The absolute best way to not get seasonal blues in the winter? Use it.
Getting outdoors on your bike is so much fun in the wintertime. Whether you live somewhere with season-long snow like the Northeast or the mountains, or simply somewhere where the temperatures drop and the world goes gray for a few months, winter offers tons of fun for bikers.
But as those who have wintered over in Antarctica famously say, there is no “being bad at the cold” — there’s only not having the right gear.
Below, we reveal our picks for the best winter weather riding gear you can get.
Start with Merino Base Layers
Wool is the miracle fabric. It keeps you warm even when it’s wet. It breathes. It’s antimicrobial. It wicks. For cold weather, there’s simply nothing else you want next to your skin. Velocio offers some of the best wool base layers on the market. Grab their wool tops, which will take that cold sweat and move it to your outer layers. And if you think wool is scratchy, think again — merino wool is softer than fleeced cotton and feels great against your skin.
For your legs, grab a pair of fast-wicking, warm Therminal Tights. Their proprietary fabric is warm and soft, bringing moisture to the surface so the whipping winter air can ferry it away. A brushed fleece interior makes it warm and comfortable, while the lack of a chamois lets you pair it with your favorite shorts.
Opt for a Rain or Hybrid Jacket
The purpose of your outer layer is to keep the wind from chilling you to the bone while also allowing moisture to escape. A breathable rain or hybrid jacket is exactly what the doctor ordered. Paired with your base layer and perhaps a wool sweater if it’s really nippy, these jackets from brands like Specialized and Velocio give you all the wind protection you need.
Keep Your Face Comfortable
We’ve all gotten used to wearing masks by now, and for frigid temperatures, it’s a habit that will serve you well. Specialized offers balaclavas and neck gaiters that keep your throat warm and your face from getting wind-chapped. You can even go merino with their Drirelease Neck Gaiter.
Keep Your Limbs Limber
Tons of effort has gone into making sure your hard-working legs, arms, and feet don’t suffer as a result of your winter riding fixation. Capo Forma offers a particularly kickass selection of arm and leg warmers, while several brands offer killer shoe warmers to keep your shoes from letting the cold leak in.
Your Hands Deserve the Best Treatment
When we bike in the cold, perhaps nothing issues prompter complaints than our hands. A solid pair of winter gloves from Capo Forma or Specialized gives you flexibility and warmth without feeling like you’ve wrapped your hand in a plastic bag. A waterproof outer membrane and stretch layers combine with a soft inner lining to properly manage moisture and keep warmth in.
Glasses Are Even More Important in the Cold
When the cold air starts whipping at your eyes, tears form, blurring your vision and freezing your face off. Don’t freeze your face off. Get some sunglasses to make the cold winter air nothing more than a refreshing feeling on your skin.
Armed with the proper gear, you can step outdoors any time of year and feel super comfortable on your bike.
About Mike’s Bikes: Mike’s Bikes is a growing family of local bike shops, all with a singular purpose - to get as many people on bikes as possible. We locally own and operate twelve wildly successful stores in Northern California. In addition to our brick-and-mortar shops, mikesbikes.com is one of the top online bicycle retail sites in the country.