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 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.
-Posted by Ben Harding on Nov 18th 2019