To enjoy time on your bike you want to be able to control your body temperature.  Being too hot or too cold just makes biking unpleasant.  We recommend layering of clothing to support a comfortable body temperature.

Supporting you and your family to SMILE when you ride.

The key to managing your temperature on the bike is layering with riding clothing that is breathable and moisture wicking. In warmer temperatures you may just ride in one layer (a base layer).  Compare this to slightly cooler temperatures where you will ride with more than one layer. The number of layers and the clothing you choose will be determined by the temperature and the conditions you are riding in. When you ride you create air flow this causes a draft and a cooling of your body temperature.   If you ride at speed e.g on an E-Bike or when descending down a hill, this effect is accentuated and can quickly become chilling. This can be more of an issue if you are wet from rain or damp from sweat. This is why bike riders frequently require more than one layer. At the very least you need to carry an additional layer with you.

When you are heading out for a ride consider how many layers you may need to ride in comfort? Do you need to carry any additional layer/s with you? Let’s understand the three layers and the type of clothing found in each layer.

Outer Layer:

The outermost layer which acts like a kind of barrier, protecting us from rain & wind as we ride.  Outer layers on a bike are what everyone sees as we ride around so outer layers can be very important in helping to keep us visible.  Clothing designed for bike riders is often slim & fitted.  This can be the case for your outer layer so be aware of this especially if you want to ride with several layers.

Type of clothing used as an outer layer:  waterproof or water resistant jackets, thermal soft shell jackets, merino, fleece, waterproof trousers

What do you need from an outer layer? This will depend on the conditions and where you are riding.

  • Do you ride in the rain?  Are you riding in isolated areas or a long way from home?  If yes then a waterproof outer layer is important to keep you safe from the rain and cold
  • Will it be cold when you ride?  Bike jackets are often hard shells meaning they lack an insulating element for warmth.  The main function is based around protection from rain so when it comes to warmth they can be lacking.  If you are not riding in wet conditions a thermal jacket can act as your outer layer
  • If you ride in mainly good weather and are simply at risk if you get caught out by a change in the weather then a water resistant outer layer is likely to be all you need
  • If you need to be seen to keep safe then wear an outer layer that is bright or fluorescent and has reflective strips
Choose the correct chamois

Match the type of outer wear you choose to the place and conditions you are expecting to ride in.

Mid Layer:

You only have a mid layer if you are wearing 3 or more layers. Note that your mid layer may also be your outer layer if riding in good weather conditions – 2 layers.

Type of Clothing: Includes merino fleece, soft shell jackets, vests, long sleeve tops

What do you need from a mid layer?  You are wearing this layer to provide additional warmth or protection from wind chill when you ride.

A versatile layer that should be easy to get on and off so choose zips and wide openings.  A mid layer should not be too bulky so you can wear it comfortably with other layers.

Choose the correct chamois

The amount of warmth and protection you need from a mid layer will be very dependent on the season.

Base Layer:

Any item of clothing that comes into contact with your skin can be considered a base layer.

Types of clothing: Sports bras, underwear, t-shirts, tops, padded bike pants/underwear, socks, gloves, beanies, head/neck warmers and leg warmers.

What do you need from a base layer; This layer needs to be comfortable to wear against your skin and have good moisture wicking and breathability properties.

When you are exercising on your bike this layer becomes really important for your ongoing comfort.  It must be able to manage moisture well so that you don’t become damp.  Therefore fabrics that are breathable, wicking and also anti-microbial should be chosen. If your base layer is the only layer you are wearing and you need to be seen, wear bright coloured clothing.

Bike Seat Comfort needs to considered in your base layer. Wearing either bike specific underwear or pants that have a chamois (padding) sewn into them will add to your comfort.

Choose the correct chamois

Our goUnders are made from Supplex a soft, stretch fabric that also helps with wicking moisture away from your body.

When to Layer up (put more layers on). When to layer down (take layers off)…

The key here is to try and either layer up or down early. Be aware of how your body’s temperature is responding to the conditions and your clothing choice. Try to remove a layer before you get too sweaty and try to add a layer before you start to feel the effects of the cold.  Often it will take 10 or 15mins to “warm up” on your bike and after that you can consider removing layers – this is very dependant on the weather you are riding in.  At the beginning of a big hill climb it can also be a good idea to remove a layer.  When you have reached the top, and had a quick drink, make a layering decision again, should you put a layer on to protect yourself from wind chill on the descent?  Responding early helps minimise the adverse effects of being too hot or cold.

thermal bike jacket

Thermal bike jacket – mid or outer layer to block air flow & give warmth

thermal bike jacket

Merino tops are ideal for winter riding. Suitable as a mid layer and can be used as an outer layer in milder conditions.

thermal bike jacket

Lightweight, colourful synthetic fabrics for breathability as a base layer in warm conditions

base layer warmth

Head & Neck Warmers are a great addition to your cold weather riding.

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