Living in Queensland, we are rather blessed when it comes to winter riding. We have a very mild winter compared to the southern states and most places around the world. Despite this, I definitely feel the cold in a big way. While many call me soft, I don’t think there is any shame in rugging up for the ride!
Within the last week, the mornings have quickly been getting colder and darker earlier in Brisbane. In preparation for my morning rides, I found myself digging through the drawers at home to find my winter staples. This reignited my drive to find the best winter gear available. Below is my list of essential gear that I cannot live without during the winter months.
Starting from the bottom up: you’re going to need a cozy pair of socks for A good pair of wool socks help keep the feet from feeling the chill. These thermal socks from Pearl Izumi are a great option to keep the feet warm and dry.
Moving up to the torso, base layers are quite cheap and very practical in winter.
You can run a base layer year round to wick sweat away from your chest to keep dry. In winter, I choose to wear the Gore base layer as it does this very well and also features their Windstopper fabric. The Windstopper fabric across the front does a great job blocking the cold wind, keeping your chest dry thus preventing you from getting a chill.
The most important staple in my closet is a good set of leg and arm warmers.
Two winters ago I invested in the Castelli Nanoflex knee and arm warmers. These have been vital for winter riding. I originally chose the Nanoflex warmers as they are quite water resistant compared to other warmers and cheaper fabrics. With the Nanoflex, if you are caught out in a light shower you will still stay dry and warm. They are constructed from a very breathable thermal fabric that is soft on the skin and doesn’t cause any irritation.
I opted for the knee as I prefer the look but I would definitely recommend anybody in the southern states to go for the full-length leg warmers.
A good vest does wonders to break the wind off your chest and is especially handy when descending.
The Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Vest is a lightweight vest with great weather protection. It can roll up when not needed and easily fits in the back of the jersey pocket. When purchasing a vest, it’s good to get one that’s quite fitted over the jersey so there is no chance of air creeping in between layers.
The main point I hope you take away is to layer up! This gives you the option to peel off the layers of the vest and arm warmers as you heat up on the ride. If you only wear a winter jacket you can overheat and then have no choice but to wear the jacket all ride.
Understandably, we all live in different areas and have different riding styles. These are simply my favorite items; I recommend trying out garments to figure out what works best for your riding experience. As far as recommendations go, these items are definitely always in my drawer for when I’m preparing for a cold, but rewarding, morning ride.
By Nelson Andrado – Pushys Sponsored Athlete