April in the Cape is often marked by the first proper cold front of the winter while up country the sun starts to set depressingly early, so we thought we’d profile a few products to keep you riding as the elements begin to turn against you.
Energizer Bike Light Kit
Looking for a low cost light to get you from point A to point B safely on short commutes? Take a look at Energizer’s offering then, it comes in a pack containing a front and rear light and the necessary triple A batteries to light you up right away. The front light has three LED lights, offering the options of, all lights on, all lights flashing or central light on and the side beams flashing to help you remain visible to motor vehicle bound road users. It’s not the light to fit if you’re going for a technical single track night ride, but if you’re looking to keep yourself visible for a good price then it’ll do the job admirably. Look out for the Energizer Bike Light Kit in selected local bike shops and expect to pay in the region of R300.
Assos iJ.Tiburu.4 Jacket
If you’re looking for the most epic jacket to keep you warm and looking your best on the bike then Assos is arguably the way to go. It’s best used in conjunction with an Assos interactive body insulator underneath and is designed to act as a middle layer if it’s really cold or an outer layer in chilly conditions. Featuring Assos’s usual excellent cut and construction and available in white, red or black, you can match the jacket to suit the rest of your riding wardrobe. You can buy it online from CWCycles.co.za for R2 650.
Skins Men’s A200 Compression Long Sleeve Top
There’s a bit of conjecture over the effectiveness of compression gear, but Iron Man athletes swear by them, so they should be good for MTB stage races or ultra-marathons. The Skins Compression Top features gradient compression to enhance circulation, which helps your body deliver more oxygen to boost muscle performance. It also provides muscle wrapping and support to the reduced risk of muscle injury. To top it all, the top features 50+ UV protection, antimicrobial properties and moisture wicking fabrics. Find out more at www.skins.net. Expect to pay R970.
K-Way Arc Jacket
Looking for a lightweight multi-purpose waterproof jacket then take a look at K-Way’s Arc? It won’t break the bank and it’ll wrap up nice and small to fit in your jersey pocket should the rain clear during your ride. Or pop it in your pocket if it looks like rain before your ride. The active shell jacket is made from 100% polyester, is windproof, vapour permeable and finished with a water repellent coating. It features elasticated cuffs, an adjustable hem and an adjustable hood. Plus it has reflective trim to keep you visible to motorists at night (the canary yellow might help with that to). The Arc is available in yellow, blue and black from Cape Union Mart stores or online from www.capeunionmart.co.za for R599.
Falke Pro Cycling Socks
There’s few things more underrated than a good pair of socks. And Falke make the best. Their cycle socks selection is pretty comprehensive too and the mountain biking specific options offer nice thick cotton weave to keep your toes warm on those cold winter rides. Find out about the ranges on offer from Falke at www.falke.co.za, but you can expect to pay around R45 for the Pro Cycling Socks.
Asics Gel Fuji Attack 2
Off the bike winter is not the time to be sloffing about in the race village or parking area in a pair of flip-flops, so why not invest in a pair of trail running shoes. Cover cross-training and post/pre-race footwear in one purchase with the Asics Gel Fuji Attack 2 trail running shoes. They’re lightweight and designed for long-distance over extreme terrain. But don’t be put off by the long-distance tag, that just means they’ll be comfortable enough to sooth your aching feet after a long day of riding in your super stiff MTB shoes. The updated Attack 2 are lighter than their Attack 1 processors and also feature a Trail Specific Outsole that gives you effective grip and protection from sharp rocks if you should wish to take up trail running as cross-training. Find out more at www.asics.co.za. Expect to pay R700.
Fi’zi:k Shoe Cover
Keep your feet dry in the wettest conditions with the Fi’zi:k Booties. They fit over your MTB shoes and keep the water out. Pretty simple really (and a lot better looking than the emergency option of shopping packets and duct tape). Buy a set before any ride where you’re expecting wet weather so you don’t get caught out. They’re available from bike shops stocking Fi’zi:k or from CWCycles.co.za for R499.