From head to toe proper attire can be the difference between a comfortable and unpleasant riding exprience.
- Start cold
- Riding will quickly bring your core temperature up; a simple rule of thumb is start cold (not freezing your tail off), you should reach a comfy temp within 5 – 10 minutes of ride time.
2. Wear layers
- Being able to remove/add clothing easily is important in not allowing the body to overheat or get too cold. Remember additional room to store clothing, backpack or frame bag is plenty adequate.
3. Wind resistant fabric
- Keeping the wind from getting to you can allow you to wear less overall layers and keep clothing tighter to your body shape.
4. Cycling boots
- Water proof or highly water resistant boots, either for clipless or platform pedals will help keep your toes from frostbite. Have a case of getting cold feet? Try using heated footbeds in your boots to keep warm. Additionally, one good quality wool sock is generally all that is needed for sock choice. Too many socks can get tight on the foot or simply reduce space in your boots and cause your feet to get and stay cold.
- Keeping your hands warm is important as they make shifting and braking happen. A great combo are Bar Mitts and a thinner than you’d think is a good idea pair of gloves. Hands stay warm and the thin gloves do not restrict your ability to feel the controls on the handlebar. Not a fan of Bar Mitts? Lobster gloves work well too, room to grab a brake lever and sorta like a mitten to keep your hands warmer.
6. You lose most of your heat through your head, it’s true.
- A thin cycling skull cap or balacalava is all that you need to keep your head warm under your helmet. Well, for most people. Need a bit more warmth? Clear packaging tape over your helmet vents keep the wind out and the warmth in. Another great addition to keep your head warm is downhill ski googles. No one likes frozen eyes, make sure to get the double thick lenses, otherwise you may experience excessive lens fog.