Winter Clothing

Winter clothing for 2 hour rides at -30C or -22F (including windchill)
  • Smartwool hiking socks
  • Oversized regular non-winter cycling shoes (size 47) with two layers of insulated insoles
  • NEOS Explorer overshoes XL (waterproof and rated to -29C or -20F)

Notes on long winter rides:

  • The NEOS overshoes were not warm enough at -5C or 23F until I used an antiperspirant. My feet are now warm at -30C or -22F (including windchill). In winter 2014/15 I stopped using antiperspirant on my feet. Because I added a wind shield to my handlebars, I didn't need to use antiperspirant on my hands.
  • I wear size 47 in winter and size 43 cycling shoes in summer.
  • On warmer winter days (-5C and above) when my NEOS overshoes are overkill I wear XXL DryGuy overshoes over my size 47 winter cycling shoes. DryGuy are lighter and waterproof.
  • On warmer winter days (-5C and above) when my NEOS overshoes are overkill, the roads are dry and I want to go clipless, I put on custom felt toe and heel covers velcroed in place and covered with XXL MEC cycling shoe covers.
  • In the warmer winter weather and my face is exposed, I wear All-Sport Non-Freeze Face Protector SPF 30 by Kiehl's or Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Stick SPF 50.
  • If your balaclava or face protection does not stay in place, try "It Stays" Body Adhesive. You can get it at in Guelph, Ontario. Another product to try is Flash Tape body clothing tape by Brazabra. You can buy it at Shoppers Drug Mart.
  • White petroleum jelly can be used to protect your face from the cold (but not when it is really cold).
  • I wear two insoles sewn together:
    • The Insolator 3/8" thick/one size fits all/1-800-722-3668/made with Cambrelle+Themolite+Neoprene
    • Farrar Men's 12-13 $8.50 (aluminum side down)
  • My winter cycling shoes are Shimano SH-M033 Gray SPD EU 47, US 12.5, CM 29.8. They are summer weight shoes and at least five years old.
  • When I wore winter boots by Kamik, I experienced discomfort in the soles of my feet after one hour. I need the stiffness of cycling shoes. As a result, I now wear cycling shoes inside overshoes.

What I take on long winter rides:

  • Extra mitts with caps and thermal hand socks
  • Face mask
  • Two polar fleece pieces to cover forehead, nose and cheeks
  • Two Heat factory disposal warm packs
  • Water in a thermos
  • Lightweight collapsible knapsack
  • Bicycle lock
  • Two bicycle tubes
  • Bicycle repair tools
  • Music player remote on custom choker around my neck outside of my balaclavas
  • RainShield O2 Cycling Series jacket if the weather could get significantly cooler (sometimes)
  • Homemade wrist mirror to ensure my inner balaclava is placed properly on my face and
    to allow me to see traffic behind me

What I no longer use for long winter rides:

  • Hotronic foot warmers
  • Cycling jacket with sleeves (okay for short rides)
  • Cycling helmet cover
  • Cycling tights
  • Polar fleece ear covers that attach to the helmet straps
  • GORE-TEX products
  • Long-sleeved cycling jackets for longer than 1/2 hour (in cool or cold weather). I want as much perspiration as possible to escape through the arm openings.
  • Neoprene shoe covers
  • Winter gloves
  • Mitts that don't flip up
  • Winter boots (by for example Kamik)