In recent years, bike-apparel companies have stepped up to buildgear to keep you seriously warm and dry during the most frigid rides. Heres thewinter kit that keeps me pedaling through the worst weather the season has to offer.
Windproof Buff ($45)
Getting icicles in my beard sucks, which is why Ive started packing one of these on any ride thats below freezing. ThisBuffhas a layer of fleece-lined GoreWindstopper on the bottom half of the tube, which keepsthe soft fabricagainst my face and the tough outer material shielding me fromthe elements. No more icicles.
Sealskinz Heated Cycle Gloves ($160)
Sealskinzadded a heating mechanism to an already warm, waterproof glove thats stuffed with PrimaLoft Gold insulation. Two separate, rechargeable battery packs are hidden in the cuffs, and you can choosethree levels of heat.Most winter days, the gloves are warmenough on their own, but occasionally, that extra boost of toastiness keeps me in the saddle longer. The goat-leather palms provide grippy contact with the bars, too.
Pearl Izumi Versa Quilted Hoodie (from $220)
My layering on chilly rides starts with a merino-wool base layer. This hoodie is step two. The majority of the Versais soft shell, which lends a solid amount of stretch and mobility, but the chest panel is loaded with 133 grams of PrimaLoft insulation to keep the heat in. Its all protected by a water- and wind-resistant poly face that keeps my chest shielded from any gusts. A rear stash pocket is big enough for snacks, while a zippered chest compartment can hold your phone. I findit burly enough to work as an outer shell if its snowing or lightly drizzling.
Kitsbow Haskell Pant ($185)
Im picky about my pants. I dont want to wear tights, but I dont want baggy cargos either. I needthem to be warm without suffocating, and they have to be able to shift from the bike to the bar with ease. The Haskellfills all my requirements and then some. Its cutwithout being too skinny, and its made from a warm, tough, double-woven nylon thats soft and stretchy.Kitsbow loaded it with pockets: a small cargo pouch for keys or a wallet, two deep slotson the side, and a dedicated oneon the hip that can hold most phones. Reflective stripes on the back and cuffs enhance visibility to others, ideal for low-light sessions.
POC Resistance Enduro Wind Jacket ($150)
The wind is often the trickiest aspect of riding in the winter. Technically, you dont need a bike-specific wind jacket. (If youre willing to forgo a drop-tail hem, a normalrain shell willworkmost of the time.)ButPOCs Resistance Enduro will convince you otherwise. A suite of sport-specific details make this my go-to bike top. The elbows are reinforced to withstand scratches and scuffsbut also stretchy enough to accommodate elbow pads. The hood fits snug under your helmet, while a tall collar helps block draftsand rain from your face. Its made from ripstop nylon with a DWR treatment that will withstand everything shy of a monsoon. The whole thing comes in at a light 170 grams and easily stashes in its own chest pocket when the sky clears.
Shimano SH-XM9 Shoes ($275)
Full disclosure: this shoe is overkill for winters in the southern Appalachians, where I do the majority of my winter riding. But if youre looking for a clipless shoe that will keep your feet warm in the coldest temperatures, theXM9is your jam. A completely waterproof Gore-Tex liner is matched with a nubuck-leather upper and padded high-top ankle cuff for a winter boot that eliminates the need for covers or gaiters. Its basically a cross-country ski boot thats compatible with SPD cleats. I like the power straptech borrowed from the nordic worldthat tightens across the bridge of your foot to give you a super secure fit. With an EVA foam midsole and a half-length shank, these shoes offer support and make walking comfortable.