The key to an enjoyable ride in cold weather is not keeping warm but keeping cool. Layers of clothing are essential so you can adjust to varying temperature.
In cold weather, always take care of your head, hands and feet. These areas are more susceptible to the cold and vulnerable to frostbite.
Between 50 and 65 per cent of your body heat is lost through your head, so keep it covered in colder temperatures
- Wear lightweight toques, headbands, balaclavas
- Avoid hoods, which restrict peripheral vision
- Adjust your helmet size to allow for winter gear
- If it's snowing or there are strong winds, consider wearing a pair of ski goggles as protective eye wear, so long as these don’t obstruct your peripheral vision.
Hands are susceptible to cold, and you have to keep them warm to have the dexterity to control the bicycle at all times.
- Try layers of thin gloves rather than one pair of heavy gloves
- Try two layers:
- wind resistant mittens (outer layer)
- gloves that allow for dexterity (inner layer)
- Try the specially designed cycling mitts known as lobster mitts. These offer the dexterity of a glove with the warmth of a mitten.
Keep your feet warm and dry by wearing water-resistant, warm footwear. Some examples include:
- Warm hiking boots, cross-country ski boots or booties
- Wool socks (cotton holds moisture and leads to discomfort)
- Plastic bags over socks and under shoes ensure a dry ride to work
Layers are crucial. Cycling will warm you up quickly, so don't overdress.
- On wet days be sure to wear an outer layer that is waterproof and breathes, such as Gore-tex.
- Wear a jacket with armpit zips for ventilation, allowing for a cooler, more comfortable winter ride.
- Try having a wicking material (like CoolMax) next to your skin to keep moisture moving outward.
- Remember to wear brightly coloured clothing or a reflective vest so that you can be seen at all times.