Winter is creeping up on us – and warm cycle clothing
is essential if you want to keep riding through the months ahead. Winter weather in the America can vary from mild and damp to cold and icy. Technical cycle clothing has developed at a pace in recent years and, as the old adage goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Here’s our advice on what to wear when the mercury’s barely nudging above zero.
The basic principles is to wear cycle clothing that are able to keep you warm. Keeping warm starts with the bike, not least because the roads are often wet in winter, whether it’s raining or not, and standing water kicked up onto a cyclist’s feet, legs, backside and lower back is, well, cold. Therefore, get organised, check the weather forecast and lay your cycle clothing out the night before, ready for when you roll out of bed. Not only will you save time in the morning, you’ll also reduce the risk of forgetting a key item of clothing in the rush before heading out of the front door.
Air is trapped between each layer of cycle clothing, helping to keep you warm, while you can add and remove layers to regulate body temperature. Experience counts for a lot when selecting the number of layers suitable for the day’s weather conditions and some people feel the cold more than others, so get out on your bike and try different cycle clothing combinations to find what works for you. With the base layer sorted, the number of layers on top depends on the conditions and the properties of each particular item of clothing.
In really foul conditions, an additional outer cycle clothing - jacket will be needed, both for additional warmth and protection against the elements. A heavyweight, fully waterproof jacket is, however, only necessary if it’s pouring with rain for the majority of your ride. This cycle clothing remains a worthwhile investment if you plan to ride in all conditions and waterproof fabrics have developed at a pace, getting close, in some cases at least, to the holy grail of keeping water out, while letting moisture produced by the body escape, thereby avoiding the boil in a bag effect.
With these cycle clothing you can train outdoors in all but the worst conditions. Quality cycle clothing doesn't come cheap, but proves a great investment; a solid winter’s training is priceless. Be positive in your approach – do it despite the weather, not because of the weather.