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What winter cycling gear do I need for which temperature? [Buyer’s Guide]

The leaves on the trees are slowly turning shades of red and yellow. You’ve taken your winter coat out of the back of the closet. Autumn has arrived and the temperature is slowly starting to drop. The motivation to take the road bike or mountain bike out is waning with the temperature. But the change of seasons doesn’t have to mean that you can no longer take your favourite bike for a spin outside. With the right autumn and winter cycling gear, you’ll be well protected against any temperature and you can even cycle outdoors when the temperature drops below zero.

When the leaves change colour, you can just change to a warmer outfit!

Which clothes you wear in autumn or winter depends mainly on the temperature on the day. In spring or autumn you dress differently than you do in the middle of winter. That is why in this buyers guide we’ve listed which clothing is best at different temperatures. Winter cycling clothing can be divided into the following categories:

Cycling clothing for spring and late summer (15-20 degrees)

When the temperature approaches 15 degrees, you’ll see more and more cyclists around you wearing long cycling jerseys and cycling tights. Of course in the mid-season some still wear shorts but for these temperatures most prefer to put on long cycling clothing.

Arm warmers and leg warmers

To avoid finding halfway through your bike ride that you have made a mistake about the temperature and that it’s getting too hot, you can wear arm warmers and leg warmers. If you find long leg warmers just a little too warm or too long, you can wear knee warmers instead.

Leg and arm warmers you can turn your cycling shorts into longs and your short sleeved cycling jersey into a long sleeved jersey. The advantage of arm and leg warmers is that you can easily take them off and keep them in the back pocket of your cycling jersey when it gets too hot.

Arm warmers and leg warmers are easy to take off during your bike ride.

Arm warmers

Leg warmers

Long sleeve cycling jerseys

To be a little warmer on your bike in the spring, you can wear a long sleeved cycling jersey. A long sleeved cycling jersey ensures that your arms are covered, so that you are a bit warmer. These types of shirts are often not waterproof or windproof though.

Long sleeve men’s cycling jerseys

Long sleeved women’s cycling jerseys

Autumn cycling kit (10-15 degrees)

When autumn starts, the temperatures drop and some of the cyclists choose to train indoors in a warm room on an turbo trainer. Nothing wrong with that of course, but if you still want to cycle outside, it’s possible with the right gear.

Autumn cycling jackets (10-15 degrees)

Autumn cycling jackets often feature a water repellent coating. This protects you against light rain during the changeable weather that is characteristic of autumn. It’s important to note that this sort of jacket cannot withstand heavy downpours. The water-repellent layer is just not water-repellent enough for that.

It might look like a dry day now, but it could rain at any moment!

What is also characteristic of cycling jackets for temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees is that they are often made of windproof material that’ll protect you from the biting wind and keep you warm during your bike ride.

Cycling jackets for men (10 to 15 degrees)

Cycling jackets for women (10 to 15 degrees)

Long cycling tights for autumn

The arm warmers and leg warmers can be put in the back of the closet during the fall. During this time of year it is advisable to go cycling with long cycling tights. Long cycling tights for autumn keep your legs nice and warm, or at least to a certain extent. This kind of cycling tights is no longer suitable if the temperature drops below 10 degrees, because they are often not water- and windproof.

Long cycling tights keep your legs nice and warm. Thickness of the fabric and the type of material determines how warm they’ll really be!

Long cycling tights for men (10 to 15 degrees)

Long cycling tights for women (10 to 15 degrees)

Winter cycling gear (0-10 degrees)

The winter coat is definitely out of the closet now and the gloves are being put on more and more often. It’s winter and the step to go cycling outdoors is now getting bigger and bigger. The temperature is mainly below 10 degrees, which feels even colder on the bike because of the wind chill factor. There is also suitable winter cycling clothing for these sorts of conditions.

Cycling jackets for winter (0-10 degrees)

The weather is getting colder and colder at this time of year. Just like the rain, the temperature is falling too. This creates a colder wind chill while cycling. That’s why winter cycling jackets are often windproof and waterproof. They’ll keep your body nice and dry during a heavy rain shower, so you won’t get all hypothermic.

With the AGU Essential Winter cycling jacket you will not only be warm on the bike this winter – you’ll look great too!

Winter jackets for men (0-10 degrees)

Winter jackets for women (0-10 degrees)

Long cycling tights for early winter (0-10 degrees)

Good cycling longs for the winter are just as important as a winter jacket. There’s no point riding around with a warm torso if you legs are freezing. If the cold gets to your legs, your muscles will not benefit either, which can be at the expense of your performance on the bike.

With a good winter cycling longs you keep your legs warm, so that you have the strength to launch a devastating attack at the end of the ride!

Our winter cycling tights for temperatures between 0 and 10 degrees will protect you mostly from rain, wet snow and water that splashes up from the road surface. This keeps your legs nice and warm while you defy the cold.

Winter cycling longs for men (0-10 degrees)

Winter cycling longs for women (0-10 degrees)

Cycling gear for the coldest days (sub-zero temperatures)

Only the real diehards go out when the ponds freeze and the snow falls. If you’re reading this and looking for cycling clothing for this weather, chapeau! When the freezing point is reached, it is of course very important that you get on the bike properly dressed to avoid getting frozen hands and feet.

With the right choice of clothing, even these weather conditions are no match for you!

Winter jackets for the coldest days (below 0 degrees)

If you go cycling when the temperature is below zero, it is very important to wear a good winter jacket to keep your torso warm. A winter jacket for sub-zero temperatures often has a double-layer construction making it usually waterproof, well insulated and windproof. With one of these you can brave even the coldest easterly wind on your road or mountain bike.

Men’s winter jackets for the coldest days (below 0 degrees)

Women’s winter jackets for the coldest days (below 0 degrees)

Long cycling tights for the coldest days (below 0 degrees)

A good pair of winter cycling longs for the coldest days is as important as a winter jacket. Winter cycling longs are often made of special material that keeps you as warm as possible. This way you are optimally protected against the cold. In addition, long cycling tights for sub-zero temperatures often have a water- and windproof front. So the gusty winds and cold rain or snow will be no match for you!

The fabric of the Castelli Meno Wind winter cycling tights is specially designed for the coldest days of the year.

Men’s cycling longs for the coldest days (below 0 degrees)

Women’s cycling longs for the coldest days (below 0 degrees)

Winter cycling kit accessories

In addition to a good winter jacket and long winter cycling pants, there are all kinds of winter cycling clothing accessories to get through the winter on the bike. Thermal clothing, headwear, cycling socks and shoe covers are all indispensable items of clothing for your mountain bike or road bike ride in the winter.

Thermal cycling gear

In the winter you won’t get there with just long cycling pants and a warm winter cycling jacket. Of course, a winter cycling jacket will protect you from the cold, but a cycling jacket alone be enough. To keep your body at a good temperature, it is very important to cover your body with layers of clothing. It’s advisable to wear good thermals. You can choose between a thermal shirt with short or long sleeves. It’s just a matter of personal preference.

Layers are essential during the winter. A good thermal shirt is therefore a must-have!

Men’s thermal shirts

Women’s thermal shirts

Cycling caps, hats and scarves

In winter, the cold wind can feel very harsh and even painful on your face. Of course your helmet helps a bit to keep your head warm, but this is not enough during the coldest days. That’s why you can also get special head warmers for cycling.

With this weather you would prefer to be wrapped up as much as possible to keep the cold wind off your skin.

To protect the top of your head from the cold, you can opt for a cycling cap or a beanie. This headgear fits easily under your helmet and gives you the extra warmth you need.

Cycling caps and beanies

A special neck warmer is also a very nice addition to your outfit against the cold. You put this around your neck and you can pull it up over your ears and your face below the eyes. This way you are optimally protected against the cold wind or snowflakes. In combination with a racing cap or beanie, your head is completely protected against the cold.

Neck warmers

If you don’t like cycling with a separate neck warmer and a beanie, you can also opt for a piece of headgear that combines the two: a balaclava. A balaclava is specially designed for the coldest bike rides. With this you are 100% sure that you will not freeze.

It may look a bit intimidating, but it is nice and warm during cold weather!

Balaclavas

Winter cycling socks and shoe covers

We’ve all experienced it. You have wrapped yourself up well against the cold and step outside for a nice bit of cycling or mountain biking. The first half hour doesn’t seem to be much of a problem and the cold is not too bad, but thanks to water splashing up from the road surface or a heavy rain shower, your cycling shoes become wet and, with the cold wind, your feet start to get quite cold. Cycling around with freezing feet is pretty demotivating.

Protect your feet well against splashing rainwater and the cold wind!

To prevent cold feet, it is important to first get a good pair of winter cycling socks. Good winter socks are very important to maintain the right temperature of your feet during the cold winter days.

Cycling socks Winter

On the coldest days winter cycling socks alone won’t do the trick. Overshoes are indispensable items of clothing in your wardrobe in winter. You can purchase thin waterproof shoe covers to protect your cycling shoes from the rain. But there are also overshoes that are made of neoprene material, so that your feet also stay warm during the harshest winter days. Another added benefit of shoe covers is that they improve aerodynamics during time trials.

Overshoes for above freezing point (>0 degrees)

Overshoes for below freezing point (<0 degrees)

Overshoes are certainly not a luxury on these kinds of days. An additional advantage is that you are also more aerodynamic!

You can also choose not to cycle with overshoes but to use special winter cycling shoes. With these you do not have to put on special overshoes for winter cycling and you are protected against the rain and the cold with your cycling shoes alone. Read our buyers guide to find out which winter cycling shoes are best for you.

Winter cycling gloves

What should of course not be missing in winter are good gloves for cycling. Winter cycling gloves naturally ensure that your hands stay nice and warm while cycling. In addition, they also ensure that you have a good grip on your handlebars. In our range you’ll find cycling gloves for every temperature.

Good cycling gloves are a real must-have during the winter!

Just keep cycling in the winter months!

You’ve seen that with the right clothing you can continue cycling outdoors during the autumn and winter. From balaclavas to thermal shirts, we offer it all in our winter cycling clothing range!

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Mees Janssen

Mees Janssen

I am very occupied with everything that has to do with cycling in my spare time. The fact that I get to do this during my job as well makes it all the more special. Since I live in Arnhem, I like to go cycling in my “backyard” (de Posbank) with my road bike or mountain bike. Besides cycling myself, I also love to watch professional cycling on the tv. My television is doing overtime during the summer, because I like to follow all the big cycling tours like the Giro, the Tour de France and the Vuelta. It may come as no surprise that when the Giro d´Italia crossed Arnhem in 2016, I was over the moon!

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