Going below zero
How low do you want to go? How low can you go? -3 C? -10 C? Here’s a collection that is probably as warm as you can get with cycling-specific kit. If you want more insulation, you’re looking at a parka.
Start with the MEC T3 long-sleeve crew base layer ($59), which will wick sweat away from your skin. The Specialized Therminal long-sleeve jersey ($155) can be a thick mid layer or a proper outer layer for some. Top it all off with the Garneau Alpha cycling vest ($180). Go with the Sportful R & D Zero jacket ($440) for serious warmth. It fits snug. If you want layers beneath, consider sizing up. Toasty to the max.
Head and hands
The Bontrager B3 balaclava ($80) provides excellent coverage without making you feel closed in. The Pearl Izumi PRO AmFIB lobster glove ($100) uses the buddy system to keep digits warm. All fingers and thumbs benefit from the Primaloft Gold insulation that keeps in the heat.
These Shimano S-Phyre long bib tights ($420) don’t have a chamois, which means you can run them over pair of bib shorts with a pad, such as the Mavic Cosmic Pro Thermo bib short ($170). Both have comfortable fleece inside, while the S-Phyre tights have durable, windproof and waterrepellent neoprene panels that run from the knees to the hips.
From 0 C to 10 C for him
The 0 C to 10 C range is tricky. Let’s take 4 C. It almost seems that not all 4 C days are the same. Some 4 C days feel colder than other 4 C days. That’s not science. But what is fact is that these clothes will have you covered.
The Sportful Sotto Zero long-sleeve base layer ($125) mixes merino wool and polyester. The B Specialized Element 1.0 jacket ($200) does a good job of keeping wind and water out while trapping in the warmth. For an extra bit of protection, say for a long descent, slip on the Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier Lite vest ($150) and then stuff it into the jersey’s pocket after.
Specialized Element Windstopper hat $30
Giordana Aqua + Vento 100 winter shoe covers $160
Head, neck, hands and feet
The Specialized Element Windstopper hat ($30) is a snug lid that will keep your ears fully covered. You’ll keep wind from sneaking past your neck and into your jersey with the Biemme buff ($40). The MEC CloudBurst gloves ($55) have elastic wrists to keep the breeze at bay. Finally, keep water and wind off of your shoes with the Giordana Acqua + Vento 100 winter shoe covers ($160). It’s in their name after all.
Pearl Izumi PRO softshell leg warmers ($110) are hefty, rivaling some tights with their warmth. The red thigh bands are a nice touch, but it’s too bad they get tucked way under the Pearl Izumi PRO Escape thermal bib shorts ($250). Their PI Dry technology sheds the water that may fly up as you ride over ribbons of snowmelt.
From 0 C to 10 C for her
Dressing properly for this temperature range is all about having options. More is better.
The Bontrager B2 hooded long-sleeve women’s base layer ($135) can keep your head warm. Or, if you don’t need the full coverage of this garment, flip the hood down, but zip up high around your neck. Specialized Women’s Therminal long-sleeve jersey ($155) works well in the upper end of this temperature range, 6 C and warmer. For the lower end, put on the Castelli Alpha RoS jacket ($365), which is like a jacket and a half in one. Unzip the outer zipper when you heat up, but leave the inner insulation layer zipped up. You have maximum temperature modulation with this jacket.
Head, neck, hands and feet
For strategic warmth around your head and over your ears, use the Specialized Shasta headband ($20). The Garneau Women’s Gel Ex Pro cycling gloves ($35) have precise venting and padding on the palms and fleece from fingertips to wrists at the backs. If you can never keep your feet warm, the Mavic Ksyrium Pro Thermo+ shoe covers ($120) , which are easy to slip on and snug up, have you covered.
Mavic Ksyrium Pro Thermo+ shoe covers ($120)
Specialized Shasta headband $20
Biemme Identity tights ($149) have solid gel grippers to keep the cuffs in place. The straps are comfortable with the right amount of vertical stretch.
For warmer than 10 C
Sure those spring showers are good for the plants and everything, but not great for your rides. If you face some sprinkles, these items will help you out.
Don’t sweat it when you’re out riding with the Garneau 3002 Tee base layer ($50), even though you may perspire. Its silver-based treatment has antibacterial and anti-odour properties. The legendary Gabba jersey is now in its third iteration. The Castelli Gabba 3 ($250) has improved pockets and drop tail compared with its predecessors, but is still aero, windproof and highly water resistant.
Arms, hands and feet
Since the Gabba has a bit of Castelli’s Nano Flex fabric under the arms, you might as well continue on with that fabric. Throw on some Castelli Nano Flex+ arm warmers ($60) and watch raindrops bead right off. Also, when you face water from above, cover your hands with the Biemme Jampa gloves ($79). To provide your toes with that little bit of extra something-something on a brisk day, slip on the Shimano S-Phyre toe covers ($50). Each cover has a cutout for Boa dials on a variety of shoes.
The Sportful Fiandre Norain Pro bib shorts ($235) have a waterrepellent treatment to keep you dry longer. Inside, there’s brushed fleece for warmth. And, as you did with your upper appendages, go with a water-shedding fabric. In this case, put the Castelli Nano Flex+ knee warmers ($65) on your legs before you head out on your ride.