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LAYERING MADE SIMPLE

The same things that make cold weather riding great can also make it a challenge. Rapidly changing temps, wind chill, rain, snow, and fewer hours of daylight usually mean quieter roads for a reason.  But before you winterize your bike and surrender your season, remember that with the right kit, even the chilliest days can become an opportunity to enjoy some fresh air and fight off cabin fever.  Just thinking about how great a steaming hot cup of coffee and a flaky pastry are during a break in the action is enough to make us want to flip the calendar ahead a few pages.  With our full-season solutions, you can adapt to your surroundings and comfortably log long hours in the saddle no matter the weather. But with all these great options, it can feel a bit daunting to choose the right pieces. We will walk you through the most important questions for building the best kit for any cool to cold weather riding situation.

What is warm?

While everyone has different comfort preferences, 37°C is the ideal body temperature for cycling performance, no matter the conditions or riding intensity.  Before layering up too heavily for a cold ride, keep in mind that wearing too much can be just as dangerous as wearing too little. Wearing too much can make you sweaty, which in turn raises your risk of overcooling if you slow down, the temp falls, or you drop into a sustained descent.  The key thing to remember is that “warm and dry is good; most everything else is bad.

 

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How cold will it be?

Does the forecast look variable, cool, or severely cold? While even the best predictions can be off, you can build the right kit by choosing lightweight fabrics that layer and store well in pockets.  Don’t forget to account for wind and moisture. If either is in the forecast, DWR treated materials, and Gore-Tex accessories will be critical for keeping you warm and dry without overheating.

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It’s called a base for a reason

If you aren’t sure if you need a base layer, you probably do. For milder days that won’t dip far below 10°C, it’s usually a good idea to start with a sleeveless or short-sleeved base layer and pair with arm warmers and a packable wind or thermal vest. If your body naturally runs cooler or you are riding deeper into winter, choose a long-sleeved base layer for essential coverage.

 

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Building from the bottoms up

Keeping the engine (your legs) warm and protected is key to an effective winter kit. Whether you choose the stability and extended protection of bibs or the convenience of tights, our lightweight and breathable fabrics will help keep you warm and dry throughout your ride.

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Care for your Core

Keeping your core warm without overheating is the goal of any jacket and jersey choice. Many of our AW tops have windproof front panels to block windchill and highly breathable rear materials to vent excess heat. Most pieces feature a durable water-repellent (DWR) treatment that sheds light precipitation and road spray. All our tops are system engineered to fit and layer amazingly for incredibly comfortable warmth on colder days.

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Warmer Hands, Better Control

Beyond being uncomfortable, if your hands lose the precious blood flow they need to function correctly, your reactions can become dangerously sluggish. Keep your hands warm and dry with wind and waterproof gloves tailored for the type of cycling you do. They slide on and off easily and offer you critical protection without affecting your grip or dexterity.

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Don't get cold feet

Keeping feet warm and dry has a massive impact on your experience. A reliable pair of toe or shoe covers are your best weapons for fighting wind chill and road spray, aka the extremities’ enemies.  Our scene-specific covers match our cleats and shoes so you can slip them on and off easily. Highly reflective elements are accentuated while you pedal to raise your visibility in low-light conditions.

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Your eyes are the prize

Eyewear is the unsung hero of winter cycling. Wet roads and snow can cast a dangerous glare if your eyes aren’t protected. Our wide lenses with clear and durable optical quality can help protect your eyes from biting winds and dirty road spray.

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We hope this guide filled any gaps you had in your knowledge or closet and inspires you to embrace the unique challenges of cold weather riding. Now it’s time for you to layer up and get riding!