11 Best Winter Cycling Gear in 2021 [All the Essentials & Ultimate Guide]
While cycling during the harsh winter months and cold weather can seem warming, it can go downhill if you aren’t dressed for the occasion. Not having the correct cycling clothing can eventually take a toll on your physical health, making it difficult for you to ride your bike, not to mention the onslaught of symptoms it brings along with it.
Not only do you need ideal winter cycling gear to keep you warm, you need to invest in the right kind of bike to ensure optimal safety. Your regular road bike won’t suffice the slippery and snowy roads down the pavement.
So, while choosing the ideal cycling clothing for the cold weather, we are also going to share a few other knick-knacks about choosing the right bike for cold weather for a comfortable and safe riding experience.
In this article, we have shortlisted all the important and ideal cycling clothing you’d need for your winter rides.
Best Winter Cycling Gear – Listing the Essentials
When it comes to choosing the right kind of winter gear that can keep you warm, you need to be mindful of the thickness of the material, the warmth it provides, and how well it responds to your skin. The last thing you need is to feel suffocated wearing a cycling jacket that is supposed to keep you warm.
After a lot of research, we have managed to narrow down and shortlist some of the most quintessential clothing and cycling gear that you’d need to wear to brave through the cold weather during the harsh winter months.
1. Neck Tube
While most of the riders focus on bib tights and cycling jacket, the one overlooked yet important item that needs to be part of the best winter cycling gear is the neck tube. Not only does it elevate your overall appearance and add a dapper look to your overall personality, but it also keeps your neck and throat protected from the harsh winds of the winter.
They feature a stretchy fabric with a breathable material that allows you to breathe through it instead of having the harsh winter winds striking across your face.
If we had to suggest one ideal for winter riding, we’d recommend looking into the Tough Headwear Store Neck Warmer. Made with butter fleece material, the neck tube is ideal to keep you warm but keep you comfortable while you are riding for extended periods on the bike.
2. Base Layer
When it comes to riding your bike in the cold and wet, you want to invest in clothing that can keep you warm for extended periods by trapping the air in. The more layers you wear, the more air you can trap in and hence stay warm without freezing yourself during the winter riding.
A high-quality and thick base layer is crucial for a bike rider during the winter months. Ideally, the good quality base layer should be made of merino wool and feature a long sleeve for optimal protection. Most of the available base layers for bike riding that are available in the market are available in neutral colors for a comfortable wearing experience.
The Merino.tech Merino Wool Base Layer is a bestselling product featuring a warm and comfortable wearing experiencing during the harsh winter weather. It is backed with moisture-resistant and odor-wicking technology, something that you’d need when you are cycling for longer distances.
If you live in a country with extreme winter conditions, you will need a mid-layer along with the exterior outer layer as well. This is to provide additional warmth to you while you are out riding the bike so you don’t feel as cold as you would with just a base layer and outer layer.
The mid-layer covering is often mildly insulated and feature a comfortable and thin fabric for a comfortable wearing experience without making you look bloated. If you plan on wearing the mid-layer as the outer layer, we’d recommend choosing a water-resistant long sleeve jersey for a comfortable wearing experience.
If possible, find the mid-layers that are designed with multiple pockets. This way, you can have a comfortable riding experience without needing to carry multiple bags for your essentials.
The Aston Martin F1 Men’s 2021 Team Mid Layer is ideally one of the bestselling mid-layer options that you can consider investing in. Not only do you get the reliability of the brand, but you also get access to a sleek jersey-like design that adds to the benefits. It is a little expensive though.
4. Bib Tights
Big tights are a crucial part of your winter bike riding experience. Unless you are a cycling enthusiast who likes to tackle adventure routes, you know how difficult it is to ride with loosely fitted pants. Bib tights keep your leg muscles in place, offering you a comfortable wear experience while you ride through the rough winter conditions.
While you can stick to bib shorts or warmers when the winters are comparably less, we’d recommend choosing a full-length bib tight otherwise. This is to ensure optimal safety and comfort while you ride longer distances in rough and cold weather conditions.
The majority of the bib tights are water-resistant and that is exactly what we’d recommend you opt for. As for insulation, they come with a little warmth, enough to get you through the winter months. Since you are constantly paddling the bike, you don’t need anything that’s too restrictive on the legs.
The Santic Cycling Bibs Pants are Amazon’s bestselling pair, all because of the structured design, universal fit, and comfortable fabric. The highly elastic material provides the rider with optimal cycling flexibility as well.
The cold and wet weather conditions during the winters first attack your palms. So, if your hands aren’t warm enough, there is no point in taking out your bike for a round of cycling. During the harsh winter weather, the extremities of our body, including the fingers and the feet tend to experience the cold first.
So, it goes without saying that adding a high-quality glove to the list is a must. With gloves, you want to invest in ones that will keep your hands warm and dry, have a water-resistant exterior, and enough insulation to help you hold onto the bike when you are riding through the rough weather.
Some of the winter gloves for cycling even come with silicone grips inside the palm to offer maximum grip to the rider, especially if they don’t want to end up on the side of the road after slipping on the snow.
The MOREOK Mens Cycling Gloves are bestsellers on Amazon. They are available in multiple colors and come with multiple layers of padding and insulation inside to offer warmth and grip while you are riding through the winter clashes.
6. Winter Jackets
You can never get enough of a winter jacket. From the warmth it provides to the added depth to your personality, they do a lot more than you’d expect. Since winter weathers are extremely unpredictable, we’d recommend picking out multiple winter jacket for different levels of snow or cold weather.
There are the staple cycling gilet, the windcheaters, and then the heavy-duty and highly insulated winter jackets. You just need to invest in a cycling jacket that will keep you warm in any weather conditions.
Also, stick to a long-sleeve cycling jacket. They are multipurpose, keep your hands warm and provide the riders with maximum comfort while they are riding their bikes.
The ARSUXEO Winter Warm UP Thermal Softshell Cycling Jacket is ideal for mild to extreme winter weather, especially if you live in areas where there is consistent snowfall. Also, the polyester and spandex blend ensures maximum comfort and a water-resistant exterior.
However, if you aren’t faced with a lot of winter weather and need something lightweight, the BALEAF Women’s Cycling Jacket is a good alternative.
7. Skullcap or Headband
Investing in a cycling helmet sounds like a logical thing to do, however, be assured that they won’t provide you with the protection you need during the rough winter months, especially when you are riding through a snow storm.
However, companies have now evolved and made the process a lot easier for the users to relate to and understand. This means that they have come out with skullcap and headbands that you can wear underneath the helmet to keep your scalp warm and not freezing.
The majority of them are designed with 100% windproof coverage and traps in your body heat for optimal comfort, especially when you are struggling to make sense of things. The interior materials of these caps often feature a lightweight and breathable polyester fabric that makes it water-resistant and long-wearing too.
The Tough Headwear Store Skull Cap Helmet Liner is an ideal choice. It is a versatile option, comfortable, and available in multiple colors for you to choose from.
8. Shoes, Socks, and Overshoes
Moving down towards the feet, we next need to focus on the shoes and socks that you need to keep your feet warm during the rough winter cycling expedition. Much like your fingers, the cold even overwhelms your toes, so keeping them warm while you are riding a bike is crucial.
If you are into adventure rides, especially during the winter months, we’d recommend looking into winter cycling shoes. These heavy-duty shoes come with an extra band of insulation that keeps your feet protected from the rough winter winds.
However, when it comes to buying winter socks for cycle rides, you need to invest in thin, lightweight but well-insulated options. The last thing you want is to get a thick and heavy sock that makes your feet feel suffocated.
Also, since winters are often accompanied by snow and sudden downpours, invest in waterproof winter shoes for better wearability.
The CXWXC Cycling Shoe is a highly durable and waterproof shoe that you can consider investing in. They are made with neoprene material and feature a premium design as well.
As for winter socks, the DANISH ENDURANCE Cycling Socks are a good pick. They are lightweight, unisex, mildly insulated, and offer an anatomic fit for a comfortable long-wearing experience.
A proper pair of cycling glasses are quintessential for your winter cycling gear. Not only do you need to keep your feet warm and yourself protected, but you also need to have 100% vision without fogging and clouding.
Even during the winter months, the sun hangs low in the sky, affecting people’s visibility when they are riding through the rough roads. Having a pair of good-quality sunnies can ensure 10/10 vision so you don’t find yourself in a mishap.
However, when choosing eyewear for your best winter cycling gear, we’d recommend picking something that’s lightweight, comfortable, and doesn’t crowd too much of the face.
The 100% Glendale Sport Performance Sunglasses is a good pick, both in terms of design and overall visibility. However, it does come with a higher price tag that you need to compromise on.
Tips for Riding a Bike During Winter
Now that we have sorted you out with all the important gear for winter bike riding, there are a few other factors that you need to be mindful of. From the type of bike that you need to the kind of tips that you need to follow while riding the bike, there are a few tips that you can keep in mind.
1. Opt for layer clothing
It doesn’t matter if you get sweaty quickly, riding your bike without protective layers on your body will eventually take a toll on your physical health. Indulge in a base, mid and outer layer, depending on whether it’s really cold or mildly cold. You want to be slightly cold when you start your ride and not feel too warm. So, layer accordingly.
2. Avoid unnecessary purchasing of bikes
Winter months call for a new bike. This is a complete waste of time and money. Just because you are planning on riding your bike in the winter months doesn’t mean you need an upgrade to your existing bike. Unless you are going mountain riding or other adventures, your standard road bike should suffice your needs.
3. Wash your bike every day
If you are taking your bike out for a ride on cold days, the road spray onto the bike parts, including the snow, salt and dirt will accumulate around the parts of the bike. Something that will eventually damage the functionality of the bike. So, make sure that you wash the bike with water after every ride to clean the remnant snow, salt and dirt.
4. Buckle up
From hand warmers to proper cycling shoes, it is crucial that you pay attention to your body’s extremities when you are out riding your bike in really cold weather. This ensures to prevent risks of hypothermia and ensure that you have a comfortable riding experience with extra warmth and extra layer on your body parts.
5. Insulate your liquids
If you are going out on adventures on your bike during the winter, remember that you need to be extra careful with the liquids that you are carrying. The liquid can get too cold too easily, so stick to an insulated thermos to carry the liquid instead of relying on the standard bottles.
6. Make sure of the visibility
Winter months can affect the visibility due to snow or fog. So, if you are out riding your bike, you need to make yourself and the bike visible. Install LED lights so cars and other vehicles can see you from afar. This way, you can avert the rushing cars and stay safe in your lane.
7. Apply Sunscreen
Despite it being winter, the sun is out in the daytime. So, if you are neglecting wearing sunscreen just because it’s winter, you need to change that ideology immediately. Even during the winter months, you need to slather on a good amount of SPF on your skin to keep it protected from the harsh impacts of the UV rays from the sunlight.
1. How to choose the correct winter cycling gear?
Unless you are a pro in this, we’d recommend you get all the items that we have mentioned in this article. Keeping yourself stocked with the right gear will ensure that you have a comfortable riding experience during rough weather conditions. Also, when choosing a product for your winter gear, invest in options that are of premium quality, reasonable price range, and a good reputation in the market.
2. Should I buy jackets with a waterproof membrane?
Yes, we suggest getting windproof and waterproof jackets for your cycling expedition during the winter since the weather conditions are very unpredictable.
3. Are winter cycling gears expensive?
The price range of the items depends and will vary from brand to brand. Try to stick to good-quality materials over anything else. You want your investments to be surrounded with products that will last you through a few winters.
Having the right cycling gear during the winter months is important. Not just for your safety but to ensure that you have a comfortable riding experience, invest in the right gear items without further thoughts. We have sorted out all the important mentions in this article with hopes that it gets you an idea of everything that you’d need for a comfortable bike riding experience during the winters.