Winter cycling clothing must be carefully designed to allow you to continue your training even during the cold season. In the summer you were in good shape and, with the beginning of winter, we bet you don’t want to lose it.It may not be easy to maintain your motivation to ride during the winter when it’s cold and wet, but cycling can be done all year round by following a few simple rules …
The important thing is that when you ride a bike you have to dress appropriately. This does not mean that you have to put everything you have in the closet. In this article I will try to explain to you which are the best products you can use for cycling, both on the road and off-road even in the cold season.
Winter outings can have a particular charm, whether they are road or bicycle tours or mountain bike routes. In order to avoid seasonal illnesses, it is essential to use clothing at the cutting edge of technology that guarantees lightness and reliable performance.
The advice we offer you in this article is not meant to be a list of rigid and unchangeable rules but there are general principles that you should always keep in mind when choosing winter cycling clothing. Of course you will be the one to adapt these principles to your physique and your needs.
Before planning any group or solo excursion, always evaluate the weather conditions for the hours you will be riding your beloved bike. Also consider the route you have decided to take and the weather conditions in all the areas you will touch during your training. There may be particular differences in perceived temperature between a sunny winter day and one with overcast skies, between a route in the shade or in the sun. Also consider the wind conditions, which can be a factor influencing your thermal balance.
The Temperature and the rule of 10
The outside temperature is what can have a decisive influence on your performance. In this regard it is good to follow the RULES OF 10: every ten degrees add a garment. So if it’s 30°C you can use a T-shirt; between 20°C and 30°C a T-shirt and underwear; between 10°C and 20°C a long-sleeved T-shirt or sleeves; between 0°C and 10°C a heavy shirt; below 0°C add an anorak. It is clear that these are general indications that you will have to adapt to your personal needs and characteristics.
Let’s dress up as onions
There are two fundamental points to take into account during a cycling workout in winter: sweat and body extremities. We explained that you have to find the right compromise between clothing, training characteristics, route and weather.
Let’s avoid leaving too covered to avoid sweating too much and then getting cold and then risk getting sick. If you suffer a lot from the cold, wear onion clothes and bring a backpack where you can store the clothes you don’t need at that moment, and then recover them in the coldest routes. This way you will keep your temperature regular and you won’t risk sweating.
The extremities of the body are those where the blood circulates less and are therefore more prone to cooling, so always try to keep them warm with gloves, heavy socks. The head should be covered with a cap and balaclava especially in downhill stretches where the temperature and wind could play tricks.
Tips for the torso
The torso is the part of the body that needs to be more under control to avoid the feeling of cold. The item of clothing on which attention should be focused is underwear. Whether you opt for a half-sleeve or a long sleeve, the important thing is the rate of absorption and dispersion. So the garment should allow the skin to breathe and prevent it from getting wet and remaining in contact with the skin. In this case, spending less is counterproductive as it does not guarantee those characteristics that are fundamental for a good workout and the protection of health. Windstopper front underwear is the top choice.
Tips for the legs
The legs are the part that works the most during bike training. This part should only be covered if it is extremely necessary. When temperatures start to get really cold then covering the lower part of the body can be useful to improve performance and avoid contractures and stretching.
Tips for the head
The head is the easiest part to warm up, especially during the stress phase. However, it is good to follow some basic rules when descending or in cold wind. Before going downhill, make sure you have wiped your head from sweat and cover your forehead and ears with earmuffs or opt for a balaclava if the cold weather is particularly cold.
Tips for the hands
The hands are the part of the body that is most exposed to the weather. Hand protection elements must meet the compromise between heat and comfort. Gloves must allow all finger movements to be made while protecting from the air. For a matter of safety, hand fit should be given priority, but of course it is a purely personal choice.
Tips for the feet
The feet are the furthest from the heart so they are more critical to heat. It is good to make sure they stay warm so choose good quality thermal socks. You can also choose shoe covers if you are training on the road and they may be uncomfortable if you also have to walk, perhaps during a MTB outing. As a last chance, certainly the best if you want to play it safe, you can buy winter shoes, which can be expensive but are the right choice in case of intensive use during the cold season.