How to Layer Up for riding in cooler conditions

How to Layer Up for riding in cooler conditions

April 14, 2021

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you should stop cycling. Plenty of people continue riding all year round, and you can too if you know how to stay warm. Adding a few extra layers is usually all you need to keep cycling through the winter months. 

So, what layers should you add once the temperature starts to drop? And what should you wear to make sure you don’t get too hot or cold during your ride?

Keep reading for all of our tips on winter layering.


Building Your Layers

When creating your layers you have four components to choose from:

  • Thermal and Mesh Base Layers: A good base layer is the foundation for any layering strategy. These will be your first layer and are designed to draw moisture away from your skin and into your jersey.
  • Short or Long-Sleeved Jerseys: Generally used as the second layer, jerseys wick away moisture while also acting as an insulating layer to help you stay warm.
  • Vest: These are an ideal third layer for days that are too cold for just a jersey but too hot for a jacket. Vests offer varying degrees of wind and spray protection, so they’re often a good addition depending on the conditions.
  • Water-Proof Jacket: These are an essential third or fourth layer for rainy days or when temperatures start to approach freezing.

    How Do You Determine What You Should Wear?

    There are four factors to consider when deciding what to wear during your ride:

  • Type of Ride: Will you be keeping a fast pace or will this be a more casual ride? The more intense it is the hotter you’ll get.
  • Duration of the Ride: If you plan to be on your bike for an extended period of time you’ll need to plan for changing temperatures/weather.
  • Weather Conditions: What will the temperature be during your ride? Is there a chance of rain?
  • Personal Preferences: Do you tend to run hot or do you get cold easier than others?

    What to Wear

    Below are a few different scenarios and our recommendations for what to wear:

  • Cool Temperatures (Around 8° C): A long-sleeved jersey over your base layer will be enough for a lot of riders. If you want to add an additional layer a vest is a good option. 
  • Cold Temperatures (Around 0° C): A base layer, a long-sleeved jersey, and a jacket with a thicker membrane should keep you warm. You can add a vest overtop as well if you feel you need another layer. The vest can be easily removed as you begin to warm up.
  • Rain: A good rain jacket is a must for wet conditions. Wear it over a base layer and a jersey to stay warm and dry. If temperatures are higher choose a lighter membrane that’s designed more for spray. As temperatures approach freezing go for a jacket with a thicker membrane to retain more heat.
  • Intense Ride: While you may feel cold at the beginning of the ride, remember that once you start moving you’ll begin to heat up. So, if you’re going to wear additional layers stick with items that can be easily removed and stored once you get warm. You may also want to consider wearing one less layer than you need, as once you heat up that extra layer will become uncomfortable.
  • Longer Ride: If you’re riding for an extended period of time you’ll often be starting when it’s cooler and finishing when it’s warmer. A short-sleeved jersey with arm warmers is a good combination in this scenario, as the arm warmers are easy to take off once you get warm. If you feel you need an additional layer, choose items that have zippers so they can be opened or removed as the ride progresses.

    The above recommendations are just suggestions. Some people may prefer to stay warm while others aren’t affected as much by the cold. Use the above advice as a guideline and experiment with different combinations to find the layering technique that works best for you.


    Layer Up with Marcello Bergamo

    Looking to add some new layers to your wardrobe? Marcello Bergamo’s wide range of base layers, jerseys, vests, tights and jackets will ensure you’re ready for whatever weather you encounter. Browse our selection today to get the gear you need.

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    Size Chart



    Women's Bib Shorts & Jerseys & Vests

    Women's Jackets

    Arm Warmers