Riding through the winter can be tough. No matter who you are, it’s easy for motivation to start to slip for a number of reasons. Less daylight and holiday activities stacking up can certainly take some blame, but for most of us, the single greatest thing keeping us indoors more than we like is nasty weather. Indoor trainers can be life saving devices when it comes to consistent off-season training but it will never replace the joy and refreshing feeling of riding outdoors.
The right gear is everything. There’s an old adage in cycling that states: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.” And while I can certainly cite some miserable conditions that would classify as “bad,” certain apparel choices can make those conditions much more bearable.
Below I’ve outlined some of my favorite methods to beat varying degrees of chill. It’s all about pairing the right layers together that you can modulate throughout your ride if you start to overheat.
Low to mid 50’s
45 - 50 Degrees
40 - 45 Degrees
Sub 40 Degrees
You may notice that the common theme here is the trusty baselayer. This is perhaps the most important part of any off season kit because it helps you manage moisture build up and regulate body temperature underneath all these additional layers.
Secret Pro Tips: If you find yourself slightly overdressed and starting to sweat underneath your layers, remove your outermost and shove it in the back of your bibs between the rear bib strap and your lower back. Save that valuable pocket space for snacks and spare gloves!
About those spare gloves I just mentioned…. It’s not uncommon for me to go out in the winter with two different weight gloves. Those first twenty minutes are the hardest and I usually need a heavier glove to combat the initial wind chill that robs all your body heat. However once my heart rate has risen, my hands start to sweat in thick gloves so I really enjoy being able to swap out some thinner ones that I’ve brought with me in a jersey pocket or stuffed down my jersey.
Layer up and get out there!