Winter Biking ~ What to wear?

By Andy Klevorn

When the subject of winter fat biking comes up, I get asked a lot (we all probably do), “Don’t you get cold?” Sometimes I do actually, but not too bad. I thought I’d compile a list of gear that works for me. Other editors can chime in with what works for them.

I have the old version of this jacket from Pactimo, feels like it would stop a bullet when it’s on. Good for 10-30 degrees. I’m also currently testing a Mt Borah Jacket for Iceman, I wore it on a 2 hour 24 degree ride and was fine.

Beneath that I wear a Hot Chillys 200 weight fleece shirt, really an insulating layer, generally only need this below 25 degrees.

Next to my skin I wear a Smartwool Base Layer. If it’s not too cold, 30 or so, I just wear that and the jacket.

I just wear a normal pair of cycling shorts, a nicer pair of Sugio or Pearl Izumi, over those I wear a pair of Pearl Izumi AmFib bib tights. The bibs help keep everything tucked in.

On my shoes I wear LL Bean Smartwool boot socks. They’re the warmest socks I’ve found.

For my feet I wear a pair of Shimano MW81 (which they apparently don’t make any more, or are out of ) shoes, one size larger than my summer shoes to make room for an extra pair of socks. Other’s have the Lake MX303 and are happy with them. For the first year I just wore my winter boots and used flat pedals. This stuff does not come cheap and it takes a while to build a wardrobe.

Lake Boots

Bontrager Boots

On my head I wear a Mt Borah Buff from Iceman a couple years ago and if it’s really cold I put a Head Sweats beanie under that. Sometimes I’ll wear a balaclava if it’s REALLY cold. I just use a regular cycling helmet but I can see the value of a special winter helmet and goggles.

On my hands I use a pair of Pearl Izumi gloves (or my old lobster mitts) I got in Colorado. I love them. If it’s super cold again I put on the Moose Mitts, made in Michigan.

Here’s another take on it from Salsa rider Jay P.

Here’s a nice review on winter boots.