Just because the temperatures have dropped doesn’t mean Riding Season is over. As long as there is nothing on the roads, Salt, Sand, Cinders, or Snow, there is no reason we can’t still ride. Of course one key element is having the right gear. Two items that will help shield you from the cold are a Full Face Helmet and a Neck Gator or Balaclava. I employ both and will continue to do so whenever I ride on colder days because it makes a huge difference. What’s that? You have neither? Well head over to K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) and take a look at the great selection of Helmets and neck wear.
I won’t sit here and tell you one helmet brand is better than the other, what I will tell you is to make sure the Full Face Helmet you choose should be either DOT Certified or be SNELL approved. For the most part, you won’t find very many Full Face ones that do not carry one of the certifications. In addition you will want to make sure the chosen helmet has adequate venting. Even though we are trying to keep the cold off of us, we still need to have some air passing through the helmet. This will help keep the face shield from fogging over completely. It will also keep our heads from perspiring as the venting will move air, creating a cooling effect. Some helmet manufacturers K and G Cycles carries (HJC, SHOEI, and DAYTONA) include a chin baffle to help reduce noise and air infiltration. This can lead to a warmer, quieter, more enjoyable experience.
Another important piece of gear to strongly consider is the Neck Gator or Balaclava. Similar to a Ski Mask, these units are designed to be tucked under the jacket collar, cover the neck, and depending on which one you have, will cover your head too. In most cases the the neck portion will be made of fleece and if you have the full cover it is usually made of nylon/silk/or neoprene. Again, speaking from experience, the difference of wearing one and not is incredible. I live about 5 miles from the office and even that short commute will have my neck and throat chilled to the point it is uncomfortable. On the flip side, the protection offered has allowed my to ride down to 16° and enjoy it.
I know a lot of you won’t feel the need to head out when it’s 16°, but if you do, know there is a solution to being chilled to the bone. That’s right, a Full Face Helmet and a Balaclava from your friends at K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com). This will significantly reduce the cold your head and neck is subjected to. There is something sweet about riding when you aren’t supposed to be.