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..
Slide 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
This 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
When 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!
- Keeping your hands warm – Winter cycling gloves
- Got the gear but need the motivation? Winter cycling motivation
- Keeping your feet warm – Cycling socks and overshoes
- Keeping the rain at bay and staying comfortable – Winter cycling jackets
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.