Rapha's Guide To Staying Warm – Men's

Roll up to a ride without enough on, and you’ll soon be turning back home in search of central heating. But get your layers right, and you’ll make the most of your winter miles. Use our guide to learn the principles of staying warm on cold days.

05 October 2018
Rapha Guide To Staying Warm

Key Principles

It’s not too complicated. There are three golden rules for winter riding that should never be broken.

01. Kit That Fits

Close-fitting layers trap insulating pockets of air near your body. Loose layers act like a bellows, pumping cold air around your body, purging precious heat.

02. Bring The Heat

Your body is a radiator. Opt for lighter, removable layers on the days you’ll be pedalling hard.

03. Be Versatile

A packable extra layer, and wearing breathable base and mid-layers, will make all the difference if the weather changes.

What To Wear

Building from the base layer, Rapha’s collection of winter clothing and accessories follow the above principles to keep you riding in warmth, comfort, and style through the colder months. Here are a few key pieces for this season.

Beneath it all

Base layers are the foundation of a winter riding outfit, and they play a far more complicated role in temperature regulation than simply keeping your upper body warm. Base layers sit close to the skin, working to wick away sweat – without one, this sweat can turn to clamminess and chills very quickly.

Rapha’s winter base layers make use of heavier (yet still breathable) fabrics such as merino, and feature higher collars to stop the wind from venturing down your jersey.

Pro Team Thermal Base Layer

A high performance layer for training and racing in wintry conditions.

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Classic Deep Winter Windblock Base Layer

A highly-insulating winter base layer with a protective windproof front panel.

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A lightweight, long sleeve layer that keeps you cool and dry.

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Long Sleeve Merino Base Layer

A cosy, odour-resistant wool layer that wicks and dries quickly.

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Don’t Forget The Thermals

There are few more cosy and comfortable cycling garments than thermal bibs and jerseys. Their warmth isn’t just derived from the weight of their fabrics, but from the use of brushed-back linings – the official name of the soft, fluffy interior of thermal clothes. These soft, short loops of fabric hold onto warm air around your body, creating a layer of insulation. Warm legs will work better, but not just that – thermal bibs and tights add warming material around your lower back and torso to keep your core warmer.

Pro Team Thermal Bib Shorts II

A comfortable pair of warm and water-resistant shorts for fast rides.

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Pro Team Long Sleeve Thermal Jersey

A cold-weather training jersey for riders that want shiver-free speed.

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Classic Thermal Bib Shorts

A cosy version of our award-winning Classics, with Superroubaix® for warmth.

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Classic Thermal Leg Warmers

A pair of comfortable leg warmers with merino for warmth.

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Block The Wind

A cold breeze can cut through layers but one sure-fire way of staying warm is to wear an outer layer with a windproof finish, keeping cold air away from your core.

For days when a windproof jacket is too much, choose a top with windproof front panels, and breathable rear panels. This will block the wind head-on, while allowing excess heat to escape out of the back, a clever way of staying warm without getting sweaty.


A jacket for high-tempo rides in cool and changeable conditions.

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A jersey with a windproof front that’s perfect for chilly rides.

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A jacket that combines value with everyday cold-weather defence.

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Brevet Long Sleeve Windblock Jersey

A jersey that offers protection and comfort in a range of conditions.

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Against the elements

The use of insulation in cycling clothing is a fairly recent innovation, but it’s caught on quickly. Down and Polartec® Alpha® insulation hold on to heat like nothing else, and they’re highly compressible when it comes time to put them in a jersey pocket, making them a great ‘just in case’ addition to your outfit.


A race gilet that fits close and packs small with Alpha® insulation.

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A lightweight, insulated jacket for breathable protection from the elements.

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A comfortable pair of arm warmers made with soft merino wool.

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A pair of knee warmers with merino for cool weather.

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Like a Glove

Your hands and feet are the first things to feel the cold, and the right choice of gloves, socks, and overshoes can keep you riding through the most bitter weather.

Hands and feet are the perfect place to include high visibility detailing – as your feet are almost constantly moving while riding, and hands move while signalling, hi-vis elements are more likely to catch the eye. Rapha’s Pro Team Overshoes, Winter Gloves, and Brevet Reflective Gloves all include hi-vis elements, keeping you seen as well as warm.

Winter Socks

A thick pair of socks for warmth and comfort on cold days.

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Reflective Overshoes

A completely reflective overshoe that draws the eye with every pedal stroke.

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Winter Gloves

An insulating and water-resistant glove for riding in cold weather.

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Brevet Reflective Gloves

A pair of comfortable and reflective gloves made for riding from dawn until dusk.

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Protect Your Neck (And Head)

Flick through photography of cold weather races, and you’ll notice that the majority peloton wouldn’t dream of crossing a start line without suitably cosy neck and headwear. This is for a very good reason – not only does a quality Merino Collar or warm hat keep you feeling warm, they can also be stashed into a pocket whenever needed.

Winter Collar

A cosy collar that keeps your neck, ears and face warm in winter.

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A soft neck warmer for your cyclocross warm-ups and off-road adventures.

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Pro Team Winter Hat

A warm hat made from a thin, breathable softshell fabric with DWR treatment.

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Merino Hat

A merino wool hat for comfort in cold riding conditions.

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