Whether we like it or not, the cold weather is here. I travelled to Canberra over the long weekend and was lucky enough to get out for a ride. Boy, was it cold! Although, I shouldn’t expect anything less from the nation’s capital. It did get me thinking however and I have decided to post a quick guide to essential cycling apparel for the inevitably cold and wet weather that is here at this time of the year.
The conditions may be less desirable, but don’t let it stop you from getting out and enjoying a ride! I have assembled a guide that focuses on the 5 most important areas to consider and protect when out in the cold this winter season.
1. Head & Ears
A thermal Headband or Skull Cap that includes a fold-down rim will protect your ears and forehead. It may also be worth considering some Earwarmers. Even though they offer slightly less protection, they are still a great addition for those cooler rides in both the morning and the evening. Check out our full range here.
Cycling Longs are a no brainer, and you don’t necessarily need to wait until the cold weather hits to find an appropriate use for them. That being said, when the cold weather does arrive, there are a few points to consider. The first being that it may be a smart idea to consider thicker longs with an insulating layer / material. The Netti Superroubaix Longs are a good example of this. Secondly, when choosing Cycling Socksto wear with your longs, opt for socks that reach to the middle of your calf or higher. The insulating longs will work well with these socks, as they will hold the fabric in place, ensuring adequate protection for your calves and ankles.
3. Torso - Learn your Layers
When you are looking at purchasing upper body garments for your cold weather riding, make sure you have a firm understanding of the purpose of each layer in your apparel artillery. The layers are most simply explained as follows: a) Base – A moisture wicking undergarment that keeps you warm and dry by removing sweat. The best materials for a base layer are either a wool-blend or a synthetic material that has a close skin fit. Check them out here. b) Middle – A second layer that traps body heat by forming an insulating pocket of air. Look for a garment that allows good air circulation, is not too night and encourages ease of movement, like the ones shown here. c) Outer – A protective layer that blocks wind and / or moisture (depending on your requirements). Search for a garment with a breathable back and a windproof front, like these ones.
One critical mistake that is often made is over-socking. When shoes are tight, it reduces blood flow and insulating air, which over time can lead to a number of unfavourable health conditions. In order to prevent this from happening, use toe coverson the outside of the cycling shoe, with cycling socks on the inside.
On days where it is extremely cold, thick gel gloves, such as the Pearl Izumi Elite Cyclone Gloves let warm air circulate around your fingers, ensuring that your hands stay protected. Glovessuch as these are also a good option as they usually have extended cuffs. The benefit of this the protection it adds to your wrist. If you can also purchase a middle layer with thumbholes, you will be able to secure the sleeves better, increasing protection for your hands and forearms.
6. Final Tips
- Don’t Forget to Breathe – Choose middle and outer layers with zippers and ventilation and don’t forget to open or close vents to stay as sweat free as possible. The last thing you want is to end up wet or damp when out riding in the cold.
- Manage Your Midsection – Your body directs blood to your core and away from your extreme points, such as your hands and your feet in order to keep your vital organs warm. By keeping your midsection warm and comfortable, you will ensure warm and comfortable hands and feet!
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