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Our Favorite Winter Riding Gear - Plus a few tips!

Posted by Ben Harding on Nov 18th 2019

Our Favorite Winter Riding Gear - Plus a few tips!
Winter Riding Time Is Here, so what ya gonna do?

Continuing a great 2-wheels season into the colder months can be intimidating. The possibility of cold faces, fingers and toes can keep one from even considering the idea. The good news is winter riding can be not only enjoyable and exceptionally scenic, but warm too! The real key to year round riding comes down to your apparel choices and how you manage your body heat. Here are a few winter warmth tips, plus a few of our staff's favorite apparel choices.

Sweat isn't your wintertime friend

Sweating while getting in a good ride is just fine for most of the year. It's one way to show the world just how awesome you are! But once the temps drop sweat can be what turns a good ride into a freezing one. As you perspire in the cold, that moisture starts to chill. Unlike in the summer when it evaporates, during winter it hangs around and makes you cold. If you stop to take a break and your inner heater comes down a few degrees, prepare to be frozen and never make it back out of the coffee shop. To prevent this, you'll want to pay attention to how hot you're getting. If you start to feel like you're sweating, it's time to open up the jacket or maybe remove a layer. Use your clothing as a radiator and add or remove to keep yourself just warm enough, but not hot.

Leave the house feeling a little cold

To help with avoiding the moisture of sweat your goal should be to step out of the house and wonder if you've got enough on. Not instantly cold, but for sure not nice and toasty warm. Start out by being a little chilly and 10-15 minutes into your ride you should be feeling fine.

Wind!

Wind is basically the winter rider's arch enemy. It's cold, it hurts and it's cold! This really is where your apparel can shine and it's no wonder that almost all of our staff picks below have some kind of wind blocking tech to them. With a good wind blocking layer you can reduce how much sweat forming insulation you're trying to pack onto your body.

The Gear West Staff Picks

The question I asked around the shop was "tell me your favorite piece of outdoor riding gear" and below is what I got. One great thing about the recommendations is many are good for multiple types of sport and conditions. None of us like a one trick pony, especially if that pony doesn't want to play in the snow. 

GORE C7 Women GORE-TEX SHAKEDRY Viz Jacket


Jan - "Weighs about an ounce, breathes better then any jacket I've ever had in the pouring rain and doesn't leak."

Gore C3 Partial GWS Socks


Brett - "Keeps your feet warmer and keeps them dry. I use it riding and also running. Slip on over your sock, slide into your shoes, ready to go."

Bar Mitts - Commuter Pogies


Curt - "Cheapest, most streamlined. Hands are your leading edge, catching all the wind. My problem is my hands and it's never an issue when I have a pogie. Wear a light glove inside to keep it easier to shift and for when you take your hand out."

Gore Windstopper Balaclava


Drew - "It keeps my entire head and face warm and it fits under my helmet without changing the fit of my helmet. Road helmet, winter helmet, doesn't matter."

Gore Men's GWS Base Layer Windstopper Shirt


Grant - "Gore base layer all year 'round. Wind block or mesh, doesn't matter. Love this shirt."

Gore Women's X7 partial Windstopper Pants


Jenny - "I can run/ride/ski in them. I'm a versatile athlete and I like my clothes to be the same!"

Club Ride Fat Jack Pant


Michael - "They're warm, really durable, and they don't look out of place at the brewery."

GORE C3 GORE WINDSTOPPER PHANTOM Zip-Off Jacket


Tanner - "By far the most warm jacket I've ever had. Put that on with a base layer and I can ride from teens to zero. If I wants to go below 0 just add another layer."

Good Ole Plastic Bag


Nate - "Plastic bag over the foot keeps my foot warm on the cheap! Been using the same one since elementary school."

Wahoo KICKR Core Indoor Trainer


Ben - "Yep, not an outdoor gear item, but you'll find me parked here for a lot of the winter. When I just need to get in my intervals and don't feel like putting on all the gear it's time for the trainer and Zwift. I'll cool down with a set of snow angels."

-Posted by Ben Harding on Nov 18th 2019

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