Whether it’s for fitness, fun, or just an excuse to get outside and blow off some steam, biking has become more popular than ever. The biking boom is so big that some bike brands have doubled sales year after year, emptying warehouses to get thousands of riders out on streets and trails. Early on in the pandemic, bike shops were listed as essential businesses, as they help people avoid mass transit, commute to work, and get some fresh air, safely. Never before have we seen this type of rapid growth in all categories of cycling.
Just as surprising, the bike boom has continued for a half year, with no signs of slowing down. Biking, as a way of transport, especially in cities, is the new normal. As seasons change and the days get shorter, colder, and wetter, riders will want to dress a little differently. For short trips to the grocery store, gym, or to see friends from a safe social distance, these pieces of gear will help you achieve an enjoyable bike riding experience in the cold season. And be sure to check out the best bicycles out there so you can get out and enjoy the outdoors.
Shell: Columbia Men’s Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket
Breathable yet waterproof, this rain jacket will keep you dry in a downpour and still allow you to sweat without getting clammy on longer rides. You’ll also love that it comes with an attached hood, adjustable sleeve cuffs, zippered hand pockets, and drawcord-adjustable hemlocks for added protection and convenience. The jacket boasts a packable design for easy storage.
Jacket: Specialized Therminal Alpha Jacket
Lightweight insulation that doesn’t add a ton of weight or bulk but does help considerably with warmth, the Therminal fits comfortably under a hardshell or can be worn by itself, keeping in precious heat on the coldest days. It has two front pockets perfect for stuffing with small essentials or for keeping your hands warm.
Pants: Patagonia Dirt Roamer Pants
Designed for mountain biking, the Dirt Roamer pants are burly and able to repel rain, snow, and mud, yet they’re still light and packable. This pair even has multiple pockets so you can easily stash small items. Tailored to a riding position, I barely notice them while riding trails or quick spins to the grocery store and back.
Sunglasses: Article One X Ciele Active Sunglasses
Great for any season, the new Active sunglasses are light, durable, and most importantly, just damn comfortable. They rarely fog up and look good, too. Additionally, they have a retainer strap and a hardshell case so you can easily bring them along with you.
Helmet: Thousand Chapter Helmet
The MIPS-reinforced helmet comes with a built-in 50-lumen tail light, a small visor to help with rain, a huge range of adjustment settings, and an easy way to lock to your bike when you run into a store or friend’s house. I find it easy to put a small hat underneath, on the cold days.
Bike bags: Apidura Top Tube and Frame Bag
In full transparency, I originally got these bags for bikepacking, but find just as much use while commuting or on workout rides near home. They add almost no drag and carry a surprising amount of snacks and spare layers. Plus, they are completely waterproof.
Rear light: Garmin Varia RTL 510
The biggest innovation in bike lights in decades, the Varia can be seen from almost a mile away and has built-in radar that provides visual and audible alerts as vehicles approach. Plus, the battery has an insanely long 15-hour life.
Front light: Specialized Flux 1250
Most inexpensive front lights allow cars to see you, but do nothing for you seeing the road or trail in front of you. The Flux 1250 is different. With a crazy amount of lumens and a long runtime, I bring the Flux on all of my morning and evening rides.
Mudguard: Ass Saver Regular
The best bang for your buck on this list, the Ass Saver is a $12 piece of plastic that’ll save you a back covered in rain and mud. By attaching this simple and light piece of plastic to your seat, it will block the vast majority of spray from your rear tire.
Gloves: Arc’teryx Rivet Glove
My ideal compromise between weather resistance, warmth, and dexterity, the Rivet gloves will keep you dry in a light rain, warm in sub-freezing temps, and still allow you to use your phone, Garmin, and shifters with ease. They also breathe surprisingly well when sweaty on climbs.
Shoe cover: POC Thermal Bootie
This stretch fabric shoe cover keeps a surprising amount of heat in, allowing for long rides and less concern of frostbite on your toes. The simple design fits most bike shoes easily, and is also water repellent, for long and soggy days out on the bike.
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