Commuting 101: Bike Clothes For All Weather

Fritz recently asked your opinion on things you’d like to see discussed and there were several requests for a post on winter clothing. I’d like to refer you to a CBB post from last year that was a big help to me. Bear in mind, everyone is different so what works for Nick got me close — but I as this last winter progressed I kept track of temperatures and the clothing that got me through a 20 to 30 minute commute in relative comfort without too much sweat at the end of the trip. Use either Nick’s or my guide to get you going, then I suggest you keep track of your experience by writing it down. Once next fall comes around you won’t have to try to remember what worked for you over the winter… Here is a list of what works for me:

  • 5°F (1°C) and above I can get by with a tee shirt and shorts.
  • 5° – 5°F (10 – 1°C), I need a long sleeved tee and can still wear shorts.
  • 4° – 4°F (7 – °C), long sleeved tee, work out pants and I replace the ankle socks with longer socks.
  • 3° – 4°F (3 – °C), tee shirt, sweat shirt, work out pants, wrap around ear muffs and ditch the no finger gloves for full gloves.
  • 3° – 3°F (0 – °C), tee shirt, lined jacket, work out pants, wrap around ear muffs and full gloves
  • 2° – 3°F (-4 – -°C), tee shirt, long sleeved shirt, work out pants, jacket, two pair of socks, balaclava and full gloves.
  • 2°F (-°C) and below, tee shirt, long sleeved shirt, long john bottoms, work out pants, jacket, two pair of socks, balaclava and full gloves.
  • And remember, if you start feeling cold — pedal harder.

    If you’ve been a bit timid about cycling when the weather turns colder, I’d suggest giving it a try. You’ll finish up the ride invigorated will enjoy the feeling that comes with people thinking you’re “hard core.” There was a stretch of a couple weeks this last winter that my boys and I didn’t get to ride due to all the ice on the roads. You hear people say that you never forget how to ride a bicycle — keep riding this winter and don’t let this happen to you:

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