Winter cycling brings a whole new load of things to consider, whether it’s safety, clothing or leaving enough time to dry off on a rainy day commute.
When it comes to clothing for women cyclists, the good news is that it’s no longer a choice between being practical and being stylish. Whether you want to go with a sporty look or a sophisticated look, be safe and be stylish with our winter cycling clothing tips.
Not everyone wants to do an imitation of a Lycra-clad neon glow stick when they go out cycling. Some of us want to be fit, stylish and healthy, all at the same time, so one of our favourite style discoveries has been MEAME, a London based brand designed by Megan, a graduate from esteemed fashion school Central Saint Martins, and her husband Steven, an avid cyclist and designer. Their performance-based design is for both men and women, and it’s the sort of place where you could happily spend a small fortune, but so far our favourites include their reflective tweed blazer for both men and women, which could be worn anywhere and won’t mark you out as a cyclist once you reach your destination.
Whether you’re going sporty or sleek, jackets are important. It might be cold outside, and it’s going to get colder, but once you’re cycling, you’re going to warm up, so you need a versatile jacket that’s not too heavy and is going to work for wet weather as well. Don’t dress too warmly, go with a lightweight wind-resistant shell as your outer layer with a zip front for venting. Wiggle has a selection including reflective jackets.
Do not forget the importance of a good sports bra when it comes to winter cycling. Not only is it another layer of insulation, but we all know the benefits of good support. We defer to style sports gurus Sweaty Betty, who are not the cheapest of brands, but their sports bras are not prohibitive either. The specifics of what you want are obviously up to you and your particular needs, but take it into consideration when you’re choosing your layers as you may be able to combine the two.
What you wear under your jacket is going to significantly impact your comfort levels. You want something light but insulating on the inside that will keep moisture off the skin. Vests are a good option as they warm your core while keeping your arms free. Of course, there are so many brilliant fabrics about now that keep your body temperature stable, that you really are spoilt for choice. A personal favourite is Under Armour.
On the legs, it’s out with the shorts and in with the capris and full length tights. Breathable tights that have wind-resistant fronts are the best, and if you need extra padding, try wearing them over cycling shorts. Sweaty Betty is particularly good for a stylish option when it comes to workout tights, which, let’s face it, need a certain je ne sais quoi to look anything other than a little bit silly.
If it’s a particularly cold day, you may need a little extra insulation under your cycling helmet. Synthetic skullcaps and head bands worn under your helmet are the perfect solution, and if the temperature really drops, you can choose one with ear flaps or a thin balaclava. Velovixen has a comprehensive collection available, with all of their clothing designed just for women.