Cycling Thermals

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Guide 2 Cycling   >   Thermals


Cycling Thermals - What to Wear When Riding Your Bike

A lot of pedestrians looking at cyclists in cold weather imagine that the riders must be freezing, wet and miserable. However, providing you wear the right gear, they don't need to be uncomfortable when riding your bike.

The most important thing to remember is that when cycling you need to be able to easily and quickly change the amount of insulation that you're wearing. When you first hop on your bike on a cold day, you need to heat up quickly, when you pedal up the first hill, you'll start to work up a sweat and may even need to cool off, and when you freewheel down the other side of the hill, the last thing that you want is the sweat starting to freeze on your skin.

The key to being comfortable is wearing layers of clothing. This way, you can add or remove layers and thus precisely control your temperature. Furthermore, each of the layers that you wear serves a different purpose:
  • Base Layer:

    The layer closest to your skin is probably the most important one for keeping you warm, dry and comfortable. You don't want to choose a cotton T-shirt, as cotton will simply absorb and hold your sweat which will make you feel instantly chilly if the slightest draught gets to it.

    Modern synthetic fabrics such as Coolmax will take the moisture away from the skin, which is a big advantage. There's no need to buy a vast array of different clothes, as you can wear the same item in Summer as a jersey, and in Winter as a vest.

    On the other hand, if you prefer natural fabrics, you should consider merino wool. This doesn't retain odours as much as synthetic fabrics, although of course you still need to wash it every once in a while. Lots of people are deterred from buying wool garments because they think that they are difficult to wash, however this is a misconception as most modern wool garments are in fact perfectly capable of standing up to normal 40-degree washes.

  • Mid Layer:

    The mid layer of your clothing is intended to keep you warm. On very cold days a fleece is a good choice provided it's not too bulky, but when it's not so chilly, you'll want something like a long-sleeved jersey in Coolmax. Whatever you choose, you'll select a breathable fabric, and make sure that the cut is generous enough that your wrists and the bottom of your back won't be exposed when you are stretched out on your bike.

    One thing to bear in mind is that it's easy to get both cold (from the wind) and hot (from physical exertion) while cycling, even during a short cycle trip. Many thin layers are better than one thick layer, because you can add or remove them at will. Zips are however even better, as you can open or close them to instantly control that amount of ventilation that you're getting.

  • Outer Layer:

    The purpose of your outer layer is mainly to keep the weather out. That includes both the rain and wind.

    For your outer layer you want to wear a jacket, preferably one designed specifically for cycling. As with the mid layer, you'll want to choose jacket that doesn't expose your wrists or back when cycling. Additionally, avoid jackets which are stretched too tightly across your shoulders (because they will restrict your movement and soon become uncomfortable), or which sag forward when in the cycling position (because the wind will get in underneath in this case).

    Other considerations when choosing a jacket are pockets (for your wallet, keys and so forth) and safety. In terms of safety, a lighter color will help you be seen, but if your jacket has reflective features (or you're prepared to add your own reflective strips), then even better. Avoid out for jackets with hoods (most cycling jackets don't have them anyway), as they restrict your vision, especially when turning your head.
The final issue to consider is to make sure that your layers are compatible with each other. Remember that your outer layers need to be big enough to accommodate both your body and the inner layers - and you can make this easier by avoid bulky items for the inner layers. Additionally, you'll want to avoid wearing a mid layer fleece that sticks out from under your outer jacket (most commonly at the sleeves or back) as this will tend to suck in both cold air and moisture.

Here are some cycling vests:

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Pearl Izumi - Ride Men's Elite Barrier Convertible Jacket

Pearl Izumi - Ride
Multi Apparel

Pearl Izumi - Ride Men s Elite Barrier Convertible Jacket
  • Elastic draw cord at waist with hidden barrel adjust in the front pockets; Zip-off sleeves and shoulder yoke easily convert the jacket into a vest
  • ELITE Barrier fabric provides superior wind protection and water resistance; Direct-Vent panels (on Vest) provide superior ventilation
  • Sleeve zips can be partially undone for additional venting
Product Description:
One of the most versatile pieces you can own for changing weather conditions, this all-new design gives you a wind jacket and a vest in one. Simple to convert mid-ride with its zip-off sleeves, the vest delivers core body warmth on cool days. And for more protection in the wet or wind, just reattach the sleeves and go. 360-degree reflectivity helps keep you extra visible in low light conditions.

Prudance Female's Hi-Visible Breathable Safety Reflective Sport Vest


Prudance Female s Hi-Visible Breathable Safety Reflective Sport Vest
  • Color: fluorescent green + fluorescent pink
  • Suggested activities: running, morning exercise, cycling, walking, etc.
  • For the detail size,please refer to the Picture 4
Product Description:
Production description:
This hi-viz vest is very fashion, the front design made by two vivid colors and the back design made by polyester mesh, which is more benefit for outdoor sports.

The vest is very breathable and perspire, which is suitable for spring and summer season.

Two waist pockets can put some little tools, like pens, cards, etc.

Reflective binding tape has a high gloss finish to help enhance the Visibility of the wearer in nighttime or low-light conditions when illuminated by headlights

The special design of the Prudance reflective safety vest fits easily over your shirt or jacket with the loose style. It offers great comfort and is lightweight that you will forget you are wearing it.

Louis Garneau Modesto 2 Jacket - Men's

Louis Garneau

Louis Garneau Modesto 2 Jacket - Men s
  • Fit: pro-fit (slim)
Product Description:
The transition months of spring and fall are uncertain times when it comes to temperature, but at the least, they're guaranteed to be wet and windy. The Louis Garneau Modesto Jacket 2's lightweight, breathable design is ideal for variable weather. Both wind and water resistant, the Modesto is cool enough to zip over any kit in the spring, winter, or fall. The Louis Garneau Modesto Jacket 2 is made from a blend of Garneau's Diamond Air and Light Mesh Airdry fabrics. Used for the outer-layer due to its tear-resistant diamond-pattern construction, the Diamond Air fabric is both lightweight and breathable. Additionally, this material aids in the repelling of wind and water. The Modesto's inner lining uses a large, open-celled mesh knit that keeps a consistent, cool temperature by transferring moisture to the quick drying Diamond Air surface layer. Together, they offer a lightweight design that won't overheat in the unpredictable temperatures of the transitional months. The Modesto Jacket 2 also features elastic grippers at the cuffs and hem to ensure a no-slip fit that won't shift under load. For storage, Garneau included a zip and flap rear pocket, and a 'motivation pocket' for your MP3 player. The Louis Garneau Modesto Jacket 2 is available in sizes X-Small through XX-Large, and in the colors Black/red, Bright Yellow, Ginger, and White.

Wolfbike Cycling Jacket Jersey Vest Wind Coat Windbreaker Jacket Sportswear Outdoor (Vest-Green, Large)

Green Paperback

Wolfbike Cycling Jacket Jersey Vest Wind Coat Windbreaker Jacket Sportswear Outdoor (Vest-Green, Large)
List Price: $19.98*
Lowest New Price: $19.98*
Usually ships in 24 hours*
*(As of 09:31 Pacific 20 Aug 2018 More Info)

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  • Suitable for long and short riding, night riding, mild cross country,and short distance racing cycling. as well as other leisure outdoor activities.
  • [Material] Lightweight & Windproof & breathable, packable protection from dry and wind, with maximal breathability. Just what you need, and no more.
  • [Reflective logo] Reflective logos and details in the most visible position including shoulder,front, and back for other road users.

Craft Run Apparel Men's Featherlight Vest

Craft Run Apparel
White Sports Apparel

Craft Run Apparel Men s Featherlight Vest
  • Ultra-lightweight woven polyester fabric in front
  • Elastic mesh at back for enhanced ventilation and an optimal fit
  • The vest packs into its own back pocket and is easily stowable in jersey pocket
  • Ultra-lightweight woven polyester fabric in front, 37 gsm
Product Description:
The Craft Sportswear Feather light Vest is ultra-lightweight, wind-protective and water-repellent vest (DWR-treated). Our vest packs into its own back pocket and easily packs into your jersey pocket. There is elastics edging at the bottom to keep your vest in place. Brushed fleece fabric at inner collar for comfort next to skin.

Canari Cyclewear Men's Razor Convertible Jacket

Canari Cyclewear
Sports Apparel

Canari Cyclewear Men s Razor Convertible Jacket
  • Fleece lined inner collar
  • Zip off sleeves converts to a vest
  • 9" back zip storage pocket with reflective trim
Product Description:
When chillly mornings turn into afternoon sun, the Canari Razor convertible bike jacket keeps you riding in comfort thanks to removable sleeves and lightweight, weather-resistant fabric.

Wolfbike Cycling Jacket Jersey Vest Wind Coat Windbreaker Jacket Outdoor Sportswear

  • [CHOOSE 1 OR 2 SIZE LARGER THAN YOU NORMALLY WEAR] Super light and water-resistance make your enjoy cycling in the rainny day
  • The breathable mesh on the back keep your cooling all the way! Plus back breathable Window
  • The Cuff with elastic band keep the wind and rain out
Product Description:
As professional cycling brand, WOLFBIKE offers a wide selection of cycling sports life including cycling apparel, protective gear, helmets and cycling accessories at high quality yet low price because we are also the manufacturer who can cut off all the middleman expenses. You can expect to find quality materials, professional performance, reasonable price and great customer service in WOLFBIKE.

1. Super light and water-resistance, made make your enjoy cycling in the rain
2. Reflective line on Shoulder and on Back, High visibility, do not need to wear reflective vest when running in the dark
3. The breathable mesh on the back keep your cooling all the way! Plus back breathable Window
4. 1 pocket on the back and 2 pockets on the side with zipper
5. Direct-Vent panels for superior ventilation
6. The Cuff with elastic band keeps the wind out

Badass Moto Gear Hi Vis Reflective Motorcycle Vest.

Badass Motogear

VWH Outdoor Running Reflective Vest Lightweight Cycling Vests Safety Fishing Vest Sports Gear for Women Men Jogging Walking

  • Material:Polyester mesh cloth
  • You can wear it over your T-shirt, jacket or any other sportswear in all seasons.
  • Ultra light mesh fabric provides instant comfort, breathability and keeps your body cool. Fully adjustable with durable velcro closure tabs for perfect fit

H2H Mens Casual Waterproof Multi-Pocket Outdoor Active Cargo Camping Vest

  • Style no : #KMOV0143, #KMOV0144 : Waterproof High Quality Vests, #KMOV0145, #KMOV0146, #KMOV0147 - Shoulder Line Point Vests Of Various Colors.
  • Our Vests are Too Slim Fit. So If You want to loose fit, You Had Better Order One Step Bigger Size than Your Original Size. Please note that body builds vary by person, therefore, detailed size information should be reviewed below on the product description.
  • Machine Wash / Hand Wash Recommended
Product Description:
H2H is a Korean brand designed for men and women offering slim fit style with highest qualities. We bring customers to a different outlook on life of fashion.
Most of the styles are tagged in Asian size, so sizes are one to two sizes smaller than US or EU size.
If you are not sure about your size, please refer to the size chart listed below or let us know your weight and height in stones or lbs. and inches. We will surely help you to figure out your size.

  • The vest is suitable for hiking, climbing, fishing, photography and other leisure outdoor sports.
  • High quality & versatile. And Brings you simple & effortless style along with comfort. Also, It makes an excellent gift on any occasion.
  • In the case of order that ships from H2H, (FedEx Priority / USPS) It usually takes around 5-10 days for arrival except for order fulfilled by amazon. Also, APO/FPO orders are welcome here.

    #KMOV0143, #KMOV0144
    US Medium (Asia 95(L))---Shoulder 16.5"---Chest 43"---Length 26"
    US Lagre (Asia 100(XL))---Shoulder 16.5"---Chest 45"---Length 26.5"
    US X-Large (Asia 105(XXL))---Shoulder 17.5"---Chest 47"---Length 27"
    US XX-Large (Asia 110(3XL))---Shoulder 17.5"---Chest 49"---Length 28"
    US 3X-Large (Asia 115(4XL))---Shoulder 18"---Chest 50"---Length 28"

    #KMOV0145, #KMOV0146, #KMOV0147
    US Small (Asia 90(M))---Shoulder 16.5"---Chest 39"---Length 25"
    US Medium (Asia 95(L))---Shoulder 17"---Chest 41"---Length 25"
    US Lagre (Asia 100(XL))---Shoulder 17.5"---Chest 43"---Length 25.5"
    US X-Large (Asia 105(XXL))---Shoulder 17.5"---Chest 46"---Length 26.5"
    US XX-Large (Asia 110(3XL))---Shoulder 18"---Chest 49"---Length 27"

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