Winter cycling is almost upon us

Cool weather cycling requires a bit more coverage. Credit: Stig Nygaard under CC.

I love cycling in Autumn and Winter. It’s not hot like Summer so it’s more pleasant and, as long as it’s not raining, I love the cool, crisp mornings for getting out on the bike. Sure, it’s a little chilly but that’s just a good excuse to get on some riding clothes for the cooler weather. I love specialist clothing and this time of year is the perfect excuse to buy a new cycling shell or long pants.

My cool weather cycling uniform consists of a few layers. It goes like this: base layer of long sleeve white cotton top. I don’t usually go for a singlet as this can lead to overheating if cycling for longer than about 20 minutes. In Australia, on the Eastern Seaboard where I am it’s just not that cold so overheating can be a problem with winter/autumn riding.

Then I have a breathable shell jacket with removable arms if it’s on the warm side. This gives good protection from the cool wind when starting out but can be used for a bit of cool protection but also heat escape with the arms zipped out. Then I go for cycling undies with long-leg tights over the top that are cotton/spandex. They are not dedicated cycling or compression tights as I’m recreational riding and not racing riding so don’t need this extra speed factor.

Gloves are a must in winter as the fingers freeze on the handle bars but in autumn it’s okay to go without these. Always sunglasses whatever the season as I don’t like light or glare. I have a neat pair bought from the Velogear website that only cost about $A50 and have interchangeable lenses so in summer or high-glare I have reflective lense and in lower light and less glare I opt for a lense to cut out a bit of light but not darken the landscape too much.

This is about it and let’s me layer up and layer down depending on whether I stop on the riding and need a jacket when I cool down. I usually ride with my two boys in a trailer on the weekends so a stop at the park is obligatory so I usually through in a sunhat for the park, even in winter as the sun is still strong and bright in winter.

What do you like to wear for cool weather cycling?