Layering for Winter Biking (Stop Motion Video)

Happy 2015 stylish bikers! It has been a cold and icy start to the New Year in our home of Boulder, Colorado and we’ve made a quick video with a few tips to get you riding more days this winter!


There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Below are our layering tips from your feet to your head, many of which were been pulled from our piece on Elephant Journal Can’t Bike All Year Round? Photos of Winter Bike Style and 13 Must Have Winter Biking Accessories.

  • Warm socks. I prefer knee-high ski socks. Knee-high socks are particularly useful to keep your legs warm if you’re wearing pants and need to roll up the leg. Exposed skin in the winter is a fashion and comfort faux pas.
  • Weatherproof boots. Boots! Warm feet, style, and comfort? Yes, please! Boots are a winter bike stylish staple. Keep your pants and tights clear of road splatter and looking great. Rubber boots can be a little slippery on you pedals so ride with caution.
  • Pants, tights, and/or leg warmers depending on how cold it is out. Keep in mind synthetic dries faster than natural fabrics. Keep your legs toasty while you ride.
  • Long top layers to keep your waist warm when you’re bent over riding your bike. Layers! Riding in the winter will warm you up; dressing in layers gives you a lot of style and warmth options. I suggest keeping a wind-blocking jacket handy. I also love sweater tights with skirts and silk long underwear underneath pants.
  • Jacket – Warm & Bright. Stay warm and visible with a windproof and light colored jacket. My favorite is a knee-length white puffy. I have biked in darker colored jackets, of course, but prefer to stay as light as I can on my top layer.
  • Long Gloves or Mittens. Gloves of any kind will do, but long gloves are ideal. When you bend over to bike, the sleeves of your jacket will ride up your arms—long gloves help to keep your arms warm. Arm warmers will also do and are a unique style accessory. Really cold? Use a pair of thin, long gloves as liners under a pair of mittens.
  • Scarf or Neck Gaiter. Scarfs are one of my favorite winter biking accessories—a perfect way to add warmth and a flash of color to the often dark colors of the typical winter ensemble. For seriously cold or snowy days, my wool and stretchy neck gaiter is a lifesaver.
  • Glasses. Wearing glasses during the winter is something I never thought of until my first bike in the snow. Snow and rain hurt your eyes when you’re biking! Sunglasses will work and are definitely the most stylish, but can be too dim on dark days. A pair of work glasses from your local hardware store work great—you can just say they are the new Google Glass!
  • Helmet & Warm Liner Hat. Stay warm with a thin hat worn under your helmet. If you ski, your ski helmet as it typically has more insulation; however, you may want to read the specs on your helmet and make sure it is safe for your bike.

Choose the right ride. When there is snow and ice on the road there is a good chance you will crash your bike unless you make a few adjustments.

  • Alternative tires. We tried the DIY Bicycle Zip Tie Snow Tires with limited success; however, we have talked with many who swear by studded snow tires. We’ll be making a DIY studded snow tire video soon, so stand by!
  • Choose a mountain bike over a road bike. The wider, knobby tires grip the road better in inclement weather.
  • Or a Fat Bike, which have gained popularity all over. Aaron Peterson shows the Fat Bike culture in Marquette, Michigan, in his film Cold Rolled.
  • Bike Fenders. Fenders are a new addition to my bike this winter and they are fantastic! You can have them put on any bike for $50 or under and they prevent snow and rain splatter from getting on your stylish outfit.
  • Reflectors & Bike Lights. Winter’s dark days and inclement weather can make it especially difficult for drivers to see you. Make it easy to be seen and avoid being hit!



One comment

  • Antoinette Elbert  

    Great suggestions!! My son also lowered my seat for our last winter ride to help me avoid a fall.

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