Here in England, the clocks have gone back and the evenings are dark. And the last few days have been cold. It really feels as if winter is well and truly here. I really struggle with motivation to get out on my bikes in winter, particularly my road bike. But if you’ve got the right winter cycling gear to keep you warm and dry then there’s no excuse for not getting out and making the most of whatever weather winter brings.
If (like all the best people) you have a birthday in November or you’re looking for ideas for Christmas presents then here’s a selection of the best winter season cycling gear to carry you through the wind, rain and snow to spring.
Winter Cycling Gear to Keep You Warm
I love the new autumn/winter range from Kalf, particularly the toned-down colour palette (burgundy or blue for ladies) and stylish design. The Kalf Club Jersey (available in men’s and women’s fit) is a warm mid-layer with a soft, brushed inner that you can wear on its own or over a base layer on colder days.
One of the things I worry about cycling on the roads in winter is not being seen. dhb have addressed this with their Flashlight Technology (FLT) – careful positioning of reflective materials that look subtle until you position them in a car headlight. The Roubaix fleece fabric is perfect for cold weather use and the coloured dots on the legs are a snazzy addition.
The only disadvantage is there’s no consideration for loo stops. You’re going to have to take your jersey off. Brrr… But as these tights retail at £85, that’s just me being picky. Also available in a men’s version.
It seems “Bandido” is the new word for “buff”. (I actually thought it meant bandit, but I am obviously not down with the cool kids.) Whatever you call it, it’s one of those indispensable tubes that can be worn in ten different ways to keep your head and neck warm. This one from Stolen Goat is a snip at £9.99. If you can’t get enough of blue polka dots then you can get the matching arm warmers. (Yay!)
I have small hands which can make finding gloves that fit a real challenge. One of the best pairs of gloves I ever bought was a pair of kid’s sailing gloves that I used for handling climbing ropes, cycling and lugging rubble around. Anyway, I digress. Finding a pair of gloves that keeps your fingers warm (or at least not numb) and gives you enough movement to be able to switch gears and use your brakes effectively is a bit like searching for the Holy Grail.
Which is why I’m interested in the Women’s Tempo Glove from Castelli. It’s fleece-lined, with a thin layer of insulation and a windstopper outer and doesn’t look at all bulky. It’s not waterproof, but the fabric will keep your hands dry in a light shower. And the gloves have the all-important touchscreen inserts on the fingertips, so you can tweet on the move. (Well, not actually on the move. We don’t condone phone use whilst cycling – safety first, people!)
So, there you go! Plenty of motivation to brave the cold. If nothing else, you’ll have earned your mince pies come December.