Winter Wear for Winter Biking: Stay Warm and Safe on Two Wheels
With November right around the corner, it is officially almost winter season! Here in Scandinavia we believe that when the cold weather arrives, it doesn't mean you have to leave your bike hanging for the season. Winter biking can be a thrilling and invigorating experience, provided you have the right gear to keep you warm and safe. After all, as we Scandinavians like to say: "There's no such thing as bad weather! Only bad clothing." So let's dive into the essential winter wear for biking this winter to ensure that you can continue your cycling adventures - even when the temperatures drop.
Layer Up for Optimal Insulation
The frost weather is one of the biggest challenges for staying comfy on your bike ride during winter. Layering your clothes properly is the key to staying warm and making sure you will enjoy your ride. There's usually three kinds of layers to consider when you are going outside in the cold: a base-layer, a mid-layer and an outer-layer. You should start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your body, preventing you from getting chilled. Next, add a thermal mid-layer to provide insulation and retain body heat. Look for materials such as fleece or merino wool, which offer excellent warmth and moisture management. Finally, top it off with a windproof and water-resistant outer layer, such as a cycling jacket, to shield you from the elements.
Protect Your Extremities
The extremities, such as your hands, feet, and head, are more prone to cold and require extra attention in the cold. For this you will want to invest in insulated and windproof gloves or mittens, as this will give agility for your hands on the handlebar while keeping your hands warm. Consider wearing glove liners for added warmth in extremely cold and windy conditions. For your feet, choose cycling-specific shoe covers or winter cycling boots to provide insulation and protect against wind and moisture. Don't forget to wear thermal or wool socks for added warmth! Lastly, a well-fitting, windproof cycling cap or balaclava will keep your head and ears protected from the cold.
Warmth from the Bottom Up
Your lower body is exposed to the chilling winds while biking, so it's crucial to have proper insulation for your legs. Thermal or fleece-lined cycling tights or pants are ideal for being outside in the winter. For this, you can look for options with windproof and water-resistant features to keep you comfortable and dry. You can also layer your bottoms by wearing thermal leggings or extra base-layers underneath for additional warmth. Some bikers like to invest in knee or leg warmers to provide extra insulation for your knees and lower legs.
Stay Visible with Reflective Gear
Winter days often come with reduced daylight and lower visibility. To enhance your safety, incorporate reflective elements into your winter biking gear. Look for jackets, vests, or accessories with reflective strips or panels. Additionally, attach reflective tape to your bike, helmet, and pedals to ensure you're visible to motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists, especially in low-light conditions.
Protect Your Eyes and Face
The cold air can cause discomfort and dryness in your eyes while biking. Wear protective eyewear, such as cycling-specific glasses or goggles, to shield your eyes from wind, debris, and cold air. Choose lenses that offer good visibility and are suitable for varying light conditions. Additionally, apply a moisturizing balm or cream to your face to prevent windburn and chapping.
Don't Forget the Accessories
Several accessories can further enhance your winter biking experience. Consider investing in a neck gaiter or a buff to provide extra warmth for your neck and face. Hand and toe warmers can be useful for extremely cold conditions. Use them in your gloves or shoes to provide instant warmth. Lastly, ensure that your bike is equipped with appropriate fenders to prevent mud and water from splashing onto you, keeping you dry and comfortable.
With the right winter wear, you can confidently tackle winter biking and enjoy the thrill of cycling even in the coldest months. By getting your hands on the right winter gear you can experience the joy of winter biking while staying warm and safe!