 Lezyne Hecto Drive 500XL front light is a real bargain right now on Wiggle. If this light’s 500 lumens are not enough, opt for the £34 Lezyne Micro Drive 600XL. You won’t be disappointed with either.

If you are on a budget, Halfords has a USB-rechargeable set for £15. On eBay there are plenty of front and back light sets from only £9 that will do a perfectly good job. I’ve used Aldi’s bike light sets in the past and they are also excellent value – when available.

Helmets

Giro Revel helmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     A Giro Revel helmet. Photograph: Giro Revel

It’s not only clothing that has gone hi-vis in recent years: if you really want to make sure you are seen, get a bright helmet. Halfords will sell you one for £30, although we’d be inclined to spend a bit more (£34) on a Giro Revel helmet. If you already have a helmet, consider a hi-vis cover. These fit most models and start at only £5 on eBay for a waterproof version. They will also keep you a bit warmer.

Gloves

                                                                                                                                                                     

Thinsulate winter gloves.

                                                                                                                             
Having cycled for many years and having tried lots of so-called waterproof gloves, I have found the best ones to use are the cheap Thinsulate 40g fleece gloves that can be bought anywhere for less than £5. They’re warm and will stay dry long enough for most short commutes, even in the pouring rain. At that price you can keep a second dry pair in your pannier.

If you love cycling but really struggle with the cold, consider Sealskinz’s waterproof heated gloves. At £114, they are not cheap but they are rechargeable, waterproof and offer three heat settings – running up to five hours on a charge.

Owners say they are a bit bulky and the sizing is small – so order a size up. Perfect for those who suffer circulation problems or those who regularly ride in subzero temperatures.

Cycle Seahaven Jersey Design 2020

Ready to design the next Cycle Seahaven jersey? 

See here for more information!

 

Previous jersey designs

Fancy a Clothing Discount?

REFLECT360 CRS Plus

Cycle Seahaven have been granted a club discount with Proviz Sports!

Some of you may have seen the jacket that Ricki Carver is proudly wearing, or the backpack that Gray Brett is carrying: both excellent visibility in daylight, but Ricki’s jacket and the triangle on Gray’s backpack turn ghostly in appearance at night – superb visibility! The company, started by two brothers on their daily London cycling commute realised that there “was a gap in the market to provide highly innovative, light-emitting and reflective cycling products” and Proviz was born.

REFLECT360 CRS Plus (Night / Day)

With clothing for the whole family (including the dog!) you can purchase waterproofs to gilets and helmets to lights.

With the nights drawing in, there’s no better time to update your wardrobe – with free tracked delivery on orders over £50 and a 15% discount for Cycle Seahaven members, take a look at the Proviz website to see the whole range, and enter the code CycleSeahaven15 at checkout to get a great 15% discount.

www.provizsports.com

Bells for All

Cycle Seahaven is passionate about cycling safety and is conscious that many pedestrians are concerned that insufficient or no warning, on occasions, is given by cyclists as they approach pedestrians, in particular on shared cycle/footpath routes.

Cycle Seahaven is offering Members the opportunity to purchase a cycle bell from Mr Cycles in Seaford with a £3 discount on their purchase.

In a number of cases the bell may be free of charge. If you decide on a bell which exceeds £3 then you only pay the cost difference.

Please help us improve rider safety, if you need a bell visit Mr Cycles and make the most of this offer.

Don’t forget to take your current Membership Card and either your bike or the diameter of the handlebars where you will want to put the bell.

Bike Box Hire

Are you planning a trip away and want to take your bike?  We now have a Bike Box Available for hire 

Features of Bonza Bike Box 2 are:
• HDPE anti impact material.
• Stronger lockable catches.
• Internal Velcro retention straps.
• High quality foam protective padding.
• High gloss anti-abrasion finish.
• Bonza developed anti crush technology with 2 support struts.
• Easy glide high quality wheels.
• Fits all makes and sizes of bikes (excluding tandems).
• Fits most wheel sizes from 26 inch to a 29er and all road wheels.
• Stylish design in a distinctive colour.
• Weight 12.0kg. (+/- 5%)
• Dimensions 124 x 94 x 34 cm.

Cost will be £3 per day. (£30 deposit required from NON club members )

Contact Tracey Martin for bookings on Contact the Committee.

Night road cycling, with Aldi, Lezyne and Ituo lights

Since the weekend I have refitted my WIZ20 dual LED, wireless light  on my commuter bike, and this has brought a smile back to my face, this light is good!!!  Since the clock went forward, I have been cycling with an Aldi  240 lumens COB type rechargeable bike light £12.99 and a Lezyne Zecto drive Pro 80l for £38 giving a total of 320 lumens for around £50 in total, I can not make a direct comparison as they are very different and even the price of the two is half the price of the WIZ20, but I think, it worth sharing my findings. The Aldi light is again very good value for money, but this is really a flood light with very little throw, so you end up having good light by your front tyre but not extending forward very much, ok on very well lit roads but not much good if you going at speed on badly lit roads , le Lezyne Zectro drive pro is kind of the opposite with a very fairly narrow beam but reaching a further. Both light are great to be seen but are not much good for you to see the ground and spot pot holes in time to miss them. The Zecto Drive Pro can double up as a rear light so this is quite handy to have a secondary light in case your main front or rear light packs up. The Aldi one in my mind is much better for dog walking or around the house as a torch, very broad beam , ok as a bike marker light or a flashing light. Both are USB rechargable.  Now going to the Ituo WIZ20 1500l for which I did a review for the club last year. Well, as I said, as soon as I turned it on, I had a grin on!   Nice broad light beam reaching far in front of your bike and still putting plenty of light by your front tyre. This kind of reminded me of the type of lighting you get from a car. The beam given by the WIZ20 is nice and safe for you to ride at speed in lit up or dark road, I had to turn it down to its standard low setting  250 lumens which does give you 14h. I have used it off road many time last year and this is also ideal for MTB if you want to go wireless  (this is also the one I usually lend to some of my new riders if they need a light) Like the others, this is wireless and USB rechargeable and its output is programmable. All this of course does come in with a higher price tag, under £100! Price of a Volt 800 or a Lezyne Deca 1500 but once you check the specs and start reading reviews you will see how good the WIZ20 is, specially for a light under £100!
I have not got any interest into this new firm apart from wanting to share what is a very good product with fellow cyclists. Luc. MTB 2B night ride leader

https://www.aldi.co.uk/p/72177/1

https://www.evanscycles.com/lezyne-zecto-drive-pro-light-EV194257

http://singletrackworld.com/reviews/review-ituo-wiz20/

http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-riding/user-review-ituo-wiz20-996544.html

http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/ituo-wiz20-1500-lumens-twin-xm-l2-u3-bike-light/

 

 

 

 

Cycle Clothing. What to wear

When you’re new to cycling it’s often tricky to work out what to wear. The weather will play a big part in how well you wrap up but a few basic principles will help you stay comfy.

Helmet
Mandatory on club rides.
It’s best to get fitted for a ‘lid’ (helmet) at your local bike shop. The side straps should meet just below your ears and the helmet should stay in place when you tilt your head (chin on chest) even without the chin strap done up. Cycle helmets (crash hats, brain buckets, skid lids) come in different shapes and sizes, so try on a few before you buy. A slight discomfort may not worry you short-term, but on a longer ride it might become really annoying.

Layers
Try to wear thinner layers that are easy to add and remove, rather than one thick garment. You may get hot on a climb but on the flat or downhill you might get cold, so being able to quickly adjust your layers is important for comfort. Be prepared: If you need to add or remove layers then you’ll need a way of carrying unused layers – this could be a rucksack, panniers, or simply tying the arms of the garment around your waist. Be careful of tying clothes around yourself as it’s easier to get them caught in the moving parts of your bike.

Materials
Avoid cotton unless it’s a specific sports weave, as this will soak up sweat and leave you feeling clammy. Instead, opt for polyester or merino wool – both are good at ‘wicking away’ moisture and also at keeping down odours. Sports specific clothing isn’t just a marketing gimmick – the materials are designed to keep you dry and comfortable. Bamboo fibres are becoming more popular, too.

Tops
Long sleeves or short, it’s up to you, but be careful of sunburn as well as the cold. If you’re wearing layers (and you should) then consider something easy to swap – a full-length zip might help, or something less fiddly to remove than a skin-tight layer. A short-sleeved polyester t-shirt or sports top, then a long sleeved one, followed by a jacket will give you plenty of options as a starting point. Adjust this according to the expected weather at the start and end of the ride – thicker materials for the cold and thinner ones for warmer days.

Avoid T-shirts and tops that have a design printed in thick ink, as this will act as a water barrier to keep sweat in. Logos should be ‘sublimated’ into the material or be minimal.

Watch out for high winds. Even on a hot day a strong wind will dramatically cool down a hot and sweaty body, so take a light wind-proof jacket.

Bottoms
Your legs are what will be doing the bulk of the work, and will get hot and sticky quite quickly. Shorts and/or leggings/tights are a good bet.  Again go for sports materials to disperse sweat; that includes underwear – see our article on saddle sores.

Gloves
Thin gloves for summer, thick gloves for winter. Seems simple enough, eh?

Winter gloves: Be careful wearing thick or ill-fitting gloves as these may interfere with braking and/or changing gear.
Summer gloves: Why wear gloves in the summer? Gloves are not only protection from the elements but also if you fall off. Your hands are often what take the brunt of an ‘unintentional dismount’, and a protective layer will help prevent gravel rash. Fingerless gloves are great for warmer weather as they provide protection and comfort, and they interfere less with gear changes and braking.

Cycle specific gloves sometimes come with padding at key pressure points on the palms, making longer rides more comfy.

Shoes
Assuming you are using normal ‘flat’ pedals, and not ones that are clipped to cycle-specific shoes, then start out with trainers.  After the ride make sure your shoes get properly air dried. To help reduce smells insert a few used, dry teabags or sprinkle in bicarbonate of soda. You can even stuff shoes into a plastic bag then put them into the freezer to help kill bacteria and so reduce smells. Wet shoes can be stuffed with newspaper and allowed to dry naturally.

Specific cycling shoes have very stiff soles that don’t flex when you pedal, which helps transfer energy to your back wheel more efficiently. Most have the ability to lock into special pedals using a ‘cleat’ underneath the sole that engages with a special pedal – they take some practice before you can easily remove your foot from the pedal.

Cold or Wet weather
Avoid thick and heavy coats as they are often too warm. Instead, go for more thinner layers. For short trips you might want to take a thin and cheap rain cover, but for longer adventures it’s better to get some good waterproofs. Cycle specific jackets have a longer back that keep you warm while you are in the cycling position.

There are some high-tec materials out there that will keep you dry from the outside while allowing sweat to evaporate from the inside. You certainly get what you pay for, and it’s worth asking other riders what they like to wear.

Waterproof socks are a cheaper alternative to waterproof shoes, but make sure you dry your shoes correctly post-ride. You may also need to a half-size or full size bigger on your shoes, as waterproof socks (especially thermal ones) may be thicker than your normal socks.

 

As you ride more you will learn what sort of clothing suits you. Got any advice you want to share? Please get in touch using our CONTACT page.

ITUO WIZ20 BIKE LIGHT

ITUO WIZ20  BIKE LIGHT has been reviewed by SINGLETRACK MAGAZINE and has received a recommended seal of approval

I have just found that Singletrack Magazine have reviewed the ITUO WIZ20, a twin LED, 1500 real lumens with interchangeable and USB chargeable batteries that I have been using for months and reviewed for our club back in December.

5 month later, I am still extremely impressed with the WIZ20, this is a fantastic light, with a high build quality and  loads of power. You will get your 2hours + on high from this light and if you need more you can just drop in a couple of  18650 batteries!

Singletrack review is at http://singletrackworld.com/reviews/review-ituo-wiz20/

I would also like to remind people that the UK distributor www.brightbikelights.com is giving cycleseahaven members a discount by using the  code “SEAHAVEN”.

Please note that the light is only been sold via Appointed Distributors across the world, some of the Chinese mail order bargain websites are advertising the light (with some stolen photos of my review), but they have no stock as Ituo does not deal with any of them.

The wIZ20 is my resident bar light, so if you see me on the trails, have a look!

Luc
2b MTB ride leader

 

Shammy Shorts and Cream

Well, this is all a bit embarrassing – time to talk about ‘barnacle bum’ syndrome.

As riders get more experienced, and find they are spending longer in the saddle, a few problems can occur in the ‘lower regions’. Sores, in the form of spots or even abscesses, can occur around the ‘saddle area’ of your body. This is caused by a combination of friction, sweat and/or grime that builds up during the ride.

To combat saddle sores you should wear freshly laundered cycle specific clothing and change out of your sweaty gear as soon as you can – even if there’s no shower nearby. Keeping cool and dry will certainly help things post-ride.

If you are doing longer rides, or even just riding a lot more frequently, then consider getting cycle shorts with a build-in padded area. This padding used to be made of chamois leather – like the stuff used to clean car windscreens – hence the name shammy (or chammy).  The chammy liner is there to wick away moisture, reduce friction and to provide a bit of padding. Getting the correct fit is important too, otherwise you’ll be missing out on getting the most comfortable ride. You mustn’t wear underwear beneath your padded shorts, either – it’s important that the ‘chamois’ is next to your skin so it works as intended.

Even wearing shammy shorts may not be enough to ensure comfort for longer hours in the saddle, so consider getting some chammy cream. This cream is applied to your skin around the contact points of your saddle, reducing friction and providing an antibacterial barrier. Apply it liberally to your skin, and possibly also the padding: you’ll have to learn by experimenting on yourself. It feels a bit odd when you first start using it, but it can dramatically improve your comfort.

There are lots of shapes and sizes of chamois shorts: bib shorts; ladies specific; built in armour, and creams come with different formulations too – from £20 tubs of cycle specific goo, to nappy cream (Bepanthen), or even a humble tub of vaseline. If you find that you’re getting post-ride problems, or you are simply looking for a lot more comfort, then pop into your local bike shop and get some well-fitting padded cycle shorts and a tub of chamois cream.

Even with chamois shorts and cream, remember to change out of your damp stuff as soon as you can – even if you can’t get to a bath/shower right away.

Happy riding.