Living the bike life is not contained to the warmer seasons, and thankfully so. More and more cyclists are discovering the benefits of cold weather rides and are taking to the streets come rain, wind, or snow. Recent studies have shown that in an effort to keep warm, your body ends up burning more calories than it would on hot days. Cooler temperatures also help condition your body to use oxygen and fuel more efficiently. So that means winter rides are a great way to increase your endurance as well. It might seem daunting at first, but with the right cycling clothing you will be ready to make the most of winter months, and your body will thank you for it. Your first step to getting your cold weather ride on, should be kitting out in the essentials to guarantee weather protection and rider comfort. Luckily for you, we’ve done all the work by breaking it down.
It all starts with your winter cycle gear and the keyword here is layers. By being smart about your layering, you optimize your body’s comfort. It might be cold out, but you’re still going to be working up a sweat, so always start with a good quality base layer for cycling that wicks moisture away from your skin. Pearl iZumi’s Transfer Sleeveless Base Layer boasts anatomic fit technology, with unique engineering for optimal moisture transfer and quick-dry performance.
Add a long sleeve cycle jersey, and top it off with a waterproof jacket on wet days, or thermal one when it’s dry. Since your body’s main focus will be to keep your core warm, it’s important that you pay attention to your extremities to avoid cold hands and feet. Thermal cycling gloves and warm, breathable socks are a must in colder weather. Our Thermal Conductive Glove keeps you warm and dry, with added conductive functionality on the thumb and index finger, so you can operate your touch screen without removing your gloves.
You should also ensure that your kit comes with reflective elements to increase your visibility in low light conditions. A light on your bike is also essential because it helps others spot you easily from far away. Wet conditions can wreak havoc with the frame of your ride, so be sure to wash your bike regularly. So you’re kitted out for cold and rain, but what about snow? Lowering your tyre pressure is the best way to achieve increased stability when riding in snow, and opting for studs will help navigate icy areas.
When picking out your cycle clothing for a winter ride, you should always start from the inside out. Remember that although it might be really cold out, you’ll be warming up really fast, so be careful not to overcompensate and weigh yourself down with too much clothes. An easy rule of thumb is to make sure you’re feeling a little cold when you first get onto your bike. If you’re not cold, you’re wearing too many layers.
Start with a base layer, like our Transfer Sleeveless Baselayer – perfect for moving moisture away from your skin, keeping you dry. Your next layer should be a long sleeve cycling jersey, like iZumi’s Quest Long Sleeve Jersey, which is engineered to perform well no matter how long or short your ride. A short sleeve jersey could work on milder days when it’s not too cold. Here you can opt for thermal arm warmers to begin with, which can be easily removed as you warm up, and are lightweight enough to be stowed away in your jacket pocket. Over this you’ll want a quality cycling jacket – our Barrier Jacket is wind- and water-resistant, making it perfect for moderate weather. For days when the rain is pouring down, you should opt for a fully waterproof jacket as your outer layer to ensure you stay dry and comfortable. Keeping your digits warm and dry is easy with our Escape Thermal Glove, providing insulation from the cold, with advanced moisture transfer and quick-dry properties as well. Full tights or leg warmers with cycling shorts are the final piece to your layering puzzle. With this winter cycle clothes essentials, you’ll have no excuse to stay inside.