Riding during the colder seasons can be challenging; it’s cold, dark and even wet at times. Ensuring you’re dressed correctly makes the icy weather more bearable and enjoyable. Layering is a great way to make sure that the cold doesn’t soak into your bones. The best way to layer is by following three simple rules.
Start your winter cycling outfit with a good-quality base layer. These should fit tightly onto your body, and the fabric should be quick-drying. If you invest in any cycling kit this winter, invest in a few quality baselayers. They make a huge difference in keeping you warm while out in the cold. You can also use them for other sports and even for everyday wearing, as they help to regulate your core body temperature by wicking sweat away from your body to keep you warm and dry.
Cycling News recently reviewed multiple baselayers to help you find the best one for you and your pocket:
If you’re unsure about riding outdoors in the freezing weather and not ready to invest yet, you can use a tight-fitted quick-drying shirt as a base layer. Avoid using garments made from cotton or linen as baselayers, as they don’t have good moisture-wicking properties, and you’ll be in a pool of sweat before you know it.
Findra is a UK-based brand that creates fantastic outdoor clothing for adventure women. They have an excellent range of baselayers, adventure wear and more.
Your mid-layer, or in some cases, your mid-layers, bring warmth. These layers are typically not water or windproof. A mid-layer is usually a long-sleeved jersey or jacket, or if the weather conditions look like they will change during the ride, you can opt for a short-sleeved jersey and arm warmers. Merino Wool or thermal fleece-type fabrics are popular for mid-layers as they offer lots of warmth without being bulky or making you sweaty while riding.
Your outer shell is crucial for helping trap the heat from your base and mid-layers. This should be waterproof or water-resistant at the least and windproof to stop the cold from getting in. This layer can be removed if conditions change. The outer layer options are endless, and you can choose from something bulkier and warmer or something more lightweight and packable, depending on the weather.
Making sure that your top half is warm is half of the battle. Your legs and feet also need to be kept warm to ensure you’re comfortable and performing at your best. If you’re someone who warms up quickly, you can opt for your favourite cycling bottoms and add a set of leg or knee warmers.. The alternative is to go for a pair of full-length tights. These are typically fleece-lined and warmer than regular shorts or bibs.
Once you’ve got yourself covered from shoulders to your ankles, you’ll definitely want to protect your hands and feet. Having achy toes and fingers while trying to enjoy your ride is one of the worst feelings.
Shoe covers are a great way to keep the toes and feet warm. Living in the UK, you’ll want to make sure that your shoe covers are waterproof, keeping your feet and shoes dry as well as warm.
Proper gloves are also imperative when riding outside in winter. The same applies here when it comes to ensuring they’re both water- and windproof. There are many different options, so take your time when choosing a pair. Some gloves feature finger grips that allow you to still operate your phone whilst wearing them. You also don’t want to purchase very bulky gloves, which may make it difficult to change gears or use your brakes.
Make sure you’re totally covered against things that might happen when you’re out riding in the cold by insuring your bicycle with Sundays bicycle insurance. You can also protect yourself as a rider with cycling insurance. Thanks to Sundays, your bike will be covered against theft and accidental damage, and travel if you decide to escape the cold for a week or two.
Insure my bike today through Sundays’ easy online quote line.