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've put our heads
together and collected 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, and via the headline, to somewhere you can buy
Morvelo Stealth Stormshield Knee Warmers keep your knees luxuriously warm
down to about 3-5 degrees in foul weather. They are water repellent, stay
up well and the plain black material means they will work well with most
of your other riding kit.
They're made from a thick Roubaix material for warmth and a windproof and
highly water repellent fabric, called Stormshield, to block out the
elements. It’s a highly elastic fabric with four-way stretch and has the
ability to move moisture away from your skin while blocking incoming water
which makes it ideally suited bad weather riding.
Winter cycling is made much easier with high-quality clothing that
provides excellent insulation and comfort, and the LL.habuTights_s7 from
Swiss masters of cycle clothing Assos are a case in point. With a thermal
fabric and double layer over the knees they'll keep your legs toasty warm
meaning you're fresh out of excuses to cancel a ride because it's too
cold. They offer just the right amount of warmth for typical British
conditions, which at the time of writing has included a sustained period
of sub-zero temperature that has certainly made riding the bike more
testing than usual.
If you want a pair of tights that'll protect you from pretty much
everything the winter can throw at you, then the Lusso Termico Repel
Bibtights are a very good option. Thermal, water repellent, with a
comfortable pad and blocks of subtle reflectives, they're ideal for dark,
dank rides throughout the off season.
Shimano's top-end S-Phyre Windresistant Jersey represents performance
perfection. The fit is tight but well proportioned, with well-thought-out
features. Wind resistance is excellent, with the jersey also keeping out
rain for a while. It's very effective at stopping wind and the brushed
internal fabric provides the perfect amount of warmth.
The Lusso Windtex Stealth overboots offer a large working temperature
range across a myriad of different weather conditions. And don't let that
Windtex name fool you – these booties will also keep the rain at bay for
way longer than you'd expect of a fabric this light and thin.
The Kalf Club Thermal bib tights are supremely comfortable, nice and warm
yet lightweight, and really well constructed. The reflectivity on the
calves actually looks good, and the fit is excellent. They were tester
jack Sexty's my go-to bib tights last winter, except for near-zero
temperatures for which they're not quite warm enough.
Shimano's S-Phyre Winter gloves they truly deliver excellent performance.
The dexterity is sublime, they're perfectly warm at 2°C and the grip from
the palm is perfect. They're certainly expensive, but they work
Gore Men's Power 2.0 Windstopper Soft
Shell Jacket — £83.34 - £109.16
Fluoro yellow version — £91.95
A quality softshell is one of the staple requirements in any cyclist's
winter wardrobe where versatility is key to shrug off the wind, light rain
and ice cold temperatures. Gore knows a thing or two about keeping the
elements out and that's shown here with its Power 2.0 Windstopper Soft
Shell. You can go cheaper but can you go better?
When you see the word thermal in a jersey's title you expect it to have a
certain amount of weight and thickness about it. The Kalf Club Men's
Thermal Jersey doesn't have either of those things, in fact it barely
feels any heavier than most summer tops, but boy is it ever warm – even
with the thinnest of layers beneath it.
The Kalf Winter Merino Socks are comfortable and warm even when the
mercury drops below freezing. With generous reflectives on the back for
visibility, it's hard to imagine much better winter socks.
The Prendas Meraklon arm warmers are basic but they do a good job and
come at an amazingly cheap price.
They're essentially tubes of polypropylene (58%), nylon (40%) and
elastane (2%) with a ribbed top and a more tightly woven cuff section at
the bottom. A little more air gets through than with fleecy Roubaix
fabrics but they're warmer than skinny Lycra warmers – they split the
difference between the two. We found them a good option for typical
Warm, very water-resistant and extremely well-priced for the quality,
these are probably the best arm warmers on the market at the moment.
Featuring the mid-weight style of the Aeron Rain Defence range, these arm
warmers are well up to the task of insulating you from the cold. The rain
resistance they offer is very impressive, while the thickness of the
fabric provides insulation even if water manages to seep through, which it
did on one occasion in a fantastic 20-minute deluge.
Gore's Element Urban Windstopper Soft Shell Pants are an interesting and
practical set of casual commuting trousers. As windproof and waterproof as
you would expect from Gore, with several practical, high-vis elements,
they're very good – once you've found the right size.
Wearing Lycra doesn't suit every situation. Try walking into a proper
London pub, going to a football match or going clubbing in bib shorts –
you get strange looks. So having a set of trousers that can do most of
what Lycra can but without the social stigma that the 'uninitiated' put on
it is nice. Step forward the Element Urban Windstoppers.
As you might suspect from the name, the trousers are designed to be both
windproof and waterproof. Given that these are a Gore product, it's not
surprising to hear that they excel in these areas. The rain beads against
the material and the wind batters it but nothing gets through.
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.
Madison's Sportive PU Thermal overshoes are a great option for wet
weather riding, with the added thermal benefits providing some
much-appreciated insulation. Although described as a mid-weight overshoe
by Madison, they don't struggle when the temperature gets down to low
Wiggle's in-house clothing brand, Dhb brings fantastic value to its
Classic Roubaix bib tights, teamed with top performance. At their £55 RRP
these bib tights are knocking around the bottom rungs of the cost ladder,
but punch way above their weight for comfort, warmth, chamois quality and
fit. Most importantly, the Roubaix fabric is constructed of a mix of 86%
polyamide and 14% elastane for the entirety of the tights. It's extremely
comfortable, flexible and warm – easily capable of dealing with
temperatures close to freezing.
Endura's Pro SL Biblongs are excellent: they're windproof, fit superbly,
and the pad comes in three widths, offering a little customisation.
At the core of the longs is the four-way stretch windproof, breathable
fabric with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish front and seat panels.
This panelling of fabrics gives the longs a very comfortable fit. On the
bike, they fitted me perfectly with no bunching of material at the back of
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.
Decathlon's in-house cycling brand B'Twin rarely fails to deliver on the
whole bang for buck ratio, and it's the same story here. For the
performance and quality you get with the 900 Warm Long Sleeve Jersey
(previously known as the 700 jersey), you'd probably expect to pay much
The 900 Warm is a pretty simple jersey. You get a fleece-lined fabric
that's warm enough in the spring and autumn down to say 5-6°C with a
simple baselayer beneath, and if things drop towards freezing it's thin
enough that you can layer it up easily under a jacket.
Gore Bike Wear offers a somewhat bewildering choice of jerseys and
jackets, but if you're after a lightweight, slim fitting top that offers
wind and rain protection with excellent breathability for three-season
use, the Power Gore Windstopper Long Sleeve Jersey is a top pick.
Made from Gore's iconic Windstopper fabric, the Power jersey is ideal at
dealing with the constantly changing weather conditions of spring, summer
and autumn. Wear it over a lightweight baselayer and it can cope with a
really wide band of temperatures, from nudging zero up to high teens. That
versatility makes it easy to dress for virtually any ride, so you can
spend less time making tricky clothing decision and more time pressing the
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.
Want a technical winter baselayer that will allow you to keep the other
layers off? B'Twin's 920 Windproof Long Sleeve Cycling Baselayer could be
Baselayers – generally speaking – tend to be thin layers of fabric that
help provide a passage for sweat to move from skin to the outside, and as
a result perform a key function in keeping the body warm when needed, and
cool when not.
B'Twin's 920 baselayer (previously known as the Aerofit) is a technically
constructed top with a race cut that's designed to do the former and help
you resist the cold thanks primarily to its slightly thicker construction
and front windproof panel. Putting it on is like donning body armour –
genuinely making the cold outside seem a little less hostile compared with
thin merino-blended baselayers and giving you the confidence to shed a
layer when heading out.
Showers Pass Crosspoint Softshell WP gloves will keep your hands dry and
toasty even in a hard winter.
The Endura FS260-Pro SL Shell is an exceptionally breathable,
fully-fledged miserable-weather jacket with a host of features but no
excess faff. It's a cracker.
Endura has used a three-layer Exoshell40 fabric (in black or fluoro
green) of amazing thinness and only 70g per square metre (for reference,
even a thin merino baselayer is twice that). The fabric can apparently
breathe 60 litres of moisture per square metre per day, and has a
waterproofness measure of 18,000mm (meaning a tube of water 18m tall with
a patch of the fabric over the bottom wouldn't seep through). The whole
thing is fully tape-sealed – even around the small square stretchy panels
near the hip. It's a masterclass in detailing.
The price and link above are for sizes M and XL. If
you need an S, L or XXL, you're looking at paying £156.65.
When you want high quality cycle clothing for the winter, Swedish brand
Craft is one company that always stands out for us. 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.
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 Style Cycling Cap is too toasty for temperatures above
10°C, but really comes into its own when temperatures drop to single
figures. It was a vital companion last winter, and the latest version is
reflective for gloomy-conditions visibility at no extra cost.
thermal skull cap is a no-nonsense, close-fitting black hat that fits
under your helmet and keeps your head remarkably warm considering it's not
windproof. It doesn't cost much either.
The Madison Sportive Men's Softshell Jacket offers a good fit, generous
warmth for the chilliest winter rides, looks smart and is reasonably
priced. A windproof and water resistant fabric is used for the front, side
panels and shoulders, with a thermal Roubaix back panel. It's a
combination that provides good insulation for cold rides while keeping the
wind out. It does a good job of keeping the rain out too. It's not ideal
for prolonged downpours, but get caught in a short shower, and you'll be
The Ashmei Cycle Softshell Jacket is a very high-quality top that's
particularly suited to spring and autumn days, and it comes with a
multitude of excellent features. It's an incredibly well designed piece of
The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.
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As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.