Don’t let a lack of decent waterproofs keep your bike garage-bound this season. The right clothing will let you extend your riding season all year round, keeping you dry and toasty on even the coldest days. With new season kit out, autumn is the ideal time to upgrade your gear for something more stylish.
The Dainese Latitour GTX Gore-Tex boots (below left) have been getting great reviews from riders for the last few years, and with good reason. For around £165 you can have a light, sturdy boot which is comfortable for long rides, and which lets your foot breathe without letting in water. Features include nylon ankle inserts and heel counters, and reflective panels to make you more visible at night. Upgrade to the TRQ-Tour (£210) (below centre) for a sportier look, a D-Axial jointed anti-ankle system to help prevent ankle injury and a more adaptable fit.
An alternative to Dainese is a pair of Alpinestars New Land Boots Short GTX (below right). Costing around £170, they have leather outers and a Gore-Tex liner for protection from the road and the weather.
Waterproof over-trousers are excellent for commuting but if you want something purpose designed for longer weekend rides it’s hard to beat the Alpinestars Missile trousers. Full grain leather and knee armour offers superb protection, while the stretch panels let you move comfortably in the saddle. At £300 they aren’t cheap, but the quality of them means they should keep you warm and cosy for many years.
Keep winter chills out with comfortable base layers. Ideally, you want layers that wick sweat away from your skin while blocking the wind, and which have flat seams to minimise chafing. The Vanucci Windmaster leggings (approximately £55) meet all these criteria, while Under Armour is another reputable brand. Cheaper options are on the market, but the wind blocking layer on the front makes these worth the investment.
Heated handlebar grips soften the effect of harsh Scottish weather. There isn’t much between the leading brands so choose a style which can be easily fitted to your handlebars. They cost between £60 and £80, but your fingers will thank you when they’re not frozen rigid this autumn and winter.
No matter how good your kit, if your bike isn’t autumn ready you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Use grippier tyres and make sure the air pressure is correct to optimise your braking ability. Adjust your riding style accordingly, leaving bigger gaps in wet weather, and be sensible about calling off a ride if the conditions aren’t suitable. Finally, take out motorbike roadside assistance to help you get on your way in