Winters in the central region of Europe, including Germany, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are cold. There’s no way of avoiding it. Road cyclists who head out to train throughout the winter will have to contend with snow and sub-zero conditions.
Ovada Deep Winter Tights
Merino Membrane Softshell Jacket
Average temperatures in Central Europe during December range around the zero mark, with ski resorts in southern Germany getting as low as -5°C. Only the toughest riders will make it out on the bike at this time, and it goes without saying most mountain passes will be closed with snow.
Things don’t get any warmer in January. While the north of the region (Germany in particular) benefits from milder winters thanks to North Atlantic drift, the more southern countries will see big snowfalls throughout the winter. Expect -5°C averages in the south and slightly warmer but still sub-zero in the north.
Days start to get longer and average temperatures higher – you’ll still need your warmest clothing to stay comfortable, but there are more hours of daylight each day and temperatures will creep as high as 5, or even 7°C. It’s time to start rediscovering the joy of riding.
The most effective way to beat the harsh temperatures of winter and keep riding your bike through until spring is by layering up effectively – so whatever the thermostat says, you’re ready to get out and ride. Often in cold weather the hardest part of going out on the bike is the moment you step out of the front door into the chill – once you’re riding and keeping warm though, you’ll forget all about that in an instant.
We recommend building your layering system on two key pieces of kit. The first is a pair of full-length bib tights, with the support and comfort of a regular pair of bibs, but a heavier weight and longer-length to keep you fully protected while you’re out riding. You’ll want to look out for options with good water-repellency and insulation.
The second of our key pieces is a good quality baselayer – whether you opt for a short-sleeve with addition of arm warmers or go with a long-sleeve option from the start, the thermal baselayer is a cyclist’s best friend in winter. Merino wool baselayers like ours offer a superb balance of warmth to weight, with the added benefit of being naturally anti-microbial to avoid those unpleasant odours that can build up between laundry days.
On top of your core items, we’d recommend a mid-layer of some kind, to compound the benefits of your baselayer and bib tights. A short or long-sleeved jersey can both do this job, and wearing one will give you an opportunity to show off some of your personal style – something that is often sadly forgotten in the colder months.
Ovada Deep Winter Tights
There was only ever going to be one pair of cycling tights to take you through the winter in central Europe – tested in Iceland and fit for use in sub-zero conditions.
100% Merino Long Sleeve Base
At the heart of every effective layering system is a great base. Our long-sleeved version is made of 100% merino for anti-microbial odour control, superb comfort and unbeatable lightness
We created these super-warm merino cycling gloves because it’s important to look after your hands in cold weather – after all, they do control your brakes!
While the above pieces remain pretty much constant throughout winter, your choice of outer layers will depend largely on the forecasted weather conditions for your ride. In central Europe we’re lucky not to get too much rainfall in the winter (at least not compared with other regions further north and west that must contend with the rages of the Atlantic) so you won’t always need a waterproof outer. It might sound obvious, but if it’s cold and dry, grab a thermal outer, and if it’s going to rain heavily, choose a waterproof option.