The biggest difference about winter riding from autumn and spring is the range of temperature is smaller, so you can dress with a lower need for flexibility required from your kit. On a cold autumn morning you might need a jacket and tights, but by the afternoon it can be 10 or 15 degrees warmer so a jersey and bibshorts would be suitable. In winter the temperature will only change by a few degrees so your jacket and tights are the right choice all day.
"It takes a bit of trial and error to get your winter kit combination exactly right"
It’s easier to dress for winter and your choice should be a basic combination of undervest, jacket, tights and socks. You should adjust your type of undervest to get the right temperature management and this helps make the jacket appropriate for a wider range of conditions.
Recommended: Men's Thermal LS Undervest | Women's Thermal LS Undervest
When the cold weather really starts to bite, arm warmers, thermal hats, buffs, caps and overshoes complement your outfit to get your temperature perfectly right all over. This can be a delicate balance and you’ve got to protect your extremeties.
It's all about the accessories
The head loses a lot of heat and so in really cold conditions a very warm hat or buff worn under your helmet is great to lock in that much needed heat. Hands and feet suffer the most on winter rides. Arm warmers under your jacket can really help keep hands warm without making your core area sweat when the rest of your body is warm enough.
Last of all a really good pair of thermal socks and thermal overshoes are an excellent combination to help keep your feet warm. Be sure to also leave your shoe straps loose. Restricting blood flow through over tightening shoe straps is one of the most common mistakes that can make feet feel significantly colder.
Recommended: Windtex Overshoes
Almost all good winter kit should focus on warmth. Staying dry on very wet days is almost impossible but for those rare times that you are caught out far from home in the pouring rain, a seriously good rain jacket is a life saver. This should have taped seams, be fully waterproof and be able to be carried in your pocket just in case it’s needed. Take one on almost all rides just in case but don’t wear it unless it’s seriously wet otherwise it will make you sweat and this can cause a chill.
It takes a bit of trial and error to get your kit combination exactly right and when you do, there’s no excuse to lose fitness through the winter months.
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