The Best Winter Cycling Apparel for Cold Weather
New York City can be an unforgiving environment for winter training (and early season racing). As we prepare for winter's imminent arrival we decided to compile a quick rundown of some of our favorite winter kit:
Garneau Course Elite Cycling Thermal Bibs - while some of our team prefers chamois-less tights to be worn under our standard Garneau team bibs on those really cold days there is no beating the wind breaking warmth that the Course Thermal bibs provide.
Craft Active WS Gunde Shorts - trust us, we were a bit uncertain when we first heard about the Craft Gunde shorts. But when it comes to protection where it counts the Gunde shorts make all the difference. When the temperature drops below 30 degrees these are vital to staying comfortable. Craft also has a newer generation Active Extreme product that we haven't tried.
Garneau BigWill Gloves - there are plenty of heavy duty gloves out there on the market though for our money we prefer the Garneau BigWill gloves. Named after Louis Garneau's son William, the gloves feature a half lobster design that does a nice job balancing warmth and finger dexterity
Garneau Thermax Cycling Shoe Covers - Garneau unfortunately discontinued our favorite shoe cover for the most brutal conditions, the Big Foot (some stock still available here) but the Thermax is a good backup option, albeit with less protection on the sole of the shoe, which we found to be pretty vital. Thankfully you can pair the Thermax shoe cover with some Toe Warmers to achieve a similar effect. Pro tip: pack extra toe warmers in your pockets, just in case.
Rapha / Craft Base Layers - similar to shoe covers there are a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to base layers. Two of our favorites are Rapha (expensive, but usually on sale at regular intervals if you pay attention) and Craft where the Extreme Line provides maximum wind breaking and heat. For a very thorough discussion of how to select base layers we also recommend "The Definitive Buyers Guide: How to Choose Base Layers" on ProfessionalCamping.com
Garneau Matrix 2.0 Balaclava - as the top image shows, when temperatures get particularly uncomfortable we'll throw on a Matrix 2.0 Balaclava.
You may have noticed this list doesn't include any tops - that's because our choice there is dictated by the Garneau custom product lineup where we wear the Team Shield as a shell over a base layer/jersey. A similar product is available via Garneau's retail line however.