It's that time of year. Time to talk about the latest cold weather gear. I never find myself talking much about summer gear. Jerseys are well, just jerseys. Shorts, well, you get what you pay for. But winter gear is all about technology.
Last year I fell in love with three items that I'll be using vigorously again this winter. I've actually already spent a few cold mornings in them already. The Castelli Radiation 1-2-3 jacket with matching Sorpasso bib tights. And of course my favorite product from last year, my Bontrager RXL thermal booties.
One item I fell short on was gloves. I gave the Castelli Poggia a shot but it didn't quite handle what I needed it to. It was a great glove in the 32-40 degree range but when it dipped below freezing it just didn't cut it. As a buyer for six bike shops I spent a good amount of time searching for a suitable winter glove last spring when I was reviewing all the product for the 2011/12 winter season. Two gloves stood out, both of them using the new OutDry technology. Enter the Capo Lombardia. What OutDry claims to prevent is the exact problem I had with my previous gloves, sweat getting trapped between the outer shell and the membrane which then freezes and turns your hands to ice blocks. With OutDry however, the shell and the membrane become one, eliminating the extra air pocket where your sweat can condense.
My only concern with the Lombardia glove is the insulation in the glove. Alone it's pretty minimal, so I'm planning on pairing it with the Capo Thermo Roubaix LF Glove. The Thermo Roubaix is a slightly heavier fleece than most liners so I'm hoping it will get me down into those 15 degree early mornings before it warms up into those balmy 20 degree temps. All in all this makes a pretty pricey $125 glove option. But if it eliminates getting nerve damage like a suffered with slightly last winter it'll be worth it. After one 15 degree ride I had a few finger tips go numb for about a week and a half.