Daylight saving time is here, meaning it gets dark much earlier in the day. We’ve gathered and tested 8 winter riding essentials that will help you get out on your post-work ride after a long day in the office regardless. Thanks to these gadgets, leaving the comfort of your couch promises to be much easier, keeping you warm and safe on your bike during the cold and dark winter months.
PEdALED Hikari reflective thermal gloves
Safety meets comfort: PEdALED’s thermal gloves make your hands light up in the dark like the moon in the night sky. The upper sides of the gloves are very reflective, bouncing back any light that hits them – handy when you’re signalling for the car behind you. Moreover, the reflective coating is wind resistant. The gloves feature a thin layer of insulation, allowing you to brake and shift with plenty of dexterity while keeping your fingers toasty but not so much that they get sweaty. The cuffs can be tucked into the sleeves of your jacket so that there’s no gap for cold air to pass through. Additionally, the gloves are padded where necessary, keeping your hands feeling fresh and comfortable. They’re an absolute must-have on cold winter days and for those who hate getting icy digits.
Price: € 75
More info: pedaled.com
Frank Green x Rapha Cup
The collaboration between Frank Green and Rapha is perfect for those who don’t want to miss their favourite pick-me-up but loathe using single-use paper cups. The reusable travel mug doesn’t just look great, its double-wall construction keeps your coffee warm a lot longer too. Since it fits in most bottle cages, you’ll always have a sustainable cup for your favourite hot beverage to hand. Now, nothing can stop you from enjoying your mid-ride coffee break. With a 230 ml volume, you can have your coffee however you like it, no matter how lungo. You could even stop by a Christmas market and have a post-ride Glühwein (mulled wine) served in it. Thanks to its design and convenient one-handed operation, you’ll look stylish while doing something good for the environment, whatever you choose to drink. Let’s drink the world green!
Price: € 25
More info: rapha.cc
Fixed Gear Coffee
Since we’re already discussing our favourite drink, let’s not forget about the core ingredient for a steaming cup of black gold: coffee beans. Not just any coffee beans, but those from the boys and girls behind Fixed Gear Coffee from Holland. While the name might suggest otherwise, the founders have made it their mission to welcome all cyclists, uniting everyone around good coffee, regardless of skill, fitness level, heritage, religion or sexual preferences. Of course, the best way to experience this inclusivity is in one of the two stores founded by Brian and Shivani, in Maastricht or Cauberg – or by searching for the hashtag #coffeebeforecycling on Instagram. If you’re more about the taste, you can have the specialty roast sent directly to your door as whole beans or, to the chagrin of every barista, pre-ground.
Price: €/kg 36
More info: fixedgearcoffee.com
Zippo Hand Warmer
Racing along frozen trails, through snow blown fields and facing up to everything nature can throw at you can all be a lot of fun. That is, until the merciless cold manages to sap the last bit of warmth from your hands. Either the wind that penetrates your gloves or the perfect winter wonderland Instagram shot that you had to take your gloves off for – whatever the reason, the result is the same: your hands get cold and your ride turns into a test of endurance. Thanks to Zippo’s hand warmer, you’ll no longer have to stick your hands down your bibs on the side of the road just to find a last remnant of warmth. The hand warmer uses lighter fluid as its fuel, generating heat without a flame and warming your hands for up to 6 hours. Before every winter ride, simply fill it up, ignite it and you’re ready to go. Weighing approximately 60 g and no bigger than two energy bars, the hand warmer is compact enough to fit into nearly any pocket. The included warming bag regulates the heat so that it doesn’t get too hot and you don’t scald your fingers. Zippo offer a range of finishes to suit everyone’s taste: high polish chrome, pearl and pink. Ready, set, fire!
Price: € 30.94
More info: zippo.com
Velo Orange Hammered 700C mudguards
Winter rides can be quickly reduced to a water fight, your backside, your feet and the complete bike getting sprayed with water, grit and grime. There are two ways to approach this situation: you can count yourself amongst the mudguard haters and simply brave the spray, finding some relief by wearing the appropriate clothing. Or you can buy the stylish aluminium Hammered fenders from Velo Orange, which are a perfect fit for 700C wheels and tires up to 35 mm wide. Velo Orange take their inspiration for the Hammered mudguards from the classic French design of old-school randonneurs. The fenders completely cover the wheels, protecting the bike and the rider from everything the wet winter ground can throw at them. Made from a lightweight aluminium alloy, the 90 cm front and 120 cm rear mudguards promise to last through many winters. As long as your frame and fork have the required eyelets, they can be attached to your bike without rattling with the included mounting kit. To perfect the look of your bike, make sure that your fender line i.e. the gap between the mudguard and the wheel, stays the same along the whole curve of the guard. It isn’t just a lot easier on the eyes, it also makes the fenders more effective in keeping you dry.
Price: € 69.90
More info: velo-orange.com
Oakley Flight Jacket PRIZM Low Light glasses
Sunglasses in winter? Admittedly, you’ll usually see people wearing the Oakley Flight Jacket with strongly tinted, polarised lenses, but the Low Light version is equally suited to dark winter days. They keep your eyes protected from spray, cold air and any insects that are hardy enough to fly around in winter. Simultaneously, the light pink tint of the lenses increases contrast and brightens colours, benefitting from Oakley’s proprietary PRIZM lens technology. That pink is the only colour you can’t change on the glasses. The Oakley configurator allows you to customise the colour of the frame, arms, rubber bits and even the logo. Whether you want them bright, multi-coloured or discreet, the choice is yours and possibilities are endless. The top of the frame is open, designed so that it doesn’t block your field of vision when you’re down in the drops. Apart from that, the arms and bridge feature a sweat-resistant rubber coating, keeping the glasses securely in place no matter how sweaty things get. The Low Light version of the Oakley Flight Jacket is sure to get you through the winter season with clear vision and good looks.
Price: from € 208
More info: oakley.com
GripGrab Flandrien waterproof knitted road overshoes
If you want to avoid getting cold, wet feet on a winter ride, there’s no avoiding overshoes. The GripGrab Flandrien overshoes might look like traditional knitted socks but they’re packed with bang-up-to-date features. The three-layer material promises to be thoroughly water- and wind-resistant while offering good insulation. That way, your feet should stay warm and dry. There are two openings in the soles, one for your heels and the other for the cleats, with a band in the middle to keep the overshoes in place. The overshoes’ toes are reinforced with a protective rubber insert. If you prefer an understated look, the overshoes are available in a neutral black or navy blue colour. The neon yellow or bright pink option should do the trick for those who like making a splash. The stylish Danish interpretation of the classic Flemish overshoes, also called Belgian booties, have performed convincingly so far.
Price: € 69.95
More info: gripgrab.com
The new Orbea Terra gravel bike could be the perfect companion for winter riding. Thanks to the extended seat tube and carbon fork, it should be compliant enough to dampen the shock of unanticipated bumps – say goodbye to your fear of potholes and ice clumps. With its 45 mm wide tires, you should have plenty of grip, which you’ll need on the kind of terrain you’ll encounter in winter. The Terra is available with a carbon or aluminium frame, with a weight difference of about 450 g between the two, and both versions use the same carbon fork. A convenient feature exclusive to the full-carbon version is the so-called LOCKR, an integrated storage compartment in the down tube inside which you can easily store an energy bar, snacks, a light windbreaker or even a very straight banana. Thanks to two sets of bottle cage bosses inside the front triangle, you’ll also be able to carry two Frank Green x Rapha Cups. The new Orbea Terra is aimed at explorers, adventurers and gravel enthusiasts and doesn’t shy away from any weather. With the Orbea Terra, it’s no longer just sun’s out, guns out.
More info: orbea.com
Ubisoft Riders Republic
Have our 8 genius gadgets failed to inspire you and you’ve decided to stay planted on the couch after all? Then take a short detour into the digital world of Riders Republic. In Ubisoft’s latest online multiplayer game, you can see how you stack up against up to 50 other players in diverse races and competitions that take place in a fictitious, 250 km² world of mountainous terrain inspired by the US National Parks. The most popular bikes from real-world brands covering everything from road to downhill are available to ride. If that’s not enough, skis, snowboards and a wingsuit, complete with jetpack, are also available to you. Riders Republic is available for PC, Playstation, Xbox and Google Stadia.
Price: from € 59.99
More info: ubisoft.com
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Words: Julian Schwede & Martin Augner Photos: Manufacturers