Dear Lifehacker, I share a car with my soon-to-be-wife. She usually takes it for work and I ride my mountain bike or take the bus. I’ve now started thinking about the gear I need to keep me riding during the cold/dark winter months. What do you think is the best gear for commuting to work during cold, wet and dark weather? Thanks, Cold Comfort
Cyclist picture from Shutterstock
You can buy all manner of specialist bike wear designed to combat the cold, but you’d have to be a pretty hard-core enthusiast to ride around in this stuff. Plus, it means you need to change into a spare pair of clothes every morning at work, which is probably more hassle than it’s worth.
On dry, wintery days, we’d plump for thermal underwear and a lightweight winter jacket — you won’t exactly be warm ‘n’ toasty, but at least the essentials will be protected. As it gets colder, add an extra layer (such as a jumper) plus a beanie under your helmet and some rider’s gloves.
In wet weather, it’s essential to protect your eyes to ensure you can actually see the road and surrounding traffic. At the very least, you’ll need some wraparound sun glasses that don’t let any rain in. You can also buy eyewear specifically designed for this purpose from cycling shops.
In addition to eye protection, you’ll also be wanting a more heavy-duty jacket made from waterproof material, such as leather, Gor-Tex or other polyesters. These jackets do not need to be specifically designed for cyclists, but if you do buy something generic, it’s probably a good idea to go for a bright, reflective colour for added safety.
Do any bike-crazy readers have some suggestions of their own? Let us know in the comments section below.
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