Snowy-bikeA decent textile jacket/trouser combo is essential. Leathers don’t provide as much warmth, aren’t waterproof and you can’t wear your office clothes underneath them. A good set can be pricey, but look on them as an investment: they’ll last you many years if looked after and you can rewaterproof them with readily available sprays each year if needed.

Here’s what to look for:

  • You’ll need a waterproof outer membrane like Gore-Tex. Many jackets and trousers have an inner waterproof lining as the outer material isn’t 100% waterproof. These do work, but once your outer layer is waterlogged, it becomes heavier and there is still a risk of rain getting through.
  • Removable (zipped-in) thermal liners. The jacket should have one that lines the sleeves as well as the torso.
  • Good fit. Should be roomy enough to allow layers underneath yet the neck and wrist cuffs should seal enough not to let the wind in. Waist/arm adjusters on the jacket are always good as they allow you to tailor the fit.
  • If buying a set, make sure they zip together as this greatly reduces the danger of wind getting in
  • Ensure all main zips have a storm flap and pockets should be waterproof, again with flaps over the zips.
  • CE armour in the knees, shoulders and elbows offer protection and a extra layer against windchill.

Jackt-trousersTop tip Reflective riding gear isn’t sexy, but is a big help in being seen during the gloomy winter months.

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Tony Carter

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