It seems obvious, but probably the most important factor in getting you off the couch and onto your bike this winter is your kit. The right combinations of windproof, waterproof and thermal gear can keep you warm and toasty on rides no matter how cold or unpleasant the weather may be.
While buying a full set of winter gear can be expensive, by carefully selecting the right clothing and layering up you can build a winter wardrobe for a wide range of different temperatures and conditions. We've put together a few tips and tricks to help you make the most out of the cold weather.
While the simplest solution may be to invest in thermal fleece jerseys and windproof jackets, one of the most important factors to consider when riding in the cold is sweat. When you’re on your bike, your body sweats regardless of how cold it is. This sweat can accumulate and get trapped against your body, making you feel cold, wet, clammy, and making for a generally unpleasant ride.
To protect against this it is important to ensure that you are wearing a jersey with moisture wicking technology built into the fabric. Layering a jacket or a thermal fleece will keep you warm, while a traditional cycling jersey with moisture wicking fabric will ensure that the sweat is pulled away from the body, and an optimum core temperature is maintained while you ride.
Before going out on a ride on a cold day, be sure to check the conditions, and adapt your layering accordingly. There are many great weather Apps that will give you hourly forecasts so you can plan accordingly. We use AccuWeather and Yr.no at Ciovita.
However, if you are expecting really low temperatures you will need a thermal winter jersey, the fleece in the fabric of these jerseys keeps your natural body heat in and your core temperature up.
If you are expecting rain or cold winds, you will need to add another layer of protection. A light, water and wind repellent jacket is a definite must for winter cycling. These can be especially handy if weather conditions change suddenly.
Our Leggero Stowaway Jacket is designed for exactly these conditions. It fits comfortably under the seat of your bike, and with its windproof and water repellent properties it’s the perfect jacket to pull on if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
The shorter days in winter mean less sunlight in the early mornings and late evenings. It is essential that you ensure that you are visible and aside from LED lights, your kit plays a big role in ensuring you are seen by motorists in rainy, foggy or dark conditions.
The majority of Ciovita’s kit comes with high visibility reflectors and our winter gear takes this into account. The prominent visibility strips on our Vindex Jacket/Gilet help ensure you get noticed, and we believe that when you’re riding in our kit, you want to get noticed.
Make sure that you don’t leave any “weak spots” in your kit. Gaps allow cold air in and warm air out of your body. Wear gear that stays in place and changes as your body position does to ensure that you are always covered. Adding items such as arm or leg warmers to your cycling kit can make a real difference when it comes to sealing those pesky gaps.
You always feel the cold most in your extremities so it is essential to ensure that these areas are covered. Wearing gloves, arm warmers, leg warmers, tights and winter cycling caps can help a lot in making your winter riding more pleasant.
While coffee is no substitute for water, there is a lot to be said for warming your body from the inside out. Stopping along the way for a warm cafe brew can be a great break from your ride, and a chance to warm up in a remote location. Alternatively, you can bring your own thermos of coffee along for a warm roadside drink.
We hope that, that some of these tips help you beat the cold this winter. If you’re looking to upgrade your wardrobe, be sure to check out the winter collection in our store.