The winter cycling gear that will make your cycling more comfortable and enjoyable

Hi there! If you’re reading this then I applaud you. Because it means you’re considering or definitely going to keep cycling as the blue skies (ahem) turn to grey and the temperatures make their yearly descent.

Wet feet. Cold hands. Soaked clothes. Water dripping everywhere. You can see why some people are put off winter cycling. But with a few, well chosen bits of winter cycling gear you can continue to enjoy comfortably cycling to work. In this post I’ll take you through the cycling gear you’ll need so your winter cycling can be a pleasure rather than a nightmare.

Overshoes – crispy warm feet vs wet, shivering feet. An easy choice..

Endura overshoe for cycling in winterSlide these over your shoes in the morning and keep your feet safe from all but the heaviest down pours. I’ve written about cycling socks and overshoes before. Just make sure you don’t walk in them or you’ll be replacing them in no time!

Recommendation: Endura Overshoes – £25

Winter cycling gloves – essential winter cycling gear

The cold air on your hands can make them quite painful. A good pair of gloves can solve this problem. These don’t have to be cycling specific.

Recommendation: DHB Rogate Glove – £22

Bike lights – the purchase you avoided when you bought a bike comes back to get you!

Bike lights are a cheap and necessary part of your winter cycling gear arsenal as the days become shorter.

Recommendation: Cateye front & rear – £28 

Mud Guards – keeping mud and water off your back and the face of the cyclist behind you

Yes, yes I know. They look a little ugly. But cycling in winter isn’t a beauty competition. A  good pair of mud guards is not only so easy to fit even a 5 year old could do it but it also makes perfect sense. Anyone who’s cycled in winter before will agree.

I’ve always had this mountain bike mudguard from Wiggle that has kept both contents of the road and rain at bay. When I ride without it on I instantly regret it. It should fit pretty much 99.9% of bikes. Alternatively get one that wraps completely around your wheels.

Recommendation: Crud Race Pac Mudguard Set – £15

Winter cycling jacket

Essential winter cycling gear - waterproof cycling jacketThis is one of the most worthy winter cycling gear purchases you can make. A good cycling jacket is designed to keep your wrists covered as you lean forward to reach your handlebars, keep you back dry with an extra long back and keep you warm but sweat free. I recommend the DHB Amberley cycling jacket. It is reasonably priced and has served me well for a long time.

Recommendation: DHB Amberley – £54.99

Winter cycling trousers or tights

Bib tights part of winter cycling gearWhen I first started bike commuting I saved money in the winter by continuing to cycle in my shorts. I got away with this because my commute was short at just 3 miles. If a bit more money was available then a pair of cycling tights or trousers would have been far more comfortable. This is one of those purchases best made in a bike shop so you can try on the gear. If you buy online then you still have the option of returning it for 30 days if it doesn’t fit.

Recommendation: Head to the shop to try a pair because it is tough to find one comfortable for you – £55


The one thing that will remain exposed behind all this winter cycling gear is your lips. The cold weather can make things very tough on them so a bit of chap stick in the morning before or after your commute is a winner!

Damage to your wallet: £1

Are you telling me I have to buy all this winter cycling gear!?

Splashing out on all this winter cycling gear in one big go is painful to your wallet and unnecessary. I started cycling in winter with nothing but bike lights and a mud guard. From there I’ve bough various extras such as a nice pair of gloves and a waterproof cycling jacket. Start cycling and simply pickup the bits as you see necessary.

As the temperatures head south keep your eye on London Cyclist for your winter cycling tips and encouragement!

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85 Responses to The winter cycling gear that will make your cycling more comfortable and enjoyable

  1. Pete 28/09/2010 at 8:56 am #

    I wish more cyclists would put on mud guards, There is nothing worse then having a cyclist go past and spray you with muddy water. I don’t think they are ugly, for commuting they are a necessity and I keep mine on all year around.

    I also have those overshoes pictured and they make no difference in wet weather and my feet usually come out colder when I do use them

    • Andreas 28/09/2010 at 9:02 am #

      If overshoes aren’t working out for you then you have a couple of options..
      1) Plastic bags over your socks! (works surprisingly well)
      2) Weather proof socks (work to a certain extent)
      3) Brave it! When you get to work simply change into a dry pair

      • Pete 28/09/2010 at 9:23 am #

        I usually brave it because more often then not it only rains during the day and stops by the time I head home 🙂

    • Riley 28/09/2010 at 4:44 pm #

      I, too, found my fancy (and pricey) shoe covers to be less than perfect in wet weather.

      What I did is go to a restaurant supply store and bought a bulk package of roughly foot-sized, tallish and thinnish plastic bags. On rainy days, I first put the bags over my shoes, then slide the fancy shoe covers over the bags. Perrrrrrfect!

      The plastic bags are also small enough and light enough that I can easily keep a spare set in my bike bag.

      Free bonus tip: I augmented my winter with a big box of rubber “doctor gloves”. Put ’em on over the gloves for complete hand coziness on a wet, cold ride. Like the aforementioned bags, the gloves are small and light enough to permit a spare set to always be in one’s bike bag…

    • Timrpm 07/02/2014 at 8:26 am #

      Overshoes are ok for light rain but in the kind of weather we’ve been having lately, you should consider winter boots to keep out the water- I have a pair of the Northwave Celsius boots which are completely waterproof. Shimano RW81 are another option. Overshoes mainly keep your feet warm, not dry.

      Another option is a pair or two of Sealskinz waterproof socks.

      You can get water resistant tights such as dhb Vaeon Zero, these are also wind resistant across the thighs so nice and warm, and well padded.

  2. SM North London 28/09/2010 at 9:13 am #

    Let’s see how I get on in the winter… any tips for coping with those frosty mornings and roads?

    • Nick 28/09/2010 at 2:19 pm #

      Ride faster 🙂

  3. Hilary 28/09/2010 at 9:22 am #

    SM -It’s more important to put in extra effort to keep your ears and hands and feet warm and spend on some really quality gloves and socks. As you start to move your legs and torso will heat up, but if your fingers are too cold thats’ when you lose heart. After a bit of experimenting you’ll find the right combination of upper layers that keep you from overheating and over sweating but don’t let you down in a wind.

    I don’t ride when the roads are ICY or packed with snow, but I ride the rest of the time and it’s really quite pleasant and fast. (For the record i loathe cold weather. LOATHE.)

    • Andreas 28/09/2010 at 9:25 am #

      Couldn’t have put it better myself. Keep those hands warm and the rest of your body will heat up 5-10 minutes into your ride.

    • Filippo Negroni 28/09/2010 at 1:05 pm #

      I found last year that riding in snow/ice was safer than walking, as it provides extra grip and extra stability.
      All I had to do was to fit knobbly tyres, with muxh lower pressure than usual (20psi), lower the saddle and not use clipless pedals. Also, only ever try and use the rear brake.
      If you can afford to buy studded tyres, then you have no excuse.

    • alistair 05/10/2010 at 1:29 pm #

      I always go for REALLY cheap gloves and have about 4 pairs, bought mostly from market stalls.

      every time i splash out on good gloves i instantly loose one or find they are in the other jacket, a decent £3 pair of one size fits all can fit in any pocket so every jacket i own has a pair in.

  4. Neil 28/09/2010 at 9:54 am #

    Last winter was the first that I rode just about every day in (took the car when there was snow or ice). I bought all the things you’ve listed except mud guards which I plan to buy for this winter.

    I used a fleece headband on extremely cold days. The combo of ‘Woollie Boollie’ (sp?) socks and overshoes kept my feet toastie.

    This year I’m adding Knogs as secondary lights – white for my lid and red for my bag (I carry these already for gloomier days and they are excellent). I’ve also bought some ski gloves because the worst thing is cold hands and / or feet!

    One more thing I noticed last year was my bike broke a lot more in the winter months. So keeping an eye on brake pads and the drivetrain for wear is important. Regular cleaning will also prolong the life of moving parts and help to minimise mechanical problems.

    • Andreas 28/09/2010 at 2:02 pm #

      Like your last tip – with all the grit in the road and the cold temperatures things can break more often so it’s a good idea to step up the cleaning routine and make sure everything is well oiled (oil will wash away in the rain)

  5. Tim 28/09/2010 at 10:03 am #

    I don’t think mudguards are ugly at all. Fitted well and of good quality they can give a sophisticated look to your steed. The practical benefits of staying much cleaner and drier and courteous to fellow cyclists are a major plus. My big problem in the rain is that I need to wear my glasses. This restricts my visibility considerably. If someone could could invent windscreen wipers for specs I would be a happy man. Any ideas out there?

    • Andreas 28/09/2010 at 2:03 pm #

      Thought most people would agree mudguards look ugly! Are you referring to the ones that wrap around the wheel (I’m sure there’s a technical term to separate these from the mountain bike style ones)

      • Tim 28/09/2010 at 2:25 pm #

        Yes, “Proper” mudguards!!

    • Phil Russell 01/10/2010 at 8:30 pm #

      Re. your wet specs in the rain—-get a cotton road-race hat, (under your helmet if you use one) and pull the peak down your forehead just far enough to allow forward vision, tuck your chin down towards your chest——and most of the rain will hit the peak, instead of the glasses, and BINGO! Well, not actual Bingo…I mean, shouting out “Eyes down for a full house!”…. “Legs eleven!”…. “Lucky for some!” might create the wrong impression, and probably wouldn’t help your vision. All the best!

      • alistair 05/10/2010 at 1:33 pm #

        that’s a good idea, i might give it a go

        I have one of those caps for keeping you warm but, the rustling material means i can’t hear a thing… which is a bit dangerous

  6. Philip 28/09/2010 at 11:35 am #

    I think the comments have pretty much covered everything! Only thing I’d add would be a Buff ‘scarf’. Really good at keeping out the cold and dealing with horrid neck sweat. I think they’re about £12 from virtually all cycle / outdoor retailers.

  7. Rosstheboss 28/09/2010 at 11:50 am #

    I’d say avoid CatEye lights. I’ve had three not-cheap Cat Eye front lights in the last 15 months. All have broken due to poor design and materials. Their after sales support is dreadful. The plastic is low quality and breaks within a few months of light use.

    Also, riding with lights is essential. If you’re hit by a car and you don’t have suitable lights you’re pretty screwed. It’s also a nice courtesy to other Cyclists.

    Now if only the Met would crack down on Cara with faulty lights…

    • Rosstheboss 28/09/2010 at 11:52 am #

      Of course I meant ‘cars’ not people called Cara!

      • Andreas 28/09/2010 at 2:04 pm #

        Poor Cara. Interesting what you said about Cateye – I’ve only had one pair of Cateye lights and the rear lasted about 6 years (still going strong) front has nearly packed up

        • Craig 28/09/2010 at 2:16 pm #

          I have had experience of both ends of Cats eye Andreas – like you I have a set that are going strong 12 years on, but I also have a set bought recently for my wife’s bike which broke within what felt like 60 secs and have been a pain to replace. Got a Mars from Blackburn which is fantastic.

    • alistair 05/10/2010 at 1:27 pm #

      I have a smart bespoke front light (1/2 watt ) it’s lasted me 18 months, and is still going string.. which is far more than my previous efforts. also did me on the dunwich dynamo overnight ride so it’s plenty bright enough

  8. Samuel 28/09/2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Thanks a lot mate, I was looking for some good recommendation on winter kit and I just bought that jacket and gloves by wiggle will get to the shop for the other stuff.

    • Andreas 28/09/2010 at 2:04 pm #

      Great shout on the jacket – It’s one of the winter cycling gear purchases I’m most happy about 🙂

      • Samuel 28/09/2010 at 2:34 pm #

        I actually did not get the exact same jacket since they did not have small sizes but this one which seems to get good reviews as well i’ll let know if it does well for winter…

  9. Mike Smith 28/09/2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Have tried overshoes, but they always feel awkward over MTB-type cycling shoes, as they all seem to be designed to go with hundreds of quids-worth of road shoes!
    Finally found Sealskinz waterproof socks, and wouldn’t be without them.
    Because of their construction they keep you warm and dry, and even if water leaks into them after running down your shins/leggings, because they”re windproof but breathable, your feet stay warm anyway.
    Also agree with @Philip – a buff is so versatile (and so small/light) I take one everywhere – on a long trip ot goes on-comes off-goes on-comes off….essential piece of winter kit.

  10. Jules 28/09/2010 at 12:44 pm #

    i have built up the gloves and jackets and overtrousers over the years which means i have light and heavy weight for each. gloves i struggle with because i hate having my finger tips covered.

    never really got overshoes – they look really faffy – i generally change shoes at the other end and if both pairs of cycling shoes are still wet on the third morning you’ve earnt a day off!


  11. Simon Munk 28/09/2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Covers most of the ground. My only winter tip I’d add? Stop cycling, or at least prepare yourself for hell, in the week running up to Christmas. My experience is that suddenly drivers change from the attitude of “I’ll give this cyclist some room, even if only grudgingly because he might dent my car” to “If you slow me down for even one nanosecond in my race to get to the superstores, then I will ram you”. It gets distinctly unfriendly in that patch.

    • Filippo Negroni 28/09/2010 at 1:12 pm #

      This goes against the principle of safety in numbers.

      What I would advice is for cyclists to try and stick together, which usually means for faster cyclists to slow down a bit.

      I do so in some areas and it really helps to stick together.

      • Simon Munk 28/09/2010 at 4:52 pm #

        The principle of safety in numbers might apply in central London – but in the outer boroughs, there may often be times where there are no other cyclists within sight – and during the Christmas rush, it can be no fun.

        • Filippo Negroni 28/09/2010 at 6:18 pm #

          But encouraging people not to cycle in that period means that those of us who don’t have alternate methods of transport are even more alone in the dark…
          And I don’t cycle in London, but on the dark back roads of Berkshire.

      • Karl 29/09/2010 at 11:44 am #

        Totally agree, through busy areas I’ll stick with someone even if a tad slower.

        • Simon Munk 29/09/2010 at 4:17 pm #

          Filippo: “encouraging people not to cycle in that period means that those of us who don’t have alternate methods of transport are even more alone in the dark”

          I don’t think anyone should be guilt-tripped into riding for anyone else’s safety! And I personally think not warning others about issues such as Christmas drivers is more unfriendly.

          Finally, I’m not sure the “principle of safety in numbers” applies directly, or has been proven to apply directly to actual clumps of cyclists. Would be very keen to see research on that. It’s about the overall average numbers of cyclists on the road – meaning drivers are more used to seeing cyclists in general, not about actual groups of cyclists. But again, I’m just not aware of any research on how safe cycling in a group is versus cycling on your own – would be interested in that.

  12. Jonathan 28/09/2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Thanks for this – really useful. I started commuting into the office a couple of weeks ago on the basis that I’d put it off for too long and that if I could do it through autumn and winter then I’d be hooked. Currently loving it – especially love the more autumnal mornings but then I am one of those freaks who loves running in the depths of winter.

    As an aside, anyone have their favourite route from Dulwich to Marylebone High St?

  13. Mark 28/09/2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Good post and good tips. You might want to include a cover for your rucksack – wet shirts, pants and socks not good at your desk.

    • Andreas 28/09/2010 at 2:06 pm #

      Agreed – covered waterproof bags last week if anyone is interested in something about that..

  14. Craig 28/09/2010 at 2:19 pm #

    My one tip for those in need of gear in a hurry and on a budget is to watch out for the offers at Lidl and Aldi where a reasonably functional (but rarely stylish) version can be had for a cost that means you won’t be called in to see the bank manager. It won’t last forever and it won’t function as well as the more expensive stuff, but it will stop you freezing.

  15. Alex 28/09/2010 at 2:21 pm #

    How about a rain cape?

    Can be easily folded and stowed in your bag when you don’t needed, and you can spend the rest of your money on some proper stylish winter clothes 🙂

  16. Deano 28/09/2010 at 2:31 pm #

    Great tips, but annoying that the DHB jacket’s completely out of stock in the yellow (and seems to have been for AGES) – does anyone know if the black’s reflective enough for those dark winter nights?

  17. Nick 28/09/2010 at 2:33 pm #

    This year I am actually considering the BIB! I often avoid typical lycra gear except cycle shorts because Brooks saddles look great but a bit of padding between myself is needed!

    With the sudden turn in the weather I have just changed from my summer gloves to my winter Pearly Izumi gloves… Although I don’t think it’s cold enough yet as my hands are sweating in them! I also have a nice cosy merhino wool hat that goes under my helmet, to keep my head warm. Aside from all that I wrap up mainly around my core as I have learned keeping this bit warm is important as it helps warm the rest of you up and often still wear shorts for as long as I can bare it… Often getting the thermal leggings and base layer out when it drops below freezing.

    Overshoes I have mixed reviews of, had a couple of different pairs and have recently switched to Sealskin socks (not made from real seals) but have kept my feet dry on a number of heavy down pours.

  18. Kerena 28/09/2010 at 2:42 pm #

    I can’t quite bring myself to wear overshoes – if it’s really wet I’ve got a pair of Sealskinz waterproof socks, but for damp days my trainers are Adidas with Goretex & they are pretty waterproof!
    Merino baselayers are definitely a must too!

  19. Kerena 28/09/2010 at 2:55 pm #

    Also on the jackets – Foska do some great winter training jerseys which are pretty good at keeping you dry and toasty warm (I found that the sleeves leaked a little on the old style one but hopefully they’ll have fixed that on the new versions). The Hi-Viz skeleton/skull & cross bones ones are great.

  20. Crispin 28/09/2010 at 3:08 pm #

    I’m a big fan of the removable Zefal Swan Road Rear Mudguard

    Easily off-and-on-able, smaller and easier to carry than the Crud and cheaper too…

    I had the Cruds when I had a more MTB type thing ~ but they are about twice as wide as they need to be for riding on roads and made my bike look a bit X GAMES DIRTBIKE DUUDE ~ it was either get some thinner mudguards or get a playing card and a peg…

  21. Oslosykkel 28/09/2010 at 3:23 pm #

    You’ve written the about same stuff I planned to (in Norwegian), and also included recommendations – very nice.

    For those who want some weather-proof pants to pull over regular pants (for short commutes, etc): The Gore Alp-X (Gore Pac-Lite) pants are good:

  22. Stavroula 28/09/2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Yes, I agree with your last note: Do I have to buy all that? The short answer for me is no, because my commute, thankfully, is only 10-15′. So far, I’ve made do with a cape (similar to the one in Cycle Chic but much cheaper from ebay!). I do think that the time needed for putting all that stuff on me and taking them off it’s going to negate my initial reason for cycling, which was to save time and the bus fare. Plus, carrying all that stuff in the office? Anyway, my problem is also rain on my glasses. I think I’ll have to switch to unfashionable and irritating daily contact lenses. However, good post! I’ll have a look at the items in detail. I’m still to install lights on my bike. What a procrastinator. But I was advised to go for dynamo. Any comments, on that?

    • Philip 28/09/2010 at 4:23 pm #

      … agreed on rain on glasses. A real pain. If you can’t see, you ain’t safe. (Tried contact lenses = not for me).

      • Simon Munk 28/09/2010 at 4:54 pm #

        I have a helmet cover – which I use for winter mountain biking, when I’ll be hours out in heavy rain. That seems to stop rain getting into my eyes and on glasses if I simply drop my chin down, but look up.

        • Sarina 29/09/2010 at 12:15 pm #

          Helmet cover is a fab idea – rain on glasses is the most dangerous thing about cycling for me.

      • John 28/09/2010 at 7:49 pm #

        I never wear a helmet but always wear a baseball cap, this works great for me at keeping the rain off my glasses, only time it does not work is in that very fine drizzle that blows on the air.

        • Philip 29/09/2010 at 9:29 am #

          Simon / John. Good tips! Never tried either (I don’t wear a helmet all the time), but will give them both a go.

    • Phil Russell 01/10/2010 at 8:40 pm #

      Stav—-get a cotton road-race hat and pull the peak down over yer specs.

  23. Bertrand Delacretaz 28/09/2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Snow might not be too much of an issue in London, but where I live winter tires help a lot.

    Mountain bike tires already make a big difference compared to road tires, due to softer rubber and lower pressure, and spike tires are killer if you’re really going for rough conditions.

    I’ve been riding Schwalbe Snow Studs with off-center spikes, great if you have a single set of wheels: The ones with more centered spikes are a lot of fun on pure ice but would wear too quickly on dry roads.

  24. peter 29/09/2010 at 9:20 am #

    Nobody in London every seems to believe this, but it doesn’t rain more in winter than summer.

    The driest months are Feb, July, March, April, and May (in that order). The wettest are October and September (after that, December more-or-less ties with June).

    So we’re past the 2nd wettest, get through october and it’s getting drier from there on in!

    • Karl 29/09/2010 at 11:40 am #

      Very true. I get wetting in spring for sure.

  25. Karl 29/09/2010 at 11:39 am #

    Love my overshoes. In the very bad wet weather they can still get wet but that is a very bad day. Best of all they keep your feet warm on those really cold mornings.

    Happy to say, I’ve always used mudguards, simply to keep myself drier. It’s a very UK thing not to use them.

    Something else I always wear are those headwraps that you can shape to cover your head in various ways, soaks up the sweat and keeps the sun off in the summer – keeps ears warm in the winter.

  26. Corin 29/09/2010 at 1:16 pm #

    That DHB Amberley jacket is discontinued by Wiggle. They have some of the black version left in stock but none of the high viz. I emailed their sales people who confirmed this.

    However, they have a new winter range coming out sometime soon, including an equivalent jacket:

  27. To-jo 29/09/2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Don’t forget tricking your brain it’s sunny on a dull day. How ? Glasses with yellow lenses – makes even the dullest of days that much brighter. Use red lenses if you are feeling nostalgic.

    • Cafewanda 29/09/2010 at 8:08 pm #

      Tojo, I had been wearing yellow lenses for a few months and packed them away last night, using the clear ones this morning. Maybe I should try them and see if ‘tricking’ works for me.

  28. Nicole 30/09/2010 at 10:09 am #

    A small, if rather unpleasant tip. Use disposable nappy sacs for the feet. They are just the right size and extremely thin so they don’t interfere with comfort and you can buy a bag of 100 in Sainsbury’s for about 50p. That should last a lifetime! I use them to cover my saddle, as a bag for my lights and to hold my cloth for wiping the bike down after the rain.

    I’ve been cycling about 8 miles a day to my local railway station since February and I can honestly say that I’ve only had to cycle in the rain three times.

    I also bought a Bspoke jacket for the cold weather which I’m very happy with. For women it’s a good alternative to fluro or high-vis because it only has a reflective belt. I use a back rack for my bag which I cover with a high-vis hump and a light on the back of my helmet for extra visibility. Then I wear a variety of gloves from Gore-tex ski gloves to lightweight nylon running gloves depending on the chill factor. Job done! So much better than the car, I’m going to ride until I feel it’s too dangerously icy. Didn’t think about spiky tyres. Will put that on the list of things to keep me on the road.

    Andreas, I love this blog. So well thought out and put together with loads of helpful stuff from contributors. Have your Bike Doctor app as well. Fantastic!

  29. James 01/10/2010 at 10:49 am #

    I bought these Gore undergloves last winter during the painfully cold spell that seemed to last about two months.

    It was a lot cheaper than buying good quality new winter gloves, as you can wear them doubled with a normal pair of gloves.

    I wear them on their own during autumn and spring.

  30. Peridot 01/10/2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Does anyone know where I can get a cycle helmet with lights on for less than it would cost me to buy a new bike?(!) I have a girls’ bike with panniers and my saddle is set low – there simply isn’t anywhere to put a back light that’s visible.


  31. Phil Russell 01/10/2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Re. Winter riding—–: your Brooks leather saddles will suffer irreparable sagging if allowed to get soaked in the rain……so do you buy the Brooks “waterproof” cover? NO YOU DON’T! I phoned the Customer Service dept to ask why the cover let water through the first time I used it on a rainy day, and they explained that the thing is porous, “because the leather must be allowed to breath”. So the cover is cheap enough, 3 or 4 pounds—-but clearly no use to man or beast.
    Since that phone call, I carry an airtight plastic bag to tie over me beloved Brooks B17 when it rains, and so far the seat has not suffocated beneath me, and continues to support me in supreme comfort, whatever the mileage. By the way, I have 5 assorted gel seats in the shed—-no contest.

  32. John90 01/10/2010 at 8:54 pm #

    Agree with wearing a baseball cap to shield glasses but, please, put a helmet on too. Those roads are really hard.

    I got a top of the range Endura stealth jacket


    this year, which is great in most respects but my wrists and lower arms still get wet in heavy rain. I expected more for £150. Maybe it will be better with winter gloves.

    I didn’t know about water proof socks so I will be checking them out. Somehow (bad planning) I’ve ended up with with all black kit, including bike – very ‘urban’. So I’m also adding lights to the bag and lid this winter.

  33. Stephen Forde 03/10/2010 at 9:22 pm #

    My only advice for cycling in inclemant weather is don’t do it if you dont want to.
    You have nothing to prove to anyone. So get on the bus or take the train. Its fine you can ride tomorrow.
    Me I don’t mind, its rain, no worries, but what I would really like is a waterproof hooded
    jacket that properly ventilates. Has anyone got one thats still in production and isn’t too

  34. Phil 04/10/2010 at 12:14 pm #

    I might give those DHB Rogate gloves a try this year: having tried various cycling-specific gloves in the past which were all rubbish, I use some Thinsulated fleece gloves £3.50 off the market for cold dry days, and if it gets really bad a pair of army surplus arctic mittens which are brilliant. I have taken the front and back pads out of my helmet and use a Craghoppers baseball cap instead for March-October to keep the sun and most rain out, October-March I’ll be using a peaked snowboard beanie to keep my head warm and the rain off my specs.

  35. Ssplash 05/10/2010 at 3:17 pm #


    Thanks for much for the shopping info!!

    I wonder if you would know about extra small rain covers for backpacks. I have a light weight backpack (5 litres backpack, 2 litres water deposit) and all I find on the web is bigger … Believe me, I’ve checked thoroughly but …

    Also … Would you know about a garment that would help me avoid rain to get into my eyes / glasses? I already have a raincoat but… I don’t wear a helmet and I think something small, like a cap, would do over the raincoat hood. I still have my doubts, though. I don’t want to look too much of a twat!! Hehe. I’m already an item with my reflection waistcoat and other stuff (most cyclists hear are pretty goth fashion oriented – as in ALL BLACK!!!)

    (Note about helmet wearing: I know, I’m guilty but in Madrid (Spain) my feeling is that cars would get too comfy if they see me with full cycling gear and assume I’m a real pro that doesn’t need their precaution … Plus, I can’t fully sense the traffic with the helmet. I guess I hear and see via the top of my head! 😉

    Thanks for your feedback, and sorry if I am too cheeky with my request for free information.

  36. Ssplash 05/10/2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Sorry, I can’t see the reviews for rucksacks rain covers … (What’s wrong with me?). Also, I meant a head cover other than a baseball cap. Although I guess the answer would be a cape with a stiff piece or a raincoat with the same type of hood … But, does anyone know of the equivalent of a baseball cap for the rain?

    Thanks so much!

  37. Mike 06/10/2010 at 10:45 pm #

    One things that I found useful last winter when it got really cold was a buff. I had a winter version which has a fleece part attached which helped with early morning rides last December

  38. Maria 07/10/2010 at 9:46 pm #

    Can anyone suggest ways to keep your face dry in the rain, I end up looking like a panda with mascara running down my face!

  39. Nicole 14/10/2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Helmets with lights on the back – Decathlon have them now.

    A lot of people don’t like Rapha, but their kit is top knotch and it works. Their winter caps and hats are the old-fashioned biretta and they fit perfectly under a helmet and keep the rain out of your eyes.

    • Ssplash 18/10/2010 at 1:40 pm #

      I’ll check out Rapha. Thanks for your info 🙂


  40. Nick 25/10/2010 at 9:43 pm #

    I use an army poncho it drapes over the handlebars, combined with a baseball cap under the hood. Best tenner I ever spent!

  41. Keir 30/11/2010 at 11:30 am #

    I’m able to cycle in bike shorts in -10 weather, but my biggest concern is the ice. What kind of tyres do you guys suggest? I have to cycle an hour to get to work through Bavarian countryside consisting of a few climbs and a couple steep descents…
    The overshoes are especially helpful to know.

    • Blessing 16/02/2012 at 10:24 am #

      Thiknnig like that is really impressive

  42. Phil Russell 01/12/2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Bare Legs….temperature of minus 10….which tyres? Hmmm….Have you considered tractor-tyres? Cut 2 big sections out—–and wrap’em round your legs to avoid pneumonia. Works a treat. Eeks!!!

  43. StavRuler 01/12/2010 at 4:09 pm #

    lol@Phil Russell – yes I think this is where I’ll stop to getting notifications on responses on this post. I’ve taken the advice given and have STOPPED cycling in this weather. Hey, don’t let me stop you but good luck 🙂

  44. Ssplash 02/12/2010 at 1:33 am #


    Do you have any ideas on good urban cycling shoes to avoid your feet skidding off the pedal in the rain?


  45. Bertrand Delacretaz 02/12/2010 at 8:22 am #

    I use hiking shoes in winter, but what really helps is the small toe clips that catch just the front of the shoe, see here for example:

  46. Simon Munk 02/12/2010 at 10:56 am #

    Ssplash, a) you could go clipless – that means more efficient pedalling and no chance of slippage or b) try some good grippy skate shoes and some pinned pedals. For absolute stuck-fast pedalling I go for DMR pedals and a pair of Five Ten Impact shoes – giganto BMX shoes that have “stealth” rubber on soles, absolutely refuse to relent on grip!

  47. Phil Russell 02/12/2010 at 11:06 pm #

    Touring shoes, toeclips and straps… slippage, more power transfer.

  48. Ssplash 05/12/2010 at 6:03 pm #


    Thanks Bertrand, Simon and Phil. You are all absolutely right. I will have choose and train Clipless scares me for everyday urban cycling constantly having to stop and start on traffic (Madrid is vile for this), but I know I should try sometime. My balance is not that good, still improving it on my Dahon folding bike.

    Will check straps, toeclips and touring shoes this week. Do you have any suggestions on touring shoes for urban use?

    Please, let me know. I hope you are having a nice Sunday!

  49. Bertrand Delacretaz 05/12/2010 at 10:46 pm #

    I use that kind of shoes in winter: – waterproof, warm and don’t slip too much.

  50. Ssplash 06/12/2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Thanks, Bertrand. They look great!

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