In the winter, everything is fair game.
If that massive ski jacket keeps your warm, then go for it. Forget the fact that you might look dorky– you’ll be putting to shame all those that hung up their wheels until April.
The most important thing with the winter is staying windproof with plenty of thin, warm layers underneath. Here’s our list in order of how important we think these items are.
- Cycling Caps (or anything under your helmet): Heat escapes through the head at alarming rates if you’re trying to stay warm. Cycling caps have a nice bill that keeps the elements off your face, they’re stylish too. But the reality is that anything will do. Wrap a scarf or a thin beanie around our noggin and you’ll be plenty warm. Price: $15-$25
- Heavyweight Jacket– A heavyweight cycling jacket has the cut designed with a cycling position in mind. It doesn’t bunch up places it shouldn’t and keeps you warm in the coldest of weather. Look for taped seams and water resistant or waterproof fabrics. The really nice ones even come with different layers you can peel off or use according to the weather. Price: $90-$300
- Tights: When leg warmers just aren’t enough. There’s windproof tights, and non-windproof tights. In our experience, if you ride hard and keep your heart rate up, you won’t need the wind-proof ones. But if you’re just doing a long ride, or aren’t putting in that sort of effort, then buy the windproof ones.There’s also tights that come with a chamois and some that are even bibs. For versatility, we recommend tights without shoulder straps and without a pad. Wear your normal shorts underneath. Price: $40-$150
- Lobster gloves: When the weather gets bad, the warmth of two fingers is better than one. Lobster claw gloves are perfect for cold, snowy rides. Price: $50
- Shoes: If the weather is particularly horrid, winter-specific cycling boots are available from major manufacturers. These are better suited for die-hard commuters and training cyclists that will ride through any weather imaginable. The cheap way out is to tape shut the vents of your shoes and wear thick socks along with your windproof shoe covers. Price: $125-$200
As always, layer up and get out there!