Lower Temps Needn't Cramp Your Stylish Cycling Ways.
When it comes to cold weather, Texans are, for the most part, wimps.
And, hey, that's OK. We don't care how silly we look while wearing our parkas around town. We'll deal with the transplants from the north laughing at us as they keep rocking short sleeves. They can dress how they want, and we'll dress the way want. If that means layer upon layer, then so be it. We're inclined toward staying warm, dammit. It's in our nature.
Of course, for the cyclists among us, things are a little more complicated than that. How so? Well, the cold weather can present a whole series of other challenges — and pretty serious ones too, like hypothermia and dehydration. In turn, for those of us in the cycling community that hope to stretch their pastime from an eight- or nine-months-a-year hobby into a year-round one, it's the right gear makes all the difference.
For instance? Well, despite what seems like common sense, it's important not to overdress. Once you really get going, your body will begin to produce substantial amounts of heat. So the key here is to wear just enough layers to be slightly cold when starting out.
But what does that mean?
Firstly, this: Every good cycling outfit should start with an appropriate base layer. More than anything else, the goal of a good base layer is to keep you dry, so it's important to find one made from sweat-wicking, synthetic fibers. In other words: You should avoid anything made of cotton, as those clothes will hold in moisture and, ultimately, make you colder in the end. This same theory also applies to sock choices, by the way.
From there, you'll want to add layers that can potentially be removed depending on how cold it is outside. On mild days, arm warmers are a good starting option for a ride. They can be removed once your body starts to heat up and stored in your pockets. On colder days, a light fleece jacket is a good middle layer. A breathable windbreaker should suffice as a solid outer layer.
Meanwhile, especially cold days call for covering one's extremities at all costs. To that end, thin wool stocking caps are light and will fit under a helmet. Wool socks can also help keep the feet dry. And, on wet days, shoe covers can help block out additional moisture. For the hands, it's important to recall that pairing your digits in a mitten provides more warmth than traditional gloves, if also at the expense of the dexterity. A good alternative is a pair of lobster mitts, which provide a little additional warmth while still allowing enough dexterity to safely operate gears and brakes.
My point is that there's a lot to consider. And thought function should ultimately take precedent over form when it comes to cycling dressing decisions, that doesn't mean any sense fashion has to be completely tossed aside in these colder months.
Below, let's take a look at some decidedly functional and fashionable winter-ready items that area cyclists would do well to consider adding to their wardrobes in the coming weeks.
2. The Bespoke Pedaler Blazing Blazer, $158.
3. The Bespoke Pedaler Randygoat Hoody, $150.
4. Altura Women's Flite Cycling Jacket, $111.
5. The Bespoke Pedaler Reflective Windbreaker, $219.
6. The Bespoke Pedaler Riding Shell, $198.
7. WOLFBIKE Fleece Thermal Winter Cycling Jacket , $29.
2. Betabrand Urban Awareness Reversible Jacket, $168.
3. Louis Garneau Mondo LS Jersey, $180.
4. North Face Isotherm Windstopper Jacket, $160.
5. SmartWool PhD Knit Arm Warmers, $25.
6. Podium Don't Run Me Over Orange Arm Warmers, $30.
7. RA Reflective Vest, $160.
8. Showers Pass Woman's Portland Jacket, $200.
2. Under Armour ColdGear Cozy Leggings, $60.
3. Novara Arcadia Bike Pants , $44.
4. Under Armour StudioLux Ombre Leggings, $85.
5. Nike Pro Hyperwarm Nordic Tights, $60.
6. Pearl Izumi Symphony Thermal Cycling Tights, $145.
2. Giro Merino Winter Cap, $30.
3. Red Dots British Wool Cycling Cap, $48.
4. The Bespoke Pedaler Cycling Cap, Houndstooth, $32.
5. Gore Windstopper Lobster Gloves, $80.
6. Neff Lobster Gloves, $39.
7. Point6 Cycling Light Cushion 3-4 Crew Socks, $17.
8. Sobike Cycling Fleece Thermal Earwarmers, $14.
9. Sawako Furuno Helmet Ear Cosies, $24.
10. The Bespoke Pedaler Merino City Sock, $28.
11. Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Shoe Cover, $70.
12. Under Armour ColdGear Hood, $25.