Cycling regularly round the year keeps you healthy and agile, but doing so in the cold with perfect winter cycling gear is just awesome.
A cycling trip with your friends in the cold weather seems to cause shiver, but if done with proper winter cycling clothing, it may prove really marvellous. You have the option to visit a number of sites online to buy the riding gear you will need to winter-proof yourself on the cold road.
“Enjoy your frosty cycling trip, but be packed with your cycling kit first”.
Following is the rundown of the essentials required to overcome cold and secure some wonderful winter miles in your bag.
1. Socks and Gloves
Your hands and feet are the extremities of your body which immediately go numb the soonest you get exposed to acute cold. This is because your CNS drives the blood to the cores of your body just on its exposure to the chilly weather. It may become very difficult for you to have good control over the bicycle with cold hands and feet. So, wearing warm gloves and comfortable socks will be very wise and safe. These gloves and socks must be insulated with waterproof outer layers, fleece linings, windproof membranes and thermal fillings.
2. Thermal Base Layer
Whether it is summer or winter, wicking away sweat from your skin is important. Soaked skin under a wet base layer in direct contact with cold air can cause you more chilled than being underdressed. Moreover, it will become almost impossible to warm up again if you once get wet through.
Hence, it is very much essential to rely on some natural material like merino wool, etc. with high wicking and heat balancing properties. Not only does wool ward moisture away from your body but also helps reduce the stink level dramatically.
3. Thermal Jersey
A thermal jersey of a fine quality keeps you well insulated in cold but dry weather. Long-sleeved thermal jerseys with warm fleece linings give your body extra skin coverage. More often, high-quality thermal jerseys include a built-in windproof membrane not only to keep wind chill at a stone’s throw but also to wick away sweat. A thermal jersey with a good base layer inside alone can do for you. But, if you feel more chilled, use some lightweight jersey as a perfect middle layer.
4. Technical Jacket
Always a vital inclusion to your riding arsenal is a technical jacket. Your windproof outer layer makes you feel less chilled even though the temperature has dipped to -5 C*. In case you get stick in some heavy shower during the winter months, your technical jacket will keep you water-proof with its heavier soft-shell or hard-shell and wind and waterproofing abilities. In addition, these technical jackets also remain breathable.
5. Thermal Bib-shorts or Tights
Other perfect partners for a thermal jersey are thermal bib-shorts and tights which keep your legs insulated under the coldest conditions. Courtesy to a lot of wonderful features, both bibs and shorts offer much greater support to your lower limbs. Winter shorts maybe a little longer than the summer ones.
Furthermore, feeling not interested in total coverage of your legs, you may also use Flandrian-style three-quarter bib shorts. More insulation and comfort have been added to the tights and bib-shorts through fleece linings and excellent water and wind-resistant fabrics.
6. Limb Warmers
Upper and lower limb warmers pair very well with the bib-shorts whenever you need a little extra flexibility. These may cover your thighs down to either just below the knees or the full legs. Moreover, limb warmers often boast fleece linings and windproof outer fabric or water repellent materials to keep cold air at bay.
Arm warmers go very well with a short-sleeve jersey, for they offer more flexibility. As compared to the other winter riding outfits, limb warmers not only prove cost-effective but are also handy over for the milder spring season.
Added warmth may guarantee through the addition of some head accessories to your winter cycling gear. These may include skull caps, headbands, neck gaiters, etc. In the form of thin thermal layers fit under a helmet like a regular cycling cap, the head accessories may confer superb insulation to your head. Likewise, a neck gaiter may exclude the cold draughts, potentially covering your chin and mouth. Moreover, the heat may seal within your jacket, as the gaiters act more like a cork as well.
Toe warmers are a good option for the cold mornings not asking for the shoe covers. Besides, thermal socks help your shoe covers a lot towards insulating your shoes.
If managed intelligently and timely, the winter cycling gear can serve you remarkably well on your next road trip.