WE RIDE IN THE COLD
Strong wind, rain, snow, and scathing cold: not the favorite weather conditions for most cyclists. Still, cycling can be wonderful under these conditions. The air is fresh and clear, the landscapes covered with frost or snow are beautiful and autumn turns every forest into a colorful painting. Your character will also be put to the test. But if you choose the right clothing and materials, you will defy any type of weather and you can fully enjoy the four seasons.
Cycling in cold conditions requires perseverance, concentration, and the right gear. When you get cold, you shiver, a natural reaction to raise your body temperature. That shivering costs energy, the energy you'd rather put into your pedals. Low body temperature, fingers too cold to change gears, numb feet; cold can be detrimental to your focus and cycling pleasure.
Yet you often see the pros, even in freezing cold, riding a final with bare arms and legs. On that last climb or sprint, you simply don't want to wear a warm jacket, thick gloves, or a clammy turtleneck around your neck. When you exercise, you produce energy in the form of heat. When the pace drops, you cool down and lose valuable energy. Wearing different layers of clothing and accessories helps you regulate your body heat, and therefore energy.
The secret? The solution? Layers! On the coldest days, opt for long pants, a base layer with long sleeves, a long sleeve thermal jersey, and possibly a body warmer or winter jacket over it. Our Six6 Bibthights are waterproof and comfortable. The Winterday Base Layer made of soft merino wool keeps you warm and dry. The Six6 Event Thermo Jacket is not only wind and waterproof but also breathable thanks to the eVent membrane.
The winter jacket we designed for Team Jumbo-Visma has a Polartec Alpha lining. A light and breathable fabric with water-repellent properties that ensures that you quickly get and stay warm, both during exercise and at rest.
TIPS FOR COLD DAYS
Tip 1: Wear the right clothes
Choosing an outfit based on the weather can be quite a challenge. Should you wear an extra layer or not? Wear a windbreaker or not? Long pants or shorts with leg warmers? To be able to make a good choice, checking the weather (report) is an absolute must. What is the temperature and what is the forecast? Then the question: what are you going to do? Are you going to do endurance training at a low heart rate? Then you can put that extra layer to good use. But if you go for higher intensity, an interval training, for example, it is advisable to dress a little less warm, but bring an extra jacket for the start and end of your training.
Fleece-lined thermal bib shorts are ideal for slightly milder days. They are only slightly thicker and heavier than normal bib shorts, but with an insulating layer and a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating. This coating ensures that water droplets slide off the fabric and are therefore not absorbed.
Tip 2: Wear layers
We already mentioned it a number of times: Layers. Wearing a bottom, mid and top layer is the best and most flexible way to dress for the cold. Make sure that each layer is breathable so that you don't perspire too much because that causes cold on your skin. A merino wool underlayer, for example, is a great choice. A fabric that keeps you warm, even when it gets damp or wet. Add to that, it's easier to take off a layer on the road than being too cold too quick on the bike.
And on those in-between-seasons days, our arm and leg warmers are ideal. Treated with a water-repellent coating, they can also withstand a surprise rain shower.
Tip 3: Protect head, hands, and feet
Your toes, fingers, and ears are where you feel the cold first. You lose most of your body heat through your head, hands, and feet. Overshoes, a beanie under your helmet, a neck warmer, and gloves are therefore essential in colder weather conditions. With AGU's Deep Winter Gloves you have a pair of mitts with which you can even go on winter sports.
Tip 4: Food is fuel
Your body not only uses energy on cold days to pedal but also simply to stay warm in the first place. Your body burns through its energy quicker than normal, so it is essential you're fully fueled before you leave and that you can replenish lost energy during the ride. Before your ride, make sure you eat enough and well in advance. Bring extra bars or gels, a well-filled water bottle, and eat on time during your ride: if you feel hungry you are actually too late!
Tip 5: Keep moving
The best way to keep warm is to keep moving. This stimulates blood flow and keeps your muscles warm. When you stop, your muscles will cool down quickly, and you'll soon feel the cold on your skin. And to warm up, just speed up.
Tip 6: Wear cycling glasses
Cycling glasses against the cold? Absolutely! In autumn and winter, glasses protect against wind and rain, so that your face retains more heat. In addition, glasses with the right lenses ensure that you continue to see contrasts in less light or very sharp light.
TECHNOLOGY FROM THE PROS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE
Working with Team Jumbo-Visma’s riders and performance staff is central to AGU’s research and development strategy. Over the past year, we have refined and improved the riders’ winter kit, so that they can perform at their best on the coldest days. The riders continuously provide us with feedback. Our designers then turn to the latest fabrics and manufacturing processes to try to make their waterproof and windproof insulated clothing even lighter, more comfortable, and aerodynamic. Once they have been thoroughly tested by the pros, the best solutions are brought into our collection, so you too can ride well and have fun, no matter how far the mercury drops.