Recent heavy showers have not entirely blighted a glorious September, and the weeks ahead promise further mild temperatures.
That said, the searing heat of August is now a memory, leaving the cyclist requiring an outfit warm enough to see off the nippy conditions in which rides typically are now begun, without overheating in the warmth enjoyed throughout this month after about 10am.
An ensemble of shorts, knee warmers, short-sleeved jersey and arm warmers, and lightweight, packable jacket should cover all bases in such weather.
The first collection in which we’ll head out before the onset of winter is from Mavic, a French company best known for its wheels, but whose range of clothing has grown in recent years.
Mavic Helium Jacket – £85
The Helium jacket is light even by the standards of lightweight jackets. The body is tailored from an extremely lightweight nylon treated with a Durable Water Repellant Coating (DWR) which, as the name suggests, has claims for water resistance.
The cut is extremely close – Mavic’s ‘pro’ fit – and so 4cm narrower across the chest than its conventionally-tailored cousins. The arms seem a little long for the body when off the bike, but the tailoring proves judicious on it, when, with arms bent, there is still sufficient material to cover the wrist, where it is secured by a narrow, elasticated cuff.
Another notable feature is the Ergo Zip, routed in the centre of the jacket until the breast bone, where it begins a journey east to leave the fastening safely stowed away from the throat. The high collar, slightly padded, is lined on the inside and initial impressions are that it will prove comfortable. ‘Micro Vents’ (small holes beneath the arm pits) are presumably an aid to ventilation. We’ll find out.
The Mavic Helium jacket comes in black or white, in seven sizes from S to 3XL, and costs £85.
Mavic Spring Race Glove – £28
Extremities (hands, feet and head) are the most vulnerable to falls in temperature, even in the wonderfully mild conditions we’re currently experiencing. To that end, we’ve called in Mavic’s Spring Race Glove.
It has a simple design. The back has no cuff to speak of, but the palm ends with a separate panel about 2cm deep that extends about the same distance above the wrist bone. Grip comes from three narrow silicone strips in the palm. It’s a light, full-fingered glove, and looks a suitable weight for this time of year. It comes in black, in four sizes from S to XL, and costs £28.
Mavic Thermosock – £12
The Thermosock’s cuff rises about three inches above the ankle. It has Terry panels on the top, sole, toe, and heel, perhaps to absorb pressure as well as to provide insulation.
At the side, and in a narrow band before the toes, the cotton is finer, presumably for ventilation. We’ve slipped them beneath our Dromarti Race leather lace-up shoes, and found they’re noticeably thicker and provide notably more protection than the lightweight, ankle-length socks we’ve spent the summer wearing. We’ll need to log some miles inside them before delivering a verdict, but early impressions are positive. The Mavic Thermosock comes in black or white, in three sizes from S to L, and costs £12.
Mavic Arm Warmer – £30; Mavic Knee Warmer – £30
Arm and knee warmers are the simplest method of protection from autumn temperatures, and these from Mavic are uncomplicated and, it has to be said, pretty stylish. The ‘sleeve’ of the arm warmer is lined with a light fleece, and constructed from two Lycra panels with a narrow ‘cuff’ at the wrist, above which sits a short, reflective panel.
At the opposite end, a gripper band some 4cm deep is made from an extremely light, perforated Polyester, almost like net, with silicone applied on the inside in the shape of the letter M. The Mavic arm warmer costs £28, comes in black, white, and red, and in five sizes from XXS to L.
It’s a similar story with the knee warmer (silicone lined gripper, reflective panel, a narrow cuff reliant on the stretch of the fabric rather than constricting elastic), whose leading edge is made from three panels, which roughly accord with thigh, knee, and shin. The Mavic knee warmer comes in five sizes from XXS to L, in black, white, or red, and cost £28.
We’ll be testing our autumn ensemble from Mavic in the few remaining weeks before the weather turns wintery. Check back soon for a full review.