The age old cycling mantra states: "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad kit choices". Don't let the winter halt your Struggle 2024 sportive training. Check out our top pick of the best 2023-2024 winter cycling kit.
1. Best Windproof and Water-Repellent Cycling Jacket
If you buy one jacket this winter, the Castelli Perfetto should be it! It’s our go-to garment for winter riding. This winter 2023-2024 there's a host of bright colours in the range for both men and women, to keep you safe and seen!
The Castelli Perfetto keeps you warm - and cool; you can ride up climbs without overheating or down descents without feeling the wind chill; perfect when training for a Struggle sportive. It’s windproof, water-repellent and breathable, making it ideal for drizzly or windy rides over varying terrain.
Alternately, the Castelli Alpha offers an extra layer of insulation, ideal for colder days or for steady endurance miles.
2. Best Packable Waterproof Cycling Jacket
A good cycling rain jacket should be fully waterproof, fits sleekly over your additional layers without billowing like a parachute and should roll up and tuck discretely in your jersey pocket. Finally, your jacket should protect you from the rain without leaving you wet from sweat.
Both the Castelli Idro and Gore Shakedry were ideal garments, but these fabrics have been discontinued. Castelli has replaced the Idro with a range of packable cycling waterproof jackets. For a more affordable option check out the Le Col rain jacket, which (at the time of writing) is on sale.
3. Most Comfortable Bib Tights
For long winter riding you need a comfortable, well fitting pair of bib-tights. Unfortunately chamois comfort is very personal, just like saddles, and often finding the right fit for you is trial and error.
If you're in the market to try a new pair of winter tights we highly recommend the Le Col Pro Bib Tights. They fit well, don't move around or chaff when wet and are very reasonably priced (and on sale at the time of writing).
4. Try Spatz Pro Stealth Overshoes System
A few year's ago Yorkshire cyclist Tom Barras invented Spatz extra-long overshoes that extend above the ankles to protect the shins from road spray. The product took off and pros including Mathieu van der Poel wear Spatz for winter training.
The latest 2023-2034 design is the Pro Stealth Overshoe System that comes with a Protoez toe warmer. The overshoe can be warn alone or as part of a layering system with the toe covers underneath for extreme cold.
If you're not into the knee-high overshoe look of the Spatz, check out the Spatz "Fasta" style which is also new for winter 2023-2024. It's an adaptation of the shorter Legalz but in a stealthy, sleek design.
5. Best Front and Rear Bike Lights
With dark mornings, early evenings and dull days, visibility on the roads is key for cyclists over the winter. We always set our rear light flickering over winter, regardless of the time of day.
For longer Struggle 2024 sportive training days in the saddle its important to have a front light in case any mechanicals or set-backs force you to ride into dusk.
Our favourite brand for cycling bike lights is Lezyne. They are resilient in wet weather, super-lightweight and can be easily charged via UBS cable or some go straight into an Apple plug.
6. Best Fitting Cycling Gloves
Too tight and you'll suffer from wind chill; too loose and you'll fumble about getting food out of your pocket. Functional, well-fitting winter gloves are essential, especially when riding at speed.
7. Best Mudguards
Mudguards are a must for winter riding with your mates. Raceblade Mudguards are great for bikes that don’t have clearance for full mudguards or for people who don’t have the luxury of a winter and summer bike.
A top tip is to buy mudguards from your local bike shop and pay for the fitting too. Badly fitted, rubbing mudguards will ruin your winter riding.
For a mudguard to work properly you need a long flap! You can extend yours with an additional mud flap.
8. Top Moisture-Wicking Base Layer
One of the most important layers to your winter kit list is the one that sits next to your skin; the base layer. It should be warm but more importantly, is must be moisture-wicking; pulling the sweat away from your skin to keep you feeling warm and dry.
Start your winter training with Purpose. Enter a Struggle sportive in 2024 and set your goals now.