The fact that Belgium is a low country, combined with its proximity to the warmth of the North Atlantic drift, means its winter temperatures are cold, but not sub-zero. France, spreading over a far greater geographical area and comprising both high mountains and mediterranean coastline, has a much wider range of average temperatures.

Nevertheless, there are some basic principles that will help you dress correctly for the weather in winter, so you can enjoy riding your bike – regardless of the season.

Dec

While heavy alpine snowfalls will have already made the great passes of the Tour de France unrideable for cyclists, the weather at sea level is still good enough to ride without too much trouble. In Belgium cyclists can expect to contend with heavy winds and quite a bit of rain.

Jan

Average temperatures in France and Belgium are at their lowest in January. Now is the time to wrap up warm and make sure you have the right layers of kit to combat the elements.

Feb

February in Belgium marks the start of the spring Classics and the full recommencement of road cycling hostilities. Meanwhile in France, things are also improving – both in terms of rainfall and average temperature.

With the winter weather in France and Belgium so changeable, yet consistently cold and wet, you’ll want to have an adjustable layering system that lets you react to the conditions while you’re out riding.

First and foremost for winter riding, you’ll definitely need a pair of thermal, full-length bib tights. These will become a firm friend throughout the cold and rainy months and may make the difference between you stepping out of the front door on a bad-weather day or changing your mind and abandoning your ride. Look out for tights with a fleece lining for extra insulation, a high-quality chamois pad for long-distance comfort and some kind of water-repellent treatment to ensure you stay dry and clean.

Also imperative is a baselayer – and for use in Belgium and France we’d recommend either short-sleeves or sleeveless designs. That will give you the option to wear arm warmers, which can obviously be removed if it turns into a nicer day than expected. Our baselayers are made with merino wool, giving them a good balance of warmth and weight, while also being naturally anti-microbial and anti-odour.

Once you have your core pieces in place, you can fine-tune your exact winter riding outfit from there. A good quality merino jersey will become a big part of your regular riding apparel, helping to take the chill out of cold December and January mornings. We’d also recommend removable smaller pieces of gear like caps, gloves and neck warmers – so you can stay flexible on your rides and add or remove layers as needed.

  • 100% Merino Short Sleeve Baselayer

    Soft to the touch and cut for a streamlined fit, this baselayer is the ultimate in comfort. Made with 100% premium merino wool.

  • Merino Membrane Softshell Jacket

    Merino on the inside, waterproof membrane on the outside – this is a jacket for every winter riding scenario. Simply zip it up and hit the road.

  • Merino Performance Neck Warmer

    A vital piece of equipment to throw in your winter kit bag – this performance neck warmer allows you a little bit of extra warmth and comfort at minimal weight.

Merino Membrane Softshell Jacket
Merino Membrane Softshell Jacket
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Merino Performance Neck Warmer
Merino Performance Neck Warmer
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100% Merino SS Baselayer Golden Oak
100% Merino SS Baselayer Golden Oak
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Finally, the value of a high quality outer layer cannot be overestimated – whether you go for a waterproof jacket to protect you from the rain, or a warm and windproof shell to keep out the cold – this will be your first line of defence against the elements. Our Merino Membrane Softshell Jacket comprises a waterproof membrane on the outside and warming merino on the inside – for the ideal balance of warmth, breathability and weather protection.


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