Winter riding

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Lots of great advice contained in this thread. Biking while adapting to the cold is constantly on my mind, so here's my updated winter apparel list for dressing in subzero weather. Like many others who have contributed here, I believe that layering is the key when it comes to winter cycling wear. The following advice is based on my own personal experience and conditions will likely vary in your own locality so use this as a general guide when planning your own apparel list. Jan/Feb are historically the coldest months of the year here and I plan on staying warm when the mercury dips.
Winter Cycling Wear.jpg

Base Layers –

I usually dress in accordance to current wind chill values. My base layer starts off with padded cycling or liner shorts as it's no different from riding during any other time of the year. My butt still needs to feel comfy. Over the shorts go a pair of thermal polypro underwear such as ones from HH. If it’s warmer than -10C I’ll forgo the long underwear and just go with cycling shorts and over pants. On top I most always don a long sleeve light/midweight merino pullover to keep my core warm.

Extremities –

Socks that I wear are Wigwam wool blend. My feet have a tendency to get cold so to help I’ve recently enlisted the use of some new heated insoles inside my boots. I’ve gone through a couple of pairs of other heated insoles with the batteries encased within the soles and no longer find these reliable. The last ones I purchased failed within the first month and were subsequently returned. I've now sourced a Canadian company that sells heated insoles powered by external 12V batteries. In fact, it's the same company that I purchased heated glove liners from and have currently been using for several years. I initially acquired the glove liners when I was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity when builds extended well into the colder season. They have never let me down.

I wear the heated glove liners under insulated lobster mitts as I can adjust the temperature in stages depending on the conditions. I find that it's almost always too cold here to wear the mitts on their own if I'm out for over 2 + hours. This versatile combo keeps my hands warm down to -20 C and under and the liners use the same external batteries as the insoles which can last for a few hours depending upon the heat level setting. Using a stickman cable assembly which is connected to the liners and a waistbelt controller, I am able to draw the cables up through the legs of my outer pants and jacket sleeves and connect them directly to the neoprene/velcro belt.
IMG_20210130_1630503.jpgIMG_20210130_1631159.jpgIMG_20210130_1632059.jpgIMG_20210130_1627067.jpgIMG_20210118_1520309.jpg

Mid/Outer Layers –

This is where it gets interesting. Once again, it comes down to layering with respect to ambient temperature so options can vary. I wear a heavier weight thermal jacket/shell combo on days when we see the mercury hover around -10C to -20C. If it’s warmer out I will go with the lighter of the thermal jackets. I can also rotate between shells and jackets depending on the length and complexity of my rides. Three of the four jackets incorporate pit zips which help with ventilation during more rigorous outings. One would be amazed at how much core body heat/sweat is given off even in frigid temperatures.

IMG_20201230_1122496.jpgIMG_20210118_1459335.jpg

Bottoms –

A good pair of outer pants will make a difference on your rides. Weather resistant material is fine for me as I rarely cycle in wet weather. Breathable and insulated softshell versions are available and I highly recommend them. I have two pairs of Arcteryx softshell pants which I really like. One pair is almost 10 years old but still performs well to this day and keeps my legs warm and dry. The other has slightly better insulation value and is what I currently wear when it's colder. I've also chosen to strap on a pair of boot gaiters which some may consider overkill. For me they do an excellent job of preventing slush and debris from accumulating on my pants/boot uppers and add an extra layer of warmth and protection if I’m trudging through deep snow to take pictures.

IMG_20201111_1037253.jpg

Head –

My go to base layer for my noggin is a merino balaclava and choice of lid would be either a lined ski helmet or my regular bike helmet depending on how cold the conditions are. On really cold rides, I wear a Seirus Neo-Fleece mask which has a nose opening and breathing holes around the mouth section. During late fall I’ll simply wear a skull cap under my regular cycling helmet. This is the first season for me for wearing a ski helmet and it's one of the best winter wear additions that I can think of if you are serious about cycling in the bitter cold. A huge thumbs up goes out to @Stefan Mikes who inspired me to get mine! My Giro 9 has a ventilation tab on the top and I always have it in the open position when wearing my balaclava.
IMG_20201108_1243092.jpgIMG_20210130_1140191.jpg

Foot wear –

Merrell Overlook insulated, Ice + waterproof winter boots round out my outer wear. The uppers are leather but the toe caps and boot sides are made from what appear to be some form of ballistic nylon and rubber. They're tough, durable and have withstood some major pedal scuffing. I treat the leather uppers with a healthy rub of Nixwax from time-to-time.

IMG_20210206_1522149.jpg

Eyewear –

Goggles seem to be a popular choice for many here and I strongly recommend them if you cycle in sub zero, blustery, wet conditions. I require OTG goggles that will fit comfortably on my face while accommodating my RX cycling glasses. I finally settled on a pair of Gordini dual pane, OTG goggles and find them to be more than adequate in preventing fogging and protecting my eyes from the biting, snow and wind. I also rely on my RX cycling glasses which have a dock system that allows me to switch from clear RX lenses to polarized versions eliminating the need for lens replacements for the ski goggles. They easily fit under the goggles and I never feel them pressing against my face.
IMG_20210129_1551594.jpgIMG_20210129_1550424.jpgIMG_20210206_1557100.jpg
Accessories-

Bar mitts. I haven't used them yet but the coldest time of the year is now now upon us. Stay tuned.

IMG_20210206_1534591.jpg
 
Last edited:

reed scott

Well-Known Member
Lots of great advice contained in this thread. Biking while adapting to the cold is constantly on my mind, so here's my updated winter apparel list for dressing in subzero weather. Like many others who have contributed here, I believe that layering is the key when it comes to winter cycling wear. The following advice is based on my own personal experience and conditions will likely vary in your own locality so use this as a general guide when planning your own apparel list. Jan/Feb are historically the coldest months of the year here and I plan on staying warm when the mercury dips.
View attachment 78456
Base Layers –

I usually dress in accordance to current wind chill values. My base layer starts off with padded cycling or liner shorts as it's no different from riding during any other time of the year. My butt still needs to feel comfy. Over the shorts go a pair of thermal polypro underwear such as ones from HH. If it’s warmer than -10C I’ll forgo the long underwear and just go with cycling shorts and over pants. On top I most always don a long sleeve light/midweight merino pullover to keep my core warm.

Extremities –

Socks that I wear are Wigwam wool blend. My feet have a tendency to get cold so to help I’ve recently enlisted the use of a new pair of heated insoles inside my boots. I’ve gone through a couple of pairs of other heated insoles with the batteries encased within the soles and no longer find these reliable. The last ones I purchased failed within the first month and were subsequently returned. I've now sourced a Canadian company that sells heated insoles powered by external 12V batteries. In fact, it's the same company that I purchased heated glove liners from and have currently been using for several years. I initially acquired the glove liners when I was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity when builds extended well into the colder season. They have never let me down.

I wear the heated glove liners under insulated lobster mitts as I can adjust the temperature in stages depending on the conditions. I find that it's almost always too cold here to wear the mitts on their own if I'm out for over 2 + hours. This versatile combo keeps my hands warm down to -20 C and under and the liners use the same external batteries as the insoles which can last for a few hours depending upon the heat level setting. Using a stickman cable assembly which is connected to the liners and a waistbelt controller, I am able to draw the cables up through the legs of my outer pants and jacket sleeves and connect them directly to the neoprene/velcro belt.
View attachment 78457View attachment 78458View attachment 78459View attachment 78460View attachment 78461

Mid/Outer Layers –

This is where it gets interesting. Once again, it comes down to layering with respect to ambient temperature so options can vary. I wear a heavier weight thermal jacket/shell combo on days when we see the mercury hover around -10C to -20C. If it’s warmer out I will go with the lighter of the thermal jackets. I can also rotate between shells and jackets depending on the length and complexity of my rides. Three of the four jackets incorporate pit zips which help with ventilation during more rigorous outings. One would be amazed at how much core body heat/sweat is given off even in frigid temperatures.

View attachment 78462View attachment 78463

Bottoms –

A good pair of outer pants will make a difference on your rides. Weather resistant material is fine for me as I rarely cycle in wet weather. Breathable and insulated softshell versions are available and I highly recommend them. I have two pairs of Arcteryx softshell pants which I really like. One pair is almost 10 years old but still performs well to this day and keeps my legs warm and dry. The other has slightly better insulation value and is what I currently wear when it's colder. I've also chosen to strap on a pair of boot gaiters which some may consider overkill. For me they do an excellent job of preventing slush and debris from accumulating on my pants/boot uppers and add an extra layer of warmth and protection if I’m trudging through deep snow to take pictures.

View attachment 78464

Head –

My go to base layer for my noggin is a merino balaclava and choice of lid would be either a lined ski helmet or my regular bike helmet depending on how cold the conditions are. On really cold rides, I wear a Seirus Neo-Fleece mask which has a nose opening and breathing holes around the mouth section. During late fall I’ll simply wear a skull cap under my regular cycling helmet. This is the first season for me for wearing a ski helmet and it's one of the best winter wear additions that I can think of if you are serious about cycling in the bitter cold. A huge thumbs up goes out to @Stefan Mikes who inspired me to get mine! My Giro 9 has a ventilation tab on the top and I always have it in the open position when wearing my balaclava.
View attachment 78465View attachment 78466

Foot wear –

Merrell Overlook insulated, Ice + waterproof winter boots round out my outer wear. The uppers are leather but the toe caps and boot sides are made from what appear to be some form of ballistic nylon and rubber. They're tough, durable and have withstood some major pedal scuffing. I treat the leather uppers with a healthy rub of Nixwax from time-to-time.

View attachment 78473

Eyewear –

Goggles seem to be a popular choice for many here and I strongly recommend them if you cycle in sub zero, blustery, wet conditions. I require OTG goggles that will fit comfortably on my face while accommodating my RX cycling glasses. I finally settled on a pair of Gordini dual pane, OTG goggles and find them to be more than adequate in preventing fogging and protecting my eyes from the biting, snow and wind. I also rely on my RX cycling glasses which have a dock system that allows me to switch from clear RX lenses to polarized versions eliminating the need for lens replacements for the ski goggles. They easily fit under the goggles and I never feel them pressing against my face.
View attachment 78474View attachment 78475View attachment 78479
Accessories-

Bar mitts. I haven't used them yet but the coldest time of the year is now now upon us. Stay tuned.

View attachment 78476
I'd ALMOST do this just to look like you in your self portrait. Almost. 👍 👍👍

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 5.10.50 PM.png
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
A stark reminder of how cold it can get here. It was a little over a year ago when I performed this outdoor test on some wet clothes and it took less than a minute for the articles to become frozen solid.

Jan 15/2020 -35C with a windchill value of -40C
View attachment 78804
A hint ... when Centigrade and Fahrenheit agree that it's 40 below, it's too d@mn cold.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
I recently purchased a Giro 9 winter helmet on clearance at 50% off at my local Sportchek. It has a brushed fleece liner and removable earpads which I’ll be wearing it over a merino balaclava. The helmet allows me to vary the level of ventilation via a slider control on top of the helmet. Also shod my winter ride with a set of studded Gravdals. Should see me through over the next 5-6 months.
View attachment 70889View attachment 70890View attachment 70891
6 months ! No, Nay, Never ...
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
A hint ... when Centigrade and Fahrenheit agree that it's 40 below, it's too d@mn cold.
I think most Albertans probably feel the same when it comes to the prolonged extreme cold warnings. Even the penguins at the Calgary Zoo no longer partake in their weekly walks as it’s too friggin cold for them.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calg...monton-cold-freeze-weather-penguins-1.5427919

……and then there was this image captured in Whitecourt, AB northeast of our fair capital.
Frozen Gas Pump Line.jpg
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
We get an arctic blast occasionally. Like this week, 5 mm freezing rain (ice) under 1 cm sleet (ice balls) under 2 mm snow. It's 28 now, headed for 14 tonight & 8 Saturday night. Been out chiseling ice off the sidewalks with my Ames coal shovel. Only half way to the street yet, front or back. Yesterday got the ice balls layer shoveled off, but not the ice sheet. Now there is snow on top.
To 20 F wind chill on bike I wear long underwear, dickies work clothes, 2 or 3 sweaters, Army jacket, knit gloves. 0 to 20 wind chill I add a welder's helmet liner, farmer mittens, 2nd pair socks (nylon). -20 wind chill I wrap the helmet vents (full face mouth vent) with saran wrap, put oven mitts over the farmer gloves, wear combat boots instead of shoes, put liner in Army jacket. Long trips at -20 I used to wear Carrhart insulated overalls, but the burglar stole them or filed them under 500 lb of income tax records , sheet music, and letters from my parents. Some files are spread over 3 floors. Couldn't find any insulated overalls in farm stores to fit me this year, (I'm undersized, not a "real man") and carharrt website didn't list them. To protect eyes I wear $1 wraparound sunglasses, or at night, safety glasses.
 
Last edited:

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Lots of great advice contained in this thread. Biking while adapting to the cold is constantly on my mind, so here's my updated winter apparel list for dressing in subzero weather. Like many others who have contributed here, I believe that layering is the key when it comes to winter cycling wear. The following advice is based on my own personal experience and conditions will likely vary in your own locality so use this as a general guide when planning your own apparel list. Jan/Feb are historically the coldest months of the year here and I plan on staying warm when the mercury dips.
View attachment 78456
Base Layers –

I usually dress in accordance to current wind chill values. My base layer starts off with padded cycling or liner shorts as it's no different from riding during any other time of the year. My butt still needs to feel comfy. Over the shorts go a pair of thermal polypro underwear such as ones from HH. If it’s warmer than -10C I’ll forgo the long underwear and just go with cycling shorts and over pants. On top I most always don a long sleeve light/midweight merino pullover to keep my core warm.

Extremities –

Socks that I wear are Wigwam wool blend. My feet have a tendency to get cold so to help I’ve recently enlisted the use of some new heated insoles inside my boots. I’ve gone through a couple of pairs of other heated insoles with the batteries encased within the soles and no longer find these reliable. The last ones I purchased failed within the first month and were subsequently returned. I've now sourced a Canadian company that sells heated insoles powered by external 12V batteries. In fact, it's the same company that I purchased heated glove liners from and have currently been using for several years. I initially acquired the glove liners when I was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity when builds extended well into the colder season. They have never let me down.

I wear the heated glove liners under insulated lobster mitts as I can adjust the temperature in stages depending on the conditions. I find that it's almost always too cold here to wear the mitts on their own if I'm out for over 2 + hours. This versatile combo keeps my hands warm down to -20 C and under and the liners use the same external batteries as the insoles which can last for a few hours depending upon the heat level setting. Using a stickman cable assembly which is connected to the liners and a waistbelt controller, I am able to draw the cables up through the legs of my outer pants and jacket sleeves and connect them directly to the neoprene/velcro belt.
View attachment 78457View attachment 78458View attachment 78459View attachment 78460View attachment 78461

Mid/Outer Layers –

This is where it gets interesting. Once again, it comes down to layering with respect to ambient temperature so options can vary. I wear a heavier weight thermal jacket/shell combo on days when we see the mercury hover around -10C to -20C. If it’s warmer out I will go with the lighter of the thermal jackets. I can also rotate between shells and jackets depending on the length and complexity of my rides. Three of the four jackets incorporate pit zips which help with ventilation during more rigorous outings. One would be amazed at how much core body heat/sweat is given off even in frigid temperatures.

View attachment 78462View attachment 78463

Bottoms –

A good pair of outer pants will make a difference on your rides. Weather resistant material is fine for me as I rarely cycle in wet weather. Breathable and insulated softshell versions are available and I highly recommend them. I have two pairs of Arcteryx softshell pants which I really like. One pair is almost 10 years old but still performs well to this day and keeps my legs warm and dry. The other has slightly better insulation value and is what I currently wear when it's colder. I've also chosen to strap on a pair of boot gaiters which some may consider overkill. For me they do an excellent job of preventing slush and debris from accumulating on my pants/boot uppers and add an extra layer of warmth and protection if I’m trudging through deep snow to take pictures.

View attachment 78464

Head –

My go to base layer for my noggin is a merino balaclava and choice of lid would be either a lined ski helmet or my regular bike helmet depending on how cold the conditions are. On really cold rides, I wear a Seirus Neo-Fleece mask which has a nose opening and breathing holes around the mouth section. During late fall I’ll simply wear a skull cap under my regular cycling helmet. This is the first season for me for wearing a ski helmet and it's one of the best winter wear additions that I can think of if you are serious about cycling in the bitter cold. A huge thumbs up goes out to @Stefan Mikes who inspired me to get mine! My Giro 9 has a ventilation tab on the top and I always have it in the open position when wearing my balaclava.
View attachment 78465View attachment 78466

Foot wear –

Merrell Overlook insulated, Ice + waterproof winter boots round out my outer wear. The uppers are leather but the toe caps and boot sides are made from what appear to be some form of ballistic nylon and rubber. They're tough, durable and have withstood some major pedal scuffing. I treat the leather uppers with a healthy rub of Nixwax from time-to-time.

View attachment 78473

Eyewear –

Goggles seem to be a popular choice for many here and I strongly recommend them if you cycle in sub zero, blustery, wet conditions. I require OTG goggles that will fit comfortably on my face while accommodating my RX cycling glasses. I finally settled on a pair of Gordini dual pane, OTG goggles and find them to be more than adequate in preventing fogging and protecting my eyes from the biting, snow and wind. I also rely on my RX cycling glasses which have a dock system that allows me to switch from clear RX lenses to polarized versions eliminating the need for lens replacements for the ski goggles. They easily fit under the goggles and I never feel them pressing against my face.
View attachment 78474View attachment 78475View attachment 78479
Accessories-

Bar mitts. I haven't used them yet but the coldest time of the year is now now upon us. Stay tuned.

View attachment 78476
A very informative post on Winter riding gear... I use the identical Giro MIPS helmet for skiing. ;)
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
Sheesh, that's cold. We went down to about -5 here in Vancouver and that's pretty cold here. It does go below zero here most winters, but not by much and not for long.

In January we had a lot of evenings when it was 7 or 8 degrees at night time. I couldn't believe how warm our January was.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
January, nice, February, Aaaargh! Got the front sidewalk chiseled dry of ice out to the mail box by 1710.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Just sayin'

from this article;
😱
I love the creativity of this guy... ;)

He was about to cut through the ice on his first attempt and then adds the cross blades for Victory!
 
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