The first part of the body to really feel the cold is the hands, and keeping them warm helps the rest of you, both physically and mentally. A good pair of winter gloves is a great start; most riders will own several pairs of gloves in an attempt to be wearing the right ones in any condition.
Layers are the secret to keeping warm but the trouble with lots of layers on your hands is that you can lose the feeling of the controls, so it’s always going to be a compromise. A lot of people invest in liners such as the Tucano 669’s the EDZ 921 and 963 models and the polatherm hand liners
One style of glove that has lots of fans in the winter is the two fingered ‘lobster claw’ style such as the Spada Claw or the Rukka Lobster. These gloves allow more air to circulate between the fingers encouraging heat build-up. The claw design allows easy two or four fingered operation of the brake and clutch levers.
Gore-Tex gloves are the best ones available as they’ll keep you dry and their breathability means that you won’t have sweaty clammy hands that can lead to them feeling cold.
Handlebar muffs are arguably one of the best ways to beat the cold and we stock a variety of Tucano muffs as well as the classic Oxford model. The science is simple, look up ‘wind chill factor’ and see how cold it really is when you’re riding along at a sedate 50 mph. If the air temperature is zero then at that speed you’re fighting off over -30 degrees! With muffs fitted you’re only battling the zero temperature. Still not fun, but a lot less of a battle.
Another trick is to put a warm hand into a warm glove when you head off and stay away from ‘diesel gloves’.
Heated gloves are considered cheating by some people but ask any of our hundreds of happy EXO2 heated glove owners how they feel and it will be a different story. If you spend any more than half an hour on a bike at a time in the winter then you should give these some serious consideration.
Oxford heated handlebar grips are another popular way of keeping the chill out and many couriers will use them along with muffs while keeping their summer gloves on to help the speed of heat generation. For the winter commuter this solution can prove a real ride saver.
For the rest of the body it’s all about layers and we have many thermal products to effectively beat the cold.
Starting at the top there are a number of options for keeping out the chills such as balaclavas and in stock we keep several different models in stock from Oxford plus others from EDZ and Forcefield.
Another popular item that can be not only a balaclava, but also a neck warmer, a hat and many other things is the buff. For the winter months there is the polar buff, and for those in-between days we recommend the merino buff. Ask the ever helpful Infinity staff to show you what the differences are, if you’re really lucky you’ll get one who knows how to do a full demonstration.
Next up (or down) is something to keep the torso a bit warmer and nothing beats layers for keeping the cold out. The better the layers the less you have to wear and let’s face it no-one wants to bulk up unnecessarily and then ride a bike. We stock a wide range of thermal tops from respected brands such as Polatherm, Rukka, EDZ, Oxford, EXO 2, Pro-skins, and Forcefield. All of these people make different items that are designed to work in different ways and some such as the Rukka Outlast range are using the latest technology to keep the heat in. Another product to use the latest technology is the EXO 2 body warmer which is heated. Its low current draw means it works very well on a bike. It’s slightly bulkier than regular thermal layers so make sure you try one on with your regular winter riding jacket. Most of the garments we sell are designed to work on a bike and so are relatively thin in order that they will fit easily under your jacket. One of the most popular tops last winter was the EDZ ‘Yeti’.
“ I have a 30-40 minute commute into London every day from the suburbs and got caught a little short last year when the temperature failed to rise as high as I thought and I found myself at work with a cold commute home and not many layers to drape over myself. I took a punt and put my cash down for an EDZ Yeti top. Fashion is a very subjective thing but personally I really like the look of this fluffy top. It didn’t take long to confirm what I had heard from a couple of customers, this thing was warm. Its bulk wasn’t too bad under my Rukka jacket and it works off of the bike as a casual top. I also have a Rukka Dingo jacket that was my main source of warmth before the Yeti joined in. The Yeti squashes down under this lightweight windproof jacket and gives me another layer behind my outer jacket to keep the elements out. I rode to work every single day last winter with just a tee-shirt under the Yeti and Dingo tops and I didn’t feel the cold at all. I can personally recommend both.” Keith, Shop Manager.
For the legs we keep a wide range of long johns in stock which are designed to be thermal and close fitting to allow you to get your regular riding trousers on over the top without needing to diet. Incidentally the winter cold reveals the secondary purpose of knee armour; it helps keep the chills off of your knee joints as they catch the breeze.
For the feet we recommend that your first defence is a good pair of waterproof boots. If that’s not quite enough then thermal socks, waterproof overboots and even heated insoles.
There’s no reason why a bit of a chill in the air should deprive you of your riding needs, so stock up on the most appropriate gents and ladies motorcycle clothing, to see you through the winter.