Bicycling in the cooler months is great fun. The key is staying comfortable, which is all about choosing and wearing the right cycling clothing.
To help, here are some suggestions for what works for each temperature range. Follow these guidelines and then dress in layers, with heavier outer layers for rain, cold or high winds.
60 and Below
For this temperature range you want light protection that packs easily and/or unzips to let excess heat out. Start with the base layer, the layer next to your skin — an essential piece for all cool-weather exercising. This light, thin undershirt wicks to keep you dry, warm and comfortable so you never catch a chill.
Arm and knee warmers add protection for your limbs with a cozy layer of warmth, which also helps prevent injuries that can come from exposing the joints to the cold. Warmers are easy to pull on and off, and pack, so they're ideal if you're unsure about the weather.
Long sleeve jerseys are perfect for consistent cool or cold temperatures. Their combination of technical wicking, breathability and insulation makes them an excellent outer or inner layer. Or you can go with arm warmers
Wind vests keep your core warm thanks to technical wind-proof material that blocks cold blasts and breathes for ventilation, too. These vests are small and lightweight, too, so you can stuff jersey pocket as the temperature or weather change.
The speed of cycling can cause the wind to nip at your fingers and ears. Full gloves block it and keep the fingers warm. And don’t forget an ear-warming headband that easily fits into your pocket and can save you.
50 and Below
At these temperatures you need more protection. For example, frozen feet can ruin a ride quickly. Wool socks, which are warm when dry or wet, are perfect for winter warriors. They're not only incredibly warm and breathable, but they wick to keep you dry, too. For your upper body, a light jacket is great for cool and changing weather. Jackets provide wind protection, breathability and water-resistant or waterproof fabric. Plus they're easy to get on and off, stow easily in a jersey pocket and are form fitting to not catch the wind.
Lightweight Lycra tights are another piece perfect for just about any outdoor activity. Thin and durable, they protect your skin from the wind and elements while never overheating you on 'tweener days.
40 and Below
As it starts to get even colder, it’s important to protect your head, hands and toes even more aggressively. There's nothing like a warm hat, booties, and lined gloves to keep Old Man Winter at bay.
And lined gloves ready to take on the vicious combination of cold, wet and wind-chill that ends many rides. They boast a water-and wind-resistant outer layer with a warm, wicking removable liner (for easy washing). Plus the flexible, five-finger design prevents numb digits without bulk that would hamper shifting and braking. You'll also want booties that slip over your cycling shoes to block the wind, water and frigid temps too.
Up top, maximize your layering power with a warm fleece-lined vest. Like their lighter wind-stopping cousins, these block breezes but with heavier fabric and a cozy fleece lining for moisture transfer and maximum comfort when temperatures drop.
Look at all-weather jackets and rain pants for more protection. With water resistance, wind proofing and toasty warmth, they are just the thing to keep you commuting and training strong all winter. Features, such as sealed seams, shockcord bottoms, weatherproof collars and extended cuffs keep you comfy. Plus, breathable materials, fleece lining and dexterity-friendly designs make these jackets and pants just right for much of your winter riding.
Cold Weather Clothing