8 Essential Cold Weather Cycling Clothing Tips

8 Essential Cold Weather Cycling Clothing Tips


as a lifelong cyclist an ex-professional
I’ve ridden in literally every single type of weather that you can possibly
imagine sometimes for hours on end and I’m not gonna lie it was pretty grim but
it’s left me with a wealth of experience that I can share some tips and tricks
from with you in today’s video now you’re gonna notice I’m wearing a
lot of Assos in this video and that’s because they are our clothing partner at
gzn but all of these tips and tricks can be applied to any brand of clothing or
any type of clothing that you may have at home Rylan first things first your
hands and your feet these bear the brunt of all the cold weather so investing in
a good quality pair of OB shoes or gloves should be an essential item on
your winter wardrobe let’s start with your shoes and your feet these are
closest to the ground well they’ll be bearing the brunt of all the spray
coming off the road and all the cold wind as they’re being propelled through
the air by taping over the vents in your shoes and then purchasing a pair of good
quality over shoes you’ll turn your summer shoes into an adequate pair of a
winter cycling shoes keeping your extremities toasty and warm in the
winter will do more for your comfort on the bike than almost anything else you
can try however simply focusing on your hands and feet is not going to keep you
warm while start and your bike think about all those large muscle groups
think about all the areas in the wind so the front of your thighs even your
glutes as they pick up the spray from the road your shoulders your arms your
chest wearing a wind proof layer on any of these or as I’m wearing double
layered tights all those tights that you can get without a chamois that’s gonna
help keep those muscle groups warm because as soon as any of these start to
feel cold all that cold blood is gonna start flowing down to your hands and
it’s gonna start restricting circulation as well as your body tries to keep the
warmth in by its organs now there’s one vital piece of kit here which will do
more than any other piece of kit that you could possibly own to help keep you
warm by keeping your core warm with a really high-quality thick thermal under
vest you’ll be able to wear almost your summer wardrobe over the top of it maybe
an extra layer or so but it will do more to keep you warm in the depths of winter
than anything else you can possibly buy so the first part of buying your winter
cycling wardrobe should be a good quality on the vest I mentioned that I
want double layered tights instead of wind proof ones these come with two
layers of thick Roubaix material but there’s a cheap alternative as well and
that’s buying a pair of tights without a chamois now you should still wash these
as frequently as you wash a pair of tights with a chamois but because you’ve
got two layers over you glutes your size it’s gonna keep you that
little bit warmer night for two out of four UK seasons
you’ll probably get away with just wearing a cast get underneath your
helmet but when the temperature really plummets you don’t want to keep your
head warm and your ears covered as well this is because it’s an ideal place to
lose a lot of heat and also these days helmets are purposefully ventilated to
cool our heads so perhaps wearing a more Arahama is a
good place to start as these do traditionally have few events if you’re
somewhere really cool though wearing a proper fleece-lined skullcap it’s gonna
be a really effective and cost-effective way of keeping your head cool because
they’re cheap items to buy although it’s not that cold today so I’m just wearing
an ear warmer it’s just somewhere really cold a nice neck buff is also gonna
really help you keep a lot of warmth in because a lot of blood flows close to
the surface there which will kill you down now if you do live in Canada or
Russia you might want to consider wearing a proper balaclava because we
know you guys do you like to ride properly cold
carry on the ride under vests are amazing have already
mentioned that yeah okay I have but they’re so good I actually think they’re
worth mentioning twice especially if you’re planning on doing a long hard
ride but you still want to stop at the cafe halfway through if you sweat
anything like as much as I do you’re going to get to that cafe with a pretty
wet on the vest and that is going to chill you to the bone pretty quickly so
by carrying a spare in your pocket and swapping over before you sit down to
enjoy your second or third cup of coffee as I now am you’ll also avoid alienating
yourself from the rest of the group because under bursts when they get wet
and sweaty they’ve got this habit of basically they kind of start to smell since we’re still at the cafe let’s talk
about taking an emergency extra shell something that’s easy stable packs up
nice and small it’s nice and light you can store it in your back pocket just
for those emergencies if the weather was to take a turn for the worse out choice
I would always take a waterproof over a windproof just because they’re a little
bit more substantial and it is the winter plus let’s not neglect the fact
that I do live in the UK and the chance of rain is never really that far away
now even if you know that you’re not likely to need an extra layer because
the weather is set to stay the same kind of looks like it will today taking one
is still incredibly useful because imagine it’s five degrees outside and
you puncture or you have a mechanical throwing on an extra layer it’s gonna
make all that difference or those first few minutes when you leave the cafe and
then if you’re on a group ride taking an extra layer even if it’s just for the
intention of lending it for someone else and completely transform someone’s day
and if you are taking that extra emergency layer you may as well make
sure it’s nice and bright and vibrant meaning you’ll be spotted if you are at
for that little bit longer than you intended or if the cards do suddenly
appear and it starts to get that little bit darker I quite like this hive is
orange that this stone prints one comes in in a video about clothing you might be
more than just a little bit surprised to hear me talking about training but there
are some types of weather which you simply can’t go outside in and no we’re
not talking about you Canadians out there we know that you guys are hardcore
and we’ll ride no matter what the weather is even when it’s minus 40 you
guys are just a different breed I’m talking about the UK winters where it’s
I don’t know minus 2 to 2 degrees and it’s chucking it down moraine it’s
simply unbearable to go outside and ride in that sort of weather so instead of
doing that for our ride with a planned cafe stop why not just shorten it why
not make it an hour and a half ride extra hard that way you’ll be staying
warm you’ll be getting a great training benefit and you’ll be home that a little
bit sooner for a warm drink and a nice hot shower set off cold now that does sound a
little bit counterintuitive and you may well be picturing getting hypothermia in
those first few moments but it’s going to keep you more comfortable for the
rest of the ride if you do so this is because it takes your body time to get
up to operating temperature if you say fully dressed and you’re warm the second
you leave the door within the first 10 minutes as your temperature increases
through the workload you’re going to be dripping all over your bike at a hot
sweaty mess which is gonna make you really cold later in the ride
if you go down any of the scents so instead of doing that you want to set
off and feel a little bit of a chill in those first few moments warm your body
up through intensity of the ride and then you’ll be comfortable for the rest
of it alternatively if you really don’t want to feel cold those first few
moments you could take that spare layer and remove it after five to ten minutes dress for the types of rides you’re
going to be doing and the types of surfaces that you’re going to be on if
you’re doing a harder ride you can probably get away with wearing a little
bit less clothing and it also help keep the air circulating you just not be
getting too wet as well if you’re gonna be riding off-road though you could
probably get away with wearing quite a bit less clothing and this is because
there’s much less wind chill and you’re gonna be working quite hard to get
anywhere near the same sort of speed you’d be doing on the road in fact in
years gone by I’d do almost all of my training exclusively off road when the
weather was bad just because I knew you’ll be working
that bit harder and staying that little bit warmer if you enjoyed this video
give it a like or a thumbs up or whatever it is you like to call it and
if you think of something we’ve missed drop it in the comments below and I
leave me you get on with my twins ride

Only registered users can comment.

  1. One insulated bottle filled with hot tea. Also, for weekend rides, I will go out a bit later in the day in order to let things warm up a few degrees and for there to be a bit more light. The difference between an 8am start and a 10am start can be 5 degrees.

  2. What are your front lights you use in this video on the bike please!?? I've been asking this under 3 videos already but you guys don't want to answer 🙁 so please

  3. Nice tips, especially agree with keeping rides shorter and harder. I always end up frozen on long winter base mile rides. Not fun 🤧

  4. here in Portland OR, winter here is pretty similar to what you get with the cold, pouring rain. These are great tips! A couple things I'd throw in: if you are a sweaty person who needs that under layer for your jersey, consider wearing a light cotton scarf (bandanna) under your warm winter cycling cap. It sucks up the sweat and you can stick it in your pocket midway through the ride. This will remove the wetness from your head so you can stay warmer longer. Regarding the thermal tights, OMG life changing. I like Pearl Izumi AmFib because they have soft-shell on the thighs. High performing, warm and water proof enough for those only slightly damp days.

  5. Great presentation and good information!

    Just want to add that be careful when choosing over shoes, some cheaper (but not cheap) neoprene ones are great for the first hour, then they are soaked "full" with water and start releasing it onto your unsuspecting feet, doing an amazing job keeping your feet wet for hours!

  6. I have 1 advice. Never ride with a backpack. Sweat profusely on the back and baselayer becomes cold as held. It just pure sucks.

  7. I've paused the video, and I'm going to assume right here that they're talking about 'cold' weather, as opposed to cold weather. Let's see if I was right!

  8. Thanks for the shout out to Canadian Cyclists. Maybe GCN should take on a challenge of doing a ride in the Canadian winter during February.

  9. I always take a survival blanket with me on my winterrides. Has the size of a small smartphone and is very lightweight.
    Under the Merinowool baselayer I wear a polypropylene meshshirt to stay extradry and comfy because my wool shirt tends to get wet when riding hard.

  10. As someone that has tried riding my bike in that -40 degree weather he is talking about: Rain just below freezing is way worse. You keep nice and dry when it is cold enough.

  11. Some tips from country with actual winter:

    – merino wool doesn't stink and antibacterial, but quality products made from it are really costy.
    – i always take proper thermos with boiling hot coffee, not that shty isolated flask.
    – ride faster shorter session WHITHOUT stops.
    – at winter time i personally tend to switch to another sport activity like running (yes you can run at -20 and it is fun), skiing, indoor swimming.

  12. Great, my son and i love the channel he is 15 just started racing this year, will be back training soon, i know you say it often but please especially in a winter video encourage using lights, i know you usually say to use lights but not this time, just gone past a guy on a pinerello f12 in full kit with no lights a few reflective strips are no replacement for lights , he may as well ride a 25 kg steel bike he will be run over in the same way, we use the tracking o strava thanks for the upload concerning this it gives us some peace of mind if he has to go out alone amazing work, by the way is Si still as thirsty?

  13. I like how you're directly addressing to those "UK winter bla bla bla", "it's minus 40 and I'm cycling bla bla bla". 😂😂😂

  14. Instead of ordinary cycling shoes with overshoes on top , buy a dedicated pair of winter cycling boots. Lots of manufacturers include one in their catalogue and they are a lot less faff than overshoes . I've had some Shimano ones for years and with insulation and a neoprene cuff I sometimes only need a thin pair of socks underneath. Lets face it , summer cycling shoes are full of vents and are designed to keep you cool and so don't perform so well in winter even with bulky overshoes on top.

  15. Riding in minus degrees is genuinely a pain in the butt in Sweden, as most winter bike pants lack appropriate wind resistant fabric in the areas of the body subject to accelerated winds such as the hips, outer sides of the legs, and buttocks. It would be nice if bike pants had windproof fabric, in at least two or three layers, in order to reduce the wind chill cooling factor of minus 1,000 degrees [not exaggerating!] as air accelerates around the hip and eddies onto the gluteus maximus. This is the reason I am spending all winter on an indoor bike trainer while I laugh scornfully at the snow and ice as I pedal in a balmy 20 degrees Celsius!

  16. "Set off cold" is such a good tip. When I started commuting to work by bike in the winter I'd set off warm enough, and then be way way too hot by the time I get in. Now, I set off cold, ride at the right temp, and then down to the climb towards the end of the route, get to the office only a touch too hot. Progress? 🤣

  17. Chris, I like you as a presenter, but the G in GCN stands for global. So not everyone who watch your videos is a nativ English speaker.
    Please try to speak a bit slower for us.

  18. I bought some northwave Arctic gtx shoes for 200 quid, after an hour in the rain they were soaked right through, put them next to radiator and they still wet a day later. How do companies get away with this?

  19. I’ve cycled in all types of weather also, and agree that the proper gear can make all the difference. Thanks for another excellent video. You guys at GCN is the best.

  20. Totally agreed with the high quality baselayers – I race 'cross in the same skinsuit from +20 to -10 C just changing the layers underneath – from wide mesh for hot races to a merino shirt layer, and add on top a windproof base layer. Doesn't really work for leisure rides, and they will get wet due to the intensity, though.

  21. Can you give a shout to this guy please. He’s really in need of your winter riding tips at the moment! https://www.planetrock.com/events/planet-rock-live/planet-rockstock-2019/wyatts-road-2-rockstock-2/

  22. Glasses with clear lenses that hug your face are really nice when it is cold. Prevents the breeze from tearing up your eyes and you can still see in the generally darker conditions.

  23. Both of these are additions to the kit indicated; buy a reasonable windproof jacket (softshell). The windproof keeps you warmer and it's flexible into spring and later autumn.
    Next thing, I highly recommend water resistant bib tights. They're not cheap, but by keeping you dryer for longer you stay warm! They feel the same as regular bib tights, so no loss generally. If you want a more flexible option, water resistant bib shorts and leg warmers.

  24. @2:28: Helmet on left side of screen, @2:48: Helmet on right side of screen…

    Continuity editor – I wish a small word with you. 🙂

  25. If your using just random layers to warm, i would suggest dedicated cycling thermals as they improve your mobility over normal clothing

  26. It would be nice to speak a little bit slower, clearer and with less regional phrases – so that the international viewers can understand you better.

  27. I literally cycled home tonight and wondered what advice was out there for commuting in the cold or as we enter into winter here in the UK. I had finger less gloves no hat or balaclava or proper shoes or tights. I was so thankful I had my under layer or base layer and my high visibility waterproof though as i literally felt like stopping and calling a cab at one point. #commuter

  28. I make fleece Skully caps and you can get the pattern online for free I think fun for fleas. There's also a Scully that has like ear covers that go all the way down around your chin and then you can use like some string to tie it together but I don't add the string. And the curvature of the ear part of the pattern instead of making it like a big oblong you wear your face and the pattern meet up together take the pattern instead of making the oblong you keep going all the way around the neck and come down maybe 2 in so we can cover more of your neck and ears and will not catch wind. If that makes sense. I also on days when it's not too cold I will and I made a 4-way stretch fabric sculling and I took a piece of fleece fabric cut it like in an oblong shape that was just good enough for the top part of the cranium of the head and put that on top and then I put my helmet on which will also keep the heat from escaping the top part of your head. I have also gone to like a clothing bank place and found like a hoodie fleece garment and took the hoodie off and use the hoodie to put on top of my helmet because it has a drawstring and then you can just take the flaps took them into each other and with some simple thread just make some whip Stitch and it works just fine. That's how I keep the top part of my head warm

  29. No mention of leg or arm warmers? I think they can be great in weather that's not soooper cold but still offering a bit of chill. Also much easier to shed as you ride.

  30. Thanks for mentioning us Canadians; yes, we are a little more used to cold weather, otherwise we wouldn't ride all that much.

  31. My number rule for cold weather riding, is do not stop unless absolutely necessary. If some things a little out of adj. it'll make home. If I stop I get hot and sweat. And freeze when I start moving again.

  32. Haha, you make it sound like all of Canada is a frozen wasteland, but not all of Canada is super cold. Winter weather in Vancouver and costal BC is similar to the southern UK… being more wet than particular cold.

  33. My winters ride are about 25F and above in dry weather (I stay indoor if snowing or the roads are wet) I use:
    Liner wool gloves with a pearl izumi winter gloves, i also use chemical warmers on my wrists,
    MTB shoes to accommodate midweight wool hiking socks, and chemical warmers on top of my toes and winter overshoes. Sometime also toe warmers.
    Balaclava,
    Rest as per the video

  34. One word: wintershoes ! (still not enough though for those long rides for my feet, but it's a whole lot better than overshoes)

  35. The most difficult thing is to understand how cold it actually is. Seems that -2C cold and -2C cold can be totally different. Sometime it feels so nice and gentle on your skin, but other day it's cutting through to the bone. Why is that I never understand.. Most logical would be that it's about humidity, but not sure. Maybe it's my own body that's different? But I think it's humidity. If air is dry then the wind is drying also me more rapidly which makes me cool down more. But if air is too wet, then my clothes get damp and then they won't insulate so well.. So I guess there's some comfort zone between extremes that feel pleasant?

  36. GCN, this video made me unsubscribe. There are lot of sponsored filler videos as of late without any soul, but this one takes the cake. You baited me with a thumbnail of Si in the snowy winter, and instead we get Chris trying to get through his script as fast as possible, looking like he's wishing to be anywhere else but on camera. Come on!

  37. I rode my travel bike in Kyzgystan's 4000 meter elevation snow white glacial mountain passes in 2017. I applied most of these tips and even there I did not go for the Siberian approach: overdressing and sweating is really annoying. That said, it was a dry and hyper cold day. If it gets wet, your finger tops and toes are the first to crumble. Riding hours on end in glacial rain is not feasible

  38. take a trip to you local tack/horsey shop they usually have a larger more varied selection of Gloves head neck warmers etc than you local bike shop will carry, (riders are bit like Canadian cyclists ! )

  39. The UK winters might not be that cold, but in reality are mostly grim. Grey, wet & windy = miserable cycling weather. I actually prefer it when it's colder & drier. Once warmed up it can be as good as a nice summer ride.

  40. Wearing my cycling balaclava is how I keep my head, ears, nose warm on cold comments to and from work. The cycling balaclava dose not interfere with the fit of my helmet so warmth, comfort and can still wear my perfectly fitted helmet. It is now my favourite item of winter clothing.

  41. a few things that were missed.
    1.The feet recommendation is completely inadequate in truly cold weather.
    2.Nirtile gloves under all gloves complete wind resistance and extend warmth substantially.
    3. Do not go fast, this increases wind chill and makes you cool quickly.
    There is more, come spend a winter in Canada…

  42. You say you've ridden in literally every kind of weather but have you ridden in a Canadian winter yet, Chris? Come over here in january and I'll take you on a fave route to the Red Bulb Espresso bar. Might even get lucky and get a snowstorm enroute. 🙂

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