Warm clothing is essential if you want to keep riding through the months ahead as we descend into the damp and icy depths of winter. As technical cycling clothing has advanced, there is no longer any excuse to be cold!
Sort Your Bike Out
There is such a thing as a winter bike, with proper mudguards and winter tyres, which is specially designed to cope with the weather.
If you don’t want to invest just yet, then make sure you get proper mudguards. This’ll stop that cold water being kicked up on to your back, feet, legs and bum and making you cold.
The key to being warm is layering up! Air is trapped between the layers of clothing, which is then warmed up through your body heat. There are lots of excellent options for layering up out there, take a look at retailers like E-Outdoor.co.uk for a good range.
It starts with the base layer. A long sleeve merino wool base layer is one of the best types of base layer to invest in for the winter months as it’s warm, soft, retains heat even when wet, and is odour resistant. However, man-made fabrics are better at wicking away moisture.
A mid-layer is usually a jersey made of fleece and protects you from the cold. They’re often windproof and water resistant, but this does mean that they’re not very breathable. Look for high collars, elastic cuffs and reflective detailing.
An outer layer is necessary in really foul conditions, and an essential item to have for just in case (unless you really like cycling in the hammering rain!). Something lightweight and waterproof will usually get the most use as it can be packed down into a pocket or bag.
Fleece-lined tights keep your legs extra warm in the winter. Some come with wind proof panels, others with padding, so there’s lots of choice. If the temperature is a bit milder, consider lighter tights or shorts with leg warmers.
Gloves are another essential in the winter as the cold air can really make them numb! Fit is important when it comes to gloves, too tight and they can cut off circulation, too loose and they won’t do their job properly. Windproof and waterproof gloves are essential for the depths of winter, but having a pair that are also breathable.
A skullcap and headband will keep your head really warm too – these days helmets are a little bit too well ventilated! Along with a neck warmer, your neck and chin will be kept nice and warm.