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Fall Cycling Gear

Five items designed to power any cyclist through inclement weather

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 09 November 2011

The weather may be turning, but you don't need to hang up your bicycle for the season—most riders in the northern hemisphere have got a month or more left on two wheels. So, for the intrepid souls out there we've pulled together the best weatherproof gear to keep both the urban city commuter and the technically driven performance cyclist warm and dry in the cold to come.

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Rapha

Modeled after Rapha's previous collaboration with Paul Smith, the full-zip, completely waterproof City Rain Jacket is designed for extremely wet riding conditions. The jacket's clean aesthetic, accented by Rapha's signature pink, brings an extra element of urban style. For a technical touch, a hidden rear zipper holds a hi-vis reflective tail flap that hangs down to protect from rain spray and make riders clearly visible to drivers on the road. The City Rain Jacket is sold directly through Rapha for $320.

Castelli

A simple idea done well, the new Aero Rain Lite LS Jersey blends the performance capability of a Lycra cycling jersey with the waterproof finish of a Gore-Tex coat. This zip-up jersey fits snugly with remarkable stretch and breathability for proper aerodynamics and comfort and side-zips for ventilation. Plus, it's cut long in the back to defend against tire spray in wet conditions. The Aero Rain Lite, also available in black, sells for $170 from Amazon.

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Icebreaker

Regardless of what the name may suggest, the Commuter Zip is fit for sport cycling, but sleek enough to wear anytime as a light jacket or an extra layer for warmth—and it won't clash with your Lycra shorts. This versatile top layer is made of 98% New Zealand Merino wool with 2% Lycra for that extra stretch necessary for cycling. Since wool is mildly water repellant by nature, the breathable blend should be enough to brave fall's sudden showers. Other subtle styling perks include added length in the back for saddle coverage, inseam silicone piping to prevent anything from riding up and reflective piping along the back to increase visibility. Available from Icebreaker for $175.

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Mission Workshop

As a slightly smaller messenger bag alternative, the Sanction Rucksack is completely waterproof and made in the U.S. with a lifetime warranty. Metal latches secure loads in an unconventional style, making for a welcome move away from plastic buckles. Inside the weatherproof bag you'll find a padded laptop compartment and on the outside—under urethane-coated zippers—are three pockets for quick storage and easy access. Definitely a more sensible option than most enormous messenger bags, it sells for $180 directly from Mission Workshop.

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Ortlieb

This small, waterproof saddle bag tucks away under the seat adding only 7.4oz of weight. The unobtrusive little storage unit is constructed of PU-coated Cordura and fits 49 cubic inches, plenty of room for a spare tube, tire or a compressible wind breaker. The roll top helps secure a water-tight closure and two D-rings lock easily. For added protection, the 3M Scotchlite reflectors help improve visibility in low light. Available from Bike Bag Shop for $30.

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