Winter Cycling Clothing and Bicycle Modifications

This site details winter cycling clothing and bicycle modifications that have been tested and work in temperatures below freezing.  This reference site pulls together almost everything I have learned cycling over 17,500 miles in below freezing conditions.

The goal of this reference site is to pull together in one place the winter cycling clothing used and bicycle modifications made to comfortably and confidently cycle in below freezing conditions, 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) and below.  If you cycle regularly in these conditions you know how hard it is to find good information.

Click on any of the Category topics on the right to go instantly to the areas that interest you most.


This website covers winter cycling gear and bicycle modifications that work in temperatures below freezing.

As of 12/16/14, the coldest ride I have been on was a 3 hour pre-dawn ride at 5 degrees F with 20 mph winds.  Real feel temperature was about -15 degrees F.

Unfortunately, in my geography 5 degrees F is about the coldest it gets.  I ride 3-4x/week during the winter.  My coldest ride this year was on 1/31/15 when it was 8 degrees F with 10 mph winds.  Real feel temperature was about -2 degrees F.  On 2/18/15 it was 5 degrees F with no wind chill for my 2 hour pre-dawn ride.

As you review this site you will see the winter cycling clothing and gear that I use and for each item I will detail why I selected it, my impressions, lessons learned, retail price, and where to purchase it.  What I have learned over the years is that each person has their own “thermostat”.  Some people are comfortable in riding with less and others require more to stay warm and comfortable.  My personal “thermostat” is probably average compared to other ice cyclists.

In my area, Connecticut, USA, early morning temperatures drop below freezing from November through March.  The coldest winter cycling months are December through February when many mornings the temperatures are 18-25 degrees Fahrenheit.  Two weeks of the year the temperatures drop to 7-18 degrees with winds up to 25mph.  I also ride regularly in the Pennsylvania mountains at 2,200 feet elevation.  It is typically 7 degrees colder than Connecticut.

The winter cycling clothing and bicycle modifications on this site work, are durable, and last when used on a regular basis 3 to 4 times a week 5 months each year.  Unless otherwise specifically mentioned, I have purchased all of the winter cycling clothing used and discussed on this site.  Should I be sponsored by a manufacturer(s) or a retailer(s) or provided with free products I will disclose that prominently.

Some of the brands I use for winter cycling clothing and gear include Bellwether, Camelbak, Cannondale, Chris King,  Col d’Lizárd, Empire Wool and Canvas, Fenix, Foxwear, Hind, Hotronic FootWarmers, Hotronic Snapdry,  Illuminite, Jogalite, Lake, Nokian, Pearlizumi, Pila, Radians, Seirus, Simple Solution, SPOT, SRAM, Tri-Flow, and more.



The Author


A photo of me nice and warm after a 50 mile ride in 17 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and 15mph winds. That is a Col d’Lizárd All Seasons Jacket (with a custom two-way zipper), Seirus Ultra Clava, Bellwether Wind Front tights, and Empire Canvas Works IceBike Mittens.

For aerobic exercise, I used to run before sunrise about 25 miles a week.  There came a point in time about 12 years ago when my knees started to ache after runs and I replaced running with cycling.    During the first winter, I tried cycling indoors and found it wasn’t for me.  I wanted to be outside.  So, I started searching for the winter cycling clothing and bicycle modifications to support cycling before sunrise year round.

In the months that temperatures are below freezing I try to cycle 3-4x/week or about 100 miles per week.  This is typically from November through March.  My weekend rides cover more miles and sometimes when there is lots of ice I ride through the State Forest in my area with a group of people or on the iced over mountain trails near the Camelback ski mountain in Pennsylvania.  I ride in all conditions sleet, snow, ice, etc.  My favorite times to ride:

  1. When it is snowing and the roads are iced over like a skating rink.
  2. When the forest has 6 inches of snow covered with a thick layer of ride-able smooth ice and you can no longer see tree roots.
  3. Before sunrise after an overnight snow of less than 2 inches and no snow plows in sight.


7 thoughts on “Winter Cycling Clothing and Bicycle Modifications

  1. Icecyclist Post author

    I may give Craft a try in the future. Bellwether windfront is my preference now. I find Pearlizumi over the last five years has turned into more of a fashion brand rather than a purpose brand. Meaning, the stuff looks nice but really does not work in the conditions it is meant to work.

  2. Icecyclist Post author

    Maybe try calling her. I know that she was focusing more on her Grand Children than sewing in the past few years. Even if her site is no longer up she may make something for you. Good luck.

    144 Main St
    Stowe, Vermont 05672
    Phone (802) 253-9838

  3. Robert Thornton

    Do happen to have an update on how to contact col d’lizard. The website is no longer up and she apparently moved. Do you know if she is still putting the clothing together? Thanks

  4. Scott

    For cold weather tights you need to try the Craft PXC Storm tights. They are much warmer than my Pearl Izumi Amfib tights and I can go under 0 degrees without wearing anything under the pants.

  5. Lou

    Ahh, wintery weather like ours here in Idaho. I’ll go out in my NeoShell once again for a mountain bike ride.

    Until I hear from you,


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