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Gear up for the cold with the latest and greatest winter cycling gear aimed to keep you warm and dry. There’s nothing worse than a hard ride on a chilly day with numb fingers and toes. Winter gear can be bottled down to these basic essentials: a base layer, a top jersey, arm warmers, and a winter jacket. Don’t forget your shoe covers and fleece-lined gloves. Long bibs or leg warmers are an added bonus and can stave off the cold and keep your muscles warm for a long ride. A lot of winter clothing is based on preference, but if you’re riding at sub 30 degrees, you’ll want all of the above plus a warm cap to wear under your helmet. Merino wool is a well-known gem and a great base layer, worn preferably as a long sleeve shirt.
Most clothing is made from a thick polyester with 5% spandex for stretch, but you want the clothes to fit snug so as not to allow any wind inside that will make you cold. Layering appropriately is a skill, and if you end up sweating too much under too many layers, that sweat will end up drying which will make you very cold if you stop for a coffee mid-ride. So layer, but don’t layer too much. If you’re riding below 30 degrees, as many layers as possible is best but if it’s 40-45 degrees, it can be trickier. Add in the wind chill factor and maybe take off a layer for best results.
Check out the latest options below from some of the best winter cycling gear. From clothing to added gear like hand warmers and the best lights for that beautiful crack-of-dawn morning ride.
1. Rapha Merino Wool Base Layer
This long sleeve shirt is made from merino wool which helps regulate body temperature. It will keep you cool in the scorching summer months and warm and dry in the winter. The merino wool is moisture-wicking and odor-resistant, so it’s an excellent layering tool. The Rapha brand is a reputable cycling company and has merino wool shirts in three different styles, all of which are cut long in the back to better fit on the bike. A great choice for anyone looking for comfort in these chilly months ahead.
2. C5 Gore Insulated Shoe Covers
There’s nothing worse than being excited about a long winter ride and discovering that your toes are going numb only halfway through. You don’t want to quit prematurely, so you’ll need to get some insulated shoe covers. These are better than non-insulated covers because they’ll keep you extra warm, are easy to take on and off, and can be worn for many seasons. Keep your toes safe and your rides long and invest in these shoe covers.
3. Ostroy No-Trainer Winter Jacket
Just as the name implies, this jacket is built for a life spent out of doors — no bike trainers needed this winter, thank you. Stay warm with this cozy jacket made from a four-way fleece back stretch fabric with a water-resistant layer, this jacket will keep you pedaling all day long. With stretchy, deep back pockets and a unique design, this New York City-based cycling company will quickly become your go-to for winter cycling gear. Great for riding in temps between 23 and 35 degrees.
4. Pearl Izumi Long Bib Tights
If you don’t like leg warmers, a pair of long bibs is the right move for you. They’re more streamlined and comfortable and fit closer to the body than leg warmers, which can be too tight or too loose based on the company. Long bibbed tights are great for winter cycling because they’re all one piece and are easy to clean. There are padded and nonpadded options, which means you can choose nonpadded and wear your regular cycling shorts or bibs underneath them. The padded version means you get to have a special set of bibs just for the winter season, and these Pearl Izumi’s aren’t to be missed.
5. Giro Proof Unisex Winter Cycling Gloves
These gloves have been tested to the utter satisfaction of the SPY team and we can say they add up for a great investment. Fleece-lined on the inside and waterproof on the outside, you won’t regret buying a pair of Giro gloves for everyone you know once you feel how warm they are. No more lackluster gloves with thin, inside liners (like rubber hospital gloves — those days are over). With these Giro gloves, your hands will be toasty for an entire day’s worth of winter riding.
6. Notchas Live Fast Cycling Cap
This will keep your head warm even while you work hard outdoors in the chilly winter air. Sweatproof and moisture-wicking, this Notchas Live Fast hat is stylish, cool and warm. A great cap to fit under your helmet during winter or summer. Made from 65% polyester and 35% cotton, you’ll be cool and comfortable the entire day.
7. Night Rider Lumina Front Bike Light
On certain warm nights, it can be bearable to ride at night and for that, it’s wise to have a strong front bike light. It also serves well for dawn rides. The Night Rider Lumina is a rechargeable LED bulb and has a battery life on “high” mode for an hour and a half and for longer at low or flashing. A great tool to have on hand for any type of ride.
8. Gore Wear Unisex Arm Warmers
Arm warmers are great for cold days where the sun comes out so you can stay warm at the beginning of your ride but shed layers as the day gets hotter. They also come in handy for very chilly, windy days as an extra layer atop your merino wool base layer. Lightweight and tight-fitting, arm warmers can save your ride.
9. Handske Merino Wool Neck Gaiter
Merino wool is just a great winter material and it works especially well as a neck gaiter. It will keep you dry as well as warm and comes in a funky design to add some color to your winter wardrobe. It can double as a face mask and keep you cozy and protected wherever you go.
10. Chamois Butt’r
Let us not forget the all-important chamois cream, which will come in handy in winter as well as summer. Whenever there is chafing or excess sweat coming from your shorts, this cream is great to rub on before a ride and helps prevents saddle sores. You won’t regret this piece of winter cycling gear.