Cycle clothing to keep you warm on the bike this winter

A roundup of the best cycle clothing to keep you warm on the bike this winter

by David Arthur   November 30, 2014  

Castelli Elemento 7X Air Jacket

It's proper chilly out there and it's only set to get colder as winter rushes our way. Now is the time to make sure you're ready for the cold temperatures with the right cycling clothing to keep you warm on the club run or the ride to and from the office.

We get asked all the time what clothing we recommend and seeing as we've tested hundreds of cycling garments over the years, we thought we'd put our heads together and show you some of our favourite cold weather clobber. This is the stuff that we still use regularly long after the review is published - so when we say it's good, we really mean it.

We've linked through to the full reviews on each product so you can read our full verdict on each.

Howies Cadence long-sleeved jersey  £79.00

Wales-based howies are on good form at the moment, knocking out some really nicely designed and reasonably priced cycling clothing. The latest Cadence jersey, tested here in long sleeve guise, is another case in point, it's a really comfortable and versatile cycling top for Spring temperatures.

Vulpine Cotton Rain Trousers  £139.00

Vulpine's Men's Cotton Rain Trousers are a well made, superbly thought through pair of trousers that will keep you dry on the bike and looking stylish off it. They are available in a men and women's version.

Road Rags Holborn leggings & skirt combination  £90.00

The Holborn skirt/leggings combo from Road Rags is possibly the most comfortable item of clothing I've ever worn. The Holborn takes the best aspects of lycra tights - stretchy, form fitting and moves with you - and transforms them into something that you could genuinely enter a pub in without looking like a cyclist.

Caratti Deep Winter Waterproof Overshoes  £35.00

If you suffer with cold feet in the winter months read on as Caratti's Deep Winter Overshoes are the most insulated I've tried. Their waterproofing and build quality is impressive too.

Mavic Sprint Bib Tights  £155.00

With a comfortable insert, excellent fit and ideal insulation for cold temperatures, Mavic's Sprint Bib Tights are good winter legwear but the price puts them at the top-end of the bib tights market.

SealSkinz Mid Weight Mid Length Socks  £30.00

Sealskinz Mid Weight Mid Length Socks are a good thing to have in the drawer once the cold and wet weather draws in. There are some UK conditions that will breach any foot fortifications, but these socks are a great last line of defence.

Giro New Road Primaloft Insulated Vest  £129.99

Like a posh bodywarmer, the insulated vest from Giro's New Road range is a pretty flexible piece of gear that I found works well for casual use but is also an effective and packable layer for longer rides.

dhb Blok Fluoro Long Sleeve Jersey  £44.99

dhb's Blok Fluoro Long Sleeve Jersey is perfect for the autumn and winter cycling. For autumn, when it's too cold really for a jersey and arm warmers, it's a good top-layer, and for colder winter days it's an ideal mid-layer.

Rapha 3/4 women's tights  £150.00

Designed for those rides when you don't want to wear bib shorts, these Rapha Women's Tights are made from a comfortable high-stretch fabric. You honestly wont feel you even have them on.

Craft Active Extreme Crewneck baselayer  £32.00

The Craft Active Extreme Crewneck baselayer is an excellent option for keeping you dry and warm during off-season cycling. A women's version is also available.

Rapha Pro Team Jacket  £200.00

Rapha's Pro Team jacket combines a supremely good fit with a softshell material that fends off bad weather with ease. For cyclists who like to ride hard and fast all the time, the breathability and protection of this jacket is outstanding.

Showers Pass Men's Crosspoint Softshell WP gloves  £58.00

Showers Pass Crosspoint Softshell WP gloves will keep your hands dry and toasty even in a hard winter

Meccanica Marl Casual Retro Cycling Jersey  £120.00

The Meccanica Marl Casual Retro Cycling Jersey is the sort of jersey that you ride to work in and then do everything else in too. It's got enough bike features to make it practical to ride in, not so many that it looks stupid elsewhere, and it's among the comfiest garments I've ever had the pleasure of wearing.

Craft Storm Glove  £32.00

When you want high quality cycle clothing for the winter, Swedish brand Craft is one company that always stands out for me. They make excellent cold weather clothing that generally fits really well and works superbly in the chillier conditions of autumn and winter, and these Storm gloves are no exception.

Castelli Thermoflex leg warmer  £45.00

Leg warmers aren't just for winter, well not in Britain anyway and a good pair are worth their weight in gold, these Castelli Thermoflex Leg Warmers something of a bargain.

Sealskinz Belgian cap  £28.00

It's only recently become cold enough to wear Sealskinz' Belgian Style Cycling Cap as it's just too toasty for temperatures above 10°C. It's already obvious that this is going to be a vital winter companion, though.

Castelli Elemento 7x(Air) jacket  £275.00

Castelli's new Elemento 7x(Air) is an innovative jacket for cold, dry winter weather. What you can't miss about this jacket are the ridged 'Windshear inserts' of the 7x(Air) fabric, used for about 50% of the panels. A women's version of this jacket is also available.

Craft Thermal Hat  £15.00

The Craft Thermal Hat sets out to keep your head warm and achieves this with a 250gsm polyester and Lycra material that provides enough insulation for temperatures down to below freezing.

Galibier Colombiere Training Jacket  £77.00

The Colombiere Defense jacket is part of Galibier's cold weather range and is designed to repel the wind on those long base mile training rides throughout the winter.

Vulpine Softshell Jacket  £175.00

We tested the original version of Vulpine's Softshell back in 2012 and to say Jo Burt was impressed would be an understatement. That doesn't mean the London based outfitters have rested on their laurels though; there have been plenty of little tweaks along the way. Here's the Women's Harrington Rain Jacket.

10 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I had that Castelli jacket. It was good, but not great. In fact I had a Mavic Espoir that was, IMO, warmer.

The Assos ij.bonka, whilst bonkers, is superbly warm, warmer than the Castelli ever was.

posted by bendertherobot [382 posts]
5th November 2012 - 16:58

61 Likes

Brilliantly gormless-looking model. Love it.

posted by andyp [1073 posts]
12th December 2012 - 18:37

1 Like

when you buy the Rapha women's jacket, presumably the girl is included? I'll take two...

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
9th February 2013 - 13:01

2 Likes

I think Rapha's winter jersey belongs on this list. I got one recently (2nd hand) and I honestly believe it's the most miraculous bit of winter kit I've ever come across. I wore it for a snowy four-hour ride yesterday, when the Met Office assured me it was around 2 degrees all morning - with wind chill from a biting north-easterly taking that down to an apparent minus 6 at times, and I was perfectly comfortable throughout wearing just the Rapha jersey and an Odlo base layer. And I'm no hardcase I can assure you. I'm not the only one who likes it either, it seems: http://road.cc/content/review/29751-rapha-winter-jersey

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [584 posts]
24th February 2013 - 19:20

72 Likes

I have the Assos ij.bonka jacket, and it's superb. I was out for a 120km ride this morning, average temp 3 degrees, most of the morning was zero degrees - a sportful base layer, a thin long sleeve jersey and the Assos, and I was toasty for 3 and a half hours.

Pricey, but buy quality, cry once.

posted by Faroon [20 posts]
24th February 2013 - 19:46

71 Likes

Jeez Faroon that's £260! Suddenly the Rapha looks like a bargain. (Having said that, I'm completely with you on the get-what-you-pay-for argument.)

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [584 posts]
25th February 2013 - 20:19

67 Likes

Love the galibier jacket. Nice bit of style and such value for money. Cant recommend it enough.
I have the older Castelli leg warmers and now into their 3rd season. Good price per wear.

posted by Freddy56 [14 posts]
30th November 2014 - 14:28

0 Likes

Surely if you're going to put a Castelli top layer in it should be the mighty Gabba? A phenomenal bit of kit that makes me happy every time I wear it - today's miserable misty murky cold ride was no exception; it kept me toasty warm and dry with only a string t-shirt underneath.

posted by 5th [36 posts]
30th November 2014 - 19:31

2 Likes

londonplayer wrote:
when you buy the Rapha women's jacket, presumably the girl is included? I'll take two...

Dear god...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89hkmQKx9p4

dodgy's picture

posted by dodgy [135 posts]
1st December 2014 - 9:29

2 Likes

Nice but I'm gong to try this cheap alternative to the insulated vest from Uniqlo
http://www.uniqlo.com/uk/store/goods/131364
And 'No' I'm not wearing plastic bags on my feet...

posted by robert_obrien [118 posts]
10th December 2014 - 13:24

0 Likes