It’s that time of the year when everybody starts reciting Eddard Stark’s “winter’s coming, Jon Snow” quote from Game of Thrones, and the sad truth is, that’s the correct statement. No longer are we looking forward to the late, sunshine filled evenings where the temperature is a comfortable 20-something degrees Celsius. But riding in winter needn't be the chore it once was.
For those who ride through winter, comfort and warmth are king. Losing the feeling in your limbs thanks to cold conditions can spell disaster while riding. Not only can it vastly reduce your concentration and make you feel more fatigued, ultimately riding while you’re freezing cold is an absolute misery.
Layering up properly is essential to not only staying warm, but staying safe while riding during the winter months. It can be the difference between having the biting cold chilling you to the core and being able to carry on comfortably riding.
Sure, there’s heated kit to help keep you nice and toasty when it’s really cold, but it’s not always practical to wear and faff about with all the associated wires if you’re only doing shorter journeys
Riding in winter isn’t about looking good in your best leather gear, it’s about being practical – staying warm and staying dry. Keeping your core warm with a decent thermal and wind blocking layer are an essential part of this. And with that in mind, here are our top 5 thermal tops, all available from the MCN Shop.
Oxford Warm Dry long sleeved top £29.99
This breathable thermal top is the first line of defence in the battle against the winter chill and, at under £30 offers great value for money. When combined with a windproof layer, it offers amazing protection from the cold. We tested it through a harsh winter of long distance commuting and it comes highly recommended.
Alpinestars Ride Tech long sleeve winter top £66.49
At the higher end of the base layer market is this Ride Tech top from Alpinestars. It’s been developed for those who ride during the winter months and is made from a moisture wicking fabric that features a tubular seamless construction. The top also helps reduce fatigue with a compression fit that offers muscle support.
Dainese No Wind layer D1 £89.99
A windproof layer will offer extra support in keeping warm, and also drastically reduce the effects of wind chill while riding – which can make temperatures feel like they have plummeted. This mid-layer from Dainese is also water resistant too which will help you a bit should your waterproof gear give out.
RST thermal wind block jacket £39.99
This thermal wind blocker, like the Dainese jacket, will offer protection from the wind. It’s been designed with winter riding in mind and also has thermal properties to help keep the warmth in. Its four-way stretch fabric allows for a decent fit too.
EDZ micro-fleece mid layer jacket £34.99
A cost-effective mid layer that got rave reviews when our Office Manager, Alison Silcox tested it, labelling it as ‘hard to fault.’ It’s a thin but effective 165gsm jacket that can easily be stowed away when the mercury rises. Its subtle appearance also means it makes a great thermal layer off the bike too and it’s also quick drying should you get caught without waterproofs.