It’s December 1st and the weather is definitely getting colder. Your rides are getting to be painful with numb legs and the burn of the cold air in your lungs.
What do you wear to mountain bike in cold weather?
I put together some tips on what I wear to stay warm during my winter rides. Check them out.
From head to toe, in priority of importance, here are the best recommendations for what to wear.
Base Layers are the most important part of cold weather cycling. Pick items that help to wick moisture away from your body and help to circulate airflow. My personal choice for this is Under Armour Cold Gear You want to choose a base layer that is made of polyester, polypropylene, silk or wool. Definitely avoid cotton fabrics because these absorb moisture and prevent critical air circulation.
While your helmet may feel hot or restrictive during the hot summer months, during the winter you will need much more than it to stay warm. The head can account for roughly 40% of all body heat lost so it is imperitive that you keep it covered. Especially for bald folk’s like myself. I will typically vary what I wear on my head depending on just how cold it is. Often times I will wear an Under Armour Balaclava which protects both my head and my neck from wind chill while still wicking away that moisture, I also have a thinner CRAFT Balaclava that I wear if it is just a wind issue. When the weather turns really cold, I put a beanie on top of the balaclava, which really keeps my head toasty.
These are the two hardest things for me to keep warm. Especially my feet. I have cold feet regardless of weather so I have even tried some outlandish things like wrapping trash bags around my feet to keep my toes warm. The trash bags did not work in case your wondering. The best products that I have found for keeping my feet warm are the Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier MTB Shoe Covers. I have also used Seal Skinz Chillblocker Socks, and while they do keep your feet warm, they tend to trap moisture inside and keep your feet extremely sweaty. I only use these on very cold days now.
For my hands I haven’t made a solid investment yet, but the colder it gets the closer I am getting to making a purchase on some high quality gloves. Until then I will typically take a pair of cheap cotton gloves from Target and put those over the top of my SixSixOne MTB gloves, Typically this works, but it definitely does get pretty cold. I have already picked out the Pearl iZUMi Barrier Cycling Gloves as the gloves to buy. Pearl iZUMi is a great brand of cycling accessories and I have been extremely happy with each of their products that I have used.
On a cold day having another layer on top of your base layer, jersey and shorts can be the difference between a miserable ride and one that feels great. I have been using a Campagnolo Sportswear Racing Jacket for the past several years and it does a great job of keeping me warm without being too warm. The jacket even includes cycling pockets on the back so that you can still access additional gloves, tools, bottles or anything else that you keep there. It has been an excellent choice and I highly recommend this jacket. The center back of the jacket is made long to keep your lower back covered and insulated even when hunched over the handlebars.
Hopefully this is helpful to you. Join the conversation below and let me know your best way to stay warm while riding.
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