I have to admit that I am a bit of a chicken when it comes to going out in the cold early in the morning.  I don't like the cold, which means that I cycle less in winter.

I'm curious to find out how people deal with the cold in winter, especially for their morning commute.

What extra gear do you use: pants? hats? jackets?  what works for you?

Do you do anything different? 

Do you anything do warm yourself up?

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Wind proof gloves - NOTE, not thermal gloves, just wind proofs. Once you have pedalled for a while you'll warm up. If it gets to zero I wear glove liners (http://www.assos.com/en/19/singleProduct.aspx?cat=6,19,31,46&pr...). Over boots for the shoes.

Depending on the weather, short sleeve jersey with arm warmers & vest. Bandana on the head. Always glasses - ever been hit in the eye by a moth - which stops the watery eyes.

If it is going to be zero or near, then a merino undershirt & 3/4 overknicks.

I don't feel the cold as much as some. But there are places on the long commute that are near water & very chilly.
Thanks for all the tips.

This morning, I went on my morning commute with additional clothes:
long pants
a warm hat
2 pairs of socks
an extra t-shirt layer

It was OK. Felt a bit cold walking out the door, but it was fine as soon as I got a bit of rhythm.


I feel a bit silly for not thinking about doing such things earlier. It seems obvious now, but somehow I didn't considered it. It's nice to have some feedback from fellow riders sometimes.

So thanks for all the tips.

I need to get myself a hat that covers the ears, but at least I've made my cold morning commute much more enjoyable.
toughen up people!!

there were times back in blighty where my hands were so cold (wet and icey gloves) that i couldnt turn the key in the door and I had to wait outside with hands under arm pits doing the jig until the blood came back - and when the blood starts flowing again its enough to reduce a grown man to a crying baby!!

Having said that, like my Dad always used to say, better to be too hot than too cold!
Laine and lard is always the best combo.


If you are skinny and have hills on your ride which can chill, a wool t-shirt and a mesh back vest helps keep the chest warm.
You don’t need to spend $$ as our winter is short, an old rugby jersey has worked well for me for a long, long time.
Try used bread bags held in with rubber bands as over shoes to keep toes cosy.
What are these called baa baa - peep or shigs?
I'd end up eating my gear for breakfast before I left home.
The main thing in Sydney is windproofing. It's not that cold down in the basin. That, for me means thinish long gloves, shoe covers, leg covers, arm covers and a windproof gilette or race jersey. Once I'm out I tend to warm up quick. In Europe I tend to have much the same except thicker gloves and more layers underneath. Even in -10 I've never really resorted to anything under my helmet but maybe that's because it's probably all just vacuum.

(ps I do have gloves for the ride in that shot, but I used a self time and I only had 20 seconds to jump back on the bike. It takes more than 20 seconds to put on thick gloves)
"Do you do anything different?"

What about checking Sydney Cyclist and doing your email before you leave for work, gives you that bit of extra time for the weather warm up. eg yesterday 10C at 7:30, 15C at 9am. Means you don't need any extra clothes except long sleeves and long pants, except for the depths of winter when a jacket might also be useful. Whether the later timing works for you depends on how flexible your boss is...
"gives you that bit of extra time for the weather warm up"

Or just not ride until after 9 or 10 - that's what I do in the middle of winter! But then again, that's a decision that can usually only be made in retirement or if you can choose your hours.

< 35 deg - fluoro long sleeved shirt + nicks + fingerless gloves + Explorer socks;
< 15 deg - minus fingerless gloves, add Bi-Lo $10 polartec type fluoro vest + longs + long fingered gloves;
< 10 deg - minus Bi-Lo $10 polartec type fluoro vest add Ground Effect long sleeved polartec jacket and wind breaker vest;
< 5 deg - minus longs and Ground Effect wind breaker vest add Ground Effect warmer longs and rain jacket + balaclava.

An advertisement for Ground Effect? Almost. They make the best, most comfortable and most durable cycling gear that I've come across.
Point of conjecture:

Christchurch annual rainfall = 648mm, days with rain = 85
Auckland annual rainfall = 1240mm, days with rain = 137
Wellington annual rainfall = 1270mm, days with rain = 159

Sydney annual rainfall = 1217mm, days with rain = 127

On balance I'd say you're just as likely to get wet in Sydney as you are in the North Island of NZ, and stay drier in the South Island. Temperature is a bit more tricky as you need to compare the monthly averages, although I'd put money on Sydney winning.

But yes, Ground Effect make good gear. I have one of their jackets and there is nothing like riding in a jacket that was designed for riding in. Clever things like thumb loops to stop the sleeves from riding up, long at the back to cover your lower back, and cut so you can put your arms on your bars without it pulling tight across your shoulders.
Not to mention the huge zip up under arm vents in their rain jackets to either let the heat out or keep it in.

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