CLOTHES FOR RIDING IN WINTER
The challenge of riding mountain bikes in winter is the handling the temperature change in your body. When you first start out, you are cold, and then you warm up from your exertion. Sweating occurs under prolonged exertion, making you and your clothes wet. This subsequently cools your body with the effects of wind chill factor. This cooling can be quite pronounced when travel at high speed and riding downhill. The choice of clothing can make a significant difference to your comfort levels when riding your mountain bike in winter.
Specially designed gloves for biking separate the thumb and index finger from the rest of your fingers. This enables you to operate the brake levers and the gear shifters. These types of gloves are warmer than conventional gloves.
For extreme temperatures simply carry a pair of lightweight glover liners. If you need to stop for some running repairs or to simply take a break you can pull out these gloves to keep you warm in the interim.
Wrap-around glasses are best to ward off the wind chill by providing a great wind break effect on your face. Glasses are also effective for protecting your face from flying debris.
The extremities of your body, your head and feet, are the most vulnerable parts of your body in cold environments. Your circulation is partially cut off to your feet due to the pressure of peddling. In extreme conditions this can lead to frostbite. Neoprene booties are ideal in these environments. Zip them right over your entire shoe. They have modifications to accommodate the shoes cleats.
Ulta thick socks are not so effective for winter mountain biking, and they can be counterproductive. They will make your regular shoe it too tight, and subsequently reduce the blood circulation, hence making your feet colder. Choose a heavy sock that is lightweight. Silk socks use by skiiers are ideal, as they are warm and extremely lightweight.
Wind chill is one of the biggest contributor to body temperature loss. Choose clothing that offers great wind protection with venting, allowing you to expel any perspiration. Look for “breathability” in the material of the pants and jackets. Another factor to consider is durability.
As mentioned previously, you lose a lot of body heat through your head. The problem with helmets during winter is that they have been designed to keep you cool during the warmer months. Simply use a fleece liner inside your helmet to keep your head and ears covered, and warm & toasty.
Lightweight polypropylene underwear is ideal for rigorous activity in cold environments.