Just as the vibrant hues of autumn start to fade and the crisp air gives way to colder, wetter and harsher conditions, it’s time for us to transition into a new season of riding. With winter’s arrival, the cycling landscape undergoes a transformation, demanding a fresh approach to gear and attire. It wasn’t long ago that we explored the essentials of autumn cycling kit, and now, as the days grow shorter and the weather more unpredictable, it’s time to delve into the world of winter cycling gear. In this article, we’ll guide you through the must-have equipment and clothing to keep you comfortable and riding strong through the chillier months. From thermal jerseys to insulating gloves and everything in between, we’ve got you covered! Just to note, none of these products are sponsored or affiliated with Yellow Jersey, they are genuine picks for kit that we know works!
Spatz overshoes are hands down, simply the best overshoes I have ever worn. They excel in keeping you both drier and warmer for much longer than the majority of competing overshoes, enabling you to ride the winter roads without the constant misery of cold, wet feet. Once you’ve experienced their exceptional performance, any concerns about their unconventional appearance will become less significant. After all, winter cycling isn’t about making a fashion statement.
Top-notch winter cycling jackets serve as a formidable barrier against rain and wind, offering essential protection in the harshest weather conditions and ensuring you can continue cycling year-round. You want to look for a jacket which has the best balance of fit, breathability and water repellence. There are many options on the market to suit most budgets but for me the pick of the bunch is the Castelli Alpha Doppio Ros jacket. For more tips on how to keep warm, check out our blog ‘Winter tips for toasty toes and enjoyable cold days’ here
Thermal bib tights
Fit is everything here. If your bibs don’t fit well, you’re going to get uncomfortable very quickly. Tighter isn’t always better. When buying water repellent or windproof bib tights, don’t ’t make the mistake of under sizing as tight panels around the knee can cause discomfort over long rides. Water repellent tights are great but there is only so much they can do. Ultimately, if you’re riding in torrential rain, they will eventually soak through, but for road grime and the odd downpour, they’re spot on. Our pick based on fit and value for money are the Sportful Norain bib tights.
Another Spatz product! Crafted and rigorously tested in the rugged terrain of Yorkshire, the Spatz Thermoz deep winter gloves have a super practical fold-out windshell, providing an additional layer of exceptional finger protection. The design also includes an extended cuff which serves the dual purpose of keeping your wrists comfortably warm while allowing for a decent amount of substantial jacket overlap, ensuring superior insulation. Another cleaver design feature is the “Peepy index finger hole” which allows you to operate your phone or head unit without having to remove the whole glove. Nice one Spatz!
Keep your head warm, dry and the rain out of your eyes. Even a classic cotton casquette will make all the difference, but when riding in temperature below 6 degrees, you really want to get some additional protection, especially for your ears!
The ultimate winter riding companion. For those who haven’t bought a set of ‘full’ mudguards, they do a darn good job at keeping both you and your expensive kit shielded from the elements. Nothing quite beats the feeling of blasting through puddles whilst keeping your rear end dry! Moreover, mudguards protect your bike against abrasive road water, grit, and mud infiltration into moving components and cable housings. Just be careful when fitting them so that your frame is not getting rubbed. If you’re fitting mudguards direct to your frame, make sure you apply a layer of frame protection to the fitting points (usually forks and rear chain stay) as grit gets under the mounting rubber and will sand down your paint job in no time! For more tips on how to keep your bike in good condition through winter, check out our bike winterproofing blog here!
Lastly, for those cycling in a group during club or sportive rides, mudguards serve as an act of courtesy, averting the unpleasant spray of dirty water into the face of the rider directly following behind you. Although saying that, in order to provide maximum protection for the riders behind you, consider buying a Top flap:
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Base layers are designed to wick moisture away from your skin. This keeps you dry by transferring sweat to the outer layers of your clothing, preventing it from sticking to your skin. A dry body is more comfortable and less prone to chills in cold weather. There are lots available on the market but we find that merino wool vests to be the best. They also don’t end up smelling like some of the fully synthetic vests in the market.
Clear lens glasses
Overcast and wet conditions call for a clear or light lens option. Riding without glasses isn’t recommended. The last thing you want is for road debris to be flicked up into your eyes from other riders or vehicles. As far as style, practicality and value for money go, it’s hard to look past a set of Madison Crypto glasses. No pun intended 😉
For the really frosty days, don’t forget to apply a liberal helping of lip balm. It makes all the difference when your face is exposed to the cold wind for hours on end.
Keep the wind off your chest and your neck warm. Simple, multi use and essential if it starts to hail!
Did you know that should the worst happen and you hit the deck, Yellow Jersey bicycle insurance policies can cover the cost of replacing your helmet and clothing items wherever you are in the world. Better still, we never charge admin fees for policy adjustments, so if you do decide to treat yourself to that nice new jacket, it’s not going to cost the earth to add on to your policy. If you need any help, why not give our customer support team a call on 0333 003 0046