Winter cycling clothing
WINTER HAS ARRIVED, BUT ARE YOU READY? Have you got the right material? Would you like some suggestions? Here the 5 questions you always need to ask yourself before going out for a ride.
1) How many kilometres or how many hours you want to ride?
2) Road bike or mountain bike?
3) Climb or flat land? Are you starting your ride with a descent?
4) At what time do you go out? Morning or afternoon ?
5) Weather? Is it first cloudy and then sunny? Or the other way round?
Let’s check our questions one by one:
1- How many kilometres or how many hours you want to ride?
Of course this is the most important point because depending on what you want to do you have to understand how to dress.
As soon as you go out, it’s easy to “hide” from cold as the stored body heat is like a protective barrier, but from the second/third/fourth hour your body starts getting cold and “giving up”. That’s why it’s very important to be ready!
2- road bike or mountain bike?
There is a big difference here: on MTB, thanks to its reduced speed and mixed trails, you don’t feel so much cold ( woods protect us) but on the road bike speed is always high and cold enters the body much faster.
3- Climb or flat land? Are you starting your ride with a descent?
The type of trail makes a lot of difference so you have to decide from the beginning if to dress a lot or not, but … check that you don’t sweat! But what is sweating?
“Perspiration, also known as sweating, is the production of fluids secreted by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals.In humans, sweating is primarily a means of thermoregulation, which is achieved by the water-rich secretion of the eccrine glands. Maximum sweat rates of an adult can be up to 2–4 liters per hour or 10–14 liters per day (10–15 g/min·m2).Sweat is mostly water. A microfluidic model of the eccrine sweat gland provides details on what solutes partition into sweat, their mechanisms of partitioning, and their fluidic transport to the skin surface. Dissolved in the water are trace amounts of minerals, lactic acid, and urea” Font: Wikipedia
So… don’t forget to drink in winter too, but we’ll get back to this topic with another post
4- At what time do you go out? Morning or afternoon ?
It doesn’t seem an important point, but going out at 8am or 11am in Winter makes a loto f difference. There can even be 10°C difference
5- Weather? Is it first cloudy and then sunny? Or the other way round?
The weather is often underestimated, not only for the wear to be used but also for your safety. You need to consider that the roads in Winter “change”so you have to pay much more attention to the type of tyres and to their pressure.
After checking the above mentioned points you will find the best solution for you.
We just would like to add some small suggestions, but don’t forget that everyone feels cold in a different way and very much depends where you live.
Winter cycling clothing: the body
– Body: dress like an onion, put on and take out, so start well covered but as soon as you get warm, take out what is not necessary and don’t sweat too much. As soon as you ride a descent or you get cold you can wear something heavier again.
Use technical breathable clothing for a good perspiration and barrier against cold
– Hands: there are many types of gloves (lighter or super padded ones) you just need to find those that fit you better. Very important safety rule: hands must always grip the handlebar and the brakes firmly.
If gloves are not enough, you can try with warming creams or silk undergloves
– Feet: you can use more padded shoes or neoprene shoe covers, you just have to try and see what is better for you. And if it’s not enough? Warming cream..
– Head: a simple cycling skull cap under helmet in technical fabric is enough
– Helmet: for the Winter season you can choose insulated helmets for a better coverage.
– Socks: you can choose among different types (technical ones in synthetic fibres or the ones in natural fibres like merinos wool)
Did we forget anything? Just ask us, let’s share our opinion to learn from each other and become.. “warmer cyclists”!