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Year of first Tri race?

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  1. Dress for success They say clothes make the man (or woman), but in cycling terms clothes can make or break a good ride. I has also been said that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choice and while that may be true, often times when cycling it’s not as simple as that. Spring or autumn weather or long days in the saddle can mean that the weather when you head out the door can be markedly different to the weather condition as you head home. If you are like me and hate the cold the temptation is to dress to be warm from the first turn of the pedals. This is generally achieved by the desired number and thickness of base layers. However if the weather improves and the mercury rises you can be left overheating and with cool sweat running down your back. If you play the tough guy and dress light, to be comfortable on the back end of the ride, you need to suffer through the first 20 minutes or so till you truly warm up. Even then, you need to hope the weather lives up to expectations, otherwise you could be in for a miserable few hours. Enter the Warmfront. The Warmfront is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” inventions. However, having a good idea is only part of the journey, it also needs to be well executed. The Warmfront is beautifully simple, well made and remarkably effective. The Warmfront in simple terms is a “Polartec” shirtfront with a Velcro collar and while something that simple doesn’t really need instructions it could come with a quick recommendation. Something along the lines of “attach Velcro collar around neck, do not under any circumstances look in a mirror.” Like most undergarments, worn solo the Warmfront is not a good look, but that’s not what it’s about. Worn in place of a base layer the Warmfront does what it says on the packaging, it keeps your front warm, as warm as my usual base layer, with the added advantage of leaving your back unencumbered to breathe and keep you comfortable. The days I rode with the Warmfront were both about 12 degrees but predicted to warm up. That is normally the temperature where I will grab a decent base layer to kick off and then put up with a sweaty back and crack as my punishment for not being able to handle a little cold. So I swapped the base layer for the Warmfront and put a summer weight jersey over the top with some arm warmers and headed off. Now I knew it was cold, my eyes were watering behind my glasses and my ears were chilly, but my chest felt, for all intents and purposes, like I had a full base layer on. The difference came about 45 minutes into the ride when normally things start to get uncomfortable. Having only the front covered means the Warmfront can stay in place keeping the windward side toasty warm while your back is free to vent away. Now, depending on your tolerance for the cold or the changing conditions the Warmfront can stay in place as is or it can perform its magical quick change trick. If you are comfortable riding one handed (or no handed for the show offs) then if you are warm enough you can reach around the back of your neck, undo the Velcro collar and pull the Warmfront out in one swift movement. At the point of removing the Warmfront while moving you realise just how much work that seemingly small piece of material was doing. The Warmfront then can be scrunched up in a fist sized ball and stuffed in your jersey pocket leaving you free to enjoy the rest of your ride. The Warmfront as tested weighs in at just 44 grams. There is also an ultralight version and women’s fit options for both models. The collar graphic is also customisable if you are looking to do a team order of about 16 or more pieces. The Warmfront is $56.90 and available from Full Beam Australia and is destined to become an essential part of many cyclists kit. Find them at https://fullbeam.com.au/
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