TIPS FROM THE PRO: What to wear. LAYERING is the key! - Snow Bike Festival | 4-Day MTB Stage Race
The Snow Bike Festival is a 4-day MTB stage race, which takes place in the wonderful region of Gstaad, Switzerland.
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13 Oct TIPS FROM THE PRO: What to wear. LAYERING is the key!

Before I start telling you about what to wear, I want to tell you this; riding your bike in the snow is simply AMAZING! It feels so good hearing your tires making their way through the fresh powder snow. This experience is brilliant, but what about clothing, what do you wear? It is not as hard as you might think. You can use the clothes you already have!

There is no such thing as bad weather. Just bad clothing. The number one rule of how to dress yourself while riding in snow is layering.  Snow doesn’t necessarily mean cold! Especially when the sun is out, you can get really warm. Don’t forget that your body is producing a lot of heat while riding a bike. However, it is still important to wear multiple layers to help you insulate yourself and stay warm. If you then notice you are dressed too warm, it is easy to get rid of one of your layers and just carry them along in you pocket or backpack. That way you don’t end up sweating too much.

Getting PreparedYou can start with the same kit you wear in summer and just add extra layers when you start feeling colder. If you ride with a small backpack it’s smart to bring an extra dry shirt, so you can change the first layer (the one on your skin) once it’s drenched in sweat after the uphill sections. I’d also advise you to carry your rain jacket along with you. You’re in the mountains, which means conditions can change very quickly.

For most of you, the following will work: Your summer cycling kit (shorts, jersey, base layer or thin undershirt), add your arm- and legwarmers, a long sleeve jersey, baggy shorts or long cycling pants. Carry with you: a rain jacket and something to put on your head, under your helmet.

Buff: I take a buff with me all the time! I use it as a hat, under my helmet, but also around my neck.

Despite all the layers, it is obviously important that you are still able to move easily and don’t end up feeling like the “Michelin Man”.

Feeling GOOD!

I start most of my training rides with a climb. That way I don’t start feeling cold so soon and can keep myself warm just by cycling. This also means that if I have too many clothes on, I will start sweating too much. This is why I always unzip my thicker jacket immediately, when going uphill. Sometimes when the sun is out, I even take it off and hang the jacket around my body, or put it in my backpack. I do the same with the Buff. I only put them on, once I’m on top of the hill. It is always very good to have something dry to put on just before you go into the downhill.

For some riders, it’s a bit of a different story. Sabina Compassi said: “Different in my case, I feel cold easily. Therefore I prefer the hilly type of rides, up and downs. That way I stay warm all the time: I avoid sweating too much on my way up and cooling out completely during the downhills. Ideally, the downhills are just as long as I manage to preserve the heat from the climb.”

What about hands and feet? Don’t worry, we’ll give you helpful tips about keeping those warm later on!

In the pictures, I’m wearing: a long sleeve base layer, a long sleeve cycling jersey (thin), a softshell jacket (the pink one), leg warmers, shorts, knee warmers, normal baggies, 2 buff’s.

This works pretty well for me, but like I said before, I usually manage to stay warm pretty well! It depends on the type of person you are, but I think the basic principles stay the same all the time.

All the best,

Hielke