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Cold Weather Cycling Gear

Confession: Davey and I are fair weather cyclists. We like the wind in our face, but only if it’s a warm wind. We both hate being cold. During the winter months, you can find us continuing our triathlon training by pedaling away on our indoor bike trainer, or in the front row at spin class.

Cold Weather Cycling Gear For Triathletes |

However, we have quite a few friends who are hardcore and go outside to bike, even when it’s chilly. If you’re like them and are not going to let a little cold weather stop you from cycling, then here are some key pieces of cycling gear to keep you toasty warm.

Also, if you bike in the cold, we are super impressed.

Cold Weather Cycling Gear For Triathletes |

1. Base Layer – Start off with a good base layer. Under Armor has a ton of great tops and bottoms and here is a great glove liner. Although the base layer is usually super thin, you’ll be amazed at how much heat it will keep in and how much warmer you’ll be.  Also, a pair of hand warmers

2. Ear Warmers – A thermal headband, like this one from Pearl Izumi, is thin enough to fit under your helmet and thick enough to keep your ears warm. We have friends who swear by their balaclava’s and if I was to venture out into the cold, you could be sure that I’d be wearing one of these!

3. Gloves – A pair of gloves like these will be sure to protect your hands from the cold air– especially if you’re wearing a glove liner. They have a rubberized fabric on the finger so that you can use your touchscreen phone without taking your gloves off.

4. Shoe Covers + Warm Socks – Cycling cleats have holes in the a hard, plastic sole where the cleat is screwed in, and although the holes aren’t really noticeable, your feet will get a blasted with cold air as you pedal. You can opt for a smaller toe cover, or go all out and use the full shoe covers for optimal warmth. Also, make sure you have a pair of nice warm socks. Our friend Chris recommends wool socks.

5. Leg Warmers – Since your legs do most of the work when cycling, you’ll want to make sure that even with all the layers, you still have a good range of motion and are able to pedal properly. Snow pants would be warm, but they’ll get caught on the chain and limit your ability to pedal. Instead, try some tight-fitting leg warmers. And, if you warm up during your ride, they’re easy to slide down.

6. Cycling Jacket – As you may notice, most of this gear is black. It’s a good idea to try to get a brightly colored cycling jacket so drivers will notice you more easily– especially since it gets dark out so early in the winter. A wind resistant cycling jacket will keep your core warm, and with a rear pocket, you can stash some snacks or extra hand warmers.

7. Arm Warmers – Since your arms don’t move much when you’re cycling, keep them as warm as possible with a pair of arm warmers.

8. Cycling Pants – Sometimes it’s so cold out that a base layer and leg warmers just won’t cut it. When the polar vortex strikes, you’ll definitely want a pair of cycling pants for extra warmth. But just like the leg warmers, make sure they’re form fitting and won’t get caught in your chain as you pedal.

And since Christmas is coming, all of these things would make awesome to add to your list!


*This is not a sponsored post.

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  1. cherylann

    I am a year round cyclist and still get out in 30+ degrees in the winter. My hubby and I are in constant search for foot wear. We have finally found some mittens from Outdoor Research but our feet still freeze when we are out there for more than an hour on our road or mtn. bikes. Let me know please if you find a good shoe cover that actually works! We have been searching for about 30 years now….guess I need to develop something! Happy training!

    • Jess Anderson
      Jess Anderson12-29-2014

      Hey Cherylann, we’re super impressed by you and your husband’s cold weather cycling! We’ll let you know if we find some good shoe covers that work! And let us know if you ever design some good, warm ones!