As any cycling enthusiast or even newbie bike-lover can tell you, the temperature of your body and the weight of your clothing can make a huge difference to the speed of your ride and how much you enjoy the journey. The trick to getting a great time for your distance and even winning a race could be down to your layering. Even if you’re just cycling for fitness or pleasure, it’s crucial to know when to layer your clothes and how to get it right.
When To Layer?
It’s not always essential to go all-out with the layers on your cycling adventures. In the warmer months, you could easily end up simply overheating yourself and putting your body in danger of dehydration and other illnesses if you layer too heavily when the sun is shining. If it’s a warm day but you might be hitting a chilly patch once the sun goes down on your mountain bike riding trip, then packing a windproof lightweight outer layer could help make the cycle session far more comfortable. It’s also often wise to bring a waterproof jacket along with you in your backpack to ensure that you stay warm and dry.
Cold Weather Essentials
If you’re planning a cycling trip in the winter months, then layering sensibly with an awareness of what materials and designs work well for this form of exercise will be crucial. The standard vest, shirt, and coat that you’d wear when going out for a walk on a cool day won’t work if you’re heading out on a long-distance cycling trip. This is where specialist cycling gear can really come in handy:
- A good base layer: The base layer that you wear as your undershirt on cold weather cycling trips is the foundation of your sporting kit, so this is an essential one to get right. It’s also a great item to invest in when you’re just beginning to explore cycling as a hobby if you want to feel comfortable while getting used to the sport. This shirt shouldn’t be made from plain cotton – it needs to be breathable and capable of keeping sweat away from the surface of your skin so you’re warm and dry throughout your ride. Specialist cycling retailers will have plenty of base layer options to choose from; many made from materials that offer comfort and smart design features.
- Your mid layer: If the weather doesn’t get too cold, you may be comfortable riding in just your mid layer and your base top. This jersey should have a proper, full-length zip to keep the wind away from your chest, as well as a fabric choice that suits your personal comfort level and the type of weather you’re most likely to be cycling in. There are a range of materials and temperature-appropriate options available on the market, so you can buy a few to suit the different weather conditions that you’ll face around the year.
- An outer shell: As we mentioned before, a windproof and waterproof outer shell jacket is essential for men or women when you’re facing cold weather or rain during your trip. Soft-shell jackets are great when it comes to comfort and a lightweight feel, so pack one for every ride to make sure you’re covered when the temperature drops.