For jackets, no fit can match the sleek shape of Gore’s Bike Wear Xenon 2.0 Active Shell Jacket (£134.99). The latest addition to its Windstopper series has a high collar to keep the elements out, as well as ultra waterproof qualities. Helly Hansen’s Freeze 1/2 zip Baselayer (£58.49) is a warm and breathable choice this winter, with its wool and LIFA fibre blend. However, nothing seals out the cold like the Xenon SO Bib Tights from Gore (£128). It uses the same Windstopper “Softshell” material as the Xenon jackets, and strategically placed seams avoid chafing, making them ideal for long-distance riders.
Accessories complete the winter cycling look. With its classic Belgian style, the Rapha Winter Cap from Merino (£40) looks equally slick under your helmet or on its own. Made of stretchy “Sportwool”, the mesh lining reduces moisture while you stay warm. An increasingly popular choice for warm hands are “lobster gloves” like Giro Proof 100 gloves (£60). This mitten-like design keeps the index and middle fingers together for increased warmth and the heavier outer layer can be removed for milder weather. However, not all waterproofing is created equal: for really wet days, try Endura FS260-Pro Nemo winter gloves (£28), which have a tight silicone grip and are light weight enough for a long ride. For strong winds, a face-warming buff like DHB’s lightweight and water-resistant model could be your best friend (£11.69).
As daylight fades earlier and earlier, it is always a good idea to have a strong headlight. Cateye’s EL920RC Sumo 2 (£478.50) is a rechargeable beauty with a 10 metre illumination and brightness settings to last anywhere between 1.5 and 35 hours.
Off the bike, remember to have proper skin treatments as well. For dry or windburned skin, use SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque (£39). Recommended by cyclists and dermatologists alike, this concentrated treatment gives a boost of hyaluronic acid and is ideal for all skin types. For chapped lips, you can never go wrong with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lip Balm with vitamin E (£1.29).