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Essential Cycling Apparel for Cold Weather Riding

Cycling is a fun, low-impact activity that can be enjoyed by everyone, young and old. One of the beauties of cycling is that it can be enjoyed all year round. Just because the temperature has dropped, that doesn’t mean that you can’t ride your bike any longer. With a little bit of planning and the right cycling apparel, winter riding can be fun, enjoyable, and rewarding.

When it comes to cycling, there is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing. There are 2 key rules for longer rides in the winter. The first rule is to choose thinner garments. While thick, bulky layers can help you stay warm during the winter, this isn’t recommended for high intensity activities such as biking. Why? It’s because you are likely to generate a lot of thermal energy despite freezing temperatures. If you wear thick clothing, you’ll overheat quickly. Wearing layers of thinner garments allow you to stay comfortable without feeling too hot during the ride.

The second rule is, do not overdress. For the first rule, we advised you to dress in layers. But remember that you’ll feel warmer as soon as you start pedalling. Set off in an outfit in which you’ll feel a bit chilly for the first few minutes. Be sure to add more layers on your torso, hands, and feet as they are likely to feel colder the longer you ride.

 

To help keep you dry, warm and happy this winter, we made a list of essential cycling apparel for cold weather riding.

Base layer

Base layer

Image Source: www.cyclingweekly.com

A base layer is a vital cycling apparel no matter what the weather is. It helps keep you comfortable by wicking away sweat from your skin, keeping you warm and making sure you’re comfortable.

Fit, material, and cut are the most important things to consider when buying cycling base layers. You want a base layer that has good fitting and made of fabric that will provide warmth and insulation. Bikers also have the option to choose between long or short sleeve. Of course, this comes down to personal preference. Polypropelene is a great material for a base material as it has good thermal properties and has great fast-dry characteristics.

Cycling jersey

Cycling jersey

Image Source: www.road.cc

A well-fitting windproof, waterproof cycling jersey is essential for cold weather riding. It helps keep you warm in harsh weather conditions while wicking sweat outwards from your base layer. This is not an easy combination to get right. Luckily, there are a lot of impressive options to choose from these days. They’re great looking and getting cheaper too.

Thanks to ingenious fabric technology, manufacturers can now integrate flexible water resistant layers into a variety of materials. These clever tops can easily hold their own in most conditions.

Cycling jacket

Cycling jacket

Image Source: www.fitclarity.com

If you are determined to ride your bike this winter, then you’re going to need something that will help keep you warm. The problem is, predicting the weather can be quite a challenge. One day, it can be mild and dry. The next day, it will be cold and rainy. You’ll need a good winter cycling jacket to keep the rain, wind and cold out. Plus, they’ll help you stay warm even on the chilliest bike rides.

Winter tights

Winter tights

Image Source: www.roadcyclinguk.com

Now that your upper body is covered, it’s time to focus on your lower half. Your leg muscles won’t work as well when they are cold. Keeping your legs covered and insulated is essential if you want to ride in any sort of comfort. Winter tights are one of the best cycling apparel to keep your legs protected from the wind, rain and cold.

Bib shorts

Bib shorts

Image Source:www.roadcyclinguk.com

If you want to carry on cycling throughout the cold winter months, regular bib shorts just won’t cut it. You’ll need a pair or two of thermal bib shorts.

Thermal bib shorts are an important addition to a rider’s wardrobe. This cycling apparel provides ultimate warmth and comfort. In fact, it provides warmth throughout the crotch, thighs, and legs. Plus, a lot of cyclists find them more comfortable since they don’t have waist bands that dig in to your skin.

Versatility is also a strong feature of the bib shorts. On milder days, you can wear them on their own. On colder days, you can pair them with leg warmers. This combination will provide comfort and reduce wind child.

Arm warmer

Arm warmer

Image Source: www.road.cc

As the name implies, arm warmers are designed to keep your arms warm in cold weather. This cycling apparel can come in handy on days when it starts out cold and the weather gets better later on. You have the option to roll them down or take them off completely when the weather warms.

Leg warmer

Leg warmer

Image Source: www.competitivecyclist.com

Just like the arm warmers, leg warmers are designed to keep your legs warm and protected from the cold air. It is ideal to be used when the weather is below 50 degrees.

In semi-cold conditions, you have the option to wear leg warmers over your favorite bib shorts. This will help extend coverage to your ankle, keeping your entire legs covered. You may also wear them over full cycling tights during extreme conditions to provide an extra layer of protection for your legs. Most leg warmers come with a zipper, making it easier for you to zip them on and off.

Winter cycling cap

Winter cycling cap

Image Source: www.sportive.com

About 30% of our body’s heat is lost through our head. Keeping your head warm and dry is a sensible thing to do.

Wear a winter hat under your helmet when riding in extreme conditions. Look for a winter cap with ear flaps to protect your ears from the cold as well. The helmet straps will hold the ear flaps down.

Full finger gloves

Full finger gloves

Image Source: www.sealskinz.com

When the temperature drops, your body tries to keep your core warm. One of your body’s ways of surviving the cold temps is by limiting blood circulation to our extremities. This results in cold hands, fingers, feet and toes.

If you’re considering riding your bike in the cold weather, you need to take extra steps to ensure that your hands stay warm and toasty during the ride. Otherwise, your hands will go numb in minutes. They need more protection than just a thin layer of Lycra. Cycling apparel such as a quality pair of winter gloves is essential to maintain comfort.

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