dhb Merino Hat M_200

You need something under your helmet to keep your head warm. A wool watch cap won’t fit, but helpfully cycling companies make beanies that fit under your lid. dhb- which make a lot of products that solve practical cycling problems- make a Merino wool beanie (aka “skullcap) that will keep your head warm even when bucketing down freezing rain. I wear this with my Specialized “Mode” helmet and it works a treat. Highly recommended.

dhb Merino Wool Leg Warmers:

These Merino Wool Leg Warmers are thin but will keep you warm even in wet weather. You put the leg warmers on first, and then pull your cycle shorts up over them. These things are excellent and make winter cycling very comfortable.

I’m 5’9″ and bought size “medium” and these fit well. I sourced them from wiggle.co.uk

dhb Toe Cover Overshoes:

Cold feet (and hands) make winter cycling a misery. And riding a Penny-Farthing, almost invariably you’ll be cycling in running shoes which have mesh that allows the cold air to pass right through ;-). So you require something to keep the heat IN and the cold OUT. These are dhb Toe Cover Overshoes!

The good: dhb Toe Cover Overshoes are made of neoprene which will keep your feet warm even when wet. But they’re also sturdy and hold up to bear claw pedals which shred thin nylon gaitors. I bought them on sale for £8/pair, but I’d have paid anything to avoid cycling an hour+ home on frozen feet. So far I’ve used these on cycling in -2C and my feet are good to go. And they’re so compact you can stick a pair in your pocket and it adds no great bulk but if can save you feet…

The bad: There is a downside. When making an emergency dismount on a cold winter night cycling my 50″ Penny-Farthing down a dark country road when my flashlight totally died, one Toe Cover caught on my bear claw pedal and ripped off my foot. I thought that my shoelace snagged on a mount peg, but it was the Toe Cover- which was NOT damaged. They’re great kit, but just be aware they can catch on your pedals and interfere with a dismount. As long as you’re aware though, it needn’t be a problem.

Sizing: My shoe size 10 UK (I tell women that I’m a size16 🤫) running shoe and the L/XL size dhb Toe Cover Overshoes fit these quite well. I bought them from wiggle.co.uk

Gloves/Mittens:

Couple of options:

Option 1: Neoprene gloves will keep your hands warm even when wet. I wore these when high altitude skydiving from 30,000 feet. And the atmosphere is f*cking brutal there. Just avoid the cheap gardening gloves; they fall apart after a few cycles.

Option 2: Wool mittens are the warmest option and like neoprene gloves will keep your hands warm even when wet. But the trade-off for the extra warmth over gloves is loss of finger dexterity. I bought a (8) pairs of Swedish Army surplus wool mittens for the silly price of £2/pair. OK, they smelled a bit musty on arrival, but it disappeared after a wash. And these have a HUGE benefit over gloves: the trigger-finger hole. Although you don’t need to shoot anybody- unless you’re cycling your PF through Walthamstow at an unsavoury hour 😉 – the index finger access hole allows you to quickly use your mobile phone. The Swedish know about operating in crazy cold temperatures. If they issue these mittens to their soldiers, that is the ultimate endorsement of their worth. I’m currently using this Option 2 for winter cycling on my PF. I can operate the rear calliper brake on my PF and activate the GoPro remote & my Blinxi helmet turn signals wearing them so no material issues with dexterity from my experience cycling with wool mittens.

I bought mine from Militarymart.co.uk. My experience of them is they’re a good vendor: you give them a few quid, they send you useful stuff.

Snood

Get something to wrap around your neck. A snood is pretty flexible and you can pull up around your chin. They’re cheap and you can find a gazillion of them on various outdoors sites, including wiggle.co.uk