Daylight savings is almost upon us which means commutes home get darker and afternoon rides get chillier. We all need to be prepared. Here are three items to make sure you’re ready – a surprisingly versatile garment from Sportful and two brand new Bontrager Lights.
Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain Top
Don’t call it a jacket. This Sportful Fiandre piece is sort of like a vest with long sleeves. Incredibly light and packable, it is made with Windshield fabric on the front and NoRain Light fabric on the arms and back. It has a slim fit but with enough room to fit over a long sleeve jersey and base layer. Like many vests, instead if pockets it has a zipper to allow access to the jersey pockets underneath. If you think we drove down to the local group ride wearing this for the first time and only then realized it had no pockets and made our best pal carry all our gear, well, that’s just a nasty rumor. But yeah, this is not a stand alone piece. Thanks to the great paneling and very stretchy material it’s almost as easy to take off in the saddle as a vest, but so much more versatile. Fog, light rain, chilly descents – the Fiandre Light NoRain Top is a keeper. $169; sportful.com
Bontrager’s Ion 100 R and Flare R City
The time and energy Bontrager has spent researching, developing and producing products designed to keep us safer on the road goes far beyond any profit margin goals. Keeping riders safe was a mandate handed down by John Burke, president and owner of Trek Bicycles. Bontrager works with the goal of reaching ‘conspicuity’, a level beyond just being visible. It ensures drivers don’t just see a flashing light, they see a cyclist and they know where the cyclist is.
Two new lights for 2017 not only help out when the sun goes down, but are designed for daylight use as well. Studies show that daytime running lights save lives in cars and on motorcycles, so why not bikes? The Ion 100 R is a 100lumen high-power CREE LED that is visible from over 500meters during the day. USB rechargeable with built in brightness control thanks to an ambient light sensor and simple mounting make the Ion 100 R an easy light to live with. $40; Trekbikes.com
Tail lights need specific design to be seen in the day as well. The Flare R City may only be 35lumens, but thanks to smart reflector design it is visible from 400meters away. Bontrager pioneered variable flash patterns with the original Flare, patterns that are hard to ignore and make a rider ‘conspicuous’, and it has include them in the Flare R City. It has an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness as well and, like the Ion 100 R, is USB rechargeable and easy to mount on your bike. $40; Trekbikes.com