The wind can be a relentless enemy for pretty much every cyclist. Even at a slightly increased speed, felt temperatures decrease dramatically due to the wind chill effect. That's why it's always advisable to take a light and compact wind jacket on bike tours and many models can easily be stowed in your jersey pocket. If the breathability and fit of your jacket are also right, even a light wind-protection piece worn over a baselayer and long jersey can allow rides deep into autumn.
The wind can make it feel a lot colder than it really is. A windbreaker is an essential piece of cycling clothing – a jacket that’s designed to help you keep warm on blustery days.
The right windbreaker can make all the difference between a pleasant and unpleasant ride. Although you may not always notice it, riding causes you to sweat - even on cooler days. The wind can chill this sweat and quickly make you feel very cold, enough to even spoil your ride.
Although no substitute for a warmer and thicker layer, worn in conjunction with the right base layer and winter jersey/jacket, a windbreaker can prove an invaluable piece of clothing for windy days, allowing you to get out (and stay out) on the bike during harsher weather.
What types of windbreakers are available?
As with other cycling clothing, windbreakers are available for all types of riding, from road to mountain biking, touring and commuting. Generally-speaking, styling and fit follow the norms for other garments such as jerseys and jackets.
Windbreakers for road riding and training offer a closer, slimmer fit, creating less resistance with less material to flap around in the wind. As with other road cycling clothing, they usually have an extended back and shorter front.
Windbreakers for mountain biking usually have a baggier fit and more typically mountain bike-specific styling.
Windbreakers for commuting and touring are designed to fit over everyday clothes and should therefore be a little looser. You’ll find specific mens and womens models available for all applications.
Lightweight, wind-resistant fabrics
Windbreakers are not designed to insulate you, but rather to stop the wind getting through to other warmer layers. These products most commonly use extremely lightweight man-made fabrics such as nylon, cordura and polyester. Many models also offer rain protection, although this depends on the specific model; some are only shower-proof – so don’t count on these jackets to keep you dry! Look for a breathable windbreaker that is lightweight enough to be carried in a jersey pocket or saddle bag and can be put on and taken off quickly and easily.
Common Features of Windbreakers
When it comes to features, road cycling windbreakers are usually quite simple, usually offering little more than a couple of pockets at the back and sometimes one at the chest. Mountain biking windbreakers sometimes have hoods and are likely to have hip pockets and drawstring-adjustable hems. Windbreakers for commuting and touring often have side pockets and reflective strips incorporated into their design.
Windbreakers at Bikester.co.uk
A windbreaker is a garment that no serious cyclist should go without. Although they’re more practical than they are exciting, there’s no denying that a windbreaker offers invaluable protection and comfort with an extremely low weight/space penalty. Here at bikester.co.uk we have a comprehensive range of windbreakers from some of cycling’s most well-respected brands including Castelli, Gore Wear, Endura, Vaude & Löffler. Shop our great selection without leaving the comfort of your own home and enjoy speedy delivery, hassle-free returns and great customer service.