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Rapha's Guide to Staying Warm – Women'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 November 2019

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.

WOMEN'S MERINO BASE LAYER - SHORT SLEEVE

A warm wool layer that’s odour-resistant and quick-drying.

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WOMEN'S MERINO BASE LAYER - LONG SLEEVE

A long sleeve wool layer that’s cosy and odour-resistant.

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WOMEN'S MERINO MESH BASE LAYER - SHORT SLEEVE

A lightweight and extremely breathable merino base layer designed for year-round riding and racing.

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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.

WOMEN'S CORE WINTER TIGHTS WITH PAD

A pair of tights for winter that combine value with defence from the cold weather.

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WOMEN'S PADDED TIGHTS

A pair of full-length, fleece-lined tights with chamois pad designed for winter riding.

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SOUPLESSE THERMAL JERSEY

A cold weather training jersey for riders and racers looking to stay aero without freezing.

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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.

WOMEN'S BREVET LONG SLEEVE WINDBLOCK JERSEY

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

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WOMEN'S CORE WINTER JACKET

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

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WOMEN'S CLASSIC WINTER JACKET

A waterproof and wind-resistant jacket that’s made for winter riding.

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WOMEN'S BREVET GILET WITH POCKETS

A lightweight, packable and windproof outer layer with storage, designed for distance.

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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.

Souplesse INSULATED GILET

A packable insulated gilet for your fastest cold weather training rides.

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Souplesse Insulated Jacket

A packable insulated jacket for your cold weather training rides and races.

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CLASSIC THERMAL ARM WARMERS

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

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CLASSIC THERMAL KNEE WARMERS

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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Souplesse Gloves

A pair of lightweight gloves that provide protection from the elements.

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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 of the 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 Winter 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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CROSS LIGHTWEIGHT SNOOD

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

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Merino Hat

A merino wool hat for comfort in cold riding conditions.

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MERINO HEADBAND

A knitted merino headband, less bulky than a winter hat but warmer than a cotton cap.

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