Coryn Rivera blog: Don't be afraid of the elements

Changing weather? Change your clothing!

What to wear? That is always the question. If you are lucky, you have a teammate or friend around to bounce ideas off of. It definitely helps to have a second opinion and advice to figure out which articles of clothing to put on.

Yes, I am from Southern California where the default is usually just jersey and bib shorts, but I did spend 4 years in the mid-west in Indianapolis, Indiana while attending Marian University living in the real 4-seasons. Sometimes to the extreme - Snow storm? Sure! Ice storm? Bring it! Extreme summer humidity? Okay! 30mph crosswinds through the cornfields? Why not! I guess you could say my time in the mid-west has given me some experience to dress for the spring classics. There is no perfect science to wearing the right clothing and everyone is different but at least there can be a basic guideline to start. And so from my experience I have developed somewhat of a guide for myself for how to dress by every 10 degrees Fahrenheit…don't worry, for the Celsius users I'll include the conversion.

70 F (21 C)

This is the default for this California girl. Whenever I am at home the weather is absolutely perfect, usually around 70…even in the winter. Spoiled with it, but I can't complain! I love it! And lucky to call California home. When dressing for this weather, I never really have to think…I just put on the essentials.

  • Standard jersey
  • Standard bibs
  • Standard socks

90 F+ (32 C+)

Now for an extreme. The height of summer can get pretty toasty! I tend to see this kind of temperature dry in a California summer day or more humid in Italy during a mountain stage at the Giro Rosa where air conditioning is luxury. In these conditions Team Sunweb's clothing sponsor, Etxeondo, makes a special thin and "holey" kit just for this kind of weather to get more airflow to the body. But don't forget your sunscreen and the occasional water dump to keep your core cooled off so you don't overheat.

  • Summer jersey
  • Summer bibs
  • Summer socks

60 F (15 C)

This is still nice weather! A bit more on the cool side but the biggest difference can be the sun. I call this temperature the "Leg Warmer Zone" dependent on the amount of clouds. On race day you would be fine with the usual jersey and bibs, maybe an undershirt. But when training, more is always safer. This weather and sun I would dress accordingly:

  • Standard jersey
  • Standard bibs
  • Standard socks
  • Sleeveless undershirt

This temperature and gloomier clouds I would probably wear this:

  • Standard jersey
  • Standard bibs
  • Standard socks
  • Sleeveless undershirt
  • Arm warmers
  • Leg warmers

And if it happens to rain in this temperature, it wouldn't be too terrible. It is still pretty warm and it's possible to warm up. But arm and leg warmers would just get soaked, better to keep your core warm and dry as possible. Also the Ass Saver is super key to keeping your bum more dry and clean - anything helps! I would adjust to these pieces:

  • Standard jersey
  • Standard bibs
  • Standard socks
  • Sleeveless undershirt
  • Rain vest
  • Ass Saver

60 F (15 C) and cloudy outfit

50 F(10 C)

A nice spring day - I would consider this optimistic weather. Not the best, but put in perspective to what it could be, it is still fairly nice. Race day could still go without leg warmers for me, but I would roll out the door training with both arm and leg warmers. Here is the run down with this temp sunny, cloudy, and rainy.
Sunny:

  • Standard jersey
  • Standard bibs
  • Standard socks
  • Short-sleeve undershirt
  • Arm warmers
  • Leg warmers

Cloudy - don't forget to keep the fingers, toes, and core warm but not overheating:

  • Standard jersey or standard long-sleeve jersey
  • Standard bibs
  • Standard socks
  • Short-sleeve undershirt
  • Arm warmers
  • Leg warmers
  • Long fingered gloves
  • Sock booties
  • Light vest or wind-breaker vest

Rainy - could potentially be cold but can feel warmer if you are riding a bit harder. Neoprene gloves and rain booties can help keep your hands and feet dry, but if it is dumping you will definitely be wet. But hey - at least your shoes will still be somewhat clean! Plus a cap to keep that rain out of your eyes and on your glasses. Borderline no leg warmers because it would just soak up and hold water:

  • Standard jersey
  • Standard bibs
  • Standard socks
  • Short-sleeve undershirt
  • Arm warmers
  • Leg warmers
  • Long fingered gloves or neoprene rain gloves
  • Rain booties
  • Rain vest or light rain jacket or rain gabba jersey
  • Cap
  • Ass Saver

40 F (4 C)

This is officially cold for this SoCal girl! This winter temperature can definitely be chilly, especially if it is windy out. The more you cover up your body, the better! And I like to have more than 1 pair of gloves. I typically start with a warmer Gore-Tex pair of gloves and once my hands warm up, I change to the normal thermal long-fingered gloves. But if it is in the lower 40s, I just put on both pairs to be warm. I also prefer long winter tights with chamois versus leg warmers - it's a warmer piece and less constriction unlike the leg warmer band. Time to layer up!

  • Long winter tights with chamois
  • Long-sleeve undershirt
  • Winter jacket with Gore-Tex
  • Winter socks
  • Winter booties
  • Winter Gore-Tex gloves
  • Long fingered gloves
  • Buff
  • Headband

30 F (-1 C)

Welcome to my outdoor limit. I mean we are at or below freezing here! If it is wet out, it could potentially not be safe, but you could feel like a badass. Use your best judgement to head out. If it is not too terrible and the sun is out you can still toughen up and get your well-dressed booty out the door to get your training in. I still prefer to be outside if there isn't much rain or snow in the forecast. Again, I roll out with more than 1 pair of gloves, also add another layer of tights to block the wind, and a thicker undershirt. If you really can't warm up, hand and toe warmer packets are really nice to have around. I stick them over my shoe and under my booties and the insides of my wrists in my gloves to keep my extremities warm. They are always the hardest to warm up in this temperature because they don't really move too much, so they are key in feeling comfortable in this cold weather.

  • Long winter tights with chamois
  • Gore-Tex tights without chamois
  • Long-sleeve winter undershirt
  • Winter jacket with Gore-Tex
  • Winter socks
  • Winter booties
  • Winter Gore-Tex gloves
  • Long-fingered gloves
  • Buff
  • Headband
  • Hand & toe warmers

30 F (-1 C) extreme cold weather pieces. Use more layers if you need to!

There you have it! That's my general guideline on how to dress for different temperatures and conditions. It is not by no means the only way to go about it because every person is different, but at least it is a start. Don't be afraid of the elements! With the right clothing, anything is possible!

Coryn Rivera is a professional cyclist racing for Team Sunweb. She was born and raised in Orange County, California, and entered her first bike race at the Redlands Bicycle Classic kids race. Rivera had a break-out season in her first year with Team Sunweb in 2017, winning Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio,Tour of Flanders, Prudential RideLondon Classique, and the team time trial at the World Championships.

 

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