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Cold Weather Riding Tips

This article provides a few basic tips for staying warm during the cold weather riding season.

Blocking the Wind – The same wind that feels great blowing over you on a hot summer day will quickly rob you of all warmth on a cold weather ride. One of the most important tips for staying warm is to stay out of the wind. Your first defense against the wind will be the physical barriers on your bike. Windshields, front fairings, grip shields, and even floorboards will help. The next step in your defense against the wind it wind proof layers of clothing. Many riding jackets and pants these days come with removable wind/water proof layers that work excellent in both summer and winter conditions.

Layer Up – Layering up from head to toe is essential when trying to trap your body heat in. Below is a list of some suggestions:

Feet: 1-2 Layers of socks, wool or a good synthetic is your best option. You’ll want to avoid cotton. Also make sure you have a nice pair of warm riding boots. If you have a lot of trouble keeping your toes warm you may consider getting heated sole inserts or using air activated heating packets.

Pants: 2-3 Layers depending on your personal preference, but a good pair of tights, under wool or synthetic long underwear, under a pair of thick windproof riding pants is a good option.

Core & Arms: 3-5 Layers is generally a good idea. Keeping your core warm is key to having an enjoyable ride. If your core temperature starts to drop your body will automatically reduce circulation to other parts of your body to preserve itself and it will be very hard to keep things like your fingers and toes warm. We recommend a compression shirt, under wool or synthetic long underwear, under 1-2 layers of insulation (down is some of the best insulation available), under a thick windproof riding jacket. If you do decide to go with two layers of insulation you may consider doing a fleece layer as your first and down as your second.

Hands: 1-2 Layers here is a good idea. A pair of lighter fleece gloves under some heavier windproof riding gloves will keep your hands well protected. If you have trouble keeping your fingers warm you may want to look into heated grips, heated gloves or using air activated heating packets.

Neck & Head: A neck gaiter will help keep your neck warm and shielded from the wind. A balaclava will help keep your ears face and rest of your body warm just makes sure it’s thin enough that it still allows your helmet to fit. We recommend using full face helmets which will shield you from the cold and wind considerably.