What to wear when it's freezing

by TRs Blurb n Blog   November 30, 2010  

What do you wear on your commute when it is zero degrees outside? Is it different to what you wear out training in the same temperature? The difference for me is in footwear and that depends on what bike I choose to ride.

here is what I wear:

woolie boolie socks
merino pants
rapha 3/4
merino base
merino track top
soft shell jacket
specialized sub zero gloves

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when the weather gets like this I wear...

Balega socks
Pearl Izumi (normal) shoes
Castelli windproof overshoes
2XU full length run tights
Sugoi RSE bibshorts
Endura BAABAA merino base layer
Road.CC jersey
2XU membrane jacket
Altura Ergofit gilet
Altura Ergofit gloves
Reflective buff under my helmet

I get to work and Im very warm!!!

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
30th November 2010 - 12:03

1 Like

Shutt VR winter jersey
DHB Hunston jacket (until I was properly warm)
Old skool Curve l/s jersey as baselayer
Rapha belgian hat
Endura Luminite overshoes
£3 pair of thinsulate gloves
Shutt VR standard bibs
Kalas bib tights
Buff styled by Shutt VR

posted by 2WheelsChalk [7 posts]
30th November 2010 - 12:22

1 Like

Yesterday it was…
wooly socks
Sealskinz waterproof socks
Shutt bib longs
Howies merino baselayer
Craft Xtreme arm warmers under
Raleigh (I think) Long sleeve jersey
Freestyle gilet
Endura jacket
wooly hat - hate wearing hats
Endura jacket
Altura night vision winter gloves

Ride starts off with a long climb and the jacket was open by the top, all toasty except I forgot my overshoes would have been spot on with them.

Today it was all of the above + overshoes and some old Freestyle overtrousers - the latter really kept the windchill off my legs and the overshoes wrapped round the bottom of the overtrousers to stop the mashed up bits getting more mashed up in the chaingring. Looked a bit weird. Plenty of reflective bits, but an all black outfit on an all black bike. I'd like to say that black is slimming, but not with that many layers on it isn't.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
30th November 2010 - 12:49

1 Like

for the commute I go for,

Sugio merino winter hat
Sugio merino long sleeve base layer
Altura Night Vision evo jacket
night vision gloves/liners
Gore bibtights
night vision overshoes
craft neoprene toe covers

yesterday was -9 degrees when i left so I did stick some leg warmers under my tights and a balaclava under my hat.

on a training ride i normally where the same but a winter jersey as opposed to the hi viz jacket. As long as my hands, feet and ears are warm I'm happy

Twitter - @StuKerton

stuke's picture

posted by stuke [356 posts]
30th November 2010 - 15:26

1 Like

Yesterday was roughly -4/-5 in Gloucestershire ...

Rapha merino baselayer (the old thicker one)
Rapha short-sleeved merino jersey
Castelli long-sleeved wool jersey circa 1980 with Campagnolo on it (multicoloured CLASS !)
Rapha Classic softshell (sooooo good !)
Endura bibshorts
Pearl Izumi AmFib P.R.O. softshell winter tights (no pad)
Rapha merino socks
Endura Luminite overshoes (seen better days !)
Specialized cheapest shoes (about time I invested in some more expensive ones (Father Christmas, please NOTE)
Icebreaker merino neckwarmer
Rapha merino hat (the business under a helmet)
Merino inner gloves (only a fiver !)
Specialized Radiant gloves

Oh, and some seriously hot embrocation on the achilles/ankles, knees and lower back - that is invaluable, especially when I reach the station after 13 miles or so - really kicks in then !

I have to say that my Christmas list includes a Rapha Winter Jersey and some replacement overshoes - cannot make my mind up which ones, though - any suggestions welcome. Smile

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

timbola's picture

posted by timbola [234 posts]
30th November 2010 - 15:41

1 Like

i wore my jeans and a coat, some thick socks and some fleece gloves. and a buff. had to windmill my arms along the towpath to get some blood in my fingers but i was okay apart from that. I was riding the electric Ute, so bibs and overshoes would have looked a bit weird Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7857 posts]
30th November 2010 - 15:45

1 Like

a couple pairs of socks, a vest, a pair of thin gloves, normal fingerless cycle gloves and a high vis jacket, otherwise, as normal... Big Grin

posted by Stefan [60 posts]
30th November 2010 - 17:22

1 Like

A good thick layer of Vick and a duvet cos some evil monkey has passed their cold on to me!

Otherwise a pair of DHB Merston bib tights and an Endura BaaBaa base layer under a Gore Phantom jacket is a good starting point.
Merino wool socks, Shimano winter MTB shoes and Endura overshoes just about keep my toes toasty despite my laughably poor circulation.
A couple of buffs or a berghaus mountain cap under my helmet to stop my ears falling off.
Silk liner gloves under sealskinz MTB gloves on my hands.

posted by northernrebel [70 posts]
30th November 2010 - 17:26

1 Like

Rapha Begian Hat (the daddy of hats!)
Craft Zero Extreme WS Long Sleeve Base Layer
Bib shorts from Ciclos Uno
Shutt Winter Tights
Shutt Signature Jersey
Rapha Winter Jersey (best piece of clothing in the range)
Rapha Paul Smith Rain Jacket or Shutt Soft Shell
Shutt Buff
De Feet Woolie Boolie
Endura Road Overshoes
Craft Bike Siberian Glove

The only thing that can stop me now is ice.
Come on Winter. Do your damndest!!!!

Ian of Woodford

winprint's picture

posted by winprint [132 posts]
30th November 2010 - 18:22

1 Like

It's not highly technical, but I wear an old hoody under my Endura Jacket.
The hood is big enough to go over my helmet (fnar) and drawstrings tied in a bow keep my mouth covered if necessary.
If it gets too hot I can pull the string and - Hey Presto! - no more head covering.

I also wear 3 pairs of gloves at once and thermal bib tights under 3/4 baggies for maximum windproofing to the knees.

Chris's picture

posted by Chris [129 posts]
30th November 2010 - 18:52


I've cycled in temperatures as low as -8 degrees Celsius and felt super-toasty when wearing:

  • Bridgedale socks under dhb M1 MTB Shoes (plus Endura overshoes if it's Baltic)
  • Endura Stealth Tights over Gore Bike Wear Bib shorts - fleece-lined tights, windproof outers
  • Gore Bike Wear jersey over Icebreaker Merino wool base layer, both under Altura Night Vision Waterproof Cycling Jacket. Merino wool FTW
  • Altura Night Vision Waterproof Gloves - very very warm; too warm in warmer conditions
  • Gore Bike Wear Helmet IV Cap under my lid to keep the ears nicely covered

And a buff if my neck feels particularly exposed.


posted by andyfryer [10 posts]
1st December 2010 - 10:00

1 Like

I just put on my 94 Castorama kit and I'm flushed with embarassment all the way to work

posted by bazzargh [147 posts]
1st December 2010 - 11:31

1 Like

that's wonderful. somehow it couldn't be any other hairstyle, could it?

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7857 posts]
1st December 2010 - 12:46

1 Like

merino socks
mtb shoes
dhb winter tights
altura overtousers
schutt vr merino ls top
arm warmers over
merino gilet
altura night vision jacket
merino gloves
altura gloves over
gore face mask to start with
merino hat under helmet (don't normally bother with lid)

Really, though?

posted by workhard [393 posts]
2nd December 2010 - 12:09


Ground Effect Submerino
Aldi gilet
Buffalo windshirt
Endura coolmax undershorts
Altura Winter Cruisers
Altura Neostream overshoes
Pearl Izumi amfib gloves (not great but better than the alternative)
Ground Effect bandana for my ears
central vent of helmet covered by masking tape

It's a bit cold on the arms at first, as the windshirt is unlined pertex, but anything much more snug and I'm too hot after 20 minutes.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2418 posts]
2nd December 2010 - 23:15

1 Like

Endura baselayer, stealth tights, stealth jacket, Lycra shorts, winter jersey, sealskin socks and Endura strike gloves and FS Skullcap.
Shinan mtb shoes for winter so I can walk over Ice/snow with shoe covers.
Helmet and riding shades with light blue tint and clear/yellow night.

Looking at getting a face mask and also pack another water proof light in case I end up walking with £20 taxi fare home.

I try not to over do it as you'll sweat and get cold.
Winter is not about hard riding anyway. It's a great time to rest, get the mileage up and rid the injury.

Just build speed in spring.

I like my bike but it needs a hidden 25cc motor Smile

Fish_n_Chips's picture

posted by Fish_n_Chips [380 posts]
4th December 2010 - 3:07

1 Like

SealSkinz waterproof gloves (need new ones, these aren't warm enough)
Asics waterproof trail running trainers
SealSkinz waterproof beanie (under the helmet)
Northface Goretex jacket

posted by jamiec [2 posts]
23rd December 2010 - 22:10

1 Like

I have just been sent some Rapha soft shell trousers to review. Apart from their slightly shiny shell suit like appearance they are like leg blankets. Toasty.

It's not just about the size of your cog.

TRs Blurb n Blog's picture

posted by TRs Blurb n Blog [270 posts]
24th December 2010 - 12:18

1 Like

I wear Oxford cold killers thermals they are the business
A buff keeps my neck nice and warm I also wear a Bandero mask this keeps my face well cosy

Best thing I ever did was switch my motorbikes for a pushbike !

posted by Thor74 [3 posts]
6th January 2011 - 14:29


I don't commute...
but for a training blast...
PBK 3/4 knicks (now deceased) or Shutt VR winter tights (Altura Ergofit comp bibs underneath)- need to keep the draught off the wee man!
Pair Bridgedale merino wool socks (hiking- winter weight)
Pair Shimano R086 (need some ventilation with the thick socks)
Pair Pro Raven H20 overshoes
Adidas compression base layer
Craft sleeveless mesh top
Santini Primo SS jersey- both this and the Craft top trap air to keep me warm
PBK/MOA longsleeve jersey or Altura Reflex LS jersey
Endura Gilet
Buff for the neck/ears/face as needed
No cap, just helmet....as I hate overheating and having an itchy head...but I also take along an Endura Merino BaaBaa peaked cap for when I stop...remove the sweaty helmet and get toasty..and sometimes a set of thin armwarmers (lycra- not roubaix)in case it gets colder
Chiba (gel) winter gloves or Sealskins winter gloves


The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [642 posts]
8th January 2011 - 11:43


Today, mostly I was wearing -

Open toed sandals Sidi Berkenstocks
Ladies tights (beige)
A purple tutu (might be Rapha) from Ballet4him.com
Endura 'super stealth' tights
Thick brown Cardigan with wooden buttons
Standard RN issue lifejacket
A merino cravat by Pierre Cardin (2009 season regrettably)
Giro Atmos in White and blue
Tortoiseshell limited edition bifocal Oakleys with pink lenses.

Can't wait for summer as by the time I was dressed and ready it was dark...
Big Grin

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1221 posts]
15th January 2011 - 1:53


This week I ha'been mostly wearing a pair of verucca socks and a g-string! If the cold snap continues I may consider getting out my thermals - by which I mean getting them out ready to wear, not getting myself out of them - where would be the point in that?

posted by jtothec [12 posts]
8th December 2011 - 7:46


It's a rather pleasant 15 degrees C down hereabouts in the foothills of the Pyrenees this morning - no need for 3/4 knicks yet....


cheers m'dears

2011 Rose Pro-SL 3000 Road
2006 Lemond Alpe d'Huez Broken
1997 Marin Sausaulito Urban bimbling/shopper
1980 Orbea project

daviddb's picture

posted by daviddb [132 posts]
8th December 2011 - 10:23


DHB - Road Shoes
Giovatti - 3mm Overshoes
River Island - Leggings Thinking
DHB - Roubaix Leggings
Mountain Life baselayer (short sleeved)
Altura yellow jacket
Muddy fox gloves
Ear warmers

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
8th December 2011 - 12:56


love my shimano mw80s

posted by wyadvd [126 posts]
8th December 2011 - 21:35


Loving your work MercuryOne!
Particularly like 'thick brown cardigan with wooden buttons'.

Most posts do read like a fashion parade and attempt to flash how much the wearer has spent. One assumes where the manufacturer isn't mentioned, the poster has bought a cheap version and is too embarrassed to say.

Get the feeling some are trying to say "Oi'm significantly richer than yow!"


posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
8th December 2011 - 23:00


TRs Blurb n Blog wrote:
I have just been sent some Rapha soft shell trousers to review. Apart from their slightly shiny shell suit like appearance they are like leg blankets. Toasty.

Hmm… checking the date on that comment it occurs to me that you haven't actually reviewed 'em yet though have you… do they still make them?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4201 posts]
8th December 2011 - 23:20


For a 3.5 mile hilly city commute:

Protective - padded longs
Reebok polo-necked long-sleeve training top.
Endura waterproof jacket (sort of breathable) with underarm zip vents fully open.
Altura waterproof gloves
Standard office-wear ankle socks
Shimano MT41 mtb shoes
Under Armour super thin beanie cap under the crash helmet.

However, the best keep-the-chill-off addition I ever got was Bolle Contour clear safety specs (£6-ish on eBay and elsewhere).

When training, I swap the training top/waterproof jacket combo for a merino base layer and windproof jersey (like the Endura FS260 Jetstream) which has windproof front panels and breathable back panels.

neildmoss's picture

posted by neildmoss [254 posts]
12th December 2011 - 14:35


I don't cycle commute, but last time I got on the bike I wore:

DHB pace roubaix 3/4 length bib shorts
Helly hansen base layer
Northwave longsleeve winter jersey
Endura pakajak rain jacket, seems to help keep the wind out a bit.
Endura equipe overshoes
Northwave thermolite socks
Buff around the neck.
Buff or two on my head, covering my ears.
Clear glasses.
Winter thermal cycling gloves

the_mikey's picture

posted by the_mikey [155 posts]
15th December 2011 - 0:46


Seal skins merino socks,
Normal road shoes,
Nike over shoe covers,
Endura Stealth waist tights for the -5C,
Endura base layer,
DHB long sleeve winter jersey,
Endura Stealth Jacket,
Endura Strike gloves,
Endura thermo skull cap,
DHB glasses clear
And a packet of tissues to blow dose.

I like my bike but it needs a hidden 25cc motor Smile

Fish_n_Chips's picture

posted by Fish_n_Chips [380 posts]
18th December 2011 - 18:30