Winter is coming. Yes Game of Thrones got it right. Summer is over, forget all about that lightweight, minimalistic summer clothing. Now’s the time for waterproof, windproof and warm. With that in mind we are going to take a look at some new winter accessories from GripGrab.
If there’s one thing that you would expect a Scandinavian to know about, it’s cold weather. To be more specific, how to survive longer winter rides with your extremities intact! These days with smart trainers, you could easily lock yourself away over the winter. Of course that would mean you would miss all that character-building weather…
However for those of us that choose to ride all year, getting the right clothing is vital for an enjoyable ride. I’ve used GripGrab’s kit before and found it to be excellent. Whether it was the RaceAqua overshoes or Light arm and leg warmers, they kept me going in the cold and wet. For this winter we’ll be taking a look at their on and off-road overshoes and gloves.
Looking at the overshoes first and GripGrab have come up with a couple of innovative ideas to help keep your feet warm and dry. Their first idea was to remove the zipper. Most overshoes use a zipper or Velcro closure and in my experience these usually last a year or two. I have plenty of pairs of overshoes where one or both closures have failed. This would usually leave me gaffa taping them for the rest of the winter; not the classiest solution, but effective
By getting rid of the closure, GripGrab have got rid of the weak point. The overshoes should now last a lot longer. Putting the overshoes on requires a different method from normal. You pull the overshoe on like a sock before putting your shoe on. Once the overshoe is on your shin, you put your shoe on, then pull the overshoe down over the shoe, et voila!
GripGrab say that the new no-zipper method allows for a tighter, snugger fit. This better fit means improved water-resistance and should mean no chafing.
Another new development on their RaceThermo and Arctic overshoes is the IntelliSeal finish on the bottom. This is a rubberised treatment that covers the seams on the bottom, helping reduce water ingress and protecting them from wear. This new idea has garnered Intelliseal a 2017 EUROBIKE award, so it will be interesting to see how it works out on the road.
Another addition in the war to keep water trickling down your shins into your shoe is the CyclinGaiter. This PU coated neoprene ring sits over the top of your overshoe. The PU Neoprene can’t soak up water and should stop the water from your front wheel spraying onto your tights and soaking your feet. This has always been the Achilles heel of a lot of water-proof overshoes, so I’ll be interested to see how it works. The CyclinGaiter comes in black or Hi-Vis yellow and in two sizes, both with reflective logos.
Moving on up and we have two pairs of gloves to look at, one for the road and another for Mtb or cyclo-cross. The Ride waterproof winter glove is aimed at the road riders amongst you. With a wind and waterproof outer around an insulated inner, they should keep the winter blues away from your digits. The cuff is slim enough to fit under a jacket sleeve, or you could use the velcro closure and go over the top. Doctor Gel padding on the palm helps with comfort and the fingers are phone friendly for those mid-ride selfies. A grippy palm helps with grip in the wet and there are reflective highlights to aid visibility.
For faster rides on or off-road, or for when it’s not so cold there’s the Raptor. GripGrab sees this as a windproof racing glove. As such it’s thinner, with no padding and while it’s wind-proof only offers “light rain protection” and minimal insulation. With the InsideGrip™ and silicone print on the one-piece palm offering high levels of grip and feel, this sounds perfect for ‘cross racing.
And to top everything off, literally, there’s the Winter Cycling Cap. This windproof cap comes with an extra fleecy cover that can be lowered to protect your ears. Perfect for standing around in the pits at your local cyclo-cross race. Breathable and insulating you could wear it under your helmet, but it would have to be pretty cold!
We’ll be trying out these GripGrab accessories over the winter, although we probably won’t get anywhere near as cold as it gets in Scandinavia. Check out their Tuesday morning ride video below, good to see they enjoy their riding.