How To

How to layer clothing for winter cycling

The art of layering for cold days, dry and wet

With winter now starting to bite, and an ever-expanding array of clothing to choose from, we’re turning our attention to the art of layering: of combining several garments to create an effective barrier against the elements.

Two types of climatic condition blight the cyclist in winter, and both include the cold. If you’re lucky, you’ll ride in cold, dry conditions; less fortunate, and the weather will be cold and wet.

There are numerous ways to layer for the cold, dry days of winter – and more for the cold and wet

Several different garments, often with subtle differences to defeat the rain, can be combined to keep you warm and dry until spring when the change of the clock usually heralds better weather conditions.

We headed to our local bike shop, Ride in Dorset, to consider the options, and to get the thoughts of the man at the head of affairs, Ritchie Hilton-Foster, who relies on certain combinations and key pieces to fend off the climate when leading twice-weekly rides, on road and off.

From base layers to overshoes, long-sleeve, synthetic base layers to merino socks, we’ll cover a host of garments in the pages ahead, and provide our preferred solutions to the (at least) six-month-a-year challenge that is the UK climate.

It’s likely that more experienced riders visiting RCUK will have developed their own methods of seeing off the winter, or perhaps built a wardrobe of ‘go to’ items – garments that through sheer quality and an ability to get the job done have made themselves first choice items. If you’re among that cohort, head to the RCUK Forum and share your experience.

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