What winter is cycling clothing essential to stay warm? Find tips on the best bike gear, from merino jerseys to fleece-lined pants and must-have accessories.

Many cyclists hang up their bike shoes and stow away their bikes when it gets too cold outside, but with the proper winter cycle clothing, riding in frosty, wet, or snowy weather can be exhilarating. This article Provides valuable advice on what to wear when cycling in the cold winter months to keep bodies and feet warm and dry.

Best Cycling Jerseys for Winter

Extra layers are usually needed to keep the body warm when temperatures are close to zero, and some of the best cycling jerseys for winter use are those made from pure merino wool. Merino is light but warm, wicks sweat away, and dries fast, keeping the body toasty both on climbs and on those descents, when, all-too-often, you get cold after working up a sweat.

Pure merino wool cycling jerseys from a high-quality eco-friendly company like Icebreaker are not cheap, but they last a long time. Unlike jerseys made from synthetic fabrics, they do not trap odor; how many tops have you thrown away because they stink after just one season?

Merino cycling tops are available in various weights and sleeve lengths. The fabric can also be combined with other materials like polyester, as seen in Ground Effect’s heatwave merino range; combining fabrics in this way make prices more affordable. Make sure you look for jerseys with an elongated back to keep those kidneys extra warm.

Bicycle Gear for Winter

When it comes to cycling bottoms, many mountain bikers continue to wear baggy shorts even in winter but to keep legs and ankles warm, you need cycle leggings, preferably with a padded liner. Fleece-lined long bike leggings are perfect for cold weather riding as the stretch fleece fabric has a hard-wearing outer to repel water and a brushed inner for warmth; contrary to what you might expect, the fleece fabric does not feel too hot, even on a challenging hill climb.

A cheap alternative to what can be an expensive stretch fleece legging purchase is a pair of padded inner shorts worn under a couple of Ron Hills, a popular legging worn by runners and perfect for biking in all but sub-zero temperatures. When the thermometer drops below zero, add some of the accessories below.

Bike Clothing Accessories for Cold Weather

Add some or all of the following bike clothing accessories to your merino jersey and stretch fleece legging wardrobe for cold weather:

  • Thermal socks and thermal overshoes that zip around cycling shoes to keep feet dry in the rain.
  • Arm and/or leg warmers to provide additional protective layers.
  • Waterproof socks like Sealskins for river crossings.
  • Winter cycling gloves – full-fingered mitts with re-enforced palms and thermal lining are fundamental if you want to squeeze those brake levers!
  • Head warmer – pop a Buff in your backpack and wear it like a beanie underneath your helmet for friendly ears and to prevent heat loss through your head.
  • Neck warmer – wear a snood, the latest practical fashion accessory worn by soccer players in the UK; it’s just a fleece neck warmer, and hikers have been using them for years.

Tips for Winter Cycle Training

Use the following additional tips for winter cycle training when riding in sub-zero temperatures:

  • Keep toes from freezing by cutting the fingers off an old pair of gloves and using them as toe-warmers.
  • If hands are prone to frostbite, too, wear a lighter pair of mitts under your winter cycling gloves.
  • Prevent heat-loss from the head and neck by wearing a warm cycling top with a hood like the Hot Toddy from New Zealand-based Ground Effect; or a waterproof jacket with a hood that fits snugly under a helmet.
  • Wear sufficient layers on long hill climbs; you may be tempted to take winter cycling clothing off if you get too hot, but your body temperature will cool rapidly once the upgrade is over, and it may be too cold to stop and put clothes back on.
  • Carry a spare pair of thermal socks to prevent frostbite if your feet get wet.
  • Buy a thermal water bottle for emergency hydration if the water in your Camelbak freezes over!

Best Winter Cycling Gear

With the proper winter cycling clothing, riding outdoors in the winter months can still be a pleasure. Use base layers made of merino wool and cycle pants made of stretch fleece to maintain body heat, and make sure you have the best winter cycling gear like gloves, neck warmers, and a waterproof jacket to keep you warm, dry, whatever the weather.



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