Winter Cycling Guide

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Here are some ideas on how to stay warm but not overdress for winter. The secret is always layers, flexibility and high performance gear. Here are some examples

  • Layers: If you start with a good short sleeve jersey with solid stitching on the pockets, you can remove your long sleeve jersey as things warm up and stuff the long sleeve in the short sleeve back pocket.
  • Flexibility: Always be thinking that the weather can change to get warmer or colder. Also you might feel cold at start but feel warmer as you start burning energy. Have the extra gear handy.
  • Performance Gear: Stay away from bulky, loose jackets that flap around in the wind. Aerodynamic really kick in above 16 miles per hour so you don’t want to have all that drag if you are trying to ride faster. A cotton undershirt is fine for home but it will soak with sweat and make you colder on the bike. Our winter long sleeves, jackets, and base layers are performance gear that will give you the best riding experience.

Let’s take a look at different weather conditions and how specific cycling gear can help

Cool Weather: You can start with a short sleeve jersey. Arm warmers are great to give you a little warmth but roll up easy and fit in your pockets. If it is a bit colder, you can use a base layer under you jersey to trap warm air near your body. The next level would be to layer with a long sleeve. Some people like buy long sleeves one size larger for layering but most people prefer to purchase the same size long sleeve as they wear with short sleeve jerseys. Consider a winter bib short that is made of thicker material.

Cold Weather: Let’s assume it will never warm enough on this ride to want to get down to short sleeves. Start with a base layer and long sleeve. Let’s jump to the extremities. A cycling cap will keep some wind out of your helmet vents. A full finger glove will keep the ends of your fingers warm. A neck gaiter is handy to keep your chin warm and can be raised and lowered. Keeping your knees warm is important for long term joint health so start with bib knickers.

Really Cold Weather: Start with a base layer and long sleeve. Add a vest to keep your core warm or a jacket for the extreme cold. Use an under helmet cap to keep you head and ears warm. Full finger gloves are a must. After a longer ride, you might have the cold leaking into your shoes. Consider wind proof shoe covers to keep them warm. A baklava can keep you head, neck and face warm in the cold. Finally, you want to keep you legs warm with warm bib tights. Good tights will not keep you warm but come with a good pad for long rides. 

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