CREATE A WEATHER BARRIER
The outer layer forms a barrier against the cold
air outside and traps body heat inside. There
are a wide variety of jackets available in vary-
ing thicknesses and materials, depending on
how much air flow or insulation you need. For
cool temperatures, a light windbreaker or even a
wind-blocking vest will suffice. When riding in wet
conditions, look for waterproof fabrics that will still
allow air to pass through without letting water in. For
the coldest situations, an insulated soft-shell jacket will
provide plenty of warmth while maintaining mobility.
MAINTAIN CONTROL AT THE LEVERS
Cold hands aren’t just uncomfortable, they’re also dan-
gerous because they make controlling your bike more
difficult. In cold weather, don’t go overboard with big and
bulky gloves. Instead, look for standard full-finger gloves
with less ventilation than a summer glove. You don’t want
to have to take off your gloves because they are too hot and
then lose the protection they provide. For very cold situa-
tions, choose a heavily insulated option that feels more in
line with snow skiing gloves than cycling gloves.
For very cold but dry conditions, softshell jackets like Pearl
Izumi’s P.R.O. 180 jacket will provide plenty of warmth and
ventilation while still allowing for movement. When paired
with a base layer and jersey, this setup will keep your torso
comfortable in some pretty brutal conditions.
Choosing a glove comes down to both temperature and the style of riding that you are doing. The coldest-temperature gloves
are great for comfort but can be tough for feeling your controls. If control is at the top of your list, try using
hand-warming packets with a slightly thinner glove.