For those seeking quality cycling in the winter, functional gear is a must. This weekend I tested out a slew of Castelli products on a long, winter ride just outside the city limits of Portland. I wanted to see if the apparel would succeed in keeping me warm and dry through the cold conditions of the pacific northwest.
The Jacket: Zoncolan Jacket
As I geared up for the ride and zipped up the Zoncolan for the first time I became worried the jacket would be too warm, but a few minutes later I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. Though the jacket is thick, lined with comfortable fleece, and keeps the full upper-body warm with a Thermoflex flip-up full zip collar, the Windstopper X‑fast 2 fabric breathes wonderfully while allowing my body to retain nice dry heat. An hour into my ride, as I battled up steep hills and rode down quick windy declines, the jacket was still keeping me consistently warm and holding a nice balance of breathability. Though it never outright rained on my ride, the Zoncolan did a good job at keeping me dry during a few light drizzles. I would highly recommend this Jacket for weather 45 degrees and below. Not only does the Zoncolan perform well, it looks incredibly stylish to match.
The Gloves: CW 3.0 Glove
It has been a tough search to find the perfect winter glove. Often times gloves are too bulky, don’t breathe well, or are not warm enough. The CW 3.0 Glove might be my new winter solution. It was warm enough for the long cold ride and breathable enough to prevent my palms from sweating.
The Bib Tights: Ergo Bibtight
These tights performed as well as expected, keeping my legs dry and warm even in windy downhill conditions. The Kiss3 pad provides a good balance between firm support and cushion in the saddle, and the ankle zippers are a great feature that allow the tights to be easily fitted or removed.
The Shoe Covers: Diluvio Shoecovers 16
Having recently attempted a long winter ride with no shoe covers (which resulted in complete numbness and near frostbite in my toes) I was overjoyed to try the Diluvio Shoecovers 16 for cold cycling conditions. The first thing I noticed was their sleek, low visual profile. Many shoe-covers look too bulky and scream for attention, but the thin-yet-sturdy 3mm neoprene fabric that makes up the Diluvios fit tightly against my shoes, making for a non-bulky and stylish cover. The material is completely waterproof, wind resistant, and kept my feet warm and dry for the entire ride.
Each piece of gear met up to the high standards that are common in Castelli’s line of quality products, and each made for a comfortable, enjoyable, and stylish ride…even in the harsh winter weather conditions of the northwest. I would highly recommend all of these products for cold conditions under 50 degrees.