Questions: It’s really cold where I live but I want to keep riding. I invested in all the usual winter cycling garb. But even with a wool hat under my helmet, a turtleneck base layer and a jacket with a high collar, cold wind goes down my neck. Any suggestions? — Mark P.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: The solution is a balaclava.
This is a longneck hood that fits snugly around your face and has plenty of overlap with a turtleneck. Put on the balaclava, then the base layer.
Voila — double protection around your neck and no chance of air leaks.
When it’s really cold, you can pull the balaclava up to cover your chin or even your mouth. Warmer? Pull it down under your chin. I can’t ride in temperatures under 30 degrees without one.
Balaclavas are available in bike shops or online.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be made of thick material to be effective even in frigid temperatures.
In fact, there are drawbacks to beefy balaclavas. They can cause overheating, and they sometimes require changing to thinner helmet pads. Your helmet will still fit fine over a thin balaclava. Andyou’ll be thankful for the versatility.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.