How To Keep Warm Cycling
With this spring still like the depths of winter I’d thought I’d share my tips for staying toasty if you’re yearning to ditch the turbo for the outdoors.
LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS… It all boils down layers.
1 Pair of Thinsulated Socks. £5- £10 is such a small price to pay
2/3 pairs of very thick wool socks. You may need slightly large shoes.
1 pairs of plastic type commuter over shoes. These are not pretty, but keep the wind out!
1 pair of racing over shoe! These are 1) to be stylish and 2) they will prevent 80-90% of the wind getting to the 1st pair of over shoes
The main advantage over leggings is then can be pulled of quickly at any stops and popped into your back pocket. I’ve never had to take them off, just keep your legs covered whether legging or leg warmers. Another advantage of course you can add fashion by mixing shorts/leg warmers.
Cold days wear two pairs. You can always pull them off.
Forget base layers. My personal favourite is 3 cycling jerseys. The main advantage is 3 zips. On climbs you can undo all 3 and let air in. On cold days this air conditioning works so well. How far you unzip, how many tops you unzip you control how much air gets in and how cool you want to be. The second advantage is pockets. 3 tops = 9 pockets. Plenty of room for spares! Also if it hots up (in Perth the temperature would be 0 degrees Celsius at 6am, by 10am it was 20 degrees) you can take a top or even two off and pop them in your back pocket.
You didn’t really think you got dropped because your jerseys were thicker than theirs did you?
CYCLING NECK SCARF
Essential piece of kit! Can be worn around neck (keeping the cold from entering your top through the collar, pull up over face for the strong head winds and fast descents, and also over your ears if need be. I normally take two, especially if climbing. When you sweat, they will get wet. So having a spare dry one to swap over for the last hour of the ride is always good.
EAR WARMERS/HEAD BAND
These allow heat to escape from your head, cool breeze to flow through helmet while keeping your ears snug. Again if you’re stopping a spare one is a good idea. These and the neck scarves take up no space what so ever. You could get 5 of each in 1 pocket.
Don’t be a hero. Buy expensive winter cycling gloves! Ski gloves can also be very good for keeping your hands warm (£50), but Aldi also do fantastic ones for £5.. On very cold days, a spare pair in a pocket means after 2-3 hours of working and sweating, a clean dry pair for the ride home can help. Whatever you choose make sure you opt for ones that give you the movement you need.
COATS / JACKETS
I don’t like them. However you need them for the rain. I still prefer 3 tops when it comes to cold, but obvious if it’s raining you need to keep dry. Buy a good quality gillet or you will just sweat into the arms of the jacket. One solution is to cut a small hole at the elbow to allow the sweat to drip out
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Nancy & Anna Review the Ana Nichoola Snow Cat Jacket
Between us we use the full range of Ana Nichoola clothing and have been fans since the arrival of “Bo Peep” Gloves. We are both always at the front of the queue to purchase our next item. Ana Nichoola has now ventured into clothing with the Snow Cat Jacket and what a triumph it is. Below are our thoughts on it and links to our reviews of other products in the range we have purchased.
Cycling is a sport that’s dominated by men and all the equipment is made for them but with the new Ana Nichoola collection that will change! No more boring design, no more jackets and warmers that never fit… You can actually look girlie and stylish while riding your bike.
The brand is created by female bike rider Anna Glowinski, who better than a woman to understand the needs of women in the sport. Ana Nichoola has an innovating line of accessories with very cool designs; each piece has little details that make a simple item look extraordinary.
Apart from the good looks, the quality of the products is exceptionally high. Both of us agree we haven’t seen anything for female cyclists this good!
We agree our most favorite item is the “Snow Cat Jacket”, no other jacket on the market gets close to this one, it’s a warm jacket perfect for your cold winter rides, a great windstopper and like the arm warmers it fits amazingly well, tailored for a women’s body. The fabrics are of the best quality with a mix of reflective fabrics, sweat wicking, stretchy, soft and warm.
The collar is a double layer with a lovely soft polar fleece lining at the neck, the outer collar is a stand up mandarin style collar with a press stud fastening in a pale duck egg blue colour. The top sculpted part of the jacket and sleeves is made from a gorgeous white waffle textured fabric with tiny flecks of shiny thread woven into it (you can see the flecks in the blue collar too), it looks like snow glistening in the moonlight. The top lining is a lovely soft fleece. There’s a pair of embroidered circles on the shoulder in pastel pink and blue providing just enough embellishment to bring an elegant feel to the garment, this is repeated further down on the left hip. The top half is all about keeping your chest warm. The lines of the jacket are very sympathetic to the female form and rather than having a horizontal band or line between the two fabrics (as you find on most male or unisex cycling jerseys) it has a swooping blue stitched edge between the white of the top and the grey of the bottom. The bottom half of the jacket is a thinner fabric enabling more movement, it has a grey and dark charcoal horizontal stripe pattern. On the front at the left hip there’s the Ana Nichoola logo and just above it there’s an secure zipped pocket. On the back of the jacket there are two large pockets like all good cycling jerseys should have, but these pockets are again sympathetically styled to echo female curves. The pockets are stretchy and also have press-stud closures, there is a smaller pocket nestled inside the right pocket; ideal for a snack bar or a mini pump. Centre back of the jacket upper is a golden embroidered circle between your shoulder blades. The cuffs are finished with a matt silver reflective fabric. Running down the sides of the body and under the arms on the sleeves is a black lycra wicking fabric for a better contouring fit and to make your ride a comfortable one. Overall it provides an extremely flattering silhouette. You can tell a lot of thought and effort has gone in to designing this jacket.
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This jacket has provided more protection from the wind and wintery weather than any other cycling jacket of it’s kind we’ve owned and it looks great off the bike too. We’ve both had loads of compliments and questions while out and about… plenty of jacket envy. It’s easy to clean. The price is premium but lets be clear this jacket is premium quality and there are many jackets in this price bracket that aren’t near this quality. The stitching and finishing is excellent along with the fabric quality. The sizing is quite accurate, we would say that buying your true size will give you a good fitting jacket, the size range is a UK6 to UK14, bustier ladies may be disappointed that larger sizes aren’t available, but maybe that will change when the brand grows. We’ve seen a sneak peek of the Spring/Summer collection and the clothing range is increasing, you won’t be disappointed no matter what type of bike you ride you’ll want to get your hands on something from the collection!
Ana Nichoola also has gloves, neck warmers and ear warmers in the range so you should take a look at the Ana Nichoola website and read our reviews of the rest of the product range.
Come on girls, what are you waiting for… Style Your Ride!
Nancy & Anna.
Available from www.ananichoola.co.uk