What to Wear Whatever the Weather

This post was originally published on MelissaBikes.com, a blog by local Twin Cities cyclist Melissa Hunter. Melissa's favorite type of cycling is anything long distance, whether it be gravel, pavement, or fire roads and in all types of weather.


Deciding what to wear while cycling in inclement weather is tricky. It can take a lot of trial and error to get it dialed in, but riding in most conditions is A LOT more comfortable once you know how to dress. It’s a horrible feeling when you went through the painstaking process to figure out what to wear last year, but you wrote nothing down so you spend the first few rides of each season miserable.

I’m here to tell you about a system I’ve honed that could help you out. The picture below is me, sitting in the car after a fat bike ride at -10F, where I was actually TOO HOT on the ride.

 Yes, it's possible to be too hot on a ride at -10F!!

Yes, it's possible to be too hot on a ride at -10F!!

Spring is Here! Err, Almost.

Spring is almost upon us in Minnesota! We’ve had a few days of good weather and I’ve snuck out for a few rides. Have you? Did you remember what you wore last year at these temperatures?

I’m betting that if you’ve been out, your clothing choices weren’t quite dialed. Have you suffered through a few too-hot or too-cold rides already this season? Here is something I’ve been working on since I was a new cyclist to help me solve my clothing conundrums.

There are a lot of websites out there with rules of thumb for what to wear at different temperatures. However, go on any group ride when it’s a little chilly and you’ll see a HUGE range of layers and warmth. One guy is in shorts, another gal is wearing a softshell jacket and they’re on THE SAME GROUP RIDE.

We are all different from each other — insulated in different places, and have better or worse circulation to our limbs. I have hot hands and slightly hot feet. My core and head also run hot, but my hips and butt are usually frigid. Others, problematically cold hands and a sweaty body. Everyone’s unique.

A local bike shop’s Facebook page posted an example of a clothing guide that was meticulously developed by one of their employees who bike commuted year round. At first the spreadsheet is a little intimidating, so I’ll roll it out in bits. If you want to jump straight to the template I made for this blog post, click the link below and scroll right to the bottom of the page!

Click here to read the rest of the blog post on MelissaBikes.com!