Keeping your body at a comfortable temperature can be quite the dilemma in winter when you head out on your mountain bike(check on First Light Cycling). Of course, it’s usually freezing cold, so you rug up, but it’s not long till you are working up quite the sweat as you pedal away! Staying comfortable depends greatly on having the right gear, so here are seven items you need to consider in your winter travels.
In order to keep your feet warm in the coldest temperatures, shoes are not all you have to consider. A great choice can be Neoprene Booties – they simply go over your shoes or boots, and zip up to keep the warmth in. They are inexpensive and more than worth it if you find your toes going numb, or even worse, suffering from frostbite.
Your fingers are also very vulnerable to cold weather, so the right gloves are a must-have. Take a look at a pair of ‘Lobster Gloves’ – a specially designed glove which separates the index finger and thumb from the rest of the fingers. These gloves provide extra warmth over standard gloves and free up your index finger to operate your gears and brakes.
A lightweight pair of gloves can also be handy to have, in case you have a problem with your bike that needs attention. This pair can give you greater use of your hands than your big riding gloves, while still keeping your hands out of the cold.
When choosing glasses for your winter riding, your best bet is to get a pair of that wrap around your eyes. These will provide you with maximum protection from the wind, debris, and the cold temperature.
You may think a big heavy pair of socks is your best choice in the winter months, but in fact, if they are too heavy, they can make your shoes tight, cut off circulation to your feet and possibly even make them cold! Silk ski socks are a great choice as they are light yet keep your feet warm, and you can even choose to wear another layer of lightweight socks underneath for added warmth and protection.
The best material underwear for winter is polypropylene – it’s lightweight, yet will keep you warm.
When selecting pants and a jacket for your ride, you have a few different considerations. Wind protection is a big one, as the biggest reason for losing body temperature is moving air. The clothing’s ability to breathe – vent your perspiration – is also a prime factor in your decision. Finally – don’t forget your budget, as the very best clothing for riding in winter can also come with an expensive price tag.
Did you know that you lose 50% of your body heat through your head? Did you also know that helmets are designed to keep your head cool, not warm? Makes for quite the problem in winter – a problem that can be solved with a fleece liner. Put one inside your helmet to keep your head and ears warm during your winter riding.