Must-Have Accessories for Cold-Weather Cycling


Nothing will turn an enjoyable winter ride into an uncomfortable experience faster than freezing hands and feet. Make sure that you wear adequate gloves or mittens to protect your fingertips while riding, especially in temperatures as low as 5deg F […]

A side view of mountain biker riding in snow outdoors in winter nature.

Nothing will turn an enjoyable winter ride into an uncomfortable experience faster than freezing hands and feet. Make sure that you wear adequate gloves or mittens to protect your fingertips while riding, especially in temperatures as low as 5deg F or lower.

Some cycling gear may appear unnecessary but is absolutely essential to provide true protection. These include winter bib tights, heavy wicking full turtleneck undershirts with long sleeve wicking technology for an enhanced riding experience, lobster claw gloves or mittens for use when needed, balaclavas and winter shoes fitted with shoe covers.

Hand Warmers

Hand warmers are an essential accessory for winter riding, providing up to ten hours of heat through slim designs that easily slip inside gloves and rechargeable models that provide upkeep-free power.

Layering is key to keeping your hands warm on any ride. Aiming to have thin silk or merino wool gloves close to your skin, followed by an insulating knit mid-layer and finally an umbrella or rainshell is ideal; this allows for flexibility if the weather shifts midway.

Sonia and Roland suggest that mittens or lobster style gloves may provide more warmth than performance glove shells when properly fitted; restricting blood flow could actually make your fingers colder! Neoprene hand warming mittens have closed air bubbles which act like Styrofoam insulation for even further warmth.


Helmets provide more than just protection; they’re essential in providing comfort while riding. Wind can pick through clothing gaps and leave you cold and uncomfortable on your ride.

A well-fitted helmet will keep your body heat trapped around your head and help to keep you comfortable. Choose one with a drop liner made of fleece or other thermal material so that you can customize your level of warmth; many also include audio-ready ear pads that can be removed and washed if necessary.

Everyone’s head shape varies, so be sure to consult a helmet’s size chart when purchasing one. Aim for an ideal snug fit which sits low enough on your forehead but no higher than one inch above your ears, as a snug fit lowers the risk of coming off during a crash.


Your feet can often be the coldest parts of your body when dressing for winter riding conditions, particularly if wearing overshoes. A high quality pair of winter riding socks is the key to keeping them toasty without adding unnecessary bulk or complexity to your outfit.

Cycling-specific socks designed for wearing beneath bib tights or leg warmers and situated just below the knee offer more warmth than a regular cotton sock would. Look for ones made with wool blend, as this provides natural thermal regulation, with an additional feature such as padding at the footbed to increase comfort during your ride.

Try wearing a winter cycling cap or skullcap for extra headwarmth when riding outside in cold, windy or rainy conditions. A high quality hat will keep both ears and nose warm – the Rapha Pro Team winter cap is an excellent option.


Cold feet can make even an enjoyable ride unpleasant and isolating, which is why cycling overshoes or winter shoes are recommended as the solution for riding regularly in cold conditions.

Shimano MW7 models feature a Gore-Tex membrane to keep water at bay and warmth inside, with flap and gusseted tongue to block wind and snow out as well. A BOA L6 dial makes tightening or loosening easy once off the bike; eliminating zipper icing or sweaty laces issues altogether!

These Northwave overshoes provide lightweight yet comprehensive coverage of both feet and ankles, making them the ideal option for road riders. Equipped with waterproof Microtex membrane and Koala Gore-Tex liner to lock in body heat while simultaneously wicking moisture away, these Northwave overshoes offer comfort while staying on track with road racing standards.


No matter the terrain or terrain condition, gloves made for winter riding offer warmth, improved grip and help avoid numbness in the hands and fingers.

Choose gloves that fit snugly but comfortably; oversized gloves cause discomfort and reduce control over the bar or shifters. Choose gloves with Velcro wrist closure so you can adjust them for a custom fit.

Lobster claw-style gloves provide maximum warmth and dexterity at temperatures near freezing, with wind blocking fabric, water resistance, breathability and padding that adds just the right amount of bulk without being intrusive or bulky. Their long cuff also provides additional warmth over jersey or jacket sleeves.

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