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Cold weather on a bicycle: You can do it!
As the morning temperatures dip well into the 30s, many riders think about parking their bikes until spring. Don’t do it! Keep up your cycling miles! With the right gear, you can easily ride year-round in Northern California. Just follow these basic guidelines:
1. Layer: Just like any athletic outdoor activity, you need to have the appropriate attire.
•Start with a base layer. This layer wicks away moisture, keeping you warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Specialized makes some premium products here, their Seamless Base Layer or a Merino Wool version.
•Warmers: Don’t forget the flexibility of arm, knee or leg warmers. These great tools work well for winter and your shoulder seasons. You can peel them off once the weather starts to rise and they don’t take up too much room in your jersey pocket.
•Layer a short sleeve or long sleeve jersey (with arm warmers) and then add a wind shell.
2. Warm buns:
•When it’s really cold, I like to wear a thermal tight. Check out the Therminal 3/4 Bib or Tight. The bib knicker has a built-in chamois, the tight you would wear over your other cycling shorts/bibs. The Therminal weight from Specialized is perfect for this climate.
•If you’re going where it’s really cold you can also get their Element tights.
3. Torso: To top it all off, you need to layer up on top.
•You can get a lot of flexibility by wearing a short sleeve jersey with arm warmers. This is easiest as you probably already have the jersey, just get some good arm warmers. Again, the Therminal weight is perfect for cold mornings around here, especially when combined with a wind jacket.
•You can also purchase a long sleeve jersey with some lofted fabric to add light insulation.
4. Head, toes and fingers: You lose a huge portion of your warmth through your extremities. It’s important to keep these areas covered.
•Everyone at the shop is really excited about the new Therminal Liner Glove. This is the perfect weight rides for most fall and winter rides around here.
•If you need some wet weather riding gloves, or for a bit colder day, check out the new Deflect H2O Glove. This glove has an OutDry membrane to keep you hands dry.
•Keep those toes warm with DeFeet Woolie Boolie merino wool socks. They are the gold standard for winter cycling socks. They are comfy, yet wear like iron.
•Layer some shoe covers over your cycling shoes to help keep your feet warm and dry. DeFeet makes some basic shoe covers that add a bit of warmth (and aerodynamics) for the shoulder season and then you can get some Specialized Deflect H2O covers for the cold and wet. Again, if you need more warmth, try the Element covers.
•If you are commuting and need a winter helmet, check out the Centro Winter LED helmet…extra warmth and visibility!
•There are lots of options for head covers, from Balaclavas to cycling caps. Keep your head covered for comfort and to hold in the warmth.
5. Eyewear: Keep those eyes from watering on the cold descents. Always wear eye protection, especially when mountain biking. We stock sunglasses from Tifosi and Oakley.
•A lot of the Tifosi glasses come with multiple lenses so you can switch out your lens for low light situations.
•Oakley makes an amazing photo-chromatic lens!
It’s easy to have a fun ride in the cold weather, as long as you’re prepared! Come join us on a ride!