A wet Paris-Roubaix? No problem! Santini helps our riders be prepared for anything the weather might throw at them.
There are people who relish riding in the rain while others need to see glorious rays of sunshine shining down to decide to go out for a ride.
If you are an amateur, you have the luxury to choose. Beautiful or miserable weather, the choice is yours. However, if riding is your job, there are no excuses especially on race day. Sorry team!
The crazy thing is, once you are out in the bad weather, battling with teammates, it almost becomes enjoyable.
You wake up, look outside, and it’s pouring rain. The only choice you have is what to wear to ensure you don’t freeze (or get completely drenched) but also to ensure you can still make the best out of the day and achieve the result you have trained so hard for.
The Northern Classics, and above all Paris-Roubaix, have taught us that rain can be just around the corner, anytime. When it happens, it doesn’t just make the race even more exciting for the fans but also, sometimes, for the riders.
“I must admit I am not one of those riders who thrives in bad weather, I’m a bit of a sun worshipper. My sunny insides don’t love it when it’s grim outside, but the crazy thing is, once you are out in the bad weather, battling with teammates, it almost becomes enjoyable,” explains Tayler Wiles.
“It is so tough that afterwards you feel pretty accomplished and that is a really nice feeling to have at the end of the day, even if the motivation at the start is a bit lacking. The fire starts as soon as you are racing so you know it gets better.”
Cycling is a tough sport. Beautiful, but unforgiving and that is why, cycling clothing must be spot on every time, especially on days like this.
When opening their cycling wardrobe, our riders have multiple choices of Santini clothing to choose from and when it comes to the rain, wind and cold, they have different jackets for weather protection even in the harshest conditions.
But how do you pick the perfect clothing for the day?
“I always overdress for training in the cold, but racing is different,” Wiles continues.
“I don’t like taking too much off once we’ve started so I usually go with less than what is comfortable at the start and by the time the neutral start is over I’m usually just right. Keeping your core, hands (very important for me!) and feet warm is the priority. I like a neoprene glove in the rain as it keeps your hands warm when wet. I also love a rain vest, it’s better than a full jacket because you don’t get as hot and it’s much easier to take off if you need to. I think toe warmers should be banned, it’s either full bootie or no bootie for me.”
There are three main features that our pro riders look for in a rain jacket.
Firstly, and most obviously, it needs to be rain-proof. A good quality membrane fabric and thermo-sealed seams are a must.
Secondly, it needs to be breathable. You don’t want to get soaked in sweat on the inside.
Last, but not least, it needs to be aerodynamic. The closer to the body, the better it is in terms of thermo regulation and performance.
There are other characteristics that a pro-rider might not need to think about in a race, but which are just as essential for them on a training ride as they are for amateurs:
- ‘Pocket-ability’: if the weather forecast predicts rain, you don’t want to be caught out when you are already out on your bike so, you might want to take a rain jacket that fits in your jersey pocket. Unfortunately, even our riders do not always have a team car following to hand it to them.
- High Visibility: Being visible in low light, especially when it rains, can make you feel safer on the road.
- Smart storage: You need to secure your valuables from getting wet. Your phone, documents, keys, needs to be put in a waterproof zipped pocket.
Our clothing partner Santini Cycling have a variety of jackets to choose from and have just launched a rain jacket dedicated to Paris- Roubaix, all available now on their website santinicycling.com.