Best value winter cycling apparel

Hi all,

just after suggestions/recommendations for essential winter kit while riding in 0-8 degree weather at Zone 3-5. I only own a BBB base layer and hand me down thermal jacket and i hate training indoors on the ergo.

i would prefer not to buy anything on wiggle as i would like to try on kit before purchasing


  • +1 vote

    I'd ask on reddit, there's a lot of cyclists on there that commute in all sorts of weather.

  • +1 vote

    The objective is to keep your core warm. Layering is your friend. Ditch the synthetic base layer, get yourself a couple of the DHB Merino base layers, they run true to size but are quite stretchy so you'll be fine buying them based off their sizing chart. Over that, your regular jersey and you can accessorise with knee/arm warmers. Your outer layer at a minimum needs to be windproof, because even if you get wet - which you eventually will even in the best rainjacket, keeping the wind away from your body will stop the cold. Softshell jackets are really good for their thermal properties as well as providing some kind of water resistance, but they won't stop solid rain. A proper rainjacket is good for riding in the rain but you'll cook pretty quickly.

    Aside from your core, comfort wise, you'll want to cover your extremities. I've found all overshoes to be worthless in rain (water eventually seeps in from above or below, velotoze are good but they are too easy to break), if you search around there's a company that makes super thin neoprene socks that go over your socks and provide a waterproof barrier - I can't for the life of me remember their name but when I get home tonight I'll provide a link - your shoes will get drenched but your feet stay dry, I've worn them on the road and mountain biking and they work perfectly. Thermal gloves too, and around your neck wear a buff - easy to take off. Depending on your helmet, you can also go for a thermal skullcap.

    Most of this gear I've accumulated over years of winter riding, you get to know how different brands fit - go into a bike store and try some things on, you'll soon figure out your sizing. Buy local, most bike stores will have previous year kit for sale on discount.

    Ultimately think of your winter kit as an investment that enables you to keep enjoying your bike in adverse conditions. Don't be afraid to spend a bit more on it, an extra hundred dollars on a good quality cycling jacket that keeps you comfortable in all conditions is worth it.


    Essential kit:

    Good Base layer, Arm/Leg warmers, merino wool socks, shoe covers (I like neoprene covers if the road is wet), a cap to wear under a helmet, (I managed to get a merino wool one off Planet X a couple of years ago for $10 I think), a buff/face sleeve thingo that can be used as a neck warmer or even as a cap, long sleeve jersy, water/wind proof gilet/vest or alternatively a jacket. GOOD GLOVES!! theres a special corner of hell for non windproof cycling gloves!!

    In terms of where to buy in person, probably a local bike shop. There is a shop called the cycling closet in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide where you could try before you buy. Only cheap I've seen not online is at the end of season when bike shops have clearance sales. You can probably pickup cheap summer stuff now for next year, winter kit is probably full price.

    If you are after cheap, join the swap groups on Facebook. People sell off their unwanted kit. Sometimes this is literally brand new kit they bought the wrong size online and the kit is brand new. You also get the chance to haggle a better deal. I bought a set of Assos gloves 2 years ago for $25 off somebody, fit perfect and my favourite full finger gloves, they were in perfect Assos fashio over $150 in the main shops at the time.


    Actually, I would recommend Decathlon if you have 1 in your state (VIC has 2). The kit has been reviewed numerous times and all get good reviews for their price. Alternatively, even better quality but still affordable kit is DHB, but you'd have to wait a week or 2 for Wiggle to ship them from the UK.