Cold Weather Cycling: Jacket

Out With The Old

I purchased my first winter jacket some 30 years ago, and since it still worked like a champ, I’ve used it ever since. At club rides, I stood out like a sore thumb which sparked a teasing frenzy from my younger compadres…

“Nice jacket, old man! When are you going to join the modern world?”

One of the perks of being over 50 is that I don’t care what they think. In fact, I liked to wear it if nothing more than to get under their skin. Never being one to pass up a teachable moment, I offered the young bucks a pearl of wisdom:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

True, my jacket looked like something from an 80’s time capsule, but it still did the job:

  • It kept me warm.
  • Was breathable.
  • Was somewhat wind-resistant.
  • Wasn’t bulky.

When old faithful finally began to wear out, and even my wife chuckled at my attire, I knew it was time for a change. My new jacket needed to be windproof, water resistant, offer warmth, not cost a fortune, and be red.

Why red?

Cycling in winter, when the dominant colors of nature are gray, brown and black, red makes me stand out so motorists (hopefully!) will see me better. Neon yellow/green is an option, of course, but when my wife and kids shot it down as a choice, citing something about it making me look too old and slow, I too passed.

Nalini

Since I hadn’t shopped for a winter jacket for over 30 years, like Rip Van Winkle waking from his long nap, I was inundated with technology overload. The fabrics available are nothing short of amazing and give cyclists tons of options. I re-educated myself to these materials and made a list of top contenders. In the end, I found a killer deal on a closeout jacket that had all the features I wanted. It was made by Nalini.

I researched the company, reading review after positive review and then zeroed in on comments about the jacket. The only negative statement was that like most Italian cycling clothing, it runs small so order a size up.

Bellissimo!

fullsizeoutput_5a5I absolutely love this jacket! In fact, when fall season arrives, I eye it in my closet, excited that colder weather nears and I’ll soon be able to wear it. The jacket is beautiful, warm, lightweight, breathable, water-resistant; the perfect shell to layer as much as I need underneath. Because it has a slight, elastic quality to it, the jacket “gives” whenever I wear a thick, base layer; I never feel like it’s cutting off circulation or is too tight even when I’m in the drops.

Nalini’s secret is the high-tech fabric: Mantovent.

“Mantovent is a new direction in research and development of waterproofing and transpiring membranes; thanks to its composition (100% EA) and the unique structure of its polymer, is the real solution for creating fabrics, and tailoring garments, that offer high-level protection and long-term enduring performance and that are strong and at the same time soft, elastic and lightweight.”

Riding in the winter is tough enough on us over 50 cyclists so make sure your winter jacket keeps you warm and makes you look good, too!

Alla prossima!

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