You’re looking at your bike shorts and wondering, “Is it too early to ride my bicycle?” For those shorts, yes. For you? Not when you’re ready for cycling in cold weather. Here are some tips to get you on your two-wheeled dream in the depths of winter.
Here’s looking at you, base layers. Wait, unfamiliar with the term? Base layers is a fancy word for long johns thermal long underwear. We’re not talking the waffle knit scratchy styles of years gone by. What you need is real performance. Thermaskin base layers do exactly as they say: assist with your body and your skin’s temperature control. Once you break a sweat, your long underwear will wick away sweat to keep you from chilling to the bone. It pushes the sweat out and away. You won’t have those hot/cold/hot changes when you’re moving. Long underwear helps keep your core warm and dry. You want to make sure that your core stays dry, so that your other layers can do their part.
Go for a quarter-zip fleece up on top of your base layer. Fleece shakes off light rain better than a cotton sweatshirt. There’s a saying in hiking and backpacking culture: “cotton kills.” It’s a saying that is best applied to those active in the winter, and if you’re heading out for a bike ride on a particularly frozen day, you should heed that advice with a trusted fleece. It layers easily under a heavier winter coat should the wind kick up, and it cruises right into late spring as a go-it-alone layer. Fleece is great at wicking moisture, too. So the draw from your long underwear isn’t trapped – it’s lifted to the outside. You’ll notice the work of fleece when you wear it under a windproof shell.
You don’t want to wear just long underwear and call it a day? Smart move. Knowing the positive benefits of fleece, a pair of fleece-lined pants will do the trick for a commute. For more active bike rides give active joggers or fleece pants a go. After all, base layers are made to keep your sweat from cooling you down, so you want to ensure that your added pants layer can supply the extra warmth as you’re pedaling through a windy winter landscape.
You don’t want your toes and hands to freeze up like a snowman’s carrot nose so make sure to wear a good pair of winter gloves for the ride. For your ears, throw on a good winter hat, or even a full-face ski mask. Wool is known for its warmth and ability to keep dry, which is perfect for your toes. Look for a good pair of boot socks in a good wool blend. You’ll stay warm, even if you decide to stop and watch the ice skaters.
The final touch: a warm winter coat. Your Squall® Parka Winter Jacket ensures that the wind and (cross your fingers) precipitation will have a tough time taking you down. Look at you, you’re a warmth factory!