PLAN FOR FLEXIBILITY
Mountain biking is a tricky sport to dress for because of the variable situations
we find ourselves in on the trail. One minute you can be grinding out a climb and
the next you are descending with the wind in your face. Plan your gear so that
you can make adjustments on the fly. This may mean a jacket with vents that
open and close or simply being able to slide down your arm warmers on a climb
to prevent overloading your base layer with perspiration. Once you saturate the
layers against your skin with sweat, it is very tough to dry out on the ride.
LAYERING TO CREATE
Staying warm during a ride
isn’t simply about throwing on
as many layers as possible. If you
use the right garments in the right
order, you might be surprised how
little clothing you actually need.
The goal is to create pockets of
warm air to insulate your body.
layer, a jersey and an outer
shell or jacket.
Surrounded with warmth: By
WORK FROM THE INSIDE OUT
layering the proper fabrics,
it is possible to create warm
pockets of air that provide insula-
tion while still wicking sweat off of the
skin, which can have an unwanted
cooling effect in the cold.
To maintain a warm core body temperature in cold
conditions, the goal is to stay dry. While you’ll inevitably sweat when riding, keeping the moisture away
from your skin is important. This can be accomplished
by wearing a moisture-wicking base layer. Base layers
are polyester-based, thin garments that are made to be
worn directly against the skin. Base layers are available
in sleeveless, short-sleeve and long-sleeve options and in
some cases with extra layers of protection for the coldest riding situations.
While a jersey may be your outermost layer for most of
the year, in cold situations a jersey’s primary job is to maintain the pockets of warm air and aid in moisture transfer. In
a standard, three-layer base/jersey/jacket setup, the jersey
plays the middleman in temperature regulation.
Conditions may and
will vary: As the trail
changes, so will the
amount of heat your
body is putting off. Plan
for on-bike adjustments
you can make to help
regulate your temperature to avoid excess
sweating, which can
make you much colder
than the temperature
alone. Accessories that
are easily removed or
adjusted, such as a zippered vest or jacket or
arm warmers, are good
options for hard workouts in the cold.