Cold Weather Apparel
Okay, this is not an apparel item, but if hand
numbness is a problem for you, A’ME’s heated grips
are a great solution. Combine these with a product like
Heatflex handguards from Skinz Protective Gear and
you will almost look forward to winter storms.
SHOES NEED HELP SOMETIMES
ventilation: Most mountain biking
shoes are designed for ventilation for
hot days rather than insulation for the cold. If you
don’t have a pair of dedicated winter-specific shoes, a pair of shoe or
toe covers is an easy way to make your existing shoes more versatile. ❏
Trail ninja: While a full-coverage ski-mask-style balaclava is a popular option for the coldest conditions, for
slightly warmer occasions, we opt for a neck warmer
and skullcap combination that we find to be a bit more
versatile on the trail.
LEGS MATTER TOO
With all the talk about upper body layers, don’t neglect your
lower extremities. In cool weather, we like to use knee warmers
along with our baggy shorts. There is little to no mobility sacrifice, and you can always remove knee or even leg warmers mid
ride. If you are dealing with near-freezing conditions, you’ll have
to pull out the big guns. Something like a thermal tight underneath your baggies or a riding-specific pant is ideal.
KEEP A WARM HEAD
We talk a lot about mountain bike helmets and how well they
ventilate; however, winter is one time of year when you’ll wish
there were fewer vents in your favorite lid. Keeping your head
warm goes a long way toward helping you feel warm all over.
Then again, if you overdress your head, it can overheat your
whole body. We use a cold-weather skull cap that can be easily
removed during a ride if we get too warm. For cool temperatures, a traditional wool cycling cap will provide just enough of a
barrier to keep the cool air off of your forehead. For the coldest
situations, check out a balaclava that integrates face and head
Cold and wet: Waterproof garments
have come a long way since the plas-
tic, trash-bag feel of a PVC-based
raincoat. Unlike those raincoats,
today’s leading fabrics will transfer
excess heat out while still keeping
moisture from getting in.
It’s easy to forget about your feet since
they are covered by your mountain bike
shoes. However, like your helmet, most
mountain bike shoes are designed to be
well ventilated. If you live in an area
where cold-weather riding is half of your
year, invest in cold-weather-specific shoes.
Otherwise, go with a slightly thicker wool
sock or for really cold conditions use a shoe
cover that goes on the outside of the shoe
to block the wind.