Even Veteran cyclists can find dressing for winter rides a virtually impossible task sometimes. A mid November morning ride can be really cold to start with but temperatures can warm up by 10 degrees or more during an hour of riding, then again you can find that the wind gets up and your cold start begins to get somewhat icy.
Showing up at a ride properly dressed doesn’t only ensure a comfortable ride and add to the enjoyment, but it also marks you out as a knowledgeable rider. To calmly and smoothly respond to the autumnal skies is intensely satisfying. Our simple checklist should guide you through the thorny area of choosing what to wear.
You should have several items that can perform under a variety of circumstances: Combining a thermal base with arm warmers and a short-sleeved cycling jersey beats a long-sleeved cycling jersey, because the layers can come off when the day heats up. Go for a thermal long sleeve with a gilet if you want more warmth.
Once you’ve acquired a versatile wardrobe of cycling clothing start experimenting with different combinations to find the ideal mix for a variety of conditions. Dressing in layers is the answer as you may need to take off a layer then add it back later on.
Make sure whatever you buy is made of a material that won’t trap moisture. A base layer’s main job is to wick away sweat from your skin. A material such as CoolMax for slightly warmer days and a thermal base or merino wool is great for cold or wet rides. Mid layer long sleeve thermal tops such as a Roubaix top like the Santini Tempo at 69.99 is great for keeping the warmth in.
Under helmets you can wear a cycling cap or headband and some helmets even come with a shell cover now. A good thing to wear or carry is a neckie which converts into a balaclava. For hands, a thermal or thermal waterproof glove like the Madison Stellar at 34.99 and a thin glove or liner made from wool or CoolMax can be carried easily. The same goes for feet: Socks made from fabrics like wool are light, comfortable and breathable, a weatherproof overshoe or bootie when temperatures drop.