Cycling in winter – The essentials

The arrival of winter doesn’t mean the departing of the cycling season. Cycling through winter is actually as thrilling as cycling during other seasons. All you need is a little knowledge here and there and some practice to have a blast during the cold.

I must admit I never liked the cold, and have been avoiding them in the warmth of my home and a cup of hot coffee in hand for the whole season. You can hide from the hot blazing sun, but you can never hide from the cold of winter. It can seep through the tiniest of cracks and into your bone and send you shivering even with the heater on. That’s why I would never step outside, especially on the bike, during winter.

What changed my mind about cycling in the winter? Well, craving to cycle, of course. I have been cycling for the other three seasons every day of my life. Then I thought, “why not winter?” So I stepped outside, got on my bike, rode a few meters, gave up and went back to my heater. The cold is just unbearable! Right there and then, I realised I’ve been neglecting the essentials – clothing, cycling gloves, footwear – I have none fit for the cold. “I should get some” I thought. And I did.

Here are the winter cycling gears you’d need if you would like to cycle out in the cold – without feeling cold:

What to wear

Wearing the right clothes when you cycle during winter is the most important factor. Getting windproof, thermal and waterproof gear is essential to keep you warm and dry during the cold months of winter. You barely know how cold it really is when you’re cycling out there. The whole set of clothes seem like a huge expense, but getting the right one with suit a range of weathers and temperatures, like during the cold summer nights. Whether it’s jackets, jerseys, gloves or caps, you’ll need the best winter cycling gears during the harsh winter months.

Q36.5 Base Layer 3

The long-sleeved Q36.5 is a luxurious wear. The soft fabric provides a supportive fit that is resistant to the wind. The honeycomb pattern of the jacket wicks moisture and dried exceptionally fast. Priced at $130, this base layer doesn’t make you reek of sweat and body odours.

Prendas Ciclismo Meraklon Special Edition arm warmers

This Prendas Meraklon arm warmers are basic but can really keep your arm warm during the winter and it is considered cheap – priced at £7.95 (US$9.80). They are made of 58% polypropylene, 40% nylon and 2% elastane, with tightly woven cuff at the bottom section. You can buy it here.

Howies Cadence long-sleeved jersey

At £79 (UD$ 97.40), this jersey is reasonably priced with a really nice design. It’s really comfortable and a great cycling top during autumn and spring, and with another layer under it, it’ll be a great winter cycling wear.

Provis PixElite Softshell cycling jacket

This all-black cycle clothing actually is a reflective jacket. The large panels of pixel fabric on the jacket lights up just as a car’s headlight shines on you, although it looks dull and plain during the day. It is also windproof and will help you keep the cold out. This PixElite Softshell is at a reasonable price of £66.49 (UD$ 82).

 

Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell

The Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell is extremely breathable, full-fledged harsh-weather jacket with three layers Exoshell40 fabric for the perfect insulation. It is really thin and lightweight despite the ability to be able to provide the needed warmth. It is priced at £139.99 (US$173.40). You can buy it here.

Bontrager Velocis Stormshell Jacket

Similar to the Bontrager bib tights, this jacket is also waterproof and breathable. Thanks to the stretchiness of the material, it fits perfectly to your body, keeping out cold winds from getting into your body (windproof). The Bontrager jacket is also highly reflective, making you a lot more visible at night; while the bright orange colour keeps you visible during the day. It is priced at £149.99 (US$ 185.79) and has a pocket on the front to put your keys, money and other valuables.

Bontrager Velocis Stormshell Bib Tights

The Bontrager tights is highly breathable, stretchy and waterproof, keeping you both dry and warm in cold weathers. Bontrager describes their high quality products as ‘like a waterproof jacket for your legs’, and what they say is very right. They are made from the same fabric as their Stormshell Jacket. Priced at £139.99 (US$173.40), the tights are to be worn over your padded cycling shorts in order to be warmer out in the cold. You can buy it here.

Castelli Thermoflex leg warmer

The Castelli leg warmers are dead simple; they do not have those fancy graphics and no multi-panel constructions, but they’re truly amazing to the touch and have super comfortable, stretchy fabric, which fits well. Although it made no claims of being water resistant, it still provides some warmth even if it’s wet. It is best at temperatures between 5-15 degree Celsius and is priced at £45.00 (US$ 55.74). You can buy it here.

Showers Pass Men’s Crosspoint softshell WP gloves

The Showers gloves keep your hands warm and toasty even during cold and harsh winters. It is thick without being too cumbersome and heavy, and is long enough to overlap with jerseys and jackets. It’s best at temperatures below 8-10 degree Celsius, above that you’ll feel a bit more toasty. Priced at £58.00 (UD$ 71.84), it is suitable for cyclists who cycle all-year round no matter what the weather. You can buy it here.

Craft Storm Gloves

Providing high insulation from the harsh weathers, the Craft Storm gloves are waterproof with enough padding on the fingers and palms for riding long-distances. They provide the best insulation for temperatures below 6-8 degree Celsius, any warmer your hands will feel uncomfortable for the extra insulation. The gloves allow you to swipe your touchscreen smartphones and your Garmin Edge computer. At £32.00 (US$ 39.64), these Swedish branded gloves will keep you warm and dry inside out. You can buy it here.

Sealskinz Belgian cap

The Sealskinz cap has three layers; a knitted acrylic on the outside, polyester fleeces on the inside, and sandwiched in between is a waterproof, breathable membrane. It keeps your head really warm and dry during the cold months. This Belgian cap only has two sizes, S/M and L/XL, and the bigger sized ones are can fit perfectly to my 58 sized head, so heads bigger than those will feel a bit hard to snug it in.  It is affordable and reasonably priced at £28.00 (US$ 34.70). You can buy it here.

Lusso Thermal Skull cap

This exceptionally cheap Lusson cap is a close-fitting black hat that fits perfectly under your helmet and keeps your head warm, even if it is not windproof. Priced at £9.99 (UD$ 13.37), it is made of half-nylon and half-polyester that is stretchable and fits well to your head. You can buy it here.

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