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How do I Choose the Best Winter Cycling Gear?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The cold and inclement weather during the winter will mean you will need to purchase winter cycling gear that will keep you warm and your bike working properly. Studded snow tires and a good chain lube are perhaps the two most important winter cycling gear purchases for your bike, while waterproof and breathable clothing layers are the most important winter cycling gear choices for your body. Winter-specific cycling shoes are also important, as are high-quality gloves that offer warmth and the ability to move fingers freely over brake levers and shift levers.

Your bike will incur some damage due to the moisture associated with winter riding, so you will need to protect it as best as possible. This means buying chain lube and applying it frequently, much more frequently than you would apply it in the summer. Apply the lube to chains, derailleurs, shift cables, and any other parts that pivot or rotate. If your frame is made of steel, you may choose to condition it with sprays available which will help prevent the frame from rusting when constantly exposed to moisture. This should be done before the winter begins and repeated periodically throughout the winter and spring season.

High-quality gloves will be needed for winter cycling.
High-quality gloves will be needed for winter cycling.

Keeping yourself warm during winter riding can sometimes be a challenge; fortunately, plenty of winter cycling gear is available to do just that. Start by purchasing fenders for your bike that will prevent snow and mud from being flung up onto your back and into your face. Invest in some quality winter cycling gear that you can wear: winter cycling jackets, waterproof and breathable pants, wool or synthetic socks that are breathable and warm, and winter cycling shoes. Layering is important during winter riding, as your body temperature will fluctuate throughout the course of a ride. The outer layers should be waterproof and breathable, meaning moisture from snow and rain will stay away from your body, and the moisture from sweat trying to escape the materials should be allowed to do so.

Consider purchasing a tight-fitting beanie that will fit underneath your cycling helmet. This piece of winter cycling gear is often made from a thin breathable material that will cover the head and ears and prevent heat loss through this part of the body. Do not buy a beanie that is too bulky, or made from cotton, as this can affect the fit of your helmet and cause the moisture from sweat to build up in the material.

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Discussion Comments


Does anyone know where I can find some cheap cycling gear for the winter? I have looked in shops and online, but to buy a lot of that stuff new is really expensive. I love biking, but the gear can be crazy overpriced sometimes?

Does anyone know where I can buy or better yet make some cycling gear that will keep me warm and not put a chill on my wallet?


What are the best winter cycling gloves? I have never been able to find a pair that works for me.

They are always either too big and bulky which makes it hard to shift and brake and also your hands get really sweaty. Or they are too thin in which case your hands freeze. I can't find a middle ground.

You will definitely want something to cover you nose and mouth if you are cycling in the winter. It doesn't matter how well outfitted the rest of your body is, you will be incredibly, painfully cold if you don't find a way to cover your face from the wind.

I wear a piece of equipment that is kind of a cross between a turtle neck and a dog's muzzle. It goes around your neck and the back of your head and covers your nose while leaving a little hole open for your mouth. You can still breathe but the wind doesn't cut into you.

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    • High-quality gloves will be needed for winter cycling.
      By: adisa
      High-quality gloves will be needed for winter cycling.