Winter Cycling Tips

Your extremities will get the coldest when cycling in winter. Here are some tips on how to keep everything warm!


  • Wool socks. Two layers are recommended on really cold days, as long as your shoes are large enough to avoid constricting circulation.
  • Avoid cotton socks, these won't keep you warm in the event of moisture.
  • Boots. Boots with toe caps can provide additional protection against wind and moisture.


  • Lobster claw gloves. Your fingers will be warmer because they are bundled together, and you will still have enough dexterity to shift.
  • In the event of rain, wear waterproof gloves with grippy palms and fingers. Handlebars can become slippery when wet.

Neck, Chin, and Nose

  • Neck gaiter. Adjustable to keep your neck and the lower part of your face warm at the beginning of your ride, and able to slide down as you warm up.
  • Face mask. These can cover you from the nose down.
  • Balaclava. This will keep your whole head warm while also allowing you to see.

Ears and Head

  • Helmet strap or ear covers. If you can knit, you can find a pattern to make your own!
  • Helmet cover. This is worn on the outside of your helmet to block wind and moisture.
  • Hat. This can be worn under the helmet-wool is helpful here too.

Dress in Layers

Base layers are extremely important. They trap your body heat and allow you to adjust as you warm up during your ride. Go for wool or synthetic base layers, and avoid cotton. Dressing in layers allows you to remove a layer or two as you warm up.

Remember, feeling a little cold as you leave for your commute is good. You will warm up as you ride!

Additional Resources

Kirsten Wert from Whatcom Smart Trips shares some great tips for keeping yourself motivated to ride your bike in all seasons.