Cold Weather Riding (outside)

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by packey3, 10 Jan 2019.

  1. 12boy

    12boy Über Member

    Casper WY USA
    Wool and wool blends good. Crosscountry ski pants over bike shorts and merino- poly longjohns great for legs since rain and snow bead up on the outside. Balaclavas good, too. I wear $3 wool liner gloves under 240 gram thinsulate gloves or mittens. I also like windblock fleece over a couple layers since i found one in red. HiVis good in sketchy vision situations..
  2. mudsticks

    mudsticks Über Member

    A lightweight windshirt is invaluable as an extra layer imo.
    Easy on and off, cuts the wind, and weighs close to zero.

    Thin plastic gloves under standard cycling gloves, as a windstopper

    Waterproof socks.. Even if its not wet, they add warmth.

    And take one of those iron filing tea bag, hand warmer type things as a back up..
    I rarely use it, but it's nice to know its on board if you get chilled.. Once it's activated, then tucking it down your front can make you feel a whole lot warmer

    Merino baselayers . I find synthetic get stinky within 5 mins.. If I smell bad to me, then I don't want to impose that on an overheated cafe..
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2019
    uphillstruggler likes this.
  3. PeteXXX

    PeteXXX Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...

    Keep the fingers and toes warm! For me, in the words of Iron Maiden, 'Nothing else matters',

    Apart from a windproof skull cap :okay:
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
  4. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Do you have any 'luggage carrying' capability on the bike (panniers/saddlebag etc) If so I'd wear plenty of layers working on the principle that you can always take stuff off.
    dave r and Heltor Chasca like this.
  5. LeetleGreyCells

    LeetleGreyCells Reinvented for 2019 - Formerly RealLeeHimself

    A tip for warm, dry feet if you don’t want to buy cycling-specific winter socks is to wear a thin pair of socks, add a food/freezer bag over the socks and then a second pair of socks over the top again. The three layers traps air keeping your feet warm and the bag keeps them dry.

    It’s a useful trick for the coldest and wettest of days though in warmer winter weather your feet could sweat defeating the purpose.

    Unfortunately, most clothing choices are trial and error until your find what works best for you.
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
  6. Elswick Cotterpin

    Elswick Cotterpin Über Member

    South Wales
    As all above, doesn't have to be cycling specific, layers, wear what you have or what you can afford. A pair of clear lens glasses help a lot too, no fun riding in a cold wind when your eyes are streaming.
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
  7. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Until I can afford winter cycling shoes/boots for SPDs I layer my feet up. Thick socks cause me problems. I wear neoprene overshoes and on cold days, thick, cotton, summer overshoes (Rapha for £10) AND the neoprene overshoes over those.
  8. Sharky

    Sharky Veteran

    As most have said, layers, with the outer layer windproof and close fitting etc.

    But since a spill on black ice in 2017, resulting in a fractured pelvis, I now give it a miss when it is frosty, rather than ruin the whole year.

    Always another day.
  9. mudsticks

    mudsticks Über Member

    Yes I had a moment of madness a few years back, thinking cycling on snowy roads, but staying in the tyre tracks would be OK - with standard hybrid tyres. Dohh
    Didn't manage to break myself quite as badly at that, but I don't think my knee has ever truly forgiven me .

    Sometimes - not riding is the best option.
    Sharky likes this.
  10. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Technical/merino base layer and a windproof softshell jacket - that's all you need. I have varying thickness jackets for the temp, but only have the two layers on. Summer it's a base layer and a short sleeve top - again two layers.
  11. dave r

    dave r Dunking Diddy Dave Pedalling Pensioner

    Holbrooks Coventry
    I use a bamboo base layer, basically a bamboo t shirt, an old sweat shirt, one I brought years ago when I was working outside a lot, with a cycle jacket on top, and if its really cold I'll add a scarf under the cycle jacket. For gloves I buy the pound woolly gloves from the Coventry Market which are warm enough for me unless its really cold, when that happens I have a pair of thermal gloves from the market which I wear. On my feet just a pair of normal socks, cycle shoes and overshoes are warm enough.
    Pat "5mph" and Elswick Cotterpin like this.
  12. Yellow Saddle

    Yellow Saddle Veteran

    Loch side.
    Dear OP. You must be awfully confused by now. Merino this, base-layer that, over-what and under-that. It is mighty confusing and very technical.
    I suggest you just wear warm stuff. Happy riding.
  13. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Cotton isn't good though, just holds onto the sweat ! :tongue:
  14. Joffey

    Joffey Über Member

    Layers are great yes, but if you feel like you have too many clothes on you could always purchase a top end jacket. I have a Castelli Alpha Jersey and you can get away with most low temperatures with just a mesh base underneath. You can pick them up for around £120 on Wiggle last time I checked.
  15. MichaelW2

    MichaelW2 Veteran

    Non cycling clothing is often better in v cold conditions. Layering up rear pockets can get uncomfortable and they are not usable.
    Jersies with a high zipped neck are good.
    With a decent base and windproof outer layer you can fill midlayers with anything. I like a few thin woollen sweaters.
    If I am doing big hills on a cold day I often remove a sweaty base layer at the top, pref replace with dry one.
    My test for winter windproof is the Huff Test. Try and huff some breath through the material. If it goes through with little resistance it is for mild weather use. If you cant huff through at all it will be too clammy. You can use two thin windproofs to good effect.
    Winter footwear should be larger size and without ventilation.
    Clipless pedal cleats are a metal heat sinks inside your shoes. Insulate with eg cork insoles.

    Wool socks are recommended. My sock of choice are Norwegian army wool ones, purchased from the Salvation Army in Stavanger. I don't think they are standard issue to the Norwegian Salvation Army but the regular Non-Salvation Army know their socks.
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2019
    Pat "5mph" and LeetleGreyCells like this.
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