Cold Weather Cycling Apparel
There is a saying that goes something like this: “There is no bad weather when you have the good gear!” This is especially true when it comes to cycling. If you want to ride outside year-around, like we do, even in a relatively warm state like North Carolina, the right gear is crucial. There is nothing more miserable than being on the bike when your hands and feet are in excruciating pain from the cold. You would think that after getting numb they would stop hurting, but sadly that is not always the case. Fortunately for us, apparel manufacturers have developed a vast array of products designed for every temperature range, even for some temperatures so extreme that most would never even dream of walking outside, much less riding.
When it comes to cycling during the fall, winter and early spring months in North Carolina, it is important to remember that the temperature can vary drastically, even throughout the same day. It is not uncommon to start a ride in 30 degree temperature and finish it above 60. As a result, the concept of layering can be extremely useful and looking for products that are easy to “peel off” and carry will make your life much easier. Arm warmers and knee warmers are the ultimate examples of these products and some of our best friends during these months of the year. Also, note that in cycling the wind plays a tremendous role on the temperature you feel while riding, so make sure you do the necessary adjustments. On very windy days, a vest and heavier gloves may be wiser choices. On the other hand, if you decide to ride gravel where there is greater protection from the trees, the heavier stuff may not be necessary.
Since there are so many options and so much information on this subject, we’ve put together a simplified guide as to what to wear on a bike on cold days:
Note that if you’re a hot natured person, you may want to skew your clothing preferences for the right columns below, while if you’re colder natured, you may want to sway to the left. Also, we allowed for some temperature overlap as products can be appropriate for similar temperature ranges.