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App scopes out current and future weather conditions on your ride and offers up the perfect wardrobe

Ever woken up in time for a big ride but had no idea what to wear for the weather conditions? If so, there’s an app for that.

Combining a weather app with some handy cycling advice, the What To Wear Cycling app by developer Christopher Mullen translates temperatures and forecasts with your wardrobe.

To take full advantage of the app you’re going to need a pretty extensive wardrobe to choose from though, as the suggestions are pretty extensive.

If you’re riding in a group, just hit “Tell the Peloton” to email them all the same advice.

There’s even a slider to adjust to your personal preferences if you tend to run hotter or colder than other people.

It works at home or abroad, using your current location or a set one - and you can type in a set of weather conditions for a kit list.

What to Wear Cycling is currently available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, on iOS 7 or above. It can be downloaded here for £1.99.

It hasn’t been met by universal approval though.

Sustrans NE retweeted their response to the news:

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

39 comments

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KiwiMike [1204 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoff all you like, even after decades of riding I still make silly mistakes picking kit to match the forecast. With (at last count) 7 pairs of inner/outer/overmitt gloves, 4 types of sock, 4 shorts, 3/4 knicks, two tights (Roubaix and not), 3 hats, 4 jackets plus arm/leg warmers plus booties - getting the right combo matched to the ride matched to the weather can be a gamble. Particularly when it's a last-minute rush. I'd be interested to hear from someone who's actually used this app across a few seasons, not just piss-takers.

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IanW1968 [271 posts] 2 years ago
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Imagine setting off on a ride then realising you didn't have the correct grade of techno knickers on ...disaster.

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KiwiMike [1204 posts] 2 years ago
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IanW1968 wrote:

Imagine setting off on a ride then realising you didn't have the correct grade of techno knickers on ...disaster.

If you didn't appreciate that 3hrs into a 5hr ride a front was due to come through and dump a load of rain, blow like crazy and drop the temp by 10 degrees, yes - it could really ruin your day. Have had this happen meself, I bet most others have too. Having something prompt you to wear a water-repellent fleece-lined tight instead of plain lycra or to bring along the Nanoflex leggies could turn an otherwise miserable end to your day into something quite bearable.

I don't underestimate the smug snarkage to be had from this - because all those snarking have never, ever misjudged conditions before setting out on a long day.

This review seems to sum up my thoughts: http://sportivecyclist.com/what-to-wear-cycling-review/

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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Part of the fun of it is struggling the face of adversity. That said, if you intend on spending 8 hours in the saddle without checking the afternoon forecast you probably deserve what you get given.

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antonio [1124 posts] 2 years ago
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10 out of 10 for the humble saddlebag, my long flap is a quick change wardrobe.

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Nixster [306 posts] 2 years ago
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I know part of the fun of cycling is the kit and the gadgets and the latest must-have 3D printed out front cnc'd GPS mount anodised to match your chain ring bolts.

But there is something to be said for simplifying your life and freeing yourself from the tyranny of excessive choice. If you need a smart phone app to choose your clothes I think that may be a sign that the balance is off a bit.

Each to their own, of course.

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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I could do with one of these for work wear too. Too often I've taken my cashmere sweater when all I needed was the cotton twill shirt and a neckerchief.

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KiwiMike [1204 posts] 2 years ago
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Nixster wrote:

I know part of the fun of cycling is the kit and the gadgets and the latest must-have 3D printed out front cnc'd GPS mount anodised to match your chain ring bolts.

But there is something to be said for simplifying your life and freeing yourself from the tyranny of excessive choice. If you need a smart phone app to choose your clothes I think that may be a sign that the balance is off a bit.

Each to their own, of course.

...the whole point of this (if it works) is that it *does* 'free you from 'the tyranny of excessive choice'. Having an all-UK-weathers set of bike kit means inherently a huge number of items to choose from - especially if you are a borderline-Reynauds case like me with three kids and only minutes to decide what to pile on at 0745 on a Sunday am while making soon-to-be-abandoned grumpy wife coffee/toast. If this app works, I don't *need* to choose - just read and do.

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

If this app works, I don't *need* to choose - just read and do.

I do kind of think that "solutions" like this are detrimental to society in the long run, people are less able to use their own common sense.

My own system has been working well up to now anyway - I ask myself, what was yesterday like? Did I clothe myself adequately? How does today's weather compare to yesterday, will I need more or less clothes than I did yesterday?

I would argue that it's foolproof, but apps like this make me question my understanding of the term

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SimpleSimon [112 posts] 2 years ago
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Can you imagine the legal liability for the app writer when the app tells you what to wear and it is wrong? Think about it - you have paid good money for some sophisticated software which analyses the weather and your wardrobe, and tells you what to wear. You go out in cold weather gear and it warms up. Or when you go out it is warm and then cools down. You are in the wrong clothes so what can you do? You blame the app of course!
Obviously the app will have a sign in page where you agree to absolve the author of all liability for errors and for not thinking for yourself.
Maybe there will be a module that helps prevent people cycling onto motorways too - oh wait, that's the common sense module which is usually turned off these days.  35

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Leviathan [1988 posts] 2 years ago
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Winter Kit/Summer kit? What about all the Spring/Autumn kit. The more kit the better.

This week was the "First Day of Spring" and the legs came out of wraps for the first time this year at least 1 of 5 days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szbB-vLVnoQ
epic

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Leviathan [1988 posts] 2 years ago
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Winter Kit/Summer kit? What about all the Spring/Autumn kit. The more kit the better.

This week was the "First Day of Spring" and the legs came out of wraps for the first time this year at least 1 of 5 days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szbB-vLVnoQ
epic

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gummo [19 posts] 2 years ago
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@KiwiMike: I actually *do* use this app, and quite often, as I have since I read about it on The Washing Machine Post. I've found it incredibly useful, mostly for taking the work out of sorting though options pre-ride at the break of dawn. I just check it and go. The £2 price is worth it just for that. Plus, I spend at least £2 per ride when you consider bars, gels, drink powder, and all that, and we all know where that ends up. I think the app really fills a need.

Oh, and apart from being a solid app, the guy who made it actually seems like a nice guy (imagine that) who apparently also rides. I noticed he and the Sustrans NE folks were quite silly about it when I looked at the Twitter link (Roadcc overplayed that a bit). He also answered a question (imagine that!) when I asked post-purchase through his site. All in all, I'm pleased.

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
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gummo wrote:

@KiwiMike: I actually *do* use this app, and quite often, as I have since I read about it on The Washing Machine Post. I've found it incredibly useful, mostly for taking the work out of sorting though options pre-ride at the break of dawn. I just check it and go. The £2 price is worth it just for that. Plus, I spend at least £2 per ride when you consider bars, gels, drink powder, and all that, and we all know where that ends up. I think the app really fills a need.

Oh, and apart from being a solid app, the guy who made it actually seems like a nice guy (imagine that) who apparently also rides. I noticed he and the Sustrans NE folks were quite silly about it when I looked at the Twitter link (Roadcc overplayed that a bit). He also answered a question (imagine that!) when I asked post-purchase through his site. All in all, I'm pleased.

Really is a useful app and I don't get why people are reacting so negatively? That being said the guy who designed the app is a great guy, does ride, and will respond if you ask any questions. What more can you ask for?

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paulmcmillan [96 posts] 2 years ago
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An Aqua Sapone Zebra skinsuit, Mapei socks and a Carrera denim cap?

Are you app-solutely sure?

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If you are really determined to heed the internets advice however, you could do so for FREE at:

http://www.bicycling.com/whattowear

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KiwiMike [1204 posts] 2 years ago
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Nick T wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

If this app works, I don't *need* to choose - just read and do.

I do kind of think that "solutions" like this are detrimental to society in the long run, people are less able to use their own common sense.

My own system has been working well up to now anyway - I ask myself, what was yesterday like? Did I clothe myself adequately? How does today's weather compare to yesterday, will I need more or less clothes than I did yesterday?

I would argue that it's foolproof, but apps like this make me question my understanding of the term

My initial response was to say what a bunch of patronising BS, but that wouldn't be productive, so I won't.

*You* might well be 100% perfect at reading weather forecasts, maybe in unfamiliar places, calculating what you might need half a day in advance and probably totally counter to what the weather is like right now where you are, and have never, ever forgotten a useful bit of kit before a ride. Bully for you, life in the golden error-free perfect Velominatisphere of occasional enforced suffering must be a blast.

For those of us who occasionally don't pay uber-close attention to 24hr forecasts, or are prone to life getting in the way meaning we leave home without packing a gilet/raincape/set of liner gloves / whatever, an app like this could well be a good aide memoir to prompt you to pocket that extra bit of kit that will make the difference between misery and enjoyment.

As a commentor above noted, it's less than 50% of the cost of a coffee, to own it forever. No, you wouldn't use it if it was pissing down close to zero or a week-long 25-degree high. But in shoulder seasons with fast-moving fronts it could be a godsend.

Once again, Road.cc proves that cycling is indeed a broad church - including people prepared to be rude/condescending to others over something they are not forced to buy or use. If it works for others or might solve a problem they might occasionally have at zero impact/cost to you, why moan?

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

My initial response was to say what a bunch of patronising BS, but that wouldn't be productive, so I won't.

My initial response was to suggest you might want to stop taking a bit of banter on the internet quite so personally, but I then remembered that what we're actually discussing is an app that tells you how to put clothes on and it's kind of making me sad thinking about it.

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KiwiMike [1204 posts] 2 years ago
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Nick T wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

My initial response was to say what a bunch of patronising BS, but that wouldn't be productive, so I won't.

My initial response was to suggest you might want to stop taking a bit of banter on the internet quite so personally, but I then remembered that what we're actually discussing is an app that tells you how to put clothes on and it's kind of making me sad thinking about it.

Nick, in my view inferring someone lacks common sense and is a fool goes beyond 'banter' - amongst friends/colleagues maybe, but we are neither.

p.s. As you and a few others seem to have rather missed thepo pint here, to clarify: it's not an app to 'tell you how to put clothes on' - it's an apparently exhaustively-tuned and tested algorithm that takes input from weather forecasts (of which you may be unaware), matches against your personal temperature preferences and suggests suitable garb to ensure enhanced comfort across your ride.

http://www.thewashingmachinepost.net/what_to_wear/

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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www.forecast.io (free) and the ability to think (free) highly recommended  3

Can see this application having some use though, used with a pinch of salt and the ability to see it as 'suggestions' rather than fact. Which is the point, after all.

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Nick T [913 posts] 2 years ago
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KiwiMike wrote:

Nick, in my view inferring someone lacks common sense and is a fool goes beyond 'banter' - amongst friends/colleagues maybe, but we are neither.

There you go again, taking it personally. I haven't directed anything towards you, other than the replies that include quotes, just airing my opinion as anyone is entitled to. If you get use out this app, great. I'm happy.

Algorithms is a bit grandiose for what essentially "it's 5C - wear a base layer and it's going rain at 11:30 so take a gilet". I could knock up an app on the Spectrum that does pretty much the same thing  3

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nortonpdj [137 posts] 2 years ago
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I suppose this may be useful to someone who doesn't ride much, but then they're not likely to have a huge cycling wardrobe, are they? In other words....chocolate teapot.

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KiwiMike [1204 posts] 2 years ago
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Nick T wrote:
KiwiMike wrote:

Nick, in my view inferring someone lacks common sense and is a fool goes beyond 'banter' - amongst friends/colleagues maybe, but we are neither.

There you go again, taking it personally. I haven't directed anything towards you, other than the replies that include quotes, just airing my opinion as anyone is entitled to. If you get use out this app, great. I'm happy.

Algorithms is a bit grandiose for what essentially "it's 5C - wear a base layer and it's going rain at 11:30 so take a gilet". I could knock up an app on the Spectrum that does pretty much the same thing  3

Sure. If you read the TWMP review including interview with the developer, you'll see it is indeed an algorithm. It takes various inputs including your personal hot/cold preference, factors in wind chill, sun/cloud/rain, temperature, and gives a result in optimal clothing.

I think Brian nails it in terms of the wisdom of pelotons/crowds: it's hit and miss even for the most experienced. He'll, look at the number of Cyclist mag articles where the Big Ride author suffers miserably as a result of misjudging local conditions in an unfamiliar place. This not only removes a lot of guesswork, it removes the likelihood of forgetting/brainfade.

It is interesting seeing this be used as a proxy willy-waving contest. OK, *fine*: anyone who hates the idea is clearly a much more expereinced, better-equipped 'cyclist' with a mind like a steel trap  1

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IanW1968 [271 posts] 2 years ago
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Gents, you are trying a little too hard to convince the world they need advice on how to dress.
I'm sure the developer is a thoroughly nice chap and your support for his work will be appreciated right up to the point you come across as a plonker, then he may wish you kept out of it.

So there's an app it tells you to wear a vest or not, it's very clever, some may like it others won't.

Can't really be much else to say?

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Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 2 years ago
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I like the idea of this. I do check the weather, I try to plan ahead, but sometimes I forget stuff. If it's written down then all I need to do is check stuff off at 6am when my brain is fuzzy.

In the main I usually get it right, but something which saves you the work is no bad thing. My kit is extensive and covers most conditions, and those it doesn't, I can double up on, but it's nice to know that your estimate on conditions will be matched.

Kiwi-Mike: I think you're right to take a bit of offence. People think it is fair game to come out with snidey sarcasm instead of debating the issues. Too easy to knock something than properly engage with an argument.

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gummo [19 posts] 2 years ago
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Wow. Who knew this would be so contentious?

IanW1968, you captured my view perfectly. I completely agree with you.

As for me, I can barely boil water at 6am, much less decide what I'm going to settle on when I'm about to spend a few hours on my bike. The app helps.

And if I don't agree with the app (which I really haven't yet since playing with the temperature tuning), I get the final say anyhow.

£2 well spent.

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bikerdavecycling [73 posts] 2 years ago
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I've over heated badly doing the Etape du Tour. I've had to stop at a garage at the bottom on the Horseshoe Pass when it turned so rainy that my gloves were not sufficient and I got frozen fingers which were unbearable. I've mistaken a bright sunny April day for going to warm up as I rode but it never did until the last 30 mins of a 4hr tide, so I froze in 3/4s and arm warmers.

I've made mistakes in my 25yrs of riding, and I still occasionally make mistakes. Yes, most of the time I get it right (ish) but if this app was on Android it might be of interest. It's £2 & no one is forcing any one to buy it so god knows why some people are being so negative.

Now, does anyone have a view to whether I should buy a new car or not???

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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I think it needs an additional algorithm developed by Simon Mottram and Gok Wan that analyses the whims of contemporary fashion, the colour of your bike, length of stubble (men and women, face and/or legs) and whether its a Shoreditch fixie or a Surrey Pinarello vibe you want, to ensure you're always 'on trend'

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Kapelmuur [323 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't like the cold and hate being wet, so I need an app to find a hobby more suited to my needs than cycling.

The problem with this app is the inaccuracy of weather forecasts. I checked last night before putting my kit ready for this morning and was expecting heavy showers. Still waiting for the rain to break through the sunshine  7

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SimpleSimon [112 posts] 2 years ago
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belgravedave [268 posts] 2 years ago
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I love this idea of people paying for an app like this. It reaffirms my belief in the stupidity of the human race.
Totally cheered me up.

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