Have you ventured outside yet, or have you become a turbo hermit? We all know how difficult and daunting it is getting outside in winter, the idea of fingers so numb you can’t use your brakes, toes frozen together and blue lips to match an avatar.
Well, to make your winter a toasty little bundle of fresh air, we can confirm, it is all about layering correctly. Of course, every single one of us in the store has tried to venture out as ‘newbies’ to winter training and had so much brain freeze we’ve been stopped in our tracks and questioned our life choices, so we understand the fear of not trusting that this is the solution, but we’re going to preach it anyway!
Top Tips for Your Winter Layers
Firstly, you need a good winter base layer: some of our staff sing the praises of the Spatzwear BASEZ 2, and some vote for merino base layers, all of which NEED (!) a high neck to keep the warmth tucked inside a bit better.
Secondly, a solid pair of deep winter bib tights, the key word being DEEP. These usually come with a showerproof layer on the outside, a cosy cuddle on the inside and the showerproof material also makes them windproof. Many people don’t ‘think’ their legs get cold, but we promise you, every part of your body needs to be wrapped up like a kangaroo baby in her mother’s pouch.
Thirdly, an epic pair of gloves for zero degrees and below. Yes, they can get chunky, but the Spatzwear THRMOZ deep winter gloves have a lobster feature, which is somewhat wind proof. They keep your fingers nice and cosy, and there’s even the little extra layer for when you’ve just left the café and can’t feel your fingers! Any kind of lobster glove would be an upgrade though - the closer your fingers, the warmer you’ll be! However, they’re not waterproof and for that effect you probably want a Neoprene glove. We would also recommend using a liner glove, a little merino liner that’s so small you won’t even notice it’s tucked away but provides a wealth of warmth!
From there you’ll need to add a jersey of some sort - an in-between layer. Again, the Spatzwear HEATR 4-season long sleeve gets a big shout out: built to be worn in cold weather, and has been tested in 5-degrees with just the base layer, by one of our crazy staff members. However, once it goes below about 5 degrees, she would recommend a little more toast with a gabba or windproof jacket on top (any kind). She also usually carries a gilet in her pocket for stopping at cafes… the café cold is a whole new world.
We’d also recommend a good pair of overshoes. The roads are always slightly backyard style in the winter, with water and bits flicking up and soaking your feet. Overshoes will keep the heat in and the cold out. However, don’t make the mistake so many of us do: when you take them off, your feet will be a little soggy – this is sweat, sweat is good. The overshoes use the sweat to provide the heat. Oh! - and tape up your toe vents on the soles of your shoes…. So much heat is lost there, who knew?
Extra Winter Warmers
Little bits to remember: merino socks (if you can fit them, plus ya chunky feet in your shoes), a buff…. A merino buff or a wool buff (ebay is your best bet) to put over your chin when numb and protect your breath when it’s brisk. In below zero degrees an ear warmer is a good option or a little hat for under your helmet - men and their shiny heads will most likely appreciate that one most! And lastly…. HANDWARMERS! All day everyday a party in your gloves, your back pocket, under your sports bra band, honestly a trick to share. You can buy reusable ones and they’re perfect for just starting out on the bike. Put them in your middle pocket and it heats your spine, or just leaving the café, tuck them under your gloves for 5 minutes to warm your hands up.
So, there are our top tips on winter layering. Get off your backside, stop procrastinating and give it a go!
Let us know if you find any other top tips that help.
Happy (freezing) Cycling CE legends.