Winter Clothing Essentials

Winter Clothing Essentials

Keeping motivated and riding throughout winter can be a challenge, if you're not a fan of riding indoors on the likes of Zwift then having the right clothing is key to being comfortable on the bike in cooler temperatures. These are the top essential winter clothing items for cycling that you’ll need in your wardrobe, along with the basics of a good pair of shorts, gloves, helmet and shoes.

Winter Essentials - Knee Warmers

Knee Warmers

When the weather isn’t quite cold enough for tights or leg warmers, knee warmers are a go-to for protecting your knees and keeping your muscles warm while on the bike. Opposed to wearing a pair of ¾ tights, which aren’t available in many or any men’s options, knee warmers have fleece backed lycra material which offers more warmth. They can also be easily removed mid ride and will fold down and easily stow away your jersey pocket. The Madison Sportive Thermal Knee Warmers are a best seller.

Winter Essentials - Overshoes

Waterproof Shoe Covers

There is nothing worse than having cold and or numb feet while on the bike, especially on those early morning road rides. Cycling shoes are designed using lightweight uppers with lots of ventilation which allow your feet to breathe, however it's this exact ventilation that allows the cold in during winter. Shoe covers easily pull over road cycling shoes and most mountain bike shoes, to keep your feet warm and dry in almost any weather condition. They are designed with a fleece lined interior for warmth, and a waterproof and windproof exterior to keep the windchill out. The Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier WXB Overshoes is one of Pushbikes favorites, durable, lightweight and warm.

Winter Essentials - Bib Tights

Thermal Bib Tights

If you’re planning on continuing to ride throughout the cold winter months, keeping your legs warm is essential, if you want to ride in any sort of comfort. Bib tights use a fleece backed lycra for added warmth, they are long enough in the leg to cover your ankles and come with ankle zippers that makes getting them off and on easier. Unlike using a pair of leg warmers, bib tights give you added warmth around your thighs, hips and even lower abdomen area. The Tineli Bib-Shorts Tights With Chamois come with a seamless bidirectional stretch chamois for comfort on longer rides.

Winter Essentials - Jacket

Waterproof Jacket

A good lightweight waterproof jacket is key in protecting you in wet conditions and is possibly the most important item in your winter cycling wardrobe. This may also be the most expensive item in your wardrobe too. Not all jackets are equal, the more you pay, the more you get, in terms of performance – by which we mean breathability, durability, cut and features. Selecting the right jacket for your needs is key, whether you need water proof or water resistant, mountain bike or road cycling, and with or without a hood. If you're looking for a good lightweight mountain bike or bike packing jacket then the Madison Flux is one of the best on the market. The Madison Roam 2.5 Layer is the women's specific version of this. For road cycling the Madison RoadRace Premio has a tailored fit to avoid any drag.

Winter Essentials - Neck Gatiers

Neck Gaiter

A neckwarmer is another versatile piece of cycling clothing available, it can protect everything from your neck, ears and nose depending on how you wear it. Essentially a neck warmer is like a scarf, made of wicking and quick drying material, it's designed to cover the gap between the top of your jacket and the top of your neck. They can easily be removed or added during a ride and stored in your pocket. They are also handy off the bike too, for running, hiking and walking on those colder mornings. One of the best sellers is the Pearl Izumi Merino Neck Gater.

Winter Essentials - Vest


A vest will be the most vertisale and used piece of cycling clothing you will own, they are great as a layering item, for descending and keeping the windchill off your chest. Even on a summer's day ride, it can start or end cooler than you expect. Added with a pair of arm warmers, you’re essentially wearing a jacket. Vests are easily taken on or off during a ride and are small enough to fit in your back pocket. If you’re after added safety on the road then a high visibility option is a great choice. The staple choice of vest is either the Tineli Fluro or Black out solid vest.

Winter Essentials - Undershirts


A base layer should be the staple of any cyclist's wardrobe and is a key item for comfort while on the bike. ‘Baselayers’ or ‘undershirts’ are designed to sit next to the skin as the first layer of clothing, hence the name ‘Base’. They help wick sweat away, regulate your body temperature, insulate you against the cold and keep you cool in summer. It’s generally accepted that layered clothing is the best way to manage your body’s temperature when it’s cold. Not all base layers are equal, high-tech synthetic fabrics designed to wick sweat away from your body are best. Baselayers offer great flexibility, able to be worn under cycling jerseys or jackets.

Winter Essentials - Waterproof MTB Shorts

Waterproof MTB Shorts

Waterproof mountain bike shorts are essential for any mountain biker, they will help keep your bottom dry, warm and more comfortable by removing any pressure points that can cause irritation and or chafing. They provide a stretch fabric and compression fit without being too tight and uncomfortable like a normal piece of wet clothing. There is little weight difference and feel between a normal or waterproof short like the Pearl Izumi PI Summit Shell Short making them a versatile option for other applications like bike packing.

Winter Essentials - MTB Pants

MTB Pants

Like a good pair of mountain bike waterproof shorts, pants are becoming increasingly more popular for covering your legs while riding in the elements, by providing warmth and protection. They offer a tapered fit that reduces them catching on the bike while riding, stretchable fabric for comfort, and have a breathable design to repel moisture away from the body and dirt, and debris on the outside from the elements. They also have enough room to wear your knee guards underneath, if you're spending the day at the bike park in them. View the range of mountain bike pants here.

Winter Essentials - MTB Socks

Winter Socks

If you're serious about keeping your feet and ankles warm on the mountain bike, a good pair of winter socks will help keep you dry and comfortable. A merino or wool blended sock has more cushioning, a comfort-inducing construction and provides additional warmth and added insulation to keep your toes warm. They are slightly thicker than a normal sock so you’ll need to ensure you have the width and or room in your shoes to accommodate this. The most comfortable mountain sock is the Fox Winter Wool Sock.

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