Friday, October 1, 2010

New Triathlete Series II: How to find the right winter cycling gear

It is sometimes difficult to determine exactly what clothes you should wear while riding your bike in less than perfect weather conditions. Nothing is worse than being cold and wet while riding your bike. It may take some experimentation to determine exactly which clothes work for your body but, in general, you should follow these guidelines:

Keep your torso and legs warm: Your base layer should consist of a moisture-wicking material. On your legs, cycling tights are the best choice since you’ll want the comfort of the chamois next to your skin. A second layer, such as fleece, should insulate and keep you warm. Finally, a third waterproof outer layer will protect you from snow and rain as well as insulate you from wind.

Keep your hands warm: Wear full-finger cycling gloves that insulate and protect your hands. Remember, you’ll need to use your brakes so make sure the gloves aren’t too bulky.  If you plan on riding in rain or snow, wear gloves with a waterproof outer layer.

Keep your feet warm: Wear wool socks which allow your feet to stay dry. Shoe and toe covers are a good option to cover the mesh section of your cycling shoe and provide protection from moisture.  You can also purchase cycling shoes specific for winter cycling

Keep your head warm: Your primary areas of discomfort when cycling in the winter are likely to be your ears and nose. Cycling caps and balaclava’s can be worn under your helmet. However, the balaclava provides protection for not only your head but for your neck, ears and the side of your face. Balaclava’s made specifically for cycling typically have a thin inner layer of fleece and an outer layer of spandex.  Your nose will more than likely go unprotected unless you wear a ski mask.

This year, don’t let the cold weather deter you from getting outside for an exhilarating ride. 

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