Wrap up for winter cycling

Mountain Bike in Wensleydale

Mountain Bike in Wensleydale

A customer emailed us with a question: “Hi, Got the jacket and cycling gloves so I could wear the jacket on my Saturday ride but was really fighting to stay warm (16c 20mph wind). I was wearing a heavy base layer and the wind was coming straight through the jacket and if not for the base layer I would have been really cold. So my question is have I purchased the wrong jacket type for my winter cycling as it will get a lot colder over the coming weeks”.

The customer had actually bought a jersey with a full length zip, not a jacket, and with the best will in the world a jersey is not designed to do the work of a jacket. I know that many cyclists wear a full zip jersey as an additional layer but when it comes to wind and rain they will also have the added protection of a rain or wind jacket. When winter sets in it is important to have the right balance of clothing for cycling. This can mean many things to many people for example on Friday afternoon 21st October my brother in law and I decided to take a mountain bike ride. Our route started from Castle Bolton in Wensleydale towards Askrigg then over the hill to Swaledale and along Apedale Road back to Castle Bolton. On the first leg we travelled along the northern slopes of Wensleydale in a westerly direction head on into north westerly winds of 25mph, while the temperature was suppose to 12 to 15 degrees Celsius the wind chill factor would have reduced that significantly. However cycling into the wind means we were burning more body heat.

To cover my torso I was wearing a full sleeved Xpandx base layer under a short sleeved summer jersey and a wind proof gilet on my bottoms I wore a ¾ length baggy cycling shorts, on my feet waterproof Sealskinz socks with cycling shoes and full finger gloves to protect the hands . My brother in law wore two layers of jersey and a wind proof jacket to cover his torso, full length cycling tight under baggy shorts to cover his lower regions, Sealskinz socks with cycling shoes on his feet and to save his hands from cold windproof gloves. I also carried a compact waterproof jacket in my bag in case of rain.

While we would never make the cycling wear fashion statement, the important thing is neither of us felt the cold while on the move.

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