Colder Than Cold

Just a few days ago it was a pleasant 50º, and this week it dropped well below 30º. On Tuesday I went for a ride to test out some new winter gear I got this Christmas, a new Rapha winter jersey and a pair of 3/4 bib shorts. It was 24º by the time I hit the road, and a part of me wanted to turn back immediately. It was so cold by the end of the ride my hands were numb. Guess it's time to upgrade to some winter specific gloves.

Not only was it 24º there was a 15 mph northeast wind gust making it even colder, not to mention I rode along the waterfront a bit.

At this point the cold has penetrated the outer layer of my new jersey, which is lined with a heavy merino wool fabric and windproof chest panels. I also had a base layer underneath, but I think it was the super windy conditions that did me in. However, once I got rolling and warmed up I didn't notice it as much. I think wearing a lightweight shell would have been perfect.

What I appreciate most about this jersey is the pocket layout on the back. There are two large pockets, along with a large and small zip compartment. I could easily carry a jacket, food and my usual stuff. There's also a thin reflective band at the bottom which is a nice detail. Overall the construction is superb. I even got one for my Dad this Christmas.

The 3/4 bib shorts are perfect for rides below 40º. They're lined with a fleece-backed Thermoroubaix fabric. I prefer this length to full on tights.

Halfway into my ride, near Coney Island my shifting started to act up. Upon closer inspection my rear derailleur cable stop inside the shifter came loose, forcing me to ride in my 11 tooth cog. What's worse is that my drivetrain is so worn down that cross-gearing from my 39 tooth chainring would skip all over the place. I rode all the way home in my highest gear, beaten by the cold with stumpy frozen fingers. Surprisingly I finished in good time.