Clothes for Winter Riding

Mountain biking in cold weather has always been a
challenge.  The problem is that you’ll start out
cold then warm up and break a sweat, making yourself
wet.  Then, when you travel downhill, the combination
of wet skin and windchill will be quite chilling.

Below, you’ll find a list of the cold weather clothing
that will make winter riding less of a bone chilling
experience.

Booties
In cold temperatures, your feet are the most vulnerable
part of your anatomy.  Pressure from pedaling will
tend to cut off the circulation to your toes, which
can put you at a risk of frostbite.  In cold conditions,
neoprene booties are a must have.  They will zip over
your shoes and even have a pattern in the sole where
you can cut out a piece for cleats.

Gloves
There are several manufacturers that make “lobster
gloves”, a hybrid glove that separates your index
finger and thumb from the rest of your hand.  These
gloves are warmer than regular gloves, and the distinct
index finger will allow you to operate your shifting
and brake levers.

In case your hands get cold, you should carry a pair
of lightweight glove liners will you as well.  If you
have to stop to take care of a problem, the liners will
protect your hands from the cold.

Glasses
Glasses that wraparound and provide maximum protection
from the wind are best to wear in the winter.  You can
protect yourself from debris, as well as the cold.

Socks
You should wear heavy socks although not to heavy.  A
sock that is overly heavy will make your shoes tight,
cut off circulation, even make your feet cold.  You
should try lightweight socks, as they will keep your
feet warm without bulk.  If you need an extra layer,
try silk ski socks as they are very warm and also
extra lightweight.

Underwear
Polypropylene is the best material here, as it is
lightweight and best for colder temperatures.

Wind protection
Moving air is the biggest cause for losing body
heat.  By having good wind protection you’ll be able
to vent perspiration while also protecting yourself
from windchill.  You should choose pants and a jacket
based on durability, breathing, and price as these
types of clothing can get very experience.

Helmet and liners
Your head is very important, as you lose 50% of your
body heat through your head.  A helmet is designed to
keep you cool in the summer, not warm in the winter.  A
fleece liner inside your helmet will keep your head
and ears warm during winter riding.