If you live in the Northern Hemisphere then you will be familiar with the winter ritual of donning multiple layers before a ride in the cold whilst wistfully remembering the days when shorts and a jersey, and possibly a gilet, were all that was required. There is plenty of technical kit out there that will keep you warm on even the coldest of days, but if the rugging up struggle is real and you’ve decided to head to the warmer climes of a winter cycling destination then extra layers can be cast away.
However, before you bin those base layers and get rid of your gloves it’s important to note that a winter trip to Spain doesn’t always mean shorts weather; Girona, although dry and generally warmer can still get chilly, ditto Calpe, whereas Andalucía, Gran Canaria and the Costa del Sol will generally provide higher temperatures. The balance is a tricky one, so here’s our advice on what winter cycling kit you should bring (and leave behind!) for cycling trips to Southern Spain.
What To Bring When Cycling in Southern Spain During Winter
Arm and Leg Warmers:
These garments are essential in everywhere but the warmest of climes. Easy to remove or add en-course arm and leg warmers can be lifesavers. Even if you’re heading to the south of Spain it’s wise to pack them in case the mornings are chilly. If you’re heading anywhere further north they are essential kit for those days when the weather doesn’t quite know what it’s doing.
Breathing in cold air is never pleasant. Lightweight and easy to pack the buff is a no-brainer. If you’re headed to Gran Canaria or similar you may not need to utilise it, however anywhere further north (ergo, most places) you will not regret packing one for those chilly morning starts and descents before the sun heats up.
An important piece of clothing for any type of riding, at any time of year especially if mountains are on the menu: what goes up must come down and sometimes that down can get chilly, no matter how high the temperatures. Easy to pop back in your pocket or leave unzipped for ventilation, a gilet is a must.
A Smart Base-Layer:
Possibly one of the most important items as the core dictates overall temperature, a smart base layer can keep you cool when needed or warm when things cool down. The best kinds of fabric are designed to wick away sweat and control temperature. A short-sleeved merino will serve you well in the north whereas a vest-style one will keep that core temp just right in the south.
A Wind/Rain Jacket:
You’ll hope you don’t need it, however much like an umbrella sod’s law dictates that if you don’t take one you’ll get caught out. Even if it (hopefully) stays in your pocket or suitcase a light jacket may prove a hero item if the weather has a bit of a wobbly. Our own unisex Rain Jacket by Sismic is a great, lightweight option.
What You Can Leave at Home
We’ve seen what winter cycling kit you should bring to Southern Spain, so here are the items that you can leave behind.
Deep Winter Jacket:
There are some amazing deep winter jackets out there that will keep your temperature just right on chilly deep-winter days. But in places where low temperatures rarely enter single figures you can leave this bulky item at home freeing up more suitcase space for energy bars.
Cold, numb feet won’t aid your pedalling but neither will sweaty ones. Of course, in sub-zero temperatures and biting wind a thermal overshoe is essential, but wearing them in the mild climes of Gran Canaria will have you hot-footing it to the changing room. An oversock, however, or light overshoe might not go amiss further north of the country. The Assos Tiburu Toe Cover is a fabulous, portable option to take away the wind chill and protect from any rain.
Thermal gloves lend a hand (oh yes…) on ice-cold days when changing gears would otherwise be rendered impossible but they are also a nuisance when any degree of dexterity is needed. No such fumbling items will be required on a cycling holiday in the south of Spain and friendlier, less bulky equivalents will suffice in the north.
Better for your kit to be in modular form (leg and arm warmers, jackets) than to opt for single pieces of thermal wear. Nobody wants to feel overdressed half-way through a ride and have no way of changing. That being said, a long-sleeved jersey would not go amiss on those chillier days if you’re travelling to Girona or Calpe. Check out MAAP’s long-sleeved offerings for men & women for a super-stylish option.
Cold ears are not pleasant but neither is a hot head! That wooly hat with earflaps is a lifesaver at home but it will have you stopping for a layer-removal before you’ve even got going in the south of Spain.
Winter Cycling in Style
Hopefully the above will help you plan your kit for your next cycling adventure but if you have any questions about what gear you may need for any upcoming trips then let us know! Give us a call on +34 972 649 131 or contact us online and we’ll make sure you’re winter cycling in style!
P.S. Join our Eat Sleep Cycle club to get exclusive discounts on brands such as Assos and MAAP in The Hub!