A Winter Road Cyclist's Guide to LAYERS

Biking in winter is no different from any other outdoor winter activity – all you need are layers. When it’s 15 degrees or colder, four layers and nineteen pieces of gear ought to do it. To get the 11 miles from Gorham to Pinkham, I recommend the following items:

 

Feet

  • Toe warmers
  • Cotton socks
  • Neoprene cold weather socks
  • Wool socks
  • Thick layered shoes

Legs

  • Leg warmers
  • Bike tights
  • Insulated Tights
  • Shorts

Torso

  • T-shirt
  • Thermal long sleeve shirt
  • Shirt with thumbholes (very important!)
  • Bright colored, thick outer hoodie

Head

  • Balaclava (I recommend the Jason Voorhees design)
  • Scarf
  • Winter hat
  • Helmet

Hands

  • Liner gloves
  • Thick lobster claw gloves (designed specifically for biking)
  • Probably won’t need hand warmers since you’ll be working the breaks and gear shifts the whole ride, moving those digits and staying warm

It takes easily 10 minutes to put on and even longer to take off, but it achieves a nice balance between warmth and mobility (i.e. it’s not super bulky and restricting).

I also use studded tires if I expect to encounter any ice or snow, and bright safety lights in case I get caught out later than expected during the dark days of winter.