Winter cycling. Some riders hate it. Some love it.
Whether you are a roadie out for a winter solstice ride, shredding a snow-covered single track, or gravel-grinding through the back-40 on a brisk day, you need to have the right winter cycling clothing so your core stays warm and your backside dry.
Here in the Midwest, we like to ride year-round, regardless if there are piles of snow alongside the road. And, perhaps there is nothing better than hitting the trail when the snow is flying. Before you head out, consider these five must-have items for your winter cycling wardrobe.
The PowerCore Merino Long Sleeve Baselayer is a must for all winter riding. The snug-fitting, breathable garment is designed to wick away moisture from the skin. The PowerCore baselayer is cut long, but won’t bunch around your midsection, while keeping your core warm and comfortable. The PowerCore also is available in a short-sleeved version.
When the temps dip into the 40s and below, the Men’s Attention Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey or Women’s Polar Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey keep the chill away. These fleece-lined jerseys, paired with a merino wool base layer, are perfect as an outer layer for early spring and late fall rides. Wear it as a middle layer with a jacket and you are set for rides when temps are climbing out of the 30s. This style is available in the custom line as the Element Polar Long Sleeve Jersey.
When the thermometer gets into the 30s, it’s time to break out the winter cycling jacket. You want something that’s warm and pliable, but not bulky and stuffy. The Arenberg Zero Jacket is that jacket. It has a shell and a high collar that keeps the wind and cold out, and a moisture-wicking lining. It also fits well in all the right places without being too bulky. Zippers on the arms and long cuffs make it comfortable with winter gloves. Three rear pockets also mean you can reach your essentials without having to remove it.
Leg and knee warmers will get you through fall and spring cycling, but if you want to enjoy winter cycling, be it on the road or trail, invest in a pair—or two—of thermal bibs. The Arenberg Zero Bib Tight keeps your bottom half toasty. The legs are flexible enough so you can climb with comfort, and still cut the wind and cold on descents. And the ride does not have to end too soon: The Arenberg Zero Bib Tights also are constructed with the Pro Tour chamois that allows for rides up to six hours.
Is there anything worse than being wet AND cold? It’s a situation that can turn downright frigid—and dicey. When your winter forecast includes dark clouds and potential for showers, make sure you are prepared with a rain coat that guarantees you stay dry. The Edge eVent Jacket is a leading candidate. This is a no nonsense, lightweight, make-sure-you-stay-dry-all-day raincoat that will get you through downpours and blustery wind.
Something missing? Yep. There’s more.
If you want to enjoy winter cycling, make sure you round out your apparel with a pair of warm gloves (perhaps merino wool knit or thermal fleece gloves), a beanie and neck gaiter, toe or shoe covers, and, most certainly, warm socks, possibly of merino wool. Checkout the Accessory items for some great options.
If you dress right, winter cycling will be all about the ride – and not about shivers and cold.
~ Jeff Stacklin is a Hincapie Sportswear ambassador based in Vermilion, Ohio. Follow him on social media: