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How To Stay Warm Cycling In Winter

How To Stay Warm Cycling In Winter

– Winter cycling can be a
pretty cold and wet experience in almost any corner of the globe, but that doesn’t stop people
getting out and enjoying it. There must be ways that you
can make it more pleasurable. – Yeah, and some of them
are pretty easy too, so here, we’re gonna give
you our top seven tips for how to make your winter cycling warm, comfortable, and
therefore, more fun. – We got to the cafe now. – Yeah, my hands are freezing. How about we kick off with
the most obvious one first? You’re not gonna feel warm wearing a summer gear
in the middle of winter. – No, so wrap up warm. A good system of inner and outer layers will help you to adapt your temperature based on the changing weather conditions. – Yeah, and the best
basis on our experience is actually a really
good thermal base layer, which you can then adapt
the clothing on the top of quite easily. – Yeah, but thermal
tights are also essential if you live somewhere really cold. They’re all kinds of other accessories that come in useful so, headbands, neck warmers, overshoes, different kinds of gloves,
thick, thermal jackets. – And many companies such as ASOS have a full range of winter clothing now that use a specialist textiles that really do many a difference because they can be
waterproof and windproof, and you know, fabrics such as this have a really low volume
and can be nice and aero, but offer incredible insulation. – Yeah, it’s definitely
made winter cycling a lot more enjoyable knowing that, well, you’ve got something
for every condition, really. Another top tip is to preheat
your drinks and your shoes because your feet get cold pretty quick, I would say in the winter and a drink will warm you from the inside. – If you get wet, you will get cold. So if there’s any chance
of rain, sleet or snow, make sure you get a good
waterproof jacket with you, but the only problem with
waterproof jackets is that sometimes you get sweaty and then you get just as wet
from the inside of the jacket. – Yeah, and with that in mind, it’s probably worth thinking about a water-repellent layer inside, as these are potentially more breathable. Obviously, they’re not gonna cut it when the rain really starts to come down, but well– – But if it’s really pouring down, you should be in the cafe anyway, really. – You know what? It’s gonna catch us out
if we don’t leave now. – Yeah, I think that cloud is threatening. Let’s go for coffee. (chill electronic music) It might seem a little counter-intuitive to try to not sweat in winter, but with all those warm layers on, if you do any hard work, you will work up a sweat and then you’ll get
really cold and miserable on the next descent. – Yeah, instead, aim
for a good base layer, like we mentioned before, and a layering system on top. That means you can unzip when your temperature starts to rise. Not only will this aid airflow, but it will also prevent
you sweating too much, which will keep you warmer when your temperature starts to drop, or as Emma said, you go
back down the next hill. (chill electronic music) – Because the blood flow
to your extremities, i.e. your hands and feet, is reduced both when you’re exercising
and when you get cold, these parts of your body are
at greater risk in the winter. Now, people have better
or worse circulation. Personally, I have terrible circulation and I really struggle with
cold hands in the winter so a good quality pair
of gloves and overshoes is absolutely invaluable to me. – You should also make sure that you’re always prepared
for the unexpected. – Yeah, definitely. If you prevent the unexpected happening, then you stand less chance of getting cold in the first place. You all right there, Emma? Do you want, what do you want? I don’t have to do anything? Come on, let’s go. (chill electronic music) – Remember to stay hydrated
even in the winter. Just because you’re not thirsty, doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink. This might be easier
for you with warm drinks and you can even get
thermally insulated bottles to keep your drinks warm. There is nothing as good as a
sip of hot tea on a bike ride and it gives you a little
temperature boost from the inside. – Yeah, one of the main
reasons to stay hydrated, even in the winter, is
that simply your body will not function correctly without it. If you don’t drink, your body won’t regulate your temperature as it should be. – And one of the main functions
of the cardiovascular system is to pump warm blood around your body. – Kind of like a central
heating system, really. – Yeah. Or central cooling system
if you get it wrong. (chill electronic music) – Emma, this is my favorite one. Remember to eat. By topping up with little
but frequent bites, you’ll be keeping your
blood sugar levels stable, and by doing that, providing your body with good energy and warmth. – Yeah, because your body actually burns a lot of your fuel just staying warm and if you get hypoglycemic, you will probably get cold. – Fancy a biscuit? – I would love a biscuit. Can I have both of them? – No, I want one. Another way of approaching this will be to plan a stop mid-ride where you can refuel on something warm. – This is usually in a
place that’s also warm so it’s a great time to warm up your body and dry out any wet kit. (chill electronic music) – I guess you could always ride harder in winter to stay warm, couldn’t you? – Yeah, definitely. If it fits in your schedule, the winter is a great time to focus on longer, more sustainable effort. And I say the longer,
more sustainable ones because you really don’t wanna go outside, breathe in all that freezing old air, and then linger for three
minutes between your efforts. – So what you’re saying is, longer, slightly less intense intervals with shorter rest periods in between. ‘Cause I guess you can always do the more intense work indoors on the turbo or the track. – Yeah, definitely. So top tips right there. Hopefully these tips will
help you stay a little warmer when cycling in the winter and if you have any ideas of your own you would like to share with us, leave ’em in the comments below and if you’re after
any quality winter kit, then why not check out the GCN shop? And if the weather’s
just really, really bad, why not check out one of
our indoor training videos down here? – Make sure you give us a big thumps up if you enjoyed this video,
and subscribe to the channel.

100 comments on “How To Stay Warm Cycling In Winter

  1. these bike snobs dont bike in the middle of winter, they have one of those expensive bike trainer things and join tournaments from the basement in the house

  2. Everytime I see a GCN video where they're out on some beautiful mountain pass roads, it makes me sad that all I have in Vancouver, BC is urban, urban, urban :(.

  3. Please, send Ollie to Montreal… So we can help him shoot a real winter cycling video… with actual winter tips and scenery. I mean… anyone dressing like the presenters and riding a road bike during winter (-20C + snow/ice) would most likely die on his first commute :p

    Good tips for real winter commuting here :

    A big hello from Canada !

  4. I cycle through cold and i put a thermos in my water bottle cage filled with piping hot coffee' and hand hots, you put them in gloves keeps warm for hours and put some in my shirt, and wool..hare fur..wool…hare fur…wool.👍Iceland

  5. Hot tea on a bike ride? Given recent British cycling success I guess I'll try it. But don't tell anybody because they may kick me out of Texas which would inconvenient at the moment.

  6. 3:13 What is supposed to be happening here? She’s wearing gloves and is cold, but they’re not wearing gloves a at all and they’re fine? Also she’s got a saddle bag on her bike which presumably has tools in it to repair her tire.

  7. Wool. Look at 45NRTH. Also, chemical warmers. I often find myself surrounded by blue-lipped shivering guys in expensive kit while I’m toasty warm (my kit is heavy but I choose comfort.)

  8. Speaking of indoor training videos (and with winter just around the corner) when are you guys going to put up some new work outs? The old ones were great and really helped get me through last winter but I did some of them so many times I knew what si, Matt or Dan were going to say next (not a good sign I don't think!). Any chance we'll see some of the new folks go through their favour (or most grueling) indoor trainer workouts? Great programs. Thank you.

  9. I use 2.5 MM scuba gloves down to 30F/-1C and 5 MM scuba gloves in colder and windier weather. They keep your hands very toasty and have amazing grip.

  10. Merino wool next to skin. Beats all plastic textiles. Electric heaters on shoes. lots of layers. In Finland it can be -25C and still people do cycle outdoors, less but some. So as conclusion, not all brands takes into account such cold climates.

  11. I think the sweating part is overrated. It's better to be too hot & sweating than too cold. The only time too much sweat is bad is when you stop pedaling (descents etc) so just keep riding hard to maintain bodyheat and it'll be OK.

  12. Feet kept getting cold, so bought some feet warming insoles. They are not superwarm, but keep my feet from getting to cold

  13. If you have to take your gloves off then stuff them up the front of your jersey. Nothing worse than putting on cold damp gloves 🙁

  14. And Winter is totally coming, again. Barely zero Celsius Today. :/ Around six months darkness and cold. When it hits -20 to -30 of Celsius with arctic wind; only clothes You need are bear fur all over Your body. Oh how I hate winter and that white stuff (others call it snow). That is Finland in its all glory. Damn. Need to get away from here…

  15. Don't stop for coffee before a long descent. When stopped, you cool down too much despite the warm beverage and tasty treats. Get to the bottom then enjoy the break. Warm back up on the climb.

  16. in winter i often get a sore throat for 2 or 3 days after a ride. i can only assume it's from breathing in the cold air. any tips on avoiding that (other than not breathing)?

  17. biggest issue for me is actually finding stuff that fits. seems companies like asos only cater to the average cyclist and no one else.

  18. Note to GCN
    You don’t realy need any buff/exe in front off your face when weather is freecing❄️. That is because when you breath, moisture that come out freece and stey on your skin> more colder skin.
    It have to be pole arctic to have that.
    Protect your forehead, ears, neck and thout. Allso frontal area (specialy littlebrother), hands and feet. Over -15˚❄️ be were about cold lung that mite get you an astma. Heureka then you get leagal astma drugs from your doctor. And bike will go faster.

  19. One thing that wasn't mentioned: they make pogies that go over your handlebars that do a much better job of keeping your hands warm than just gloves. I only recommend them for weather below freezing though. They can get kind of toasty above freezing.

  20. 1) Put aluminum foil around your toes (over your socks) 2) when your hands get cold, especially when you have started your ride and have not got your body working hard enough to get hot, swing them around fast (doing windmills), it forces warm blood towards your fingers. 10x each arm is usually enough. 3) use gloves that put your fingers next to each other like a mitt or lobster claw glove. I have a pair of normal gloves that have a wind proof cover that you can pull out over the fingers stopping wind chill.

  21. How are emma recomending those gloves if she usualy freeze as i would use those in 0 C if i was out longer than a hour and better gloves for longer or colder rides i prefer a TRIfinger glove (one of those making you look like a TMNT)

  22. I ride in temps as low as 15 degrees Fahrenheit/-9 degrees Celsius. I keep from having cold feet and hands by understanding how and why you get cold.

    1 ) Your body has rules to save heat (Core Temp) .
    2 ) Your head arms and legs act as radiators. They help the body lose heat.
    3 ) Your body increases or decreases blood flow in your arms, legs and head to control your Core Temp. The colder your core temp, the more your body reduces blood flow to your feet and hands.
    4 )Tight shoes/clothing transfers heat out of the body, more quickly than loose shoes/clothing.

    So, the trick to have warm feet and hands, is to keep your Core Temp up. Ways to do that are.

    1 ) Do NOT wear heavy thick socks. Use the same socks you use in summer.
    2 ) If possible use older stretched/loose shoes.
    3 ) Keep the Buckles/Laces as loose as possible.
    4 ) If you are using booties, make sure they are not tight.
    5 ) Make sure your tights are heavy enough for the temp. Use two or three layers
    6 ) In addition to your base layer, jersey and jacket. Wear a wind proof layer (like a large babys bib) between your jersey and jacket.
    7 ) Wear mittens not gloves (Looser than gloves)
    8 ) Wear a heavy knit band to cover your neck. Large enough so you can pull it over your mouth.
    10 ) Cover your ears
    11 ) Wear a hat over your helmet

  23. A pair of oversized shoes allow for a good liner sock wicking layer and a really thick warm pair of socks. One can even add a Gore tech over sock that completely cuts the wind. Then an over boot over the over sized cycling shoe. On truly miserable days you can even add one or even two chemical warming pads. These are available at outdoor sports stores. Place between the thick sock and the GoreTec over sock. This really works!

  24. Gloves are priceless for warm weather. Your hands in comparison to most other body are doing less muscular work than almost all other body parts, therefore they cannot stay as warm as other parts. Wear good quality skiing gloves for a little over freezing and windy to 15 below zero.

  25. three or four layers of waterproof pants and winter boots with modified clip on straps with 2 or 3 boot covers. How else do you survive -30C with salty slushy roads? After 4 years I am still waiting for GCN to make a winter tips video.

  26. Im not sure who prepares technical content here….. but talking kit and not saying "merino"… talking base layers and no…. "merino", winter over-sweating and no… "merino". And gloves! How many winter lives were saved by mittens gloves! …ahhhh! GCN!!!!!

  27. Buy some 'little hotties toe warmers' and wear 2 thin pairs of gloves not 1 thick pair. Get yourself a flask that fits in bottle cage

  28. Mmm…bit of a lazy video GCN. There is a LOT more to offer in terms of advice for cold weather, wet weather, windy weather and long dark nights.
    This was very weak in terms of quality of info, acting and content.

  29. Any tips on keeping warm without spending a fortune on expensive cycling gear? I am talking around £30-40 for a jacket, base layers for £10, gloves for £20-ish. If you ride a lot or commute through winter you need several of everything to keep it clean and fresh. "Good" kit seems to cost!

  30. How you can tell anything about winter cycling that you're riding with roadbikes and there isn't any snow on the road or temperature isn't even below 0C

  31. I'd love to see you guys go to Finland in the winter and talk to one of the winter commuters there. Those guys are hard core.

  32. Wait , at 0:48 , Both Emma and Ollie are wearing an Assos Fall/Spring Baselayer? Is it because the winter jersey gives you the additional warmth? Assos also seems to have an early winter/winter base layer. Should I get one of those?

  33. Tip from a year round commuter (rain, snow, sleet, ice, and all that). If you hands or feet are cold add a vest!

    Your extremities are at the end of a heat gradient that starts at the top in your core and flows down towards your fingers and toes as your limbs lose heat. So if the gradient stays the same than raising the top should raise the bottom.

    In short, if you feel the cold in your hands and feet, you are not dressed warm enough, all around.

  34. I used to live in Switzerland and extremely cold and dry is no problem. I find it far more unpleasant when it is cold and damp on roads in the UK. Damp, cold hands and especially cold and wet feet are the absolute worst.

  35. Wish you would offer that Assos winter kit and especially the winter jacket in a size TIR. You said you would be doing it 6-8 weeks ago and to keep checking back. Have done so but still no sign of the TIR.

  36. As long as it's above 20 degrees it's not bad out. Then again I live in Colorado and am slowly turning into a mountain marmot.

  37. Oh yeah its OK for you lot sponsored by Assos. Their stuff is undeniably the best but its prohibitively expensive for mere mortals. How about some clothing that does the job from other manufacturers… oh yeah , you can't can you… sponsor says no

  38. Matcha hot green tea with honey, toe warmers and 7 A.M. Enfant gloves that velcro to my handle bars to put my gloved hands in.

  39. Get yourself a cycling balaclava, I live in Ireland during winter it can get very cold with icy winds the balaclava keeps my head, ears and face warm also it is very light weight, it is now a part of my winter cycling kit, the best ever present my future wife gave me for Christmas.

  40. I put aluminum insoles in my MTB shoes, with a liner sock, a thicker sock and a shoe cover I have used my Giro terradora in -12 degrees for extended winter bikepacking trips 🙂

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