A short guide to thermal and winter cycling jackets
There’s no doubt about it: getting too cold on winter rides is not fun. Keeping your torso warm while out riding in cold weather is important because it stops you tiring so quickly, allowing you to stay out on the bike for longer. With the right clothing you can also ride well into the winter months.
A warm winter jacket is an essential piece of cycling attire than no serious rider should be without. Worn in conjunction with a base layer and/or winter jersey, the right winter/thermo jacket can enable you to ride even when the thermometer dips below zero.
What types of winter jackets are available?
No matter what type of cycling you do, there’s the perfect winter jacket for you.
Like most clothing for road riding, you’ll generally find that appropriate winter jackets are cut to a slimmer ‘race fit’ – too much material flapping around in the wind can hinder aerodynamics and isn’t good when you want to ride fast. These jackets are also usually longer at the back and shorter at the front to suit a more aggressive, head-down riding position. Such jackets usually have two or three pockets at the back for carrying basic essential items. There can also be reflective strips or features on the arms and back.
Winter jackets for mountain biking are cut slightly looser, offering good freedom of movement with slightly more casual styling. Features can include side pockets, back pockets, drawstring hems and collars to further adjust the fit. Most models will also have a slightly extended back, as typical with most cycling tops and some jackets even have hoods. As with road jackets, some winter mountain biking jackets also feature reflective inserts to help you stay visible in low light.
Winter jackets for commuting and general use are casual in appearance, often with hoods, drawstrings in the hem and hood, stretchy cuffs and reflective elements on the arms and/or back. Such jackets don’t scream “I’m wearing a bike jacket” although are often cut with a slightly extended back.
Which materials are used?
When keeping warm is the priority, the right mix of materials is important. Many jackets are made from polyamide (often known as nylon), elastane and/or polyester. Both fabrics are moisture-resistant (to varying degrees). Polyester has good ‘moisture wicking’ properties, meaning it transports sweat away from the body, helping you stay warm in cold weather. Polyamide fabrics have a soft and cosy feel on the body.
“What makes these jackets warm?”, you may be thinking. Well, winter jackets are thick, using up to 3 or 4 layers of material. Most winter jackets are wind and waterproof, making them well-suited for harsher, unpredictable winter weather. Some winter jackets even feature insulation, particularly those designed for commuting like Endura’s Urban FlipJak jacket.
Find your perfect winter cycling jacket at Bikester.co.uk
Here at bikester.co.uk we have a comprehensive range of winter and thermal jackets for all types of cycling. We offer free returns, convenient delivery and expert customer service. Enjoy browsing our selection in the comfort of your own home today!