At Westbrook Cycles, we understand that it’s not just the bike itself which makes for an enjoyable day out mountain biking, although it certainly helps! Equally important, is a massive range of accessories and clothing which makes each ride not only easier, but more enjoyable. One of the questions that we discuss a lot with customers, both over the phone and in our North Yorkshire shop is - how to dress and what to wear for winter mountain biking sessions. This is quite a difficult question to answer initially, but thankfully mountain bike clothing manufacturers have risen to the challenge of designing and manufacturing an excellent array of mountain bike clothing, that protects and keeps riders comfortable in all weather conditions. One of the reasons that choosing winter mountain biking clothing is so complex, is because not only is the weather incredibly changeable - but so is the effort that the cyclist is putting in. At one point, a mountain biker can be charging up a steep incline, incredibly warm - whilst getting very cold when they pause for five minutes to eat a sandwich.
It’s clear that wearing the right clothing is essential. In this guide, we run through some of the best, and worst things to wear on a winter mountain bike ride, as well as running some ways in which we layer up on a ride.
If there is one thing we have learnt from riding bikes in winter, is that you should avoid using a t-shirt as your baselayer. Although nice to wear, all t-shirts do is get soaked with sweat, and stay wet - making you cold. So even if the t-shirt did come free with the bike, leave it at home!
Choose the Right Baselayer
The Baselayer you choose to wear, needs to fulfil a few different purposes. Firstly, it needs to keep you warm, whilst effectively wicking away sweat. There’s a range of mountain biking base layers available, in a range of man-made materials, as well as natural materials such as soft Merino Wool.
The Mid-Layer is perhaps the most important layer, and it needs to keep you warm whilst still managing to wick sweat away from your body. Ideally, mid-layers should feature zips and pockets, which means are easy to put on and off when required. Again, there’s a massive choice here.
Jackets & Shells
It’s really important that your outer layer is waterproof, windproof - as well as breathable. Gore-tex materials or similar work brilliantly, and many mountain bike shells feature armpit ventilation, and a number of pockets to keep everything you need at hand.
Look After Your Legs
Although it may seem like we have covered the full body, it's the bodies extremities which can suffer most under cold weather. A good pair of thick socks will serve you well in colder weather, and windproof gloves will also keep the chill off your hands.
Winter Mountain Bike Clothing from Westbrook Cycles
At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a fantastic range of winter mountain bike clothing - brands we stock from within this collection, include: EVOC, Race Face, Scott, Troy Lee, Dainese and 100 Percent. You can view the full range across our site, and as always get in touch if you have any questions about the collection.