Cycling in winter is a dare I cannot afford to take, primarily because I live in one of the hottest regions of the world. Winter cycling is however a popular trend among in Europe, South America, and North America. Unarguably the most critical factor when riding in the cold is to dress up in the proper winter cycling gear.
Much depends on the region you ride in, since weather can vary by geography you may need windproof, waterproof, and/or thermal winter cycling clothing on. Amateur cyclists tend to be differ when asked about winter cycling gear to stay warm. Some simply put on a winter cycling cap and a pair of warm socks, while others choose to clad themselves like they’re cycling in Alaska.
Today we talk a bit how to dress for winter cycling and clothing you should have on when pedaling through the winter breeze.
A cap is simply essential when cycling in winter. In case you ride in mild cold weather an ordinary cycling cap will suffice. But, in case of cold windy temperature a winter cycling fleece cap is a great choice. Ideally, winter cycling caps should be worn with the three point system. The three point system dictates that a cycling cap should perfectly cover the eyebrows, the nap of your neck, and the ears.
Much depends on the fabric of your cycling cap, a thick snow cap will have your head sweating under the helmet. Cycling fleece caps are intelligently crafted for enhanced breath ability and instant sweat absorption. Even regular cycling caps are made with composite fabrics to give them sweat wicking properties.
Winter cycling is simply dangerous without a pair of decent thermal gloves. While gloves are all season gear primarily to protect you from accidents, there are other functions they play including enhanced grip and constant sweat wicking.
The best winter cycling gloves will ensure your hands have proper insulation, allowing your hands easy movement when braking and properly gripping the handlebars. One of the most common issues that come up when cycling in winter are sweaty palms, causing you to lose your grip.
Winter cycling gloves offer layered fabrics, that wick sweat to the top layer just like a cycling jersey in summer. The excellent aspect of winter cycling gloves is that the fabric around the fingers is thicker & more elastic to ensure your muscles can flex while clutching the handlebars, brakes, and gears without an issue.
Never underestimate the protection for your hands that a simple pair of winter cycling gloves provide. Gloves keep your hands protected from severe winter injuries, chilblains, skin rash, and frost bite among various other threats when cycling in winter.
The simplest winter cycling gear to carry in winter is a pair of tight fit glasses to keep your eyes safe. Every time winter winds strike your face, you will realize that it’s not really a gentle breeze. You eyes water and causes you to constantly slow down to wipe your eyes every time.
“Eye wear is a vital component for a safe ride, especially during the cold and darker times of the year. That’s the time when visibility can be very mixed, such as on a wet, grey day in the winter.”
Jonas Söderqvist, Business Manager – POC Sports
Today, eye wear manufacturers invest significant resources on research & development to craft high spec winter cycling eye wear that provides multiple benefits. While sunglasses are popular during the summer, transparent white lens specs are popular during winter.
These specialized winter cycling eye wear offer several advantages that include:
Base Layers are a very important part of your winter cycling clothes, and act as the undergarment for your attire. Like several other athletic apparel, a base layer is a multi-purpose winter cycling gear that insulates and protects. Primarily a base layer regulates body temperature during winter cycling trips, keeping your muscles warm as you ascend or descend. Base layers are made with synthetic fabrics that ensure a tight body fit plus:
Base layers are proven to protect the body from extreme winter temperatures when descending from hills and mountains.
It’s a good idea to take along a jacket during your winter cycling trips. A winter cycling jacket is brilliant for wet conditions and when it’s snowing outside. Its not necessary to carry a heavy jacket, instead consider a synthetic jacket that can fold to fit into your jersey’s back pocket.
Just in case it confuses you, the term ‘winter cycling jersey’, is simply a long sleeve cycling jersey with slightly denser fabric. Like summer jerseys winter cycling clothing is also made from synthetic fabric, just more layers to circulate body temperature.
Merino wool jackets are also popular for cycling in winter. Once mixed with synthetic fabric, merino wool which is already anti-bacterial, gains better durability, sweat wicking, and thermal control. These winter cycling jerseys are get heavier in rain so not ideal wet condition cyclist gear.
In addition, winter cycling jackets are also wind proof to allow you to cut through harsh winter wind. These superior design winter jackets also maintain your body temperature ensuring your muscles don’t suffer during and after the ride.
Winter cycling socks are the last piece of the winter cycling clothing checklist. Protecting your feet, shins, and ankles against gushes of wind, snow, or rain is essential to keep pedaling without interruptions. The most common complaint among winter cyclists is ‘cold feet’. These socks are made from a mix of polyester, nylon, or spandex to create tough, elastic, and warm synthetic fabrics.
Even with warm winter cycling socks, the weather can take its toll on your feet. Air constantly passing through the fabric causes your muscles to cool down hence causing abrupt stops. For such cyclists, there is this clever winter cycling gear known as ‘overshoes’. Cycling overshoes a warm cover or sock for your shoe when cycling in winter.
Also used in summer & spring weather for aerodynamic resistance in open spaces, over shoes can provide significantly improved temperature control when cycling in winter. Do keep in mind that overshoes are primarily made for road cycling shoes and cross country cyclist shoes. It is essential to try and buy, never order online unless you have specific measurements for overshoes.
Hope this article helps you create your own checklist of important winter clothes to wear. In case I missed one, simply give me a shout out in the comments section below and I will add it ASAP. For more interesting cycling gear guides and tutorials remember to visit us again soon.
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