September rides are marked by cool starts and warm finishes. Here are some bicycle clothing essentials that keep you comfortable in the morning, without weighing you down when the day warms up. These items are great for dry conditions in the high 40's to mid 60s, depending, of course, on how well you deal with cold tempratures.
Start with a wind vest or shell, like the Pearl Izumi ELITE Barrier Vest ($80). The barrier fabric stops the wind, and the Screaming Yellow color stops traffic! And it packs down easily to a palm sized bundle for your jersey or seat bag.
Combined with your vest or under a shell, a pair of arm warmers will keep the chill out. Pearl Izumi's Therma Fleece Arm warmers ($30) or Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper Arm Warmers ($49.99) will do the trick, and when stripped off, take a minimum of space.
The next place you loose warmth is your head, through your well ventilated helmet. Here, a SmartWool Training Beanie ($24.99) will keep you warm and dry, without impacting your helmet fit. Bicycle Garage Indy also has under-helmet ear warmers and caps from Gore Bike Wear, Pearl Izumi and Louis Garneau. Or you can add a helmet cover from Gore or Louis Garneau.
Finally, take care of your legs. Before it is cold enough for tights, protect your knee joints from the early morning chill during your warm up miles with Thermal Fleece knee warmers or leg warmers from Pearl Izumi ($35 to $45) or Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper Leg Warmers ($69.99).
These items, combined with the right base layers, shorts and jersey, will keep you riding comfortably into the deep fall before more specialzed cold weather gear is needed.
Find a complete selection of bicycle clothing for all seasons at all three Bicycle Garage Indy locations: Bicycle Garage Indy North (Indianapolis, Dean Rd. at 82nd St.), South (just west of I-65 on County Line Rd, Greenwood), and BGI Downtown, in the Indy Bike Hub YMCA at City Market.