The Best Winter Cycling Kit of 2022
With this gear, twice the ice is just as nice
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On the best days, winter cycling is sublime. The snow is firm and freshly groomed, the temperature hovers in the twenties, and the sky is clear and blue. On the worst days it’s cold, dark, icy, wet, windy, or all of the above. The good news is that gear is evolving so quickly that getting out even in extreme conditions—whether you’re fat biking on trails, commuting to work, or going long on gravel roads—is not only possible but fun. We salute the tough stuff that kept testers safe, warm, and upright through a long northern Minnesota winter.
CamelBak StoAway 3L Insulated Reservoir ($55)
It’s easy to blow off hydration in winter when cold masks your thirst and freezes the water in your bottle. An easy fix: upgrade to this reservoir, insulated with centimeter-thick closed-cell foam that keeps liquids, well, liquid, so you have no excuse. The tube sleeve and bite-valve cover keep the drink hose flowing in single-digit temps.
POC Consort MTB Dungaree Bibs ($500)
Our tester, a former collegiate mountain-bike racer, high-school enduro coach, and bike-commuting graduate student, had many reasons to love these bibs. The suspenders kept the pants from creeping down; the durable, breathable, waterproof, stretch-weave fabric offered free range of motion; articulated knees provided room for pads underneath; and side zippers allowed ample venting and an easy exit when it was time to shed them for a shower.. (unisex S–XXL)
Cannondale ReGrip Bottle Cage ($17)
There are an estimated one billion bikes in the world, many equipped with plastic water-bottle cages. That’s a good reason to get behind the ReGrip, a 1.3-ounce, seemingly indestructible cage made with nylon recycled from fishing nets. This one small, sustainable purchase alone may not save the planet, but it will definitely save your water bottle from rattling off down the trail.
Craft Adv Bike SubZ Wool LS Jersey ($150)
A favorite of nordic skiers, this Swedish company is making moves in the cycling realm. Craft gives its new merino-poly blend jersey classic styling, with a full front zipper, four back pockets, and reflective safety details on both sides. Added windproofing on the chest and shoulders makes this a winter staple. (women’s XS-XL / men’s S–XXL)
45Nrth Wolfgar Boot ($495)
45Nrth’s updated waterproof boot excels from 10 to minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit. One tester reported that they were almost too hot above 20. The warmth lies in 600-gram PrimaLoft and aerogel insulation and a removable wool and faux-fur liner. A pliable EVA midsole makes for easy walking and pedaling, and the lugs excel on ice.
Lazer G1 MIPS Helmet and Aeroshell Cover ($250 and $23)
We couldn’t design a better winter cycling helmet. At a featherweight 8.3 ounces, this comfortable MIPS-equipped dome protector has a coveted five-star Virginia Tech safety rating. You can easily adjust the fit wheel on top even with gloves on, and the optional plastic cover closes off the top vents to boost aerodynamics and protect from rain and snow.
7mesh TK1 Bib Tight ($200)
A warm brushed-fleece interior, ultra-dense foam chamois, and wind- and water-repellent nylon-elastane outer drew us to this bib. We also increasingly appreciated the easy-off elastic bib straps for mid-ride bathroom breaks and large reflective details on the calf for riding after too-early sunsets. But the coolest features of all are the trimmable cuffs, so you can adjust the length without sewing. (women’s XS–XL / men’s XS–XXL)
MountainFlow Bike Wash and Degreaser ($14)
Most bike-cleaning products can be toxic to the environment and humans. The active ingredients in this plant-based cleaner are powerful enough to clean industrial machines, but safe enough to use indoors or at home without worrying about their impact on your surroundings.