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Winter Cycling Tips

Your Body

The key to dressing for winter riding is to dress in several layers. It is better to have too many clothes and be too warm than to be cold. Layers can always be removed as you warm up. The level of protection and breatheability is often increased with the price of the garment. With some creativity you shouldn't need to spend a bundle on your winter cycling gear. It is important in freezing temperatures to keep as much of your exposed skin covered as possible. Hoods made from lycra are available or wool will keep the head and face warm.


We recommend starting with a long-sleeved polypropylene or capelene shirt. These materials are very good at wicking away moisture from the skin. A lycra jersey over this is good for the next layer. Gortex or a good nylon blend cycling jacket should be the next layer. Cycling jackets have additional vents and often have zippers that allow for breathing. A vest can be put on after the jacket. Bring along a plastic shell that can be used on long descents or in the rain.


On the lower half of the body start out with regular lycra cycling shorts. Layer on polypropylene or capelene long underwear. Depending on the temperature, you can put on one or two pairs of lycra tights. Carry a pair of nylon or gortex pants that can be used as a shell in the rain or temperature drops.

Quality gloves or mittens are effective in protecting your hands from the cold, wind and rain. Waterproof outer glove covers help keep your hands warmer because they will be dry and out of the wind. The lobster style of gloves are very good when you will be riding in cold temperature.

Cold feet on a ride will make you miserable! Wear two pairs of socks. A plastic bag between the socks will help keep your feet warm. Neoprene booties are also extremely effective keeping the feet warm and dry. If you do not want to buy booties cover the front of your cycling shoe with duct tape.

Just get out and ride!


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Last Updated On: 10/16/02