What To Wear Biking In 50 Degree Weather

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Ben Jones

Accessories, Cycling Safety


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50 degrees Fahrenheit? It’s a tricky temperature, isn’t it? Neither one extreme nor the other.

You know where you are when you’re getting your cycling gear ready for 0 degrees Fahrenheit:

At one end you’re going to have something like this, down to the other end, which will have something like this.

You also know exactly what to wear when it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit. No? Not your colour…?

Okay, look the point is that 50 degrees is a tricky temperature to dress for. It’s a useful rule of thumb that, when you’re out on the bike in cooler conditions, always wear clothing that leaves you slightly cool whilst you’re warming up.

An activity like cycling will generate a lot of body heat. Therefore, you really don’t want to put on too many layers to begin with or you’ll end up sweating buckets after a couple of miles.

So, what’s the best gear to wear for cycling in 50-degree weather? Well, there are a range of options and I’ve included a quick summary of the best ones in the table below. I’ll then go into some more detail on each of them.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Quick Answer:

My Top Recommended Cycling Gear For 50 Degrees Fahrenheit

Let’s go through each of these in detail, shall we?

My standard cycling gear consists of helmet (safety first!), comfy training shoes / sneakers, sports socks, and:

A short-sleeve jersey like this (which really embarrasses my kids. LOL)

Teamed up with padded shorts like these:

When the mercury drops to 50 degrees, I’ll then add the following.

Thermal Cycling Jacket

This jacket from Arsuxeo is a thermal softshell that is cut for cycling – with a longer length at the back, to keep your lower back warm as you bend over the handlebars. It’s windproof to keep the chill out and waterproof to keep the rain out.

A jacket like this is great for this kind of temperature – it gives you an extra layer of warmth without too much bulk. If I find that I’m getting too warm after I’ve got stuck into the bike ride, I can pull the zipper down partway and let in some breeze.

A great choice at a great price, and available in six different color options.

Cozy Helmet liner Skullcap

I always wear a helmet when I’m out cycling. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – one like this is perfect. This one comes with lots of vents in the top to keep your head bathed in a lovely cooling breeze during the summer.

But in chilly weather? Hmm, that’s when you need an extra layer underneath like this skullcap.

One like this stops the cold air getting to your head and giving you brain freeze and because it’s not thick, it will easily fit under your standard bike helmet.

Plus, and this is a big plus for me. It keeps your ears warm. I don’t know about you, but my lugs always get painfully cold when I’m biking in temperatures like this!

Long-fingered Winter Cycling Gloves

Whilst I have plenty of, ahem, additional insulation round my midriff, my fingers are one part of me that is low in body fat.

That’s great for my overall body fat average, but not great when my fingers are pushing into a cold wind on my bike ride.

For that reason, I always wear a pair of long-fingered bike gloves like these from Kingsbom. They’ve got a good layer of padding on the high-contact areas of the palms. What I really love about them though is the full-finger coverage and fully-covered backs. They give plenty of warmth, are touchscreen compatible, and extend far enough up your wrists so that they’ll tuck safely inside your jacket sleeves.


Winter Cycling Legwarmers

Legwarmers were a total revelation for me when I first heard about them.

Until then I thought that legwarmers were something that Jane Fonda wore in the 80s. And therefore were probably not really something that I’d be wearing on the bike in the 21st Century.

How wrong could I be!

These are not the knitted calf-length warmers that Jane was a fan of. These are a full leg item that go from your ankle up to mid-thigh. They’re made from nylon/spandex/lycra and are so comfortable to wear. They have a gripper band at the top and bottom to hold them in place and you can easily roll them down to your ankles if you find that you get too warm on a ride (or take them off and stuff them in a pocket).

I love them because it means that I can continue to wear my standard bike shorts through the year but keep my legs from turning blue in the cooler months.

Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce…. Aaaand aerobics! … Don’t forget to breathe, six, seven, eight!

…and finally

Cycling is an activity that you can enjoy year-round, whatever the weather throws at you.

But you need the right gear, otherwise it can be a miserable rather than an enjoyable experience.

Stay warm and cozy.

Have fun.