Riding in the cold is a matter of proper gear and a little
practice / know how. To be comfortable on cold days is a
lot of trial and error. Gauging how many layers with how
cold it is. 10 degrees up or down from 30 degrees or worse
can be the difference between freezing and having a good
Hands: The Bar Mitts of course are very
warm and help protect your hands from the wind, rain, and
snow. Varying the thickness of the gloves you wear with
the “Bar Mitts” depends on the outdoor temperature.
I prefer using full fingered gloves but the thickness will
vary depending on how cold it is. Partially un-zipping the
“Bar Mitts”, will help with ventilation if your
hands get too warm.
Upper Body: From 40 degrees or less,
I layer with the poly clothes (2-3-4 layers) under an over
sized long sleeve jersey (pockets are a must for me). When
it is really cold, I add a thin fleece under the jersey.
As with all cold weather sports, getting wet will usually
or eventually make you cold. I start out with a windbreaker
vest and carry a long sleeve windbreaker in the back pocket.
I put that on about half way.
Legs: I wear bib shorts with tights of
three different thicknesses according to the temperature.
Feet: I am still a bootie guy. I use a
lace up pair of shoes that slide in and out of the booties
easily. I have two different thicknesses and sizes of booties
depending on the temperature. The thicker and larger pair
for cold days. I have a thick sock that slides over my shoe
(cut a hole for the cleat). Then put the thicker bootie
over that. This increases the insulation layer.
When it is crazy cold, I use a rubber band to hold a heat
pack over the shoes on top of my toes. Add the sock and
then the bootie. During the winter months, I generally ride
1 ½ to 2 hours. The heat packs can last 2 - 3 rides
if I shut them off. I use a baby food jar which is air tight
and works really well (no air, no heat).
Head: Use a different thickness size balaclava
and a fleece ear headband around my neck. Some days I use
a thin beanie hat. I switch to a slightly larger helmet
for the colder days to accommodate the extra thickness.
Sometimes just removing the padding from the helmet will
give you the extra room needed.
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