What I Wear For Winter Cycling

It’s officially winter in Toronto. That time of year when many people believe outdoor physical activity grinds to a halt. It’s that time of year when excuses are passed off as reasons and it’s that time of year when I keep on doing what I do… riding my bicycle.

In the spirit of “how to do it” posts, here’s a look at my winter cycling wardrobe.

Let me state first that I tend to “run hot.” For some reason, I have a great tolerance to the cold. I don’t mind the biting wind on my cheeks and only once the temperature drops below -10 C do I add an extra layer to my legs.

That said, let’s look at outfit #1… the everyday ride:

1. Wool jacket with light lining (pocket handkerchief for running nose is essential).
2. Wool scarf
3. Toque
4. Merino wool sweater
5. Cotton shirt
6. Jeans (reflective strap since I don’t have a chainguard)
7. Fleece gloves
8. Merino wool socks

Not pictured: fleece long johns, leather boots.

My everyday rides take me to the grocery store, to the bank, to a new remote office (coffee shop), to the library. These are all short trips that see me on the bike for no more than 20 minutes at a time. In light snow, I’ve never had a problem with wet clothes and because I have a set of full fenders the amount of slush and grime spray on my shins is very minimal.

When I reach my destination I sometimes remove the pant strap and I’m ready to go. Easy as pie.

In addition to grocery hauling, errand running my bicycle is my only “exercise machine.” So, for longer, harder rides where I’m cranking up my already burning internal engine I dress differently… here’s a look at the active rider:

1. Waterproof/Breathable shell
2. Wool cap with ear flaps
3. Fleece half-zip
4. Merino wool base layer
5. Soft shell pants
6. Liner shorts
7. Lined water resistant gloves
8. Merino wool socks

Not pictured: Gore-tex hiking shoes, helmet

My goal on longer, harder rides is to have my outer layers block the wind and my inner layers fight to manage sweat. While I like the bright blue jacket for visibility, I bought it because the fabric is reliably wind resistant and waterproof and because it was on sale.

In the end, I suggest wearing what you feel is comfortable. I like my “advanced plastics” outer layers as much as I do my natural fibre one. Each outfit works for what I want them to do and finding the right mix that suits your body and your needs is how I feel you should determine what to wear on your bicycle in any weather.

Covet: 2011 Via Line From Giant

After countless years producing quality road, mountain and hybrid bicycles, Giant has entered into the upright city bike market for 2011. A unique steel diamond frame with twin top tubes that curve at the seat tube to form seat stays on the “men’s” version work to create a very distinct look (see below). On the higher-end models, the Via 1 and Via 1 W pictured here, you’ll get 3 speed Shimano Nexus internal gear hubs as well as fenders and either a rear or front rack.

The Giant web site suggests that the low end of the Via line will retail for $399 and the high end tops off at just $599 making these both functional and affordable.

Learn more about the Giant Via line of bicycles at the Giant web site or contact your local Giant dealer.

Giant Via 1 silver photo via Bikes For The Rest Of Us other photos via the Giant web site.

Mark Ronson’s The Bike Song (featuring Kyle Falconer and Spankrock)

This video has the same feel as those 1980s Sesame Street shorts that explored how stuff is made. Fun song and a fun “cycle chic” video.

Via Creativity-online

Covet: Globe Bikes 2011 Daily Models

Globe Daily 01 via Bikerumor.com

Globe Daily 03 step-through via Bikerumor.com

While I’m a big fan of the Globe bikes I’ve ridden, I’m still a sucker for the newer models.

For 2011, Globe is releasing the new Daily model with a steeper head tube, mustache handlebars, stock front basket and covered drive train. While I’m not a huge fan of the small rear rack and derailleur shifting of the other models, the Daily 01 singlespeed and Daily 03 step-through singlespeed are pretty great looking daily use bikes.

Now, I’d just like to see Globe use steel for the frames as the alloy, while lighter, doesn’t really dampen bumps as well as steel could.

Photos via Bikerumor.com

Yellow Fenders and Stickers

Spotted on Roncesvalles. Increasing visibility and freeing the cyclist of a distinctive “skunk tail” with bright yellow fenders.