COLD WEATHER APPAREL
PLAN FOR FLEXIBILITY
Mountain biking is a tricky sport to dress for because
of the variable situations we find ourselves in on the trail.
One minute you can be grinding out a climb and the next
you are descending with the wind in your face. Plan your
gear so that you can make adjustments on the fly. This
may mean a jacket with vents that open and close or simply being able to slide down your arm warmers on a climb
to prevent overloading your base layer with perspiration.
Once you saturate the layers against your skin with sweat,
it is very tough to dry out on the ride.
LAYERING TO CREATE
Staying warm during a ride isn’t
simply about throwing on as many
layers as possible. If you use the
right garments in the right order,
The goal is to create pockets of
warm air to insulate your body.
The basic three layers are a base
layer, a jersey and an outer shell
By layering the proper fabrics,
it is possible to create warm
pockets of air that provide
insulation while still wicking sweat
off of the skin, which can have an
unwanted cooling effect in the cold.
WORK FROM THE INSIDE OUT
To maintain a warm core body temperature in cold
conditions, the goal is to stay dry. While you’ll inevitably sweat when riding, keeping the moisture away
from your skin is important. This can be accomplished
by wearing a moisture-wicking base layer. Base layers are polyester-based, thin garments that are made
to be worn directly against the skin. Base layers are
available in sleeveless, short-sleeve and long-sleeve
options and in some cases with extra layers of protection for the coldest riding situations.
While a jersey may be your outermost layer for most
of the year, in cold situations a jersey’s primary job is
to maintain the pockets of warm air and aid in moisture
transfer. In a standard, three-layer base/jersey/jacket
setup, the jersey plays the middleman in temperature
As the trail changes, so will the amount of heat your body
is putting off. Plan for on-bike adjustments you can make
to help regulate your temperature to avoid excess sweating, which can make you much colder than the temperature
alone. Accessories that are easily removed or adjusted,
such as a zippered vest or jacket or arm warmers, are good
options for hard workouts in the cold.