Top Winter Cycling Kit for 2016

Has it finally arrived? Has the weather finally taken a turn, to the cool, clear and crisp conditions, which I've been longing for over the damp last few months? I wouldn't like to jinx it, but I think it might have...

With that, it seems appropriate to talk about my favourite pieces of winter riding kit for 2016. These are all accessories and clothing that have come with me on almost every ride this winter, and have helped me to rack up the kilometres during the Festive 500 and towards my 2015 totals. Perhaps you'll find some ideas to keep you riding in comfort...



GripGrab Arctic Overshoes

Fleece-lined foot warmers. The Arctic Overshoes from GripGrab are serious cold weather protection. The 4mm thick neoprene, the welded and taped seams, and micro-fleece lining, mean these will withstand even the worst winter weather. I can vouch that I have never had cold feet when wearing them.



Primal Paradigm Jacket

The Paradigm Jacket from Primal Europe is about as protective as winter jackets come. Conceived in the mountains around Boulder, Colorado, it is incredibly well insulated and provides superb protection from wind, spray and precipitation. A real deep-winter piece of kit.



GripGrab Polaris Gloves

Cold and wet hands don't need to be a feature of winter riding. The Polaris gloves are proper winter covers, which are both wind-proof and waterproof, yet highly breathable. The Doctor Gel padding provides comfort on rough road surfaces, and the long Velcro closure cuffs help to integrate well with winter jackets, to seal out the elements.



Wool Socks

The benefits of wool have been known for thousands of years, yet they still ring true today. The most significant virtue, is that wool still remains warm even when it is damp; unlike synthetic fabrics, which tend to draw heat away from your body once they are wet. This property makes them ideal for use in winter, when your feet can get soggy from spray, or damp from perspiration under neoprene overshoes. My favourite wool sock choices are GripGrab's Winter Sock, and DeFeet Woolie Boolie socks; both are great examples.



POC Do-Blade Glasses

These make the list, not so much because it has been especially sunny this winter, but because it has been particularly windy. The Do-Blade sunglasses from Swedish brand POC Sports, provide unparalleled protection for your eyes; keeping out the wind and rain in even the worst conditions. The rose-tinted lens colour also make them ideal for a whole multitude of light conditions, and I've worn them through late afternoon and into dark evenings, and still been able to clearly see the road ahead.



Gore Bike Wear Oxygen 2.0 Waterproof Jacket

It has been a wet one so far this winter, and a good waterproof jacket is probably the most important kit investment you can make in cold and wet conditions. The Gore Bike Wear Oxygen 2.0 Jacket is the pinnacle of waterproof cycling jackets, and tops the rankings in numerous group-tests. Thank goodness for Gore-Tex!



GripGrab HiVis HeadGlove Classic


Snood, Buff®, neck warmer or 'HeadGlove'; whatever you like to call these simple tubes of material, they are something that I rarely ride without in the winter months. They help to provide that vital seal around the neck of your winter or waterproof jacket, and avoid the wind-chill reaching your chest. This one from GripGrab even contributes to safety, too. Simple, yet invaluable.



Kask Infinity Helmet


The Kask Infinity has fast become my favourite helmet for winter riding. Aero helmets might help you to make those marginal gains in terms of wind resistance, but they are also great for keeping off the wind and rain during the wetter months. The Infinity is incredibly comfortable, and when things do heat up a bit, the sliding vent provides effective cooling.



Winter riding doesn't have to be difficult, and it certainly doesn't have to be uncomfortable. Hopefully this selection of products will give you some ideas on how you can solve those numb toes, or stay dry on those damp days. Happy Riding!


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