Best Winter Cycling Gear 2022


world of runners; Courtesy of Bontrager

I’m a big fan of the old saying, “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothes.” As the weather cools, I have learned to accept the change of seasons. With the good equipment and know-how, riding in the cold can also be something you look forward to.

Cycling in winter means shorter, colder and often wetter days, so focus your preparations on meeting those conditions. This collection of the best winter cycling gear will help you navigate the options and dress appropriately. Your friends and family will still look amazed when they hear how cold it was during your weekend commute, but instead of remembering how cold you’ll just remember how nice it was to being able to enjoy the miles and the time spent outdoors. .

The expert: I am a cycling photographer and a former competitive cyclo-cross and criterium rider. I’ve been cycling in just about every weather condition you can imagine for over 10 years now. Whether it’s cycling in the wet Scottish Highlands or training in the cold winters of the Northeast near my home in Philadelphia, there’s not much I haven’t do. In the winter, I typically ride outside three to four times a week. as I do in the warmer months. Through many years of trial and error in cold climates around the world, I’ve gained a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

How to dress for a cold weather hike

Ride comfortably in the cold is all about layering. Wearing multiple layers of lighter clothing is more versatile than one big, bulky jacket, as you can add or remove clothing depending on the conditions. Plus, multiple layers better trap body heat between items while letting sweat evaporate so you can avoid getting soaked from the inside.

With proper layering, you can feel confident knowing you won’t freeze no matter the temperature. Although some people have a greater cold tolerance than others, I have found the following tips work for most cyclists:

When temperatures dip into the 60s (°F), take a long sleeve Jersey or headlines. A mesh base layer or light vest is a good complement if it is windy. Bare legs are still acceptable at these temperatures.

In the 50 degrees range, consider donning leggings, lightweight jacketAnd light gloves. Increase your comfort even further with an insulated vest, headband and shoe covers.

When the mercury falls below 45 degreestake an insulating jacket, shoe covers and thermal bibs. Put on thicker gloves and a cap.

➥ Sub-zero temperatures call in the big guns. Pair insulated bib tights and a merino wool base layer with an insulated jacket. Add thick gloves and shoe covers to complete your case. Cover any exposed skin.

stay dry

Winter weather often brings precipitation. Unlike riding in a refreshing summer rain shower, getting soaked in cold weather can be downright miserable. The first line of defense is to try to stop the water before it can get you wet. When shopping for your winter kit, look for outer layers that have a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating for light precipitation or a waterproof membrane, like Gore-Tex. Another technology that I like to incorporate into my clothing arsenal is merino wool. Unlike most fabrics, merino wool always keeps you warm when wet. Beyond clothing, having a good set of fenders can be a boon to keeping you and your riding partners considerably drier.

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How we rated

The Ride a bike The test team has spent many cold days – on the road, on the trails, in the dark, at dawn – riding through wind, rain, sleet and polar vortices putting equipment and clothing through their paces winter cycling. Combined with my own experience of riding and surviving the worst of winter, we have tested and used most of the products on this list. For all the items we haven’t tried, we’ve relied on our decades of collective expertise to identify items worth the investment, big or small. It’s the gear that’s kept us warm, dry and safe, that’s how we know it can do the same for you.


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