Clothing for Cyclists: 33 to 45 Degrees

Ted King, Alison Tetrick, and Andy Jacques-Maynes share their favorite clothing for all types of weather, from freezing to sizzling.

May 15, 2013
Outside Magazine

At last, racing weather.   

Alison Tetrick hails from Northern California, where rides can be wet and cold in the winter and where dressing appropriately is just as much part of a training plan as intervals and hill repeats. 

In this zone, the key is walking the line between overheating when you’re working hard and freezing when you’re just spinning. No matter how hot your body runs, Tetrick suggests starting with a long-sleeve jersey for insulation and a thermal vest—which you can strip off during hard efforts—for wind protection.

To keep your legs from seizing up, opt for a set of leg warmers or tights, and tuck both under your shorts to prevent them from slipping off. Keep the transition between foot and ankle warm with a pair of tall wool socks. But resist the urge to splurge on white shoe covers (they’ll only get dirty and ripped-up). Instead, go for a bright color—good for visibility and vanity

Top it off with a pair of long-fingered gloves and some embrocation—cycling-specific warming oil—underneath your leg warmers, and you’ll be as toasty enough to ride for hours.

Rain adds another degree of complexity to your clothing choices. In case of precipitation,  Tetrick suggests you ditch the vest and long-sleeve jersey and instead opt for layering a thermal jacket over a long-sleeve base layer for warmth. Top it all with a shell to keep you dry.

Don't forget your feet, either: Choose a set of waterproof neoprene covers with a tight neck, and match them with a set of water-resistant tights.

Filed To: Biking