WSS6: Clothing (The Layers Breakdown!)

By : Holly Santiago · March 3, 2015

What to Wear: How! Why!

These are my notes from a presentation about dressing for winter cycling, shared at the 6th Annual Winter Skill Share 6 (2014). You can read a bit more about the Winter Skill Share here, and more about Casey and Christina’s presentation on clothing options here.


Base Layer (the tightest fitting clothes you'll wear - wear your size or a bit smaller if it's still comfortable)

  • • Moisture wicking ("Under Armor" recommended)
  • • NO COTTON UNDIES - trust those who have suffered before you
  • • Consider modifying tights/pants with tight bands by cutting off ankle cuffs if they are too tight & swapping the waistband for a wider band
  • • Extra base layer options and tips:
    • • "Base hoodie": use a thin, snug, hoodie for the extra layer + the comfortable head/neck/ear coverage
    • • Old Cashmere is awesome!

Warmth Layer (clothes that are your size, that fit you, and you wear comfortably)

  • • All about warmth, fluffy, cozy
  • • Wear shirts that are long in the back to cover the gap betwixt pants/shirt
  • • Extra warmth layer options and tips:
    • • Vests: keep the core warm
    • • "Swants": Reusing large/wool sweaters by cutting off the sleeves and wearing them on your legs!

Outer Layer (these clothing items should be larger than what your clothing size is - too tight is un-com-fort-able)

  • • Coat
    • • wind breaking material
    • • long, to cover the thighs - warning: long jackets can get hung up on the seat
  • • Carhart or snow-pants
  • • Extra warmth layer options and tips:
    • • Go for bright colors - be visible!
    • • Skirt to go over thighs and butt - avoid "ice butt"!


Base Layer

  • • Hoodie up! Get started on the brain layer!
  • • Cowls: neck ring that can be pulled over nose/mouth/ears
    • • easy to make
    • • make sure you can breath easily through the fabric
  • • Baklava (SP or hungry, I can't tell): face/head/ears/neck wrap
  • • Thin/synthetic hat layer
  • • Headbands that are also ear covers

Outer Layer

  • • Ski goggles - YES!
    • • To prevent fogging, make sure they "breath", or tilt them off of face a bit with base layer fabric
    • • To prevent fogging, check out "Cat Crap" (a de-fogging substance, not the literal cat crap)
  • • Helmet
    • • presenter/audience seems to prefer helmets with more vents and hat layers, rather than the full covered helmets... because we get hot when we're pedaling!
    • • Warning: some ski/snowboarding helmets are NOT safe for bicycling - they have different impact ratings/designs
  • • Knitted ear covers that attach to the helmet straps - coming soon to a Grease Rag craft night!


Base Layer

  • • Synthetic/wool, thin, moisture-wicking

Warmth Layer

  • • Thicker, warmer, wool
  • • Lots of info from the audience... ask about brands on the FB page or website/blog

Outer Layer

  • • Boots (Recommended, but pricey: "Mucklucks")
  • • Boot covers (go over pedal clips too!)
  • • Think water proof/protection
  • • Platforms (see note below)


Base Layer

  • • Synthetic/wool, thin, GLOVES (so that you can still use your fingers for little things like adjusting your helmet or (un)locking the bike
  • • Wrist warmers: make this will old/holed socks
  • • Tip:  Carry a pack of hand warmers with you in case of emergency (I.C.E.)!

Outer Layer

  • • Mittens!  BIG Mittens! (Patterns are available online)
  • • Handlebar covers!  (Recommended on a set-up: "45 North")

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