Essential Winter Cycling Gear
If you’ve got essential winter cycling gear, cycling can easily be a year round sport for you. Cold weather and windy grey days doesn’t mean it is time to retire the cycling gear until springtime. If you know how to properly dress and prepare for a ride the winter months can be a great time to get out on your bike. Read on to find out about essential winter cycling gear.
- Water is absolutely essential winter cycling gear. Even though the hot summer months are gone and you may not sweat as much on a bike ride, you must still be careful about staying adequately hydrated. The risk of dehydration increases in the winter because of the cold, dry air, and because people are less aware that they need to drink plenty of fluids.
- A thermal layer is key to winter cycling Find a good thermal layer for your upper body to add to your winter cycling gear. Avoid cotton and go for a material that insulates. Many people prefer a thermal layer with a half zip so they can have more control as they warm up or cool off. A key thing to remember for winter cycling gear is that it is best to dress in layers so that you can adjust with the weather.
- Stop the wind and rain. In addition to a good thermal layer, a good windbreaker or shell layer is essential winter cycling gear. Find something that is not bulky but will keep the wind off of your skin. This layer does not need to be insulated but wind and water resistance are great properties to look for. The colder the day the more important it will be to layer and you may need may need to add a wool t-shirt under your thermal layer. The best way to find out exactly what winter cycling gear works best for you is to experiment.
- Cover your legs. Some people can get away with riding in shorts throughout the winter but for most a good pair of pants are essential winter cycling gear. Consider your climate and what you need from the pants before purchasing. Some people just like to wear a warm pair of tights. Tights come in a variety of thicknesses, the thicker ones being warmer. Others need pants that offer more wind and water protection, and many cycling pants can be found that offer the same comfort and protection as cycling shorts.
- Get a beanie to go under your helmet. For especially cold or windy days, a thin beanie to fit under your bike helmet becomes essential winter cycling gear. Your local bike shop is sure to have a good selection of warm beanies designed for under helmet wear.
- Invest in a pair of full-fingered gloves Look for a pair of gloves that offers insulation and wind resistance. Be sure to try a few pairs on in your bike shop to get a feel for which will be the most warm, comfortable and still allow you to use your hands.
- Keep your feet warm. Some people like to wear wool socks when the temperatures start to drop. A lot of experienced cyclists like to wear shoe covers that offer insulation and wind and water resistance. Whichever route you choose, winter cycling gear to keep your toes and feet warm is important.
- Give it a try! According to BostonBiker, "Winter on a bicycle is amazing. All the things people like about cross country skiing, hiking in the snow, making a snow man, having a snowball fight, and seeing the beauty of nature is all wrapped up into each bike ride." Winter cycling offers a completely different and very rewarding experience. Now that you know about essential winter cycling gear, get out and ride!