Stay Warm With These Gear Hacks & Golden Rules For Winter Riding

With the peak of winter upon us, we have prepared some of the best hacks to help you stay warm on the bike.

Budget gear hacks to stay warm when cycling in winter.


Winter cycling gears hacks feature by Bike Network of South Africa

Hack It: Use a set of latex gloves underneath your regular riding gloves to keep your hands sheltered from the elements. Tip: Be warned you will quickly overheat if you leave them on when the temperature rises.

Buy It: Grab a set of these windshells from Bontrager or these inners from Specialized – that should do the trick.


Winter cycling gears hacks feature by Bike Network of South Africa

Hack It: Slip a page of newspaper over your base layer but inside your jersey to buffer the wind chill. Tip: If you are starting the ride knowing the temperature is likely to decrease, then fold the page up and put it in your pocket until you need it.

Buy It: A tighter fitting gilet like this one from Privateer works well on the road. Alternatively grab yourself a looser fitting option from Pearl Izumi for the trails.


Winter cycling gears hacks feature by Bike Network of South Africa

Hack It: For wet or cold rides wrap the front and top section of your shoes in duct tape and cover any holes underneath the shoes. For extra cold rides, trace your foot onto a piece of foil, cut out the shape, fit your socks on (with the foil under your foot), now wrap a plastic bag over your foot and put your shoes on. Your feet will stay dry and warm for ages.

Buy It: Check out these Bontrager windshell and water resistant toe covers or this option from Castelli.


Winter cycling gears hacks feature by Bike Network of South Africa

Hack It: Use a little coconut oil on exposed skin like your ears, neck and nose to provide some insulation from the cold.

Buy It: A neck scarf or the real deal from Buff – puts a layer around your neck and will keep you warm and can be worn over your mouth and nose if needed. Check out this new option from Lara Fay Activewear – very cool.

The Golden Rules

Before the ride: Don’t be tempted into overdressing with too many fleece layers – this will cause you to sweat, feel even colder whilst becoming clammy and uncomfortable. You want to try stick to moisture-wicking clothing, with zips to control airflow to keep you as dry as possible. Try a pre-ride hot drink to warm up. A cup of coffee, tea or better yet, green tea. The later has been proven to help shed kilos and contains antioxidants that boost your immune system.

During the ride: To maintain output levels, staying hydrated in winter is just as important as in summer. Using a basic hydrating drink like Hydrate and Perform from Isostar will keep your electrolyte and energy levels optimized. If you are going to stop for a coffee and pastry, try find a sunny or warm area to do so and don’t let your body temperature drop too much.

After the ride: It is better to remove all the riding gear as soon as you arrive home. Slip into some dry comfortable clothes right away, have some tea and let your temperature stabilize before having a shower. You can use this time to do a few post ride stretches to aid recovery.

| ACTION IMAGE: Wayne Reiche |