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Essential Gear for Winter Urban Cycling

By Christopher Ashley

The weather’s cold and you need to be prepared. Here are a few of our favourite things to keep warm and help with the cold season training excuses.

Rapha’s Winter Collar £30

This unassuming product is an affordable piece of luxury from Rapha. Sure, you can pick up a cheaper winter collar for under £5, but it won’t be as breathable as the beautiful merino wool Rapha used to spin this from. Soft, adaptable, and positively chic in grey.

As with a lot of Rapha’s city range, the winter collar is just as useful off the bike as on it, and the colours available are carefully chosen to fit with a broad range of clothing choices. Useful for the urban cyclist who’s regularly switching between business and pleasure.

John Lewis, Ladies Leather Gloves £22

These versatile gloves are warm, windproof and they’ll keep the damp out. The leather will give you a reliable grip on the handlebars and brake levers, giving you control and confidence when riding about the city.

Park your bike, head into the office, and your gloves don’t scream “I’ve been riding my bike!” Choose from a range of colours that would make Rapha blush. Leather gloves are leather gloves, and the reasonable price and excellent quality of this products invites you to buy a whole selection of colours.

Meaco Platinum dehumidifier, £179.99

Picture the scene – you’ve cycled back from work, it’s freezing cold and the rain lashes your face all the way home. It feels amazing battling the elements and you get home feeling like a champion, hang up your wet weather gear and slip into your warm dry lounge clothes.

Getting ready for your cycle in the early hours the next day, you realise your best wet weather gear is still wet. You put it on and nearly die of shock stepping out your door into the 6am air. Buy a dehumidifier – it’ll dry out your shoes, overshoes, jacket, gloves, and legwarmers overnight. Treat yourself.

Berghaus Freeflow Rucksack, £100 & Proviz Rucksack Cover £29.99

When I jump off my bike in winter, I want to get inside ASAP but as much as I like the convenience of a rucksack, they make my back sweat with even the smallest exertion. And then I discovered the Freeflow range – a curved chassis keeps the bag from resting against your back and allows air to circulate.)

The only other problem is they don’t have a bike specific visibility, so you may want to consider the Proviz Rucksack Cover. Not only will it add an extra layer of weather protection to the rucksack, but it looks chic by day, and highly reflective by night. Our favourite Proviz product to date.

SKS Raceblade Pro, £45

It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing full merino Rapha city winter apparel, or Rabobank’s 1998 team strip, you don’t want road grit and mud sprayed up the back after a heavy winter downpour. Avoid the dreaded “skunk stripe” by splashing out on some decent fenders or mudguards.

You’ll be particularly grateful in winter, as it’s no fun cycling to work when it feels like someone is power-washing your rear end with an ice hose. It’s difficult to look your boss in the eye and smile when you can’t feel your bum.