Striking that happy balance of clothing in winter months can be a keen cyclists worst nighmare! I must say that personally the temperature gauge on my computer has proved invaluable, instantly giving a reference point to what you have worn on previous days in similar conditions. Everyone is different and so of course are rides but what you are aiming for is a clothing system that may seem slightly cool for the 5 or so minutes but, once up to speed will keep you comfortable.
As we move away from our glorious summer, a lightweight pair of gloves, arm and maybe leg warmers are all you may need to keep the cold at bay. Gilet’s are also really useful in providing a lightweight windproof barrier for your core at this time of year. Other than these bits of kit, remember that a lot of heat is lost through the head, hands and feet so, as the temperature drops futher, think about a skull cap and overshoes before you reach for the heavy winter kit.
Once the clocks change and we get more frost and gloomy damp days so commonly found in the Cotswolds during winter, it’s time to dig out the heavier weight windproof jackets and waterproof shells. As a start, a good long sleeve base layer will keep you well insulated. You may then choose either a short or long sleeve jersey with pockets to stash food, tools and wallet and then have a waterproof shell on top (better suited to damp, wet, misty days). If the weather is brighter or more pleasant then a heavier weight windproof jersey straight over the long sleeve base layer to keep you warm may be more suitable.
A warm pair of roubaix bib tights will do a good job of keeping your legs warm and combined with the skull cap, gloves and overshoes should get you right the way through the winter. On the very coldest rides, I must say I never head out without a buff or neck gater around my neck just to keep the heat in your jacket.
Look out for an upcoming post on prepairing your bike for the colder months and enjoy winter, it’s only here for 6 months!