Cold, winter weather is finally here. With nearly 3 feet of snow in Golden, Colorado, the thought of riding outside can be daunting. This is especially so if you’ve been taking some time off or haven’t had to endure cold-weather riding in awhile. However, the beauty of riding in the clear air after a fresh snowfall far outweighs the extra work involved in getting dressed appropriately. So, what do you need to do to wrap up and roll out on a chilly winter day?
Understanding the basics of keeping warm is a good start. When you are riding, you want to balance your warmth and comfort with the intensity of your bike ride. If you are really bundled up when you start riding, you will likely want to start shedding layers. It may feel good to sweat in 25 degree weather, but you want clothes that are both breathable, wind-stopping, and sometimes waterproof. You also want to evaluate the type of ride you are doing. Is this a training ride? Will you be working really hard? Or are you just going to chill and casually ride? At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop in Golden, Colorado, we’ve been asked all of these questions. Here is what we have found works, and works best! Following are the winter cycling clothing options we can’t live without!
Hands: Keep those digits nimble! Cold hands makes it hard to maneuver the bike. Definitely go for long-figured gloves or liner gloves with thicker gloves. Fatbike riders may opt for porgies. Great for keeping the digits warm, the Endura gloves are our most popular wind chill gloves.
Feet: Who likes cold toes? Nobody! It’s really important to keep the feet warm on winter rides. Road and mountain bike cyclist may opt for thick wool socks. As for the keeping your toes warm, we have two favorite options. The Giant Sojourn cycling shoes have a stiff and grippy bottom which are good for walking. A great option for bike commuters. The other favorite is the Defroster cycling shoe. It’s a great option for fall and winter riding and especially on the cold days because these shoes doesn’t require shoe covers.
Fatbike riders will want to go with insulated shoes with thick socks. If you can get waterproof shoes, that is even better. For fatbike enthusiast, there are a number of options out there depending on if fatbike riders want to ride with flat pedals or clip less pedals. Riding your fat bike in the winter, you can ride with winter snow boots which will keep your feet warm. If you are riding with clipless pedals, Specialized and other companies make insulated biking boots. Regardless of what type of bicycle you are riding, polypropelene shoe covers are a must when keeping your feet warm because they deflect wind. You can also carry chemical toe warmers in case your feet get really cold.
Lower Body: In the winter you want to have something covering your entire legs. Fleece lined chamois are often a good choice. Many bikers also use cross country ski tights under their biking shorts. Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop has Endura and Mavoc pants, chamois, which will all be good down to about 10 degrees. There are also waterproof pants to keep the wet off your legs. This is important if you are riding in snowy conditions. We have a variety of knickers, knee warmers, and pants. These are essential items to have on hand because sunny days can tempt cyclist to opt for less clothing but we think it’s a good idea to cover your knees. Many cyclist prefer tights whereas others prefer leg warmers. There are also knickers which allow more airflow over the legs, and they are good for layering as well. Consider trying out each option and experiment to dial in your preference.
Upper Body: The key with upper body warmth and comfort in the winter is layering. Here in Colorado, as in other parts of the country as well, temperatures can change pretty quickly. It’s best to plan ahead based on varying conditions, as well as, plan for your workout requirements. You might find that you are either over dressed when you start working hard. Consider a light, long-sleeved jersey that has pockets in the back is a good base layer and gives you the opportunity to put extra cloths in the back pockets. Next, put another thermal layer on top of the long-sleeved jersey. You want something fairly light, warm, and breathable. As a final option you want to top your upper body layering with a wind-stopper jacket that deflects wind and preferably is also waterproof. Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle shop and see which brand fits you best: Endura, Mavic, or Pearl Izumi.
Last but not least, cover your head! You can wear a buff or a cap and headgear. Buffs are really good for neck protection as well. Another option are balaclavas – especially so if you want to keep almost your entire face warm. Remember to wear appropriate eye protection too! The glare from the snow can be blinding. While not as stylish as some of the cycling eyewear we carry on BikeParts.com, you could consider wearing goggles to help protect our eyes and face in snowy conditions.
So, what’s in your cycling wardrobe? Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle shop to fill in your cycling wardrobe with the necessary items to get you rolling during these chilly winter days.
When you think about it, it’s easy to embrace winter riding when you are warm and toasty. Being mindful of the best clothing options, cycling apparel, bike parts, and nutritional needs during your winter rides helps too! So, whether you are enjoying the fresh snow from a scenic a bike path, or clear road, winter bike rides in Colorado are the best way to get ready for the upcoming cycling season while filling up your lungs with fresh, crisp Colorado air.