Clothes for riding climbs?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

Moderator: Moderator Team

Post Reply
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:26 am

by mike001100


looking to do my second cycling trips to some nice climbs - Mortirolo, Zoncolan, etc. Last year, I rode in Andorra, so I have "some" experience in terms of what to wear, but looking for input...

I will be travelling next month, so if the weather is good, one can expect around 25 C I'm guessing... which dictates a light jersey for the climb and a gilet/jacket for the way down?

When I was in Andorra last year, I was there in a "cold" week during summer - highest day temps were around 18C, and I ended up running my Merino jersey for almost the whole of the stay...

I have gotten a bit wiser now, so I'm thinking about getting another Merino jersey just in case its cold (I plan on staying 14 days, so...), but I'm also wondering about other options for those colder days - like Santini Beta jersey/Castelli Gabba etc? What about the Q36.5 stuff with a temperature guarantee - will it keep me warm?

Coming down the mountain, what jacket would you recommend? As I don't tend to hammer down mountains I don't know... I'm guessing something light, although non breathable would do? I have an Endura Pro 260 jacket (or whatever its called) and a Perl Izumi Aero-cut, but neither packs really small... so, any tips?

Thank you :)

Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:22 am
Location: Canberra, Australia

by NickJHP

In the Pyrenees a couple of years ago I used GroundEffect lightweight summer jerseys ( ... ding-shirt) plus a lightweight nylon windshell if the descents were cool. That setup was good both for going up the Tourmalet on a day when the temperature got to 32C and descending off the Aubisque where it was a foggy 6C at the top.

by Weenie

User avatar
jekyll man
Posts: 1422
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:23 am
Location: Pack filler

by jekyll man

Weather is a bit more fickle in the Italian Alps/Dolomites.
You're also generally higher than Andorra.

Therefore temps can be anywhere. Need to be prepared for anything. Nothing worse than getting very cold on a long descent. I've been up the Gavia and stelvio in mid july, and theres loads of snow at the roadside, with the refugio temp gauge indicating -5°C.

I've also cooked on the mortirolo on the same trip...
Official cafe stop tester

Posts: 628
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:50 pm
Location: Wilmington, DE

by joejack951

If it will be warm, this would be my pick for a jersey: ... ers-jersey

Incredibly light and airy jersey that fit me like a glove. Bring a lightweight packable jacket for the ride down if the weather will be variable. You can always slow down if you get too cold.

Posts: 3520
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

mike001100 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:52 pm
one can expect around 25 C
You can expect 35°, it'll be 32 here in Vienna today :shock:

Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:43 pm

by Rudi

Totally agree with jekyll man - you have to be prepared for everything, especially if you are unsupported. Getting caught out at the top of a mountain with a 20km+ descent in front of you isn't great.

The weather can change so quickly in the high mountains, I'd take as much as you are comfortable carrying, potentially in ziploc/similar bags to keep it dry. Gabba gilet is a good option, it probably depends somewhat on how badly you feel the cold, and how wet (with sweat) you get on the uphil bit.

I've taken off my jersey at the top, put the dry gilet on, then the damp jersey back on top of that for the downhill. You get the dryness of the new kit next to your skin (which kept me warmer), and the wind on the descent dries the jersy off by the bottom.
Cervelo R3 - 5.4kg viewtopic.php?f=10&t=142420

Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:35 am
Location: York Pa

by Jere


Everybody has the upper body covered I go one step knee warmers and long finger gloves
I hate cold knees ( getting old sucks )
Have a great trip

Posts: 3602
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

My 2 cents

Unless I had a perfect day with guaranteed clear weather, I would not go over any serious mountain pass without the following:
Arm warmers
Knee warmers
Full rain jacket
Full finger shell or thermal gloves

All you need is to be caught in one surprise thunderstorm on a descent and my list will seem light. Afternoon thunderstorms can be near daily events in certain places at certain times of year. You may never need the rain coat if your luck is good, but it can be a lifesaver if the weather goes bad. I also wear or carry shoe covers if rain is expected.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

Posts: 752
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

I don't think stuff like gabba is a good idea, it's too thick for the hot climb, too bulky to carry as a 2nd layer.
If rain is a posibility I take:
- light shell, like the new goretex shakedry, both as wind block and rain jacket
- arm warmers (if cold expeced or multi-day ride)
- velotoze booties
- hotel shower cap for the helmet
(I don't find knee warmers useful)

When cold is expected, I sometimes bring a dry baselayer to change into at the top, and long finger gloves.

Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:48 am

by Weytz

Will check out those suggested clothing products

User avatar
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:35 am

by Lewn777

Remember not all climbs require you to bring a whole wardrobe of vêtements de cycle. I think a fair rule of thumb would be about 1000 meters, where you could get away with just a summer climbing jersey, in which case that could potentially be a huge cat1 or smaller HC climb.

I recently got a Santini Tono, but it seems not 'mega' breathable despite being mostly mesh, also seems like it might not last so long. Reserved for the corect weather only.

Posts: 1618
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

by kode54


when i climbed alot of elevation, the one thing coming back down the other side was my fingers. to the point where i had to pull over on the side of the road to warm my fingers so i could still use the brakes. a bit scary flying down and not be able to squeeze the levers.

it was 75-80F at the bottom...35F or so on top, with some ice patches!
Jere wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:11 pm

Everybody has the upper body covered I go one step knee warmers and long finger gloves
I hate cold knees ( getting old sucks )
Have a great trip
- Factor 02 Disc + DA9170 + Enve 4.5AR CK CL hubs
- Moots Vamoots Disc RSL Titanium + DA9170 + Enve 3.4AR CK CL hubs
- Parlee Altum + DA9150 + Enve SES 4.5 Ene carbon hubs
- Argonaut Spacebike 2.0 + DA9170 + Enve SES 5.6 DT Swiss 240 CL hubs

by Weenie

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post