Pezcyclingnews: Toolbox: Staying Warm During Winter Riding


Jan 3, 2005
The best ways to stay warm during winter riding – here’s how to regulate your body temperature, ride in more comfort, minimize the risk of injuries, and improve cycling performance in the cold months ahead.Through the year and even within a single ride, riders can be exposed to a wide range of environmental conditions. Temperature and moisture levels can fluctuate significantly between seasons and even within rides, due to changing weather conditions or through the impact of altitude. Also, whilst we often think about staying warm in winter, with many riders spending increasing amounts of time on the turbo-trainer and with the abundance of winter clothing available, its also important to avoid getting too hot!In this and my next article, we explore how environmental conditions can influence cycling performance, health, comfort, explain how to minimise potential negative effects and even use the environment to your advantage!Humans Are InefficientBiological systems, including our bodies, are notoriously inefficient. As our metabolism transforms the chemical energy stored in food and body tissues into the mechanical work of cycling, average efficiency may range between 20-25% but could be considerably lower (1). The remaining 75% of energy is released as heat. As work-rates increase (i.e. you ride faster or harder), more heat will be released. When exercising, body temperature rises through a combination of this metabolic heat production, environmental conditions (temperature/humidity) and wearing clothing, which may reduce your ability to lose heat through evaporation (e.g. non-breathable jerseys or rain jackets).The human body works best when its...

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