What I Wore – Cycling in the Cold Edition
Well. Isn’t the Winter utterly delightful? Well. Sort of. I’ve not long got home from work and, not only was it cold outside, it was also quite wet. A dreadful combo, which could only be made worse by WIND. But what does one wear when cycling to work in these conditions? Well, I don’t know what you wear – the answer is whatever you feel comfortable in – but I’m going to share with you what I was wearing today. None of it is particularly cheap, but it’s good stuff and will see you through several seasons. Get a cyclescheme voucher from work and you could save yourself a little bit of money!!
The Main Event
Here’s the whole thing in all its glory. Dirt and all.
Okay, so let’s break this down. There are several elements to this outfit. The grey base layer you see is a Castelli Flandria (remarkably still available on Wiggle). It’s warm, but has excellent ventilation in the armpits as you can see in the picture below.
Next to go on are the tights. These are proper winter bib tights with a windproof shell and a fancy old pad. I won’t take a picture of the pad because I’ve been sat on it today. They’re Gore Bike Wear tights, available here. The description says the zip makes for an easier “biobreak”, but we all know that means A WEE (I’ve tried it, it works). They deal with the boob issue buy fastening in the middle.
It’s comfy for me but I do have small boobs, so I’m not sure how comfy it is for people with bigger breasts. My tights also have a zip down by the ankle, the newer ones you get may not have this. It’s helpful if you’ve not put your socks on yet…
Which leads me to the DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks. 48% wool, so they’re good in the cold!! Not so good when they get wet, mind you (but you can take measures to prevent that). They’re pretty snug off the bike, too.
Over the top of this already VERY SEXY ensemble, we have the jersey. I’ve gone with a Bontrager one from Evans. I don’t think they sell this particular model these days, but Trek sell very similar ones here. It’s a bit fleecy on the side, and it does have reflective parts on it for extra visibility. You can see the jersey in the pics above.
My shoes are Shimano WM83 MTB shoes. I prefer the MTB styles because they’re a darn sight easier to walk in when popping off to buy cake and coffee. I’m tempted by some road shoes/pedals, but I’m just not there yet. You can get my shoes from Evans. I’d advise wearing toe covers/overshoes in very cold weather, and waterproof overshoes in very wet weather as the mesh front of these isn’t great for keeping drafts and water out.
Now, here’s the kicker, I added an extra layer because it was COLD. Luckily for me, this layer was also showerproof. It’s not cheap (but do look for end of season bargains as Spring kicks in), but it’s very good. The Castelli LS Gabba (they’ve renamed it now, I’ll get to that) was a jersey so popular in the Men’s range, that they made it for Women! Lucky us! I managed to get one in a sale a while back, but I couldn’t get the size I wanted, so mine’s a little big. It’s supposed to be a jersey, but I’ve been wearing mine as a jacket recently as it provides extra warmth and waterproofing without feeling like I’m wearing a binbag. I tested that today in the rain and my black jersey was as dry as a bone. You can now buy the Perfetto, which is a newer version. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a bit spenny, but it is worth it. You’ll note the bum flap at the bottom, which picks up a lot of grub in the rain, even with a mudguard.
After all of that, I put on a Gore headband to keep my ears warm, and a pair of Louis Garneau gloves to keep my fingers from falling off. Then it’s the helmet. DASSIT.
(Header image courtesy of averagejoecyclist.com)