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Clothing for Extreme Cold

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WS Member WS Member's picture
Clothing for Extreme Cold

Hello everybody!

What kind of clothing do you suggest for extreme cold? Maybe some thermal leggings, snow socks, a winter jacket... If you could also provide hyperlinks that would be great!

Thanks and happy travellings!


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WS Member WS Member's picture
Think in layers and the base

Think in layers and the base layer should always be wool or silk

WS Member Koga's picture
Winter cycling

Sorry for eventual messy text, the layout writing is rather annoying .. 

Depending on what you define as cold environment and personal needs.

Tell where you want to travel, this is very important because of the impact from natural environment! 

I've been biking occasionally in snowstorm & daylong minus 5-10°C in snow-covered flat northern European landscapes. 

I only need one or two layers of thin wool from top to toe & breathable windstopper as next layer. Gloves & balaclava is very important as well. 

Wind is your greatest headache while sweating from ongoing exercise should be avoided. Sometimes it is important to travel slowly avoiding being sweat. 

It's all a highly personal issue while our bodies tends to function differently. I have very high tolerance of freezing weather & anyday prefer deep winter to summer. You have to be aware of this highly personal issue,  while some tends to be passive under these conditions, which is potentially dangerous! 

The major issues biking in winter conditions is keeping your extremities warm while blood circulation is minimal & insulation is physically difficult but ongoing cooling is intense. 

I have low blood circulation in my feet and at least every hour or so have to take a run or seek housing to warm them up again. This i my, and other experienced winter bikers, major headache travelling during winter and snow. 

WS Member WS Member's picture
Cycling clothing for subzero temperatures


I'm not sure what you mean by extreme cold. I can just tell of my own experiences from Finland: minus ten degrees (that is Celsius °C) around Helsinki usually feels much worse (because of the sea and humidity) than minus twenty around here, four hundred kilometers inland where the air is drier in winter.

What I myself do when I cycle via the local ice road (to the opposite shore of Lake Pielinen) in March, when it is no more so cold here (only from -10 to -17 °C), and sun actually starts to warm a little. Because I sweat easily (and I don't like it, and in any case it's not a good idea to sweat in subzero temps), it means that when I'm cycling, I dress more lightly than what I would dress if I were just walking in the same weather: just a T-shirt, then a fleece and a coat which is perhaps intended more for late autumn than for the middle of winter. Both fleece and the coat have a zipper, with which I can fine-tune the airflow. I wear ordinary jeans, but with long underwear beneath. Good winter shoes that allow extra socks (or at least warm ones that are not so thin) is must.

Something like "pipo" (a cap) over my head, and a scarf around my neck, especially protecting my throat from the cold wind. The gloves are important: have at least two pairs of them. (As well as socks!). When the ones you are wearing start feeling too cold, swap to the spare pair. Also, if you use balaclava, have an extra one with you, because the region around mouth and nose will soon get icy because of the humidity in the breath.

For the stops, I have an extra sweater in the saddle bag, which I immediately put on (beneath the coat but over the fleece) if I intend to stop for any longer time, because then the cold starts creeping in. Also I have some hot ginger/honey-tea in my thermos flask. (I use those powder bags from Thailand they sell in Oriental food shops. Sometimes I even try to warm my fingers with it).


Hope this helps,




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