In collaboration with IBAI FRADEJAS
We know that the material we select, sell… and use is an important part of performance.
When riding a bicycle, one’s body temperature increases. The cooling mechanism that our body has is perspiration, that is to say, the evaporation of water through skin, which we know as sweat. This can soak our clothes giving us a feeling of discomfort and cold that is much worse than if we got wet because of the rain. Our goal is to stay dry at all times.
Knowing this, we must choose clothing that keeps us dry from sweat, allows us to be warm to combat low temperatures and prevents the rain from getting in our way.
This is where layering or the three layers theory arises, which insists that with the combination of a maximum of three layers of clothing is enough to create a small microclimate which will protect our bodies from our sweat and from inclement weather, thus avoiding having us feel uncomfortable.
This is the layer that is in contact with the skin, the undershirts. Its function is to move our sweat away from the skin, preventing the sensation of humidity and therefore keeping our body from getting cold.
To that end, we use different materials:
- Synthetic fibres, which dry quickly.
- Natural fibres (Merino wool) have a more pleasant touch, wicking away moisture much better than synthetic fabrics and accumulating fewer bad odours.
Some garments incorporate carbon thread, which prevents the accumulation of bacteria and also works as a good temperature regulator.
We recommend tight garments to prevent the wind from penetrating between them and our body, but without tightening around us to allow us to move easily.
The function of the second layer is to insulate us thermally. These garments do not heat us directly, their mission is to retain the heat generated by the body even when wet, at the same time facilitating the wicking away of sweat.
- The good thing about synthetic fibres (polyester) is that they are less absorbent, facilitating better perspiration, in addition to drying more quickly.
- Natural fibres (Merino wool) have the advantage that they retain more heat.
Examples of the second layer are: jersey, culotte, cap, hat, headband, pants, gloves, socks…
The function of this third layer is to protect us from three important factors:
- Rain and humidity outside, keeping us dry.
- Wind, avoiding the sensation of cold that it causes.
- Our sweat, allowing it to be wicked away (breathability) since the previous layers have not had to retain it.
This layer, in addition, must be resistant since, being the outermost layer, it can be in contact with branches, rocks, etc.
We can find it in the followin garments:
- Aquazero rain coats.
- Pro Team and Aquazero vests.
- Aquazero windbreakers are jackets with a special fabric that allows the wind not to pass through it, avoiding the convection cooling that we would suffer with only the second layer. They are built to avoid light rain, but with more water it will penetrate the fabric.
- Aquazero jerseys, culottes, booties, etc. are an intermediate garment, performing the functions of layers 2 and 3, carrying inside a layer of plush fabric that retains the heat of our body and an external treatment that prevents the penetration of wind and light rain. They have a high perspiration capacity.
Ultimately, the idea behind layering is to have clothing items with a very defined function, being able to combine them according to the meteorological circumstances in which we find ourselves.
For example, on a sunny day we would use a first summer layer and a thin jersey. On cooler days, but without wind, we would cover ourselves with a second layer (inner t-shirt + pro aero or aero jersey). If on the other hand, the temperature is pleasant with light rain or wind, we would only have to put on a third layer (windbreaker or vest), putting it away in the jersey bag when it stops raining. If weather conditions worsen, we would use the 3 layers at the same time, knowing that in the first and second layer we could find garments with different levels of thickness, and we must choose well depending on the temperatures.
Therefore, our common sense and our experience will allow us to better choose the types of garments that we need.
En colaboración con IBAI FRADEJAS
Ibai Fradejas, always searching for adventure and wild bicycle explorations.