Winter Biking…what to wear

Dave on a Fat Bike

We’ve covered the bike…now for our bodies.

For winter biking (and most outdoor activities) a layer system is ideal. The first layer, closest to the body, should be made of synthetic materials to evacuate sweat and moisture as efficiently as possible. The second layer provides warmth and should therefore be of a down or synthetic material. The last layer is your protection against the elements. Wear a windproof soft shell that’s breathes. It can also be waterproof, but keep in mind it will breathe less. Layered clothing is versatile as you can easily remove one of the layers if you are too hot. Layering clothes is also the best way to shed sweat and moisture away to stay dry and warm.

Protect your hands and feet. There is a lot more wind once you starting moving on your bike, so you should get yourself a pair of warm ski gloves.  Gloves also make it easier to manoeuvre your bike gears.  As for your feet, get a pair of waterproof and insulated winter boots. If you are wearing regular winter boots, you might want to consider changing your pedals for mountain bike studded pedals. They are larger which will accommodate larger boots, and the studs will offer better foot retention. If you have clipless pedals on your bike, you can get winter boots designed for them. However, keep in mind they are generally more expensive than a regular pair of winter boots.

Pant-wise you have multiple options. You can choose to wear wind and waterproof adjusted pants (such as cross-country ski pants) or a waterproof pair of pants over your regular pair of pants. If the road is dry, you can simply wear long johns underneath your everyday pair of pants.

Last things to consider. Don’t forget your helmet! Your best option is a wool skull cap or a balaclava, thin enough to wear underneath your helmet. If you’re considering biking in snow storms, a pair of ski goggles is a worthy investment. It’s sometimes hard or impossible to see in front of you with snowflakes and wind blowing in your eyes.

-Ariel

This post is also available in: French