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?
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.
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
Cycling Shorts Resident Elite Personal Trainer & Conditioning Coach