Every winter, we dig into our closets and pull out all our winter riding gear hoping to remember what worked last year. We’ve put together our favorite items to get you riding in any winter weather.
This week, Stephen Wilcox presents his gear:
We all handle and prepare for various temperature ranges differently.45°F+ is a weird one for me. Wind can make it feel a lot colder, and it can feel like a summer day when the sun is shining. Wearing versatile and packable pieces really helps me work through the guessing game and switch up layers on the fly if there are big temperature swings.
Starting at the feet, temps are just starting to drop here in Minnesota and I’m loving our new Ragnarok boots. I’m finding that these boots are comfortable in a wider range of temperatures than I had originally expected. It’s just a matter of changing up my socks – lightweight, mid-weight or heavy. They feel like a regular cycling shoe, but with weather resistant super powers.
If it’s wet and I need to ride road or gravel, I’m most likely going to be in a bib knicker. If I can ride singletrack, I’ll throw a pair of baggy shorts over knickers or just regular bibs depending on the weather. The Ketl Overshort is a great option when I’m looking for a little extra protection in case I go rubber-side up on the ride. The durable, stretchy Schoeller® fabric can take a beating. So, I don’t have to worry about tears and repairs. Plus, it’s always great to have a couple extra pockets.
Up top, I really like our merino t-shirts. They look good with baggy shorts, they’re warm and they wick away moisture well. Over that, I’ll wear the Torvald jacket. It blocks wind when needed, breathes well through the ventilation in back and the back pocket doubles as a pouch that the whole jacket can tuck away into if I start to warm up. It’s super light so once it’s packed away, I don’t even notice the weight when carrying it in a short or jersey pocket. If it isn’t wet or windy out, I may run the vest instead.
For my hands and head, I can’t go wrong with the Risor liner / glove and the Stavanger cap. Both are lightweight merino wool, but still do a great job of keeping me warm. The glove has an added outer layer of polyester to make it more durable along with some axsuede padding on the palm. I unpack those gloves in Fall as standalone pieces but they stay in rotation as liners the rest of the winter.
Rounding out my ride gear, I’ve been a die hard Smith Optics fan for years. The Attack glasses have tons of coverage make swapping lenses simple and quick. Recently I started wearing Smith helmets as well. The Session helmet fits well with the larger lens glasses Smith has to offer, and it fits my dome well. I usually carry Clif Shot Bloks or fill a water bottle with Berzerk before a ride. I tend to be the weakest link and need all the help I can get! I don’t train or do anything with the data. But, I still love looking at my Strava numbers after a ride. So, I always have my Garmin Edge 520 with me. …usually my average heart rate is about 20bpm higher than the rest of the group…