Get Ready For Winter Cycling

This is an oldie but it’s that time of year when it can come in handy so I dig it out and refresh it.

Despite the fact that we are now entering the cooler months that doesn’t need to be a reason to put your bike away.  They say there is no such thing as bad weather but more bad clothing choices and this is very true.

I have previously published a post about winter cycling kit that you can read here.  But I thought I would update that with the following:

Over the past two weeks the temperature has definitely dropped and this has called for additional layers as well as it being darker in the morning and evening too – gone are those sunset evening rides for sure!  Here are my top kit picks for winter:

Gillet – I have a gilet from BioRacer and it is one of my most favourite pieces of my cycling kit.  Great as an extra layer especially when it is not cold enough for a winter jacket but as an addition to a jersey.  My gilet is custom through my cycling club kit orders but are available on the BioRacer website also and priced at £90 usually but currently half price! here.

Base layer – I am a fan of the Craft FuseKnit top, which I reviewed for Healthy Living London and you can read here.  I was gifted the top but have since purchased a second one.  Really versatile item not just specific to cycling and I have used for running and hiking also.  Currently on sale now too at Wiggle .

Craft Baselayer
Craft Baselayer for cycling

Arm Warmers – again mine are custom through my cycling club kit orders but are available on the BioRacer website also.  Another great piece for layering that are easy to put on and remove.  The technology from BioRacer means that water beads off these. They are priced at £25 per pair and can be found here.

Gloves – these tend to be very personal preference but I like the Endura Nemo glove though do wear glove liners as you can get sweaty and if I am honest sweaty hands can be stinky!  But they do stay warm, which is the biggest thing – nothing worse than not feeling your fingertips when on the bike.  They are £29.99 and can be found here.

Headband – my ears are always the first thing to feel cold and so when the chill sets in I make sure my ears are covered.  I wear a cycling cap usually and tend to move first to a headband and like the Endura thermal headband which is priced at £22.99 and can be found here.  I also have some from Decathlon who have a huge range starting from £1.99 that can be found here.

Cycling Layers
Cycling headband, buff and jacket for cooler weather

Hat – going back to cold ears, if I find a headband doesn’t cut it then a warm cycling hat it is and although not cheap at £60, I have a Rapha ‘deep winter’ hat that is just amazing but sadly no longer sold although I have seen a very similar one from BioRacer that is £45 and can be seen here!  Another new item in my kit list is the new BioRacer hat that is £25 and can be found here.

Buff – can get these everywhere now and can be worn so many ways!  I tend to use as a neck warmer though have used as a head band also and pulled over to cover my head and neck when really cold.

Overshoes – again mine are custom through my cycling club kit orders but are available on the BioRacer website also.  Much like the arm warmers the technology from BioRacer means that water beads off these. There are many types of overshoes and I have toe covers from Castelli and have previously tried the more rubber type covers though found these easy to rip and tear.

Bib tights – cover up those legs or expect cold pins!  My favourites are again from BioRacer and like a lot of my kit I have custom through my cycling club for club kit but as they are just so brilliant I got a further pair.  They are the tempest range and as noted above same as the arm warmers and overshoes the material means that water beads off.  They are also thermal lined so cosy too!  And another item that is in the sale here reduced from £132 to £66 at the moment – an absolute bargain!  I have written a blog post reviewing some bib tights that you can read here.

img_5282

Jacket – another item that is custom through my cycling club kit orders but are available on the BioRacer website also.  I was recently gifted an updated version of a BioRacer jacket that costs £165 but is currently in the sale at £85 and can be found here .  These jackets are fine during winter months with just a base layer underneath.  They also have some reflective parts which are a really nice touch.

I also have a rain jacket from BioRacer that is very lightweight, packs down small and I can attach above my saddle bag so it is there if I get caught out whilst I am cycling.  It is £52 and can be found here.

Hi-vis – I am a firm believer in staying safe and staying seen.  I was recently gifted a jacket from Pro Viz who are known for their super reflective fabrics.  When the light shines on the material it literally lights up.  The jacket I have is £89.99 and can be found here.  I also have a bag cover in this too, which is £29.99 and can be found here.  For commuting especially these are brilliant as an extra safety measure so I am visible on the road and cycle paths.  If you use code BBSHINE you can make any purchases from their website and get a 20% discount.

Lights – it is surprising how dark it is early in the morning and how quickly it gets dark in the evenings so good lights are key.  There are many lights on the market though I got this light from Bontrager last year and although the price tag is £99 it is really bright and the battery is fab.  As I commute and take part in events that go through the night a good light for me is a wise investment.

Glasses – don’t forget the glasses as well.  You may find some of the lenses in your glasses used during summer can be changed to yellow or clear lenses.  The yellow lens is great for low light or overcast conditions and clear are perfect for night riding .

Tyres – there will be a million different opinions on this but it stands to reason to choose appropriate for the weather.  The fact is that the wet washes more flint, stones and everything else on the road and this causes punctures.  I ride Continental 4 Seasons all year round and find them great.  My new bike came with S-Works tyres and I replaced with the Continental 5000 as recommended by a friend and had a very positive review on Cycling Weekly here.

Chains – one that may get forgotten but your bike and its components will get dirtier in the winter months given the change in weather and if you have not looked at it before I can’t recommend NRG Chains enough.  Waxed chains that will see an improvement in performance and stay cleaner too.  I would note this company is run my good friends of mine but I happily pay for their services and would highly recommend.

Bike – if you are fortunate enough to have different summer and winter bikes you will find this time of year is when you check the forecast and make a judgement as to which bike you want to be using and over coming months it is more than likely the summer bike will be hung up for a while.

Happy winter cycling!

Some of the items noted in this post were gifted but all opinions are my own.

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