Women’s holiday gift guide

Our favorite four pieces of wintertime apparel

Skip the stress of packed malls and long lines this holiday season and get your cycling sweetheart something she’ll love.

After testing some of the latest longsleeve jerseys, jackets, bib tights and gloves from a few different companies, I picked my favorite of each to share here, and break them down by fashion and function.

Castelli Cromo Women’s Jersey

US$118 / £85

Castelli cromo women’s jersey adds flair and functionality with the built-in half baselayer: castelli cromo women’s jersey adds flair and functionality with the built-in half baselayer
Castelli cromo women’s jersey adds flair and functionality with the built-in half baselayer: castelli cromo women’s jersey adds flair and functionality with the built-in half baselayer

The stylish Castelli Cromo Jersey is perfect for winter rides where the weather is cool but not quite cold. It’s also fashionable enough to drop by your local coffee shop to sip down some liquid motivation before heading out.

Function - The lightweight, longsleeve Cromo jersey is ideal for rides in the high 50’s to low 60’s (10℃-15℃). It has three large pockets that can hold plenty of extra warm gear in case the weather takes a sudden turn. A small zipper pocket keeps your phone and valuables safe.

Fashion - The Cromo’s half-zip front keeps the jersey casual and trendy rather than overly technical. Behind the half zipper is a floating partial base layer for added warmth and style versatility. When conditions are cooler, leave the jersey zipped up for a double layer and extra wind protection across your chest. For warmer days, keep the jersey unzipped to increase ventilation and you’ll get some added flair from the patterned base layer peaking through. (Comes in: Black, Pink, Green, Blue, Purple)

Overall - Castelli’s Cromo Jersey adds versatility to your fall and winter cycling gear. Meant for moderately cool days, it also easily fits under warmer jackets and heavy jerseys for really cold days.

Gore Power 2.0 Thermo Lady Bibtights+

US$149 / £109

The gore power 2.0 thermo lady bibtights+ are a good deal, with easy-off functionality: the gore power 2.0 thermo lady bibtights+ are a good deal, with easy-off functionality
The gore power 2.0 thermo lady bibtights+ are a good deal, with easy-off functionality: the gore power 2.0 thermo lady bibtights+ are a good deal, with easy-off functionality

Ditch your leg warmers and go all in with bib tights this winter.

Function – Bib tights can be an intimidating winter product because they make bathroom breaks a tedious process of undressing, layer by layer, in order to get the straps down. But the Gore Power 2.0 Thermo Bibtights+ have conquered this problem with a sneaky zipper system that doesn’t require taking off any jackets, vests, or jerseys. I’m not usually a fan of bathroom-accessible bibs, but for winter riding and all the layers that come with cold weather, these bibs certainly make sense.

Fashion - Gore foregoes zippers around the ankles and instead uses gripper cuffs to hold the tights in place. This keeps the tights looking sleek and smooth all the way down your legs. They also have a couple small reflective details and the option for a colorful splash of bright yellow to spice things up. (Comes in: Black and Black/Yellow)

Overall - A comfortable and warm pair of bibtights can be the difference between spending your winter inside on the rollers or getting out to enjoy the fresh air. At US$149 / £109, the Gore Power 2.0 Thermo Lady Bibtights+ are a great value.

Rapha Women’s Rain Bomber Jacket

US $330 / £220

The rapha women’s rain bomber jacket isn't very packable, but it's a great commuter shell: the rapha women’s rain bomber jacket isn't very packable, but it's a great commuter shell
The rapha women’s rain bomber jacket isn't very packable, but it's a great commuter shell: the rapha women’s rain bomber jacket isn't very packable, but it's a great commuter shell

The Rapha Women’s Rain Bomber Jacket blends technical function with stylish details to create the perfect commuting jacket.

Function - With a rain flap to cover your backside, waterproof outer shell and an adjustable collar, this jacket laughs in the face of rainy commutes. A pair of fully insulated, waterproof pockets keep phones and other valuable protected. And reflective details add visibility on dreary winter days.

Fashion – Once at your destination, the Rain Bomber transforms. The rain flap that covers your rear from water spray on your commute now folds up and zips away into a hidden pocket. And the Rain Bomber’s tapered fit can be exaggerated to compliment any figure with modular adjustments throughout. (Comes in: Black or Red)

Overall - The Rapha Rain Bomber is a great commuter jacket that is stylish enough to wear around town whether you’re on or off the bike. It’s too bulky for a cycling-specific rain jacket and won’t easily stuff into jersey pockets. But if you’re looking for an everyday jacket to keep you warm, dry, and a little bit edgy as you cruise around town, the Rapha Rain Bomber is an excellent choice.

Assos bonkaGlove_evo7 gloves

US$149 / £N/A

Assos bonkaglove_evo7 gloves. chunky name; sleek glove: assos bonkaglove_evo7 gloves. chunky name; sleek glove
Assos bonkaglove_evo7 gloves. chunky name; sleek glove: assos bonkaglove_evo7 gloves. chunky name; sleek glove

Contrary to their chunky name, the Assos bonkaGlove_evo7 gloves are svelte and stylish. Whether on the bike or while running around town, these slim yet warm gloves will keep your digits beautifully protected this winter.

Function – Smooth, comfortable and ready to protect your hands in the coldest, nastiest weather, these gloves have grippy fingertips and palms plus windproof backs to keep out the cold wintery air.  To save your nose from getting red and irritated this winter, Assos added a small soft patch of fabric on the back of each index finger for wiping your runny nose while you ride.

Fashion - At first glance these gloves might not grab your attention. But the details push these gloves to another level: slim neoprene cuffs keep your wrists warm and add a touch of elegance to something simple and straightforward, and the white accents between each finger look fabulous.

Overall - I wear these gloves everywhere! They’re extremely warm without the extra bulk so small tasks like digging through a purse for car keys or opening a bike lock are a snap. They’re certainly pricey, but you can wear them on and off the bike with confidence and flair.

Kristen is a former professional triathlete, current elite cyclists, and lives for two-wheeled adventures the world over. She was one of six women to ride the entire Tour de France in 2012 as part of the women's Rêve Tour team. Besides riding and writing about bikes, Legan also coaches with APEX Coaching out of Boulder, Colorado.
  • Preferred Terrain: Dirt climbs and twisty mountain descents
  • Beer of Choice: Left Hand Brewing Milk Stout
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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