Riding through the winter can be pretty grim. It’s often cold, wet and even snowing – and that’s just the weather! Roads and trails can turn into sheet ice or complete mud baths, making it difficult to even stay upright on your bike, let alone get up to a decent speed. While it might sound more appealing to just grab the duvet and stay in bed, with the right cycle clothing and equipment riding in can, believe it or not, be fun!
While there’s not much you can about conditions underneath your tyres, you can get kitted out in the right cycling clothes that laughs in the face of extreme winter weather. To help get you on the right track, we’ve put together a guide on what to look for, as well a few personal staff favourites to help get you out through the cold winter months.
Winter cycling jackets
A jacket is an essential of any cyclist’s winter wardrobe. The best jackets for winter will keep you warm and dry, but it should still be breathable enough that you can push hard and not feel like you’re boiling in a bag.
Softshell style jackets are bit more substantial than lightweight hard-shells and as such provide additional warmth yet still don’t feel clammy when you start to push on. A firm favourite on the road is the Castelli Mortirollo V Jacket. Made from a Gore Windstopper Softshell fabric, the Mortirollo V combines brilliantly with a thermal base layer to keep you covered through the winter months.
For mountain bikers Fox’s Attack Fire Jacket is a firm favourite. Using a 3-layer wind and water-resistant Ripstop softshell fabric, the Attack fire is perfect for keeping cold and wet weather at bay. The Rider Attack Position patterning means the jacket fits beautifully when riding and as ever with Fox Clothing, it looks the business too; perfect for hitting those slippery trails in style!
Winter cycling shorts, pants and bib jackets
Keeping your legs dry and warm is key to enjoying (or at the very least, surviving) a cold winter ride. Depending on what or where you ride you’ll have a huge range of legwear options to choose from.
For mountain bikers, waterproof shorts are a godsend in the winter months, often featuring a slightly thicker, warmer fabric that is waterproof or treated with a water-repellent finish. Our top value choice is the Madison Zenith 4-Season DWR Shorts with their rugged construction meaning these shorts will last for years! For the ultimate in protection and versatility, Madison also offer a fully waterproof trouser version of the Zenith with zip-off lower legs, so you get waterproof pants and shorts all in one!
The roadies among us love Altura’s Repel Bibtights for winter use. With a mid-weight thermal fabric and DWR finish, these will keep you warm and provide light rain resistance, keeping you warm and comfortable all-ride long.