We give each other grief for being pussies when it gets below 60 and the air fills with that watery stuff called rain. But we shouldn’t let cold weather or wet keep us off the streets. We’re bikers, damn it! Descendants of Thor…or something like that. And, hell, everyone outside the U.S. – especially the Brits and anyone living on the “continent” seem to do just fine in bad weather.

But riding in the cold alone presents a unique situation called wind chill. We’re all aware of it. It might be 50 out, but by the time you get moving down the highway it can feel ten to 15 degrees colder. Not sure about that? Check out this wind chill calculator and see for yourself.  

So here are some tips to make cold weather riding as comfortable as possible:

  • Keep that wind the hell out – that means windproof clothing like leather or even textiles. Make sure they form a tight seal around your wrists, neck, lower legs and waist. Wear boots that overlap your pant legs and long gloves that do the same with your sleeves.
  • Keep that warmth in — the key here is layers, preferably the insulated kind. You don’t want to look like the Pillsbury doughboy — you do want to be able to move. So get good insulated base layers that are meant to keep the warmth in without a lot of thickness. We’re also fans of wind shirts. In fact we swear by them! And make sure your gloves are thicker on the back of your hands. We still like the Olympia GoreTex gloves we reviewed awhile back.
  • Get even warmer — electric vests, seats and handgrips to be more specific. Yes, they cost more money, but they provide constant warmth and the amount of heat they produce can be adjusted. When we interviewed Andrew Pain, he mentioned he rides all year long in Wisconsin thanks to heated gear.

So now you have no excuses to not ride as the temps continue to slide south. Man up, heat up and just ride!