Kit for cold weather cycling in Taiwan

Anyone riding these days? I just wanted to make sure that if any of you guys are going out, or plan on going out, you have the right kit!

As many cyclists may say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad kit!

What I wear and my suggestions for under 10-15C in Taipei. From base layer to out layer:

  1. Merino/Double layered long sleeve base layer
  2. Regular bibs (I personally steer clear of the bibs that have any kind of mesh lining as those don’t really help when keeping the wind at bay) **
  3. Short or long sleeve jersey
  4. Softshell/Windproof jacket or gilet
  5. Waterproof/Windproof jacket


  • Regular long fingered gloves (If you’re climbing anything above 800m you need winter long fingered gloves!)
  • Double layered leg warmers
  • Cycling cap
  • Merino neck collar (It’s a thin layer, but does wonders when descending)
  • Half shoe covers
  • Merino socks

Everyone is a bit different, but this the above is what I wore this past weekend when riding. I know if I really needed it, I would probably invest in a pair of winter gloves and a double layered pair of bib shorts.

Need a more visual approach:


What I would steer clear from when prepping your kit would be a big down jacket or any part of your kit that may get cause you to over heat!

However, I have seen some cycling buddies pack the Uniqlo down vest/jacket in their pocket to use on the descent to wear under their windproof outer jacket. I would consider this a hack as you do not need to spend extra money on a cycling specific piece of kit!

I would stick to cycling specific gear for winter riding, apparel technology has come a long way since the days cyclists wore wool jerseys! Invest to stay warm and stay dry!


Went for a ride this past weekend. Had on a merino long sleeve shirt, jacket and even a thick neck collar, but failed to wear long fingered gloves. Boy was that a mistake! You need to keep those fingers warm and nimble to shift and ring the bell. I didn’t bother with the bell after a while, because every click hurt my finger.

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Long fingered gloves are essential for weather under 15C.

I took them off yesterday during my ascent, but once I got to the top, I immediately put them on.

Coldest I have ever experienced is roughly 3.5C at the top of Feng Gui Zui. At that point, no kind of glove would have saved you from the cold, but it would keep your fingers warm for that extra minute during the descent.


Thanks. I’ve been wondering about this. The rib fracture now seems to have healed enough that I want to get back on the bike (semi-successfully lifted weights for the first time yesterday), but … it’s cold and I don’t have the gear! And winter’s short enough here that I’m not sure if it’s worth my while to spend the money on gear for the season. For base torso layers, I’m assuming the hiking stuff I’ve got will work fine; not sure what to do about legs.

Except for the temperatures, the weather’s looking pretty good over the next week.

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Have to be careful with the base layer as they tend to be form fitting, don’t want to put too much pressure on a healing rib.

I am still convinced, I only need thermal leg warmers for this kind of weather. It really hasn’t gotten to the point where I think I need something to keep the crown jewels, my thighs and ass warm.

The only gear that I specifically use in this weather are my leg warmers, neck collar and merino socks. Everything else is layering and each piece can be worn individually or as just an extra layer in 15-20C weather.

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I’ve done a lot of cycling at around 1-5C.
My recommendations:

  1. wear 2 pairs of long-legged bike pants; mine bought at Decathlon. Bonus: the double-padding makes the butt feel even less sore, if not to the point of zero
  2. 2 pairs of gloves, both bought at Decathlon. First one (next to hands) are those very thin/thin dark-brown/black gloves. Extremely thin. Cost like N$99 or 199 (bonus is they are great for scooter driving in winter, too). Then outer gloves are full-fingered biking gloves. Yes, the thin ones fit inside and are not uncomfortable. You’ll be glad later.
  3. 2 pairs of socks. Light cotton next to skin and then thermal if you have them. You can do with one pair of thermal if need be. Bonus would be to have booties over the bike shoe (breaks the cold wind hitting the feet).
  4. The rest are upper body, all bought at Decathlon: short-sleeve quick-dry. They sell like NT$99 or something. Usually black color. Then long-sleeve quick-dry. Also cheap. Then bike jacket, the really tight zippered one. Usually all-black. 2-3 bike bottle sacks in back. Finally, a wind-breaker (yellow or orange-colored is the best).
  5. Finally, aside from the helmet, on your face/head, all from Decathlon: One of those thin cylindrical neck scarves (open at both ends) you see Taiwanese wear even during summer (I do, too. Am used to them now). Very thin. Pull down to cover ears and nose. Can pull-down on/off nose depending on how heated you may feel. Then on top of head a cheap knit/black winter hat (same material as the inner gloves). Like NT$99 or something at Decathlon. Finally, a baseball hat over the cap. I like baseball cap in summer (especially summer to keep sun off the nose) or winter. You can do without the baseball cap if you like.

Those are really all you need and can be all easily found cheaply at Decathlon where I bought mine.

I’ve never overheated while dressed (like above) at temps from above freezing to maybe 10C.

Have fun and stay safe. It’s wild to be biking in hills during weather like this. Plus, you might get to see some snow.


I’m same I don’t want to invest, cycling gear here’s expensive.
Weekend still using shorts but long pair of socks I bought from home to hike. T-shirt thermal long sleeve shirt, short sleeve cycling shirt, arm covers I bought accidentally thinking was long socks :confounded: lightweight waterproof and full gloves. Neck scarf and towel headband snug fit of helmet no cold wind freezing forehead
No problems when riding on the flat, problems with sweat going cold when I stopped.

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Sinple Gloves and hoodie or hat, and mask.
No spandex!!

I ride 1 hour each day, so nice to have it dry out a little !!! Time to scrub bike …

Decathlon is such a great place to pick up gear. They’re really great value for what you buy and it really doesn’t break the bank.

There is one thing I would suggest splurging a bit extra on is that base layer. If it’s too loose on you, it’s not really helping you regulate heat/sweat.


Hey man : look out for overdoing it with the rib. you don’t want ANY pain after a work out, as that sets up an inflammatory reaction and can make the healing much longer.

at the moment id be just looking to build mobility, and not lifting anything. Even cycling might be too much especially if you’re climbing, when you pull on the bars a lot. and then if it starts to hurt and you have got another couple of hills to go, you’re screwed.


leg warmers are great! because you can take them off when the temperatures warm up a bit on a long ride.

Thanks for the tip about the Uniqlo little downie. Yes, it would certainly fit in a pocket!

another tip i have is a beanie or a toque, call it what you will. even a skull cap. but you need to keep the wind off your head.

or you can swap to a helmet without vents.

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Thanks - I think it’s OK. I barely notice the injury any more; I did most of my different sets yesterday without even feeling it - only with bench press did I notice the injury, so I kept that set very, very short. I wouldn’t say it even hurt - more just “Huh, OK, better not push that.” No pain at all immediately afterwards.

A day later the only pain is in my upper legs, which are screaming after not having done squats in about a month.

I must have been lucky with a mild fracture - or the weight lifting, which I started a few years ago mainly because I heard it helped out with both avoiding injury and healing, has had a significant effect. Pain turning over at night only lasted four or five days, for example; “sneeze-pain” stopped after about two weeks.

First rides are most definitely going to be flat riverside only, however! Eager to be both swimming and cycling again - I am so, so bored from all the walking I’ve been doing in order to get some exercise in. If it were five degrees warmer, I’d have tried swimming again a few days ago, but right now, oof, that non-heated walk from the shower to the pool is rather intimidating.

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Yes, the beauty of arm and leg warmers. I haven’t run into too many rides where I have had to take them off, but my only gripe with this perk is if you end up sweating, putting those things back on is a biotch.

I’m seeing another cold wave coming, so I thought I would share my highly recommended items from my kit.

Ashmei Merino long sleeve Base Layer

Rema Thermal Leg Warmers

Rapha Toe Covers

Pearl Izumi Winter Full Fingered Gloves (for 15C)

Santini Guard 3.0

The thermal leg warmers from Rema is one of my best value buys. They are simple, logo is small, they do not slip and they are good enough to keep me warm even in windy 5C evenings in Taipei. The specifications says they are not windproof, but they are thick!

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I wore my aero helmet today from my former triathlon days. Definitely warmer than my normal helmet.

This video is veeery interesting and worth a watch if you are training in cold weather.

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Any of you wear a merino wool undershirt? I dug mine out from the bottom of my drawer yesterday thinking it was the perfect time to put it on. The ride started out nice and toasty. But less than 20 minutes into it, it started to get wet from my sweat, and with yesterday’s wind, it felt cold, especially on the descent (even with a jacket on). I’ve always thought merino wool wicked moisture. But apparently it doesn’t wick it as well as my regular cycling jersey.

Well that’s disappointing to hear. I was getting ready to spend some serious money on some merino wool base layers from Icebreaker or Smartwool just for day to day wear, specifically because I want a moisture-wicking layer between my skin and the rest of my clothes with this humidity.

Right now I am living in a Coolmax top from JL Racing that I’ve had for over a decade. It’s doing a fantastic job keeping my body warm and dry. Sadly, JL Racing is a garbage brand that is made overseas now, so I’m back to the beginning in finding anything comparable in price and quality…

I think as long as you’re not wearing it for a vigorous exercise like cycling or cross country skiing, the moisture should be adequately wicked. When you’re cycling, especially climbing, you sweat an inordinate amount. My first 20 minutes were great. It was later when I started going up a hill that the material became noticeably wet.