What to Wear for Winter Cycling (Guide)

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This winter, remember to dress warmly while riding. You have nothing to lose by riding your bike when the weather is nice, and the appeal is obvious: pedaling about in the sunshine is a wonderful way to spend your time. It is possible to have an exhilarating experience even while riding in cold or even rainy conditions if you have the proper equipment.

In both on- and off-road cycling, layering is the key to success year round. The most feature-packed cycling jacket may entice you, but it will fall short of keeping you warm and dry no matter what the weather is doing. It is critical for every cyclist to dress in a manner that can adapt to changing environmental circumstances as well as shifting degrees of physical effort.

layers under the surface

Base layer: The initial piece of clothing that will sit near to your skin. However, purchasing a high-quality base layer for a fraction of what a multi-seasonal jacket costs may be more beneficial in the long run. Base layers keep you warm by wicking perspiration away from your skin while also being composed of man-made fibers or merino wool. Base layers help you remain dry and cool in the summer and warm and insulated in the winter, so they’re very useful in both scenarios. Depending on the weather, you may wear short sleeves or long sleeves. We recommend you have at least one of each kind on hand.

My favorite bike (at the moment):

State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061

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My favorite bike (at the moment):

State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061

This is my daily ride, my trusty Black Label It’s lightweight and beautifully crafted. It looks like a beast and rides like one too. I upgraded the saddle, but everything else is pretty much as it was out of the box. I highly recommend it.

Stiff-fitting clothing such as bib shorts and tights

Shorts or tights go on top of the base layer. Bib shorts and bib tights with shoulder straps provide a more secure fit than waist items, which may scrape into your stomach uncomfortably. Bib shorts are available for women as well. You should always have at least one pair of each length on hand in winter, since although bib tights are excellent for keeping legs toasty, they may be overkill on a mild day. Always purchase cushioned inserts in your shorts and tights for comfortable riding. Wearing baggy shorts over bib tights would provide mountain bikers all the comfort advantages without the roadie style problems, which may be a turnoff for some.

Cycling t-shirt

Lastly, the bicycle jersey is the last piece of clothing in the first step of our layering strategy. Summer short-sleeve jerseys are likely to be in your wardrobe. If it’s going to be a chilly day, a long-sleeve jersey is also an alternative. These may definitely be used in winter as part of your layering strategy.

warm-up gear that includes arm and leg sleeves.

The time has arrived for us to make our first outfit selection. Since it’s supposed to become warmer, you’ve chosen to wear shorts and a T-shirt since the forecast says so, but the air is brisk as you go out the door. I’m curious as to what you do. The solution is to put on some arm and leg warmers to keep yourself warm. Lycra tubes with insulating properties are worn on the arms and legs, but they may be removed as soon as the sun emerges. Cheap arm and leg warmers that can be folded up and tucked into a jersey pocket come in useful when the weather changes.

So far, everything of the gear we’ve examined is suitable for fair weather rides from the end of spring to the beginning of fall. If it’s very cold or wet outside, we’ll need to add more layers to our jersey, tights, and base layer.


Gilets are the first choice. Guellets keep the chest warm and insulate it from wind chill by acting as body warmers instead of traditional coats with sleeves. When not in use, they may be rolled up and kept in a jersey since they’re usually composed of windproof cloth. In circumstances when you don’t need a lot of extra warmth or waterproofing, gilets are a great option.

Jacket with a supple outer shell

An even better choice for additional warmth is a soft shell jacket or a jersey. While a windbreaker will keep you warm in the front, a decent soft shell jacket will keep you dry in the back with a variety of pockets and some measure of rain-resistance. If you’re going to be cycling in the dark or beneath trees or in severely cloudy weather, make sure to wear reflective clothing and a reflective vest. Make sure your soft shell is also constructed from a highly breathable fabric if you’re planning intense training rides where you’ll be perspiring a lot.

Jacket that’s impervious to water

There are very few soft shells that are completely waterproof, but the answer is easy. Modern waterproof coats are better than ever, and riders all over the world rely on a packable rain jacket or rain cape. These are small enough to fit in the back pocket of a shirt or jacket and offer rainproofing that is both lightweight and breathable when the skies open up. Additionally, their large tail flaps prevent the rear of your tights or shorts from becoming wet from tire spray. When riding in low-light situations, don’t forget visibility and reflectivity since the rain jacket will serve as your outermost layer of protection.

Don’t have numbness in your hands and feet anymore.

Make sure your extremities are covered while riding a bike since nothing is more painful than damp and chilly feet or hands. Instead of using fingerless mitts, use full-finger gloves with sticky silicone grips for a more solid connection to the bike’s controls. Full-finger gloves are preferable. In order to prevent water from entering your shoe, wear overshoes or oversocks when you’re on your feet. In the event that you’re ever in a scenario when you’ll regret not having overshoes on, you’ll understand why they’re so expensive!

Remember to have your wits about you. Today’s road helmets are excellent case studies in air conditioning, which is fantastic in the summer but useless during the colder months. season. The covering on mountain bike helmets is a little better, but they’re still not very insulating in nature. If it’s cold out, wear a thermal skull hat — some even have ear portions — or the classic team cycling cap, which is a favorite of seasoned cyclists.

A sleeve for your neck

And now for something completely uncomfortably close to the end of the list: the neck. If you have a decent neck warmer or snood, you will just be exposed to the elements on your face. To be more specific, you may use a flexible, lightweight thermal snood for warmth and protection of your lower face as well as your whole neck and head.


If you’re riding your bike to work or going for a longer ride, layering up may be beneficial. It’s important to consider the weather, where you’re cycling, and how long you want to spend on the bike before making a clothing decision. As much as this list may seem overwhelming, keep in mind that all of the items listed below are designed to last for many years of riding. The use of several layers provides an all-weather cycling gear option. You’ll be able to ride your bike all year round if you make a little investment in excellent gear today.

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Written by Bradley Knight, Staff Writer

Hey there! My name is Bradley, and I've been riding fixed for years. I love all the joy and pain that comes with this unique style of cycling and the passionate community that drives it. If you love fixed-gear bikes, this is the place for you.

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Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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