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Top tips for keeping your extremities toasty

Words by Cycle Solutions

on 12/02/2021 09:41:29

There’s nothing worse than having cold hands and feet. It can ruin a ride, especially if you can’t get them to warm up again. In fact, it can even be painful which really makes things miserable. So what can you do? We’ve put together a short list of things that can help you keep your fingers and toes warmed up and thawed out.

Keep your core warm: It’s obvious, but the harder you’re working, and the more energy you’re exerting, the warmer you’ll stay. Obviously this isn’t always possible for most mere mortals for the entire ride, but it’s a good idea to pace yourself so you keep your core warm.

You can also choose your kit around the kind of ride you’re going on. If it’s an easy-going one, layer up so you stay warm. If you’re going to be out and pushing hard, you can opt for a thinner pair of gloves, or thinner outer layer. You don’t want to overheat. 

WINDPROOFING

Windchill can make a huge difference: Wind speeds and how fast you’re going will determine how cold you get. It may seem odd, but perhaps planning a route without too many descents at the start of your ride on those really cold days could help (unless you’ve done lots of climbing before and are nicely warmed up!).

GLOVES

Choose your gloves wisely: There’s a lot of choice out there and many gloves for different temperatures and conditions. Winter specific gloves are a good choice, as are neoprene (the same material as wetsuits and great for when it’s chilly, but not freezing). You can also double up with a glove liner or thin pair of gloves and a thicker pair to help keep warm, just make sure you can still safely grip and use your brakes.

If it’s really cold, bar mitts or lobster style gloves are a great option too. But, it would have to be pretty cold. You don’t want to overheat so choose your kit based upon the type of weather and temperatures you typically ride in.

FOOTWEAR

You can get winter specific shoes which will insulate your feet and keep you dry (this is the case for road cyclists and mountain bikers) but you can also opt for overshoes! Pull your trousers or bib tights down over your overshoes to help you keep warm and dry.  

SOCKS

Get some good socks: We’ve gone on about socks before but it’s surprising how much of a difference it can make. Wool is always a great option, as are winter specific socks. For mountain bikers, waterproof socks are a good investment to help keep your feet from getting too wet if you’re riding in really awful conditions.

Many people swear by putting either foil, cling film, a bag or a nitrile glove on your feet before your socks. If it works for you, it works. I guess it can’t hurt to try!

OUR STAFF PICKS

Here’s a few of our favourite picks to keep you warm on winter rides;

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