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Your tips for keeping warm while riding

Your tips for keeping warm while riding

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Knowledge Level: Intermediate

Between them, British Cycling members cover a lot of miles every year - and that's a lot of pooled expertise! We've got some advice for staying warm on the bike, but here are some extras from people who head out and get the riding done year in, year out.

  • Warm up gently with some stretches or whatever works for you before a ride - and warm down afterwards.
  • Base layers make a big difference and I use them on cold days for non-cycling stuff as well - going to the football or going for a walk.
  • A physio friend once shared the motto: cover your knees under ten degrees. The move from shorts to leg warmers or longs is personal choice, but look after those joints!
  • Wrap kitchen foil around your socks, over your toe area before putting on your shoes. Keeps your toes nice and warm.
  • I don’t like to stop for coffee on winter rides (too cold setting off again) but if forced to by friends, a clean and dry base layer to change into in the cafe toilets is excellent.
  • If you're stopping just for a few minutes, hold onto something for balance (this can just be your bike) and swing each arm and leg in turn to force warm blood into your hands and feet.
  • Keep your neck warm, too. If possible get a scarf or neck tube you can pull over your lower face.
  • Winter boots/overshoes and comfortable layers of gloves will keep your feet and toes warm - plus a good under helmet hat/skull cap (ideally one that covers your ears).
  • Thicker socks in the winter are a great idea, but try loosening off your shoes - or buying winter shoes that are a half size bigger - to avoid restricting blood flow.
  • Keep off the bike in hard frost and ice, particularly in case of black ice which you might not see.
  • And when you're all done, don't jump into the hot shower too soon - the chilblains will be agony!

Thank you to each of the members who shared their earned experience - no doubt after lots of trial and error over the years. And remember that as a member you can save on cycling and outdoor kit thanks to our exclusive Member Rewards Hub.

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