Layers, layers, layers: the key to an effective winter clothing ensemble is, you guessed it, layers.
Air is trapped between each layer of clothing, helping to keep you warm, while you can add and remove layers to regulate body temperature.
Experience counts for a lot when selecting the number of layers suitable for the day’s weather conditions and some people feel the cold more than others, so get out on your bike and try different clothing combinations to find what works for you.
It all starts with the base layer. A long sleeve base layer is preferable in winter, and merino wool is particularly effective as it’s warm, soft next to the skin, retains heat when it’s wet and is odour resistant.
On the other hand, if you stop mid-ride, a damp merino base layer can soon make your chilly and man-made fabrics like polyester are better at wicking – the recently reviewed Sportful Long Sleeve T High Collar is a good example, while some base layers, like the Northwave Karbon Tex, have a windproof front panel for the coldest conditions.
With the base layer sorted, the number of layers on top depends on the conditions and the properties of each particular item of clothing. Let’s run through some of the options.