The art of layering… less complicated than you would think

So you’ve been riding the trainer or the rollers for the last few months and as soon as snow is mostly gone and the sun is getting warmer, you think it might be about time to head outside for a change. You check the weather: 5 degrees… The radar doesn’t show sign of rain, which is pretty good and the wind is close to being barely noticeable. Perfect for a ride! It takes a second to make that decision but then… what am I going to wear?

That’s a question a lot of people ask themselves when heading out for cycling after a few months of being outdoor. If you’ve been cross-country skiing or running during Winter, you might already have a good idea. Maybe not. Or perhaps it will be your first time riding a bike in that kind of weather. By the way, this article is by no mean a bible, since everyone has a different level of tolerance to cold. The idea is to make your ride as pleasant as possible, no matter the conditions you’re facing.

Layering is key! Transportation – insulation – protection.

The baselayer is made to keep your body warm and transport humidity causing cold. Merino wool is a great material because it keeps you warm or cold depending on the conditions. That’s because it doesn’t retain moisture; it helps it move between the layers.

The mid-layer is where you want to keep warm but not overheat. Personally, I love Bioracer’s Tempest light jacket* because it’s comfortable in many conditions, even during Winter.

The third layer is protection, from wind and rain. If you’re in a long ride or you’ve been doing a few intervals, your body will be warm; the cold air could come in quickly and you could freeze. If there’s no rain on the horizon, a vest could do the trick to block wind.

Some essential accessories providing extra comfort for the first rides of the season: toe covers, arm and leg warmers.

In the photo above, the temperature was roughly 5 degrees, light wind and no rain. Here’s a list of what I was wearing, to give you an idea:

  • sleeveless mesh
  • arm warmers
  • leg warmers
  • merino wool socks
  • short sleeve skinsuit
  • insulating jacket
  • vest
  • long finger gloves
  • toque
  • toe covers

Have a great ride!

* To be transparent, Bioracer has been supporting me with clothing for a few years. 🙂

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