What winter cycling kit would a tech writer choose this Black Friday?

We take you through our personal favourite dream kit discounts

Stefan's winter kit top picks
(Image credit: Future)

Black Friday 2021 (opens in new tab) has landed and with it a dizzying array of deals on all manner of products.

Although we have guides detailing the best jackets (opens in new tab), bib tights (opens in new tab), shoes (opens in new tab), and gloves (opens in new tab) – as well as one collating all the best Black Friday deals (opens in new tab) we've come across – there is no substitute for pure personal preference.

A 50% reduction might be eye-catching, but 40% off an item that ticks all the boxes of functionality is undoubtedly the better deal.

Of course, there's two ways of looking at the Black Friday discounts: either bringing  incredibly expensive kit within the realms of affordability or making already great deals even better. For now, I've stuck with heavily discounted dream kit picks.

Winter kit dream picks

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Smith Ignite MIPS Helmet

USA: $250.00 $114.96 at Backcountry (opens in new tab) save 54%

We were really impressed by the comfort of this helmet when we had it on review, needing very little adjustment to get it to feel as if it simply wasn't there. An aero helmet might strike as a little incongruous for the slower speeds of winter riding, but it does serve to keep your head warmer and dry in the more inclement weather  

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100% Speedcraft SL Sunglasses - Photochromic

USA: $246.49 $214.49 at ProBikeKit (opens in new tab) save 13%

UK: £179.00 £135.00 at Sigma Sports (opens in new tab) save 25%

These have been the eyewear of choice for Peter Sagan – sure enough, we found them incredibly comfortable and secure when we had a set on review. The huge coverage really helps to keep gritty water out of the eyes, while the photochromic lens adapts to the light conditions – particularly helpful on days which veer from blinding low winter sun to being gloomily overcast.

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Assos Mille GT softshell jacket

Men's

USA: $319.00 $255.20 at Competitive Cyclist (opens in new tab) save 20%

UK: £225.00 £158.00 at Assos (opens in new tab) save 30%

Women's

USA: $269.00 $149.98 at Competitive Cyclist (opens in new tab) save 44%

Modern softshell jackets are simply incredible. They're waterproof and windproof enough to keep you warm and toasty on blustery and showery days, but still breathable enough that you'll happily wear them when it's just a bit nippy. Choosing what to wear is made so much easier and there's much less faffing with layers on rides. We've reviewed both this model and the warmer Ultraz. In a perfect world you'd be able to have both, but if I was to just pick one, it would be this for its greater versatility

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Assos Equipe RS Evo Rain Jacket 

Men's

USA: $369.00 $295.20 at Competitive Cyclist (opens in new tab) save 20%

UK: £290.00 £169.00 at Sigma Sports (opens in new tab) save 42%

Women's

USA: $325.00 at Wiggle (opens in new tab)

Including a rain cape with a softshell might strike as a bit of a contradiction – wasn't a softshell supposed to be good against wind and rain? For light showers, yes, but when the heavens really open, you'll be glad of the hardshell in your pocket. Although not as breathable as a softshell, they do block the wind better, which is great for any unplanned stops for mechanicals and punctures. Unfortunately, the women's version is full price at the moment, but we'll keep checking back in case it gets reduced 

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Santini Redux Vigor Vest/Gilet

Men's

USA: $174.99 $107.00 at Wiggle (opens in new tab) save 38%

UK: £150.00 £82.50 at Wiggle (opens in new tab) save 45%

Women's

USA: $191.49 $102.99 at ProBikeKit (opens in new tab) save 46%

There's a lot of Assos kit on this list – with good reason, the performance is excellent and the kit lasts for ages – but Santini's Redux Vigor Vest is really is particularly stand out. For those days when you want a bit of extra warmth – maybe for a chilly start or in case of a mechanical – but you don't want the bulk of a full rain cape, the Redux Vigor slots in perfectly. The pack size is super small, you barely notice it in your pocket, but the windproof front and Polartec Alpha thermodynamic lining mean it's so much warmer than you'd expect for its weight.


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Castelli Estremo Glove

USA: $99.99 $74.99 at Competitive Cyclist (opens in new tab) save 25%

UK: £100.00 £79.00 at Sigma Sports (opens in new tab) save 21%

There are some who keep their hands bare right through the depths of winter. Whether they should be taken at their word that it's for "better grip and control" or if it's really just some strange masochistic display of toughness – that's a question for another time. For me, I'm reaching for a set at the merest hint of a chill and as winter properly takes hold, those are swapped for the warmest set I can find – not including 'lobster' style gloves, though, I do value my fingers' independence.

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Santini Gocce Bib Tights

Men's

USA: $229.95 $172.46 at Backcountry (opens in new tab) save 25% 

I'll be straight with you, these aren't my favourite bib tights. But, the ways things go, I haven't been able to find the Assos Mille GT Ultraz winter bib tights on a good deal anywhere. With that option ruled out, my top pick of the Black Friday deals has got to be Santini's Gocce bib tights.   Super warm, super comfortable and with good water repellency, they are great tights in their own right. Even if they don't come with a warm and fleecy chamois.

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Assos Ultraz Winter Sock

USA: $27.00 at Competitive Cyclist (opens in new tab) 

UK: £20.00 at Wiggle (opens in new tab)

Again, I've drawn up a bit of a blank finding a great set of socks on a good discount. But given the price of the socks – and just how unpleasant it is to suffer from cold feet – I feel it's worth just taking the hit and paying full MSRP for a set of socks which perfectly do the job. Anyone can make a sock warm but will your feet still fit inside your shoes wearing them? Assos has the balance just right here.

That's all for now, keep checking back for more deals.

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