Cycling is one of the most challenging sports out there. Even when we practice it in less demanding activities than professionals, such as bicycle rides, cycle tours, or mountain routes. In addition to the terrain’s demands, which forces us to make significant physical efforts, there are the weather conditions.
To protect ourselves from these atmospheric phenomena, we have to wear clothes like a windbreaker. As its name indicates, its primary use is to fight the wind, but it also protects us from cold and humidity. This article will know in-depth this product and the best options that the market offers so that our cycling activity is satisfactory.
Essential points about cycling windbreaker
- The windbreaker is an essential garment to protect us from the wind and cold when we carry out activities with the bicycle, especially in the autumn and winter seasons.
- We should not confuse windbreaks with cycling raincoats since the former does not protect us from heavy rain, although in some cases, they have an absolute impermeability that can combat a drizzle.
- It is essential to know the characteristics of the manufacturing material, as we will see in the purchase criteria, to find a quality model that fulfills the required functions.
The best cycling windbreakers
Next, we are going to recommend four models of cycling windbreakers. They all have the guarantee of analysis and user experience. We will see products with the highest sales, the best evaluations, or the best price about quality. There will also be a high-end windbreaker, a jewel for the most demanding.
- Online shopper’s favorite
- The best valued by users
- The quality at the best price
- The high-end windbreaker
Online shopper’s favorite cycling windbreaker
This model offers all the protections a cyclist needs. Made with polyester materials on the outside to resist wind and combat water. Inside, the fleece lining provides warmth.
The high neckline and full zip to retain heat, although its breathability also stands out. It comes with tight pants. A complete article that is endorsed by its great sales numbers.
The best valued by users
Lightweight and adjustable windbreaker. Easy to carry in a pocket. Keeps the body warm and dry. It is made of polyester. It is a fitted vest with a high ergonomic neck and a zip closure.
This product has the best user ratings, which highlight its breathability and its effectiveness on cold mornings or against the wind that occurs when descending a port.
The quality at the best price
Windproof vest with design and color that help to identify the rider in low visibility conditions. It is made of compact, windproof microfiber, with a highly breathable mesh on the back.
Buyers of this product highlight its good quality, which, together with its affordable price, makes it a model that can be used very well and is highly profitable.
The high-end windbreaker
Made with Gore Windstopper technology (textile material), whose main characteristic is to protect from the wind and offer good breathability. Besides, it has an external impregnation that makes it waterproof.
A high-quality windbreaker that satisfies all users. It has a two-compartment back pocket and has the advantage of being able to be used with a backpack.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Cycling Windbreakers
Windbreakers may be unknown to those who want to start practicing the attractive sport of cycling. In this guide, we will know this fundamental element to go out on the road or the mountain to pedal, either more demandingly or just for a walk. Acquiring one is a must if we want to pedal in all seasons.
What is cycling windbreaker?
The windbreaker is a garment that cyclists use to protect themselves from the wind and cold. It is about maintaining an ideal temperature in our body so that its performance is not affected. Although it seems that the great effort made on a bicycle is enough to not feel cold, the truth is that speed causes cooling. Let’s take an example: At a speed of 40 kilometers per hour and with a temperature of 10 degrees centigrade (ºC), the sensation that a cyclist can feel is -1 ºC. If the wind also blows, the layer of heat that your body generates is displaced and forces you to make a more significant effort to try to renew it.
What type of windbreak is suitable for each weather situation?
Although some users consider only the vest models as windbreakers, also highlighting their low impermeability to enhance other characteristics, the truth is that manufacturers are applying technologies to make the models versatile. Let’s check the types and their functions, including to compare the raincoat, which is not a windbreaker:
|Windproof vest||In strong wind and cold situations.||Offers great breathability.||Its impermeability is low.|
|Windbreaker jacket||Combat low temperatures and protect from the wind.||Increase the area of protection against wind and cold.||Mobility is lost in the arms with respect to the vest.|
|Oilskin||For days of heavy rain or snowfall.||It protects us from any external water threat.||It has a lower breathability.|
What is a conventional cycling windbreaker like?
In the market, we will find several models of cycling windbreakers. However, most of them meet a series of conditions that we can consider the conventional ones. Based on them, we can make a list of elements and characteristics that tell us what a good windbreak should be:
- Neck: It must be high to prevent the entry of air.
- Zipper: It should be easy to handle, especially the puller, even with gloves. The windbreaker we can remove and put it several times, even while we continue the march.
- Mesh membrane: Located on the back to facilitate breathability. It is an element that we will miss very much if we buy a model that does not have it.
- Openings: Although some cycling windbreakers have pockets, it is recommended to use those of the jersey, accessing them through openings.
- Color: The windbreaker must have a striking tone, bright color to help us be more visible.
- Foldable: Considering that we will not always need to place the windbreaker, but we must carry it in case its use is necessary, it is vital that we can easily fold it so that it occupies as little as possible. And if it weighs little, the better. We will appreciate that lightness in its transport and when we use it during physical effort.
Why do windbreaks take care of our health?
The function of the windbreakers that we use in cycling is limited to avoiding the discomfort caused by cold, wind, and sweat, preventing air entry and expelling the humidity created by our body. These garments also help us take care of our health.
Without them, we are exposed to colds or even more severe ailments.
In some cases, it could lead to flu or colds, annoying situations, but of minimal relevance. In others, we could reach more severe consequences such as hypothermia, which causes confusion and clumsy movements. Without a doubt, something dangerous when driving a vehicle at high speeds and uneven terrain or roads full of cars.
Is it necessary to dress in three layers, and which one corresponds to the windbreaker?
The theory that you have to wear three layers in the cold and rainy seasons is more than accepted: In this way, we create a microclimate that protects our body from the exterior elements and the sweat that we produce due to physical effort. Let’s find out what characteristics the garments that make up each of the three recommended layers must have:
- Inner layer: Also known as a second skin. These garments are made of new generation synthetic fiber or wool. They repel moisture, preventing sweat from cooling our body. They must be tight. Cotton t-shirts are not recommended as they absorb a lot of water (up to four times their weight).
- Intermediate layer: It insulates us thermally. By retaining the heat that our body produces, it prevents us from getting cold. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester, or natural fibers such as wool, are often mixed to achieve good insulation and good breathability.
- Outer layer: The windbreaker enters this section. The layer keeps us dry in the face of the rain, that is, a waterproof garment. Although we remember that most windbreaks do not usually combat more than small drizzles. It also protects us from the wind and low temperatures. And it must allow the sweat that the previous two layers evacuated to escape.
How to wash a cycling windbreaker?
The materials used in the manufacture of cycling windbreakers are usually sensitive to the chemicals used by fabric softeners or certain detergents. Its use in washing could lead to the loss of the properties that make the windbreaker a protective element against the meteorological elements. The bleach must be discarded. It can also be inconvenient to use a washing machine, although each garment is different. Therefore, it is best to check the label for the manufacturer’s recommendations. Hand washing is always a guarantee, as for drying, we have to do it in a place where the air circulates a lot. It is a garment that, due to its conditions, takes a long time to dry.
Why should cycling windbreakers be flexible and lightweight?
The flexibility and lightness in the materials of manufacture of the windbreakers are essential. The cyclist must wear the garment tight to defend against the wind and cold, although never tight or heavy, as their movements would be reduced. Therefore, we have to bet on components that allow us to carry out our actions with total freedom and comfort. These factors also influence the more outstanding durability of the garment. We keep their properties longer and avoid making a new expense in acquiring another windbreaker for cycling. Or at least we delay it. You have to find a balance between maximum protection, which is the main thing, and the best possible comfort.
Cycling windbreaker purchase criteria
Before launching to acquire a product, we must be very clear about the criteria to follow to make the right choice. In the case of windbreaks, you have to know their level of protection. For this, it is crucial to analyze the manufacturing materials, their quality, and characteristics. Sometimes a benefit comes with a disadvantage.
Knowing the materials that produce the best benefits can help us find good quality windbreaker. Synthetic fibers are lighter, in the case of polyester, but less breathable than natural fibers. Some models have an impregnation or outer membrane that gives them an absolute impermeability.
Inside, some models have a fleece lining for more excellent protection from the cold, but it does not wick away sweat with the drawback. That is why we recommend a mesh or mesh one. We eliminate humidity, we feel more comfortable, and we lighten the weight. And let’s not forget that good quality usually has to be paid for.
You should look for a model that meets the most appropriate characteristics to combat low temperatures and the wind’s cooling in our bodies. Depending on the intensity of the cold and the wind, you will have to opt for higher quality garments.
A crucial factor, which is still protection, is the evacuation of sweat. Good breathability avoids the risks of getting sick due to a cold. But above all, it allows us to practice the activity without the discomfort of humidity, sticky clothes.
The windbreaker’s thickness can vary depending on whether you need more or less protection against the cold and wind. However, it is interesting that it is as light as possible. On the one hand, it will prevent your fatigue from increasing while you are in full swing. On the other hand, a minimum weight will help avoid the extra effort to transport it when you are not using it.
Considering that we are doing a physical activity that involves great effort, we mustn’t add further discomfort. The windbreaks must be tight to prevent the wind’s passage, but not tight, as it could easily prevent us from making the typical movements that the activity requires.
In addition to that necessary flexibility or lightness to avoid greater weight, another factor that will make us feel more comfortable is good perspiration. These are small details, although all very relevant, which make a big difference between a rewarding practice and one that can be insufferable.
The zipper of the windbreaker must reach the top of the high collar. It is the primary setting and should work properly as it is the most extensive entry the wind can find, also, in areas sensitive to cold, such as neck and chest. If the windbreaker has sleeves, the elastics at the wrists also prevent air from entering.
In its vest and jacket versions, the cycling windbreaker is the cyclist’s best ally in their combat against the elements. Inevitably, the speed that develops on the bicycle causes the body to receive cold air, which multiplies if the temperatures are low, cooling the effort’s sweat.
To avoid these annoyances, which can even lead to a health problem, windbreaks offer us protection. Do not hesitate to buy one of their models if you do any activity related to cycling. You will improve your performance in adverse cold and windy climates. Your body will thank you, and your health will indeed also.