We regret to inform you that fall is here and winter is near. This may seem like bad news for those who live in extremely cold climates where consistent snowfall and shorter days make it almost impossible to ride. However, many of us can ride consistently, or at least intermittently during the winter months, provided we have the correct gear for the occasion. Luckily, mountain bike apparel companies have gotten wise to the fact that our biking obsession isn’t seasonal, and many of them are now making cold-weather gear including pants, thermal jerseys, wool tops, socks, and accessories that aren’t made solely out of spandex—hooray for baggy warmth! Here are some of the fall looks for men and women we are wearing this season.
7Mesh Apparel – Men’s & Women’s
The 7mesh Glidepath pant is the full-leg version of the popular Glidepath shorts. Constructed with the same four-way stretch and water-repellent fabric as the short version, these pants flex and protect the legs as you ride. The material feels light and lovely, and the seams are configured in such a way as to flatter the female figure, with reinforced, articulated knees and a tapered leg cuff. I found the knee seam to be slightly annoying without pads, rubbing my thigh in an odd spot.
Overall, I love the material and pocket configuration of these pants and they do keep me extremely warm. However, I’ve found 7Mesh product sizing to be rather inconsistent even within the same model, so ordering tends to be a challenge, especially if you’re in-between sizes. This time I ordered a small, knowing I could cinch the waist at the very least. Unfortunately, I had to cinch it quite a bit so these pants didn’t flatter my body shape; there was too much room in the hips and tush, creating a dumpy-bottom look. I have worn size XS 7Mesh shorts in the past, some of which fit correctly, some of which seem to be young-teen size.
The Elevate Tee is made from a blend of polyester and nature-friendly lyocell. It has a relaxed, casual fit that looks great on or off the bike. Soft, lightweight, anti-bacterial, and breathable, it’s the perfect tee for fall layering when the weather tends to go from cold to hot to cool in a matter of a few hours.
The Callaghan Merino Hoody is a mid-weight layer designed for warmth on those chilly morning or evening bike adventures. Comprised of a wool poly blend, this dual-fabric combo helps balance temperature throughout your ride. That being said, I found this hoody to be a bit too warm for moderate fall temperatures, especially in direct sunlight. It’s best suited for truly cold conditions, as an additional layer over top the Elevate tee. The seam lines of the Callaghan hoody are very female flattering, creating a nice silhouette from behind. I especially love the front hand pockets and hood which helped me stay warm at the après-trail hangout.
Lastly, who doesn’t love a neck gaiter or seven in the fall? Neck warmers are my personal go-to favorite accessory, especially since I don’t have much hair. The 7Mesh Desperado Merino neck warmer is the perfect lightweight merino touch I’m looking for on a chilly ride. It matches everything, is moisture-wicking, and is thin enough that it can be used as an over-the-ear/neck warmer (under your helmet) in the event you forget ear coverage.
- Glidepath Pant MSRP $170, Shop Women’s | Shop Men’s
- Elevate Tee MSRP $ 50, Shop Women’s | Shop Men’s
- Callaghan Merino Hoody MSRP $190, Shop Women’s | Shop Men’s
- Desperado Merino Neck Warmer $ 30, Available at JensonUSA
Club Ride Men’s Joe Dirt Shorts
Club Ride’s Joe Dirt shorts keep on keepin’ on, with their rugged, stretchy mini-cord material. They’re a thicker short if you need something that will give a little bit more warmth to keep rocking shorts if you’re like me and hate making the transition to pants season. These are a sort of do-it-all short, and are stretchy and moveable enough for a ride, or hauling meteors in a Radio Flyer to the next town. The Joe Dirts have a gusseted crotch, six pockets in total, and reflective accents. They do fit a little on the slim side in the waist, but fortunately, they also stretch a bit.
MSRP $70, Available at Club Ride Apparel
DHaRCO Gravity Pants and Jersey – Men’s & Women’s
Take a ride on the wild side with the DHaRCO gravity kit.
There has yet to be a piece of DHaRCO mountain bike clothing that I haven’t loved, partly because all the prints stand out and are extremely fun visually, and partly because DHaRCO has become synonymous with quality in my mind. Inspired by performance, functionality, and contemporary designs, the DHaRCO Gravity Pant is no exception; it really ups the ante in women’s MTB apparel. The four-way stretch, quick-drying, breathable, water-resistant material provides all the protection necessary for DH laps, yet it is versatile enough to pedal in during those colder fall and winter months. The gravity pant is made of slightly thicker material than other women’s pants (read: warmer); with an articulated cut, three pockets for essentials, waterproof zippers and room for knee pads. If you happen to take a digger in these pants, your skin should be saved.
The long sleeve Gravity Jersey matches the pants, of course, but can also be worn with any solid pant color. Constructed from recycled polyester, this moisture-wicking, performance quick-dry fabric transfers sweat away from the body. The gravity jersey has a relaxed fit, which allows room for full body protection and/or elbow pads, or additional warm layers underneath. The mesh side panels provide extra breathability and airflow directly to the parts of the body that produce the most moisture. Win, win.
- DHaRCO Gravity Pants MSRP $153, Shop Women’s | Shop Men’s (black only)
- DHaRCO Gravity Jersey MSRP $68, Shop Women’s | Shop Men’s (print varies)
Five Ten TrailX Pants – Men’s & Women’s
The new Five Ten TrailX mountain bike pants are just right for fall riding. They’re lightweight yet still provide a bit of protection from the weather and the gnar, and they feel pretty great too.
The four-way stretch fabric and shaped knees make it easy to move on the bike, and the hook-and-loop waist cinchers are handy for dialing in the fit. Perhaps my favorite feature is the three position hem strap which keeps the pant legs out of the drivetrain and locked down against the wind. The TrailX pants aren’t really insulated so most will find they are not warm enough for winter riding. However, they could work for summer alpine rides where they offer protection from the sun’s rays and the pointiest trail bits. I’m 6’3″ and the inseam is perhaps a tad short, but it’s not a deal breaker with this style of riding pant.
Kitsbow Women’s Laurel Mountain 3/4 Sleeve Merino Tee
This made-to-order shirt is constructed using 75% merino wool which helps keep it from feeling scratchy. It’s lightweight with a timeless, unrestricted fit. The heathered pattern softens the look for everyday wear and the breathability lets you confidently sub it in for shiny polyester jerseys. This simple, understated piece will get a lot of use during most seasons for years to come.
Minus33 Light Cushion Crew Wool Socks
The Minus33 Mountain Heritage Light Cushion wool socks are made for all seasons, but they may feel best in the fall since they’re thicker than a traditional bike sock. These socks are 60% Merino wool, fit nice and snug, and stay in place throughout rides. Minus33 says that these vent at the top keep them cooler, but that isn’t really noticeable. Still, they’re a nice sock when you want a bit more warmth on your toes before heading out on a fall ride.
MSRP $18.99, Available at Amazon
Pearl Izumi Men’s Prospect Tech Sweatshirt
The Prospect Tech Sweatshirt is another piece that blends off-bike functionality with on-bike capability. The sweatshirt is less packable than other options out there, but it still provides a lot of warmth for its size. The Prospect Tech has a relaxed fit and abrasion-resistant arms to fend off trailside foliage-induced tears. This sweatshirt is more of a fixed blade than a Swiss army knife, so pockets and straps and such aren’t aplenty, but it will keep you warm on a trail ride.
MSRP $110, Shop Men’s
Pearl Izumi Men’s Summit PRO Barrier Jacket
I know Pearl Izumi says that this jacket is made for inclement weather, but just look at how happy I am wearing it in the fall sun. I’ve also found it hard to take off during work and while lounging on the couch. This 100% polyester jacket is thin, lightweight, breathable, and very comfortable. The Summit Pro Barrier jacket will fit in a water bottle pouch on a fanny pack if it’s balled up, or in a hydration pack nook, making it a no-brainer to take on rides where rain or cold temps are in the forecast.
The Summit Pro Barrier also straps to a bike and has a 2-way zipper for easier access to jersey pockets. Riding with the jacket is a great choice when the temperatures start to dip. I’ve found that on 35-45° days, throwing this over a long-sleeve jersey is a great option to stay warm, and you can peel it off and stuff it away if the temperature warms up. For the price, the Summit Pro Barrier jacket is excellent.
MSRP $125, Shop Men’s
Rapha Men’s Technical Trousers
Rapha’s Technical Trousers are more of a lifestlyle pant than a riding pant, but if you want something that can do both, then these will do the trick. After all, plenty of people are still riding in denim when it cools down.
The tech trousers have a stretchy fabric made of mostly nylon and are easy to move around in. They’re great for working, they’re great for riding, and they’re great for pretty much any occasion that calls for pants over shorts. The trousers feature reflective logos and zippered side pockets, and a double button closure up front. The fit on the 32/32 I received is a little roomy in the waist and a little long, but the cuffs seem made to roll up. Overall, the Rapha Tech Trousers are good pants for riding and everything in between.
MSRP $150, Available at Rapha.cc
Rapha Long Sleeve Tech Jersey – Men’s & Women’s
Rapha’s long sleeve technical tee is simple: a comfortable, long sleeve jersey with a solid fit. It’s something you’ll want when the air starts to nip, but your legs are still nipping for a ride. Rapha used a micromesh polyester fabric for this jersey, and while it’s warm – probably because this one is black – the jersey is still comfortable to wear on a ride into the low 70s. The jersey is also treated with an antimicrobial coating to mitigate bad smells. Overall, this is a comfy and classic looking long sleeve jersey for riding in cooler temps.
Rapha Women’s Trail Lightweight Jacket – Men’s & Women’s
The Rapha Trail Lightweight Jacket is as lightweight and packable as they come. The entire garment packs into the chest pocket and can be easily stuffed into a jersey, backpack, hip pack, or strapped to your bike frame with the included quick-release storage strap. Designed for mountain biking in changing conditions, the windproof, water-resistant nylon Ripstop fabric does an excellent job at protecting from the elements while also being breathable. It was raining during one of my test rides and I was delighted at how well this jacket repelled water and breathed at the same time. The trail jacket also comes with an adjustable hood, which only fits under the helmet, but it’s a nice feature nonetheless and perfect for other outdoor activities, such as running or hiking.
The Trail Beanie is constructed using cable knit, anti-pilling merino wool blend for maximum thermal insulation and warmth. The feel is soft, thick, warm, and breathable all at the same time. It’s a delightful post-ride accessory, especially after a particularly chilly ride.
Rapha’s Trail Socks are comprised of a durable merino-nylon blend to promote airflow and keep feet warm and toasty on the most arduous of rides. The socks are soft, yet fitted with elastic arch support that provides supreme stability on and off the trail.
Shredly Women’s Cascade Pant and Raglan 3/4 Jersey
As the temperatures begin to fall, it’s nice to have at least one pair of warm and comfy pants to ride in. Some MTB-specific pants are constructed with rigid fabric, designed to take a beating in the event of a crash, but this is not the intent of the Shredly Cascade pant.
The new Shredly Cascade pant is “jogger-style,” made specifically for pedaling on your mountain bike, but also for those who want to double down on function. The lightweight, soft, durable, four-way stretch, quick-dry fabric is a dream come true for multi-discipline athletes in the crowd. I found the relaxed fit, coupled with articulated knees, elastic ankle cinches, and a yoga-style waistband to be perfect for pedaling as well as hiking, climbing, going to the gym, and just casually wearing around town. I had the “pleasure” of being caught in a rainstorm while testing these and they did a nice job of repelling water and not sticking directly to my skin.
The fit of these pants is perfect. The gusset doesn’t hang so low that it catches on the saddle while descending, and there are no annoying snaps, velcro adjusters, buckles, or inside waist cinchers to pinch your midsection when in a seated climb. The articulated back panel accommodates even the most bulky chamois and somehow creates the illusion of having a really nice butt. The pant also boasts two large mesh hand pockets for breathability and air flow, as well as zippered hip pockets to carry essentials like keys, chapstick, large phones, you name it. Did I mention all the amazing print choices? True to Shredly style, the Cascade pant comes in a variety of colors and patterns, all of which are easily paired with the ultra-soft, solid color 3/4 raglan jersey tops.
- Cascade Pant MSRP $135, Available at Shredly.com
Velocio Recon Vest – Men’s & Women’s
The Recon vest is a versatile layer for cooler days or early morning rides. The soft fleece lining and windproof fabric on the front and upper back keep you warm where you need it most. The backside is made of a light and stretchy, breathable nylon fabric. This vest easily rivals the warmth of many puffy style vests, and adds a more sleek, sporty look to casual wear.