How to bike in cold weather (and still look like a badass)

Photo via DandyHorse Magazine

Just because the weather gets colder doesn't mean you need to stop cycling. Biking in the cold is a little bit harder than biking in the warmer months, due to increased air pressure, wind drag, and your muscles not operating at their optimal temperature, but there are benefits to exercising outdoors in the colder months. In fact, exercising regularly in daylight during the colder seasons can help combat those winter blues. I used to say that I would rather be warm than look cool, but I've also learned that style and function are not mutually exclusive. We can in fact be prepared and still look like a badass, who knew!

Sometimes it rains

Colder weather usually means wetter weather. Keep your butt dry and free of splashes with a mudguard or fender. The Plume Mudguard is a super slick minimal rear fender that fits into the seat post. It also rolls up (think snap-bracelet) when you don't need it so it's doesn't take up any visual space and you always have it around. For full protection, or if your bike has eyelets for this purpose, you can get full-length front and rear wheel mudguards

Snap-bracelet technology makes a comeback

So we know how to protect our butts and backs from tire splashes, but how do we protect our bodies and backpacks? A raincoat, rain pants and a backpack cover can do wonders for someone who is more traditional, or for a more urban chic feeling you can deck yourself out in a sweet rain poncho that you'll actually want to wear, like these ones from Cleverhood

Lights are so important!

Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, the sun now goes down at 4 PM in this part of the world. With more hours of darkness, lighting up is more important than ever. Not to mention, in most cities it is illegal to bike without a forward- and rear-facing light. Generic lights can be as little as $5, or if you want your lights to have more design flare, lights by Swedish design company Bookman add clean lines and a pop of colour, with optional USB charge.

Image via SportsVibe

Layers, layers, layers!

Now for the fun part! Typically, outdoor exercising apparel consists of a synthetic moisture wicking layer, and insulating layer, and a windbreaking layer. Since you're probably not doing more than a short commute, you don't really need to don your best performance cycling gear, but you can make what you already own work for you. A synthetic underlayer like a tanktop or tshirt will keep you dry, a cosy wool sweater will keep you warm, and an outer shell will keep the wind at bay. You're basically wearing clothes you would already be wearing anyway, just in a way that is optimal for staying warm and dry. Add a scarf and you've got yourself an outfit that works both indoors and out. 

Image via AmsterdamCycleChic

Now what do you wear on the bottom? Montreal girls have this layering style down pat, and the world needs to catch on. Skirts or shorts with thick leggings and legwarmers. When the temperature dips below 15°C (60°F for you American folk), pull the legwarmers up past your knees to protect them. Guys can wear a merino wool base layer under their jeans on especially cold days, and accessorize with a temperature-regulating, wind-proof, breathable and quick drying winter beard (I'm only half-joking. Or am I?).

The cold ain't the boss of me

Feel ready to face the cold? Cycling in the fall can be fun, as long as you're prepared! What's better than stepping out and showing nature who's boss, instead of hiding inside from the cold? Maybe you'll be brave enough to try winter cycling too... but that's another blog post!

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