Three basic rules to help you keep cycling, even in winter
You could write many more pieces of advice, but following these three rules can quickly and easily help to solve the main problems of winter riding:
1- Dress in layers, ‘like an onion’.
2- Cover all extremities.
3- Use technical clothing.
Dressing in layers is the right way to go for riding in winter, and will give you relatively comfortable and pleasant rides in all weather conditions and at any latitude. Don’t think too much about feeling cold when you’re still at home as there’s a tendency to over-dress; and the risk is, that unless you start with a downhill or a really very slow ride, you’ll start sweating as soon as you start pedaling. Then when you’re riding at speed, this can lead to a very unpleasant cold sensation, compromising your ride. The starting point for layering is choosing a good under-layer, heavier in the middle of winter, and lighter in the spring months. Then choosing outer garments with zippers gives you the flexibility to create a strong shield against the weather, or to dissipate heat especially when climbing.
Cover the extremities
The extremities – that is the head, hands and feet – must always be covered and adequately protected from the cold, as they are the areas that feel the low temperatures first and most intensely. Remember that it’s through the head that the body loses the greatest amount of warmth. Once the extremities are cooled, the feeling of cold quickly reaches the rest of your body.
In today’s sportswear market, there is a great deal of choice of technical garments suitable for every need. Many companies explain in detail their garments’ resistance to temperatures, helping to make it easy to choose the one that best suits your needs. Nowadays, even at zero degrees or below it’s possible to pedal easily even for three hours without feeling too cold.