On road or trail, cycling through the British winter is the ticket to next-summer fitness and a sense of character-building accomplishment. At Hargroves Cycles, we’re here to help keep your year-round riding fun and safe – starting with this guide to winter cycling kit.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BASE
For resistance to wind, rain and plummeting temperatures, look to layers. This principle starts from the inside – the material next to your skin needs to wick away sweat to keep you dry – and base layers, like this Castelli Short Sleeve option, £34.99, will get your winter cycling wardrobe off to a solid start. And then…
A pair of quality bib tights provide excellent coverage and seated comfort on the road. The Castelli Nanoflex 2’s (£109.99) comfy, water-resistant fabric returns outstanding stay-dry warmth in the coldest temperatures. The KISS Air seat pad ensures comfort on daily commutes and club runs alike, while reflective graphics aid visibility.
Heading off-road? Mountain bikers looking to stay dry will find that Fox Ranger WR Bike Shorts, £50, put puddles in their place at a great price. Their water-repellent material and extra rear-panel protection means comfort on even the filthiest rides.
With base and bibs sorted, simply adding a winter jersey is perfect for balmier days when you don’t need a jacket. On the road, the Castelli Puro 2, £94.99, keeps you warm while staying aero, and the bright yellow colour option aids safety in low light. On the trails, the Fox Indicator LS, £47.00, serves-up quick-dry fabric and ‘drop tail’ design for rear coverage.
When British winter really sets in, a weather-ready outer like Altura’s Night Vision Evo Waterproof Jacket, is the ultimate commuter companion, combining safety with comfort. For £100, you get every-angle reflectivity, waterproof fabric and a good dose of practical pockets. Working hard? Breathable vents send air to the pits and rear, while a sweat-wicking inner keeps you dry on the inside. Its casual cut makes it ideal for wearing over regular clothes, too. For mountain bikers looking to stay dry without overheating, Fox Attack Water Shorts, £160, is everything you could possibly need: stay-dry seams, visibility, air vents, pockets and windproof – you’ll have no excuses.
For roadies looking to cheat the wind, the Castelli Perfetto Jacket, £175, features an aero cut and Gore X-Lite Plus fabric which is totally windproof, breathable and water-resistant. The £200 Convertible Perfetto is multi-season thanks to its removable zipped sleeves.
There’s nothing like inner-shoe squelch or frozen toes to ruin a ride, so come the colder months, waterproof socks are in their element. Sealskinz ankle socks £21.00, are made in MTB and road versions, using Hydrostop: a layer that keeps warmth in and water out.
For roadies using cleated shoes, a pair of winter overshoes is also a must. Castelli Diluvio C overshoes, £39.99, utilise 3mm thick neoprene for keeping water out and trap warmth.
To finish your all-weather prep, a quality pair of gloves is essential – for comfort and safety. Castelli Estremo Gloves, £80, offer the protection you need without the bulk. With warm hands shielded from wind and rain, and unfettered movement essential for shifting and braking, you can focus on the ride.
With your all-weather kit sorted, winter-proofing your bike is the next priority. Mudguards are a great-value first stop on your route to a badge of winter-riding pride.