Pro Tips: CX Star Jeremy Powers On Cold Weather Riding

Cross Feature Articles



[Editor’s Note: This article first published last January, but with the first serious cold snap (and snow storms) rolling across the U.S. this week, we thought it was a good time to re-post. Read on to find out what Jeremy Powers does to stay warm when the temperature dives and the snow starts to pile up.]

Jeremy Powers knows a little something about riding in the cold. As one of America’s top cyclocross racers, the Team Rapha-Focus rider earns his paycheck battling competitors — and the elements.

Whether duking it out on the mean streets of the European ’cross circuit, trading blows in the U.S., or training at home in western Massachusetts, Powers is constantly looking for the right balance between staying warm and staying comfortable, efficient and dry.

RoadBikeReview.com caught up with the 2012 U.S. national cyclocross champion to find out what tricks and tips he uses to stave off old man winter.

“I like to have clothing that can adjust to the temperature,” explains Powers, who on the lead-up to 2013 ’cross nationals in Wisconsin spent 10 straight days riding in sub-30-degree temperatures. “So it needs to have range. That means lots of zippers. Rapha has a classic softshell that has zippers in the chest and underneath armpits, so you can tighten it up to ride in 30 degrees. But if you leave and its 30 but then the temp goes up to 40, you can open it up.”

Neck Warmers and Head Gear

Powers is also a big fan of neck warmers. “I always wear one,” he says. “That helps keep heat trapped in. If your chest, core and neck are warm you will be able to take in air and warm it up quicker. So I will use a turtleneck base layer or just a neck warmer. I also have a hat with ear coverage, and it might sound funny, but I like tall glasses that protect your face more. I try to cover up as much as I can with the lenses. Oakley makes an awesome tall Radar.”

Gloves

For gloves, Powers often opts for two sets. “If you start to get really sweaty on your ride your gloves will get wet and eventually your hands will get cold because the wind is now hitting that perspiration,” he explains. “So I carry that second set so I can switch them out midway through the ride. That helps a lot.”

Shoe Covers

Powers uses a layers approach for his feet. “With shoe covers I use a regular shoe cover, but in the front of it I usually insert one of those thermal hand warmer you buy at ski shops,” he says. “So on really cold days, the hand warmer goes directly on top of the shoe, then the cotton shoe cover, and then a neoprene bootie. That keeps the wind out and the cotton cover keeps the heat warmer nice and snug against the front of my foot.”

Apparel

When it comes to fabrics, Powers is a wool man all the way. “Obviously I am influenced by what I am riding right now, but Rapha makes this merino wool turtleneck base layer that is truly a great piece,” he says. “If you can own one piece of cold weather gear, even if you don’t want to mention it in this article, I cant recommend it enough. It’s amazing.”

Powers also loves a good set of thick bib tights that have some wind protection on the knees. “If your knees get cold you’re screwed,” he explains. “On a four-hour ride, cold knees are a nightmare. So anything with reinforced knee coverage is great. I have been wearing the winter tights from Rapha that have wind-protection on the front thigh areas and on knees and shins. On the back it is just regular fleece lined Lycra. It’s really warm.”

Race Day

Finally when it comes to race day, Powers advises that your number one goal is to not get cold on the start line before the race. “That means you need to get really warmed up before that, and then bundle up like crazy while you’re waiting to start your race,” he says. “Then you just pull your jacket off right before the start of the race.”

“If you get cold it takes a significant amount of time to get warmed back up. Think about when you stop for a coffee on a cold day’s ride its hard to get warmed back up. So I stay really bundled up.”

“I also always err on the side of being too warm versus being too cold. During your race, you can always unzip, you can ditch gloves, you have some options when you’re racing. But if you are too cold you are screwed. It’s tough to put on a pair of gloves in the middle of a cross race.”

Pro Tips: CX Star Jeremy Powers On Cold Weather Riding Gallery
1
of
×

Jeremy in Long Sleeve Jersey

×

Jeremy Powers Bundled Up

×

Jeremy Powers

×

Rapha Overshoes

×

Rapha Overshoes

×

Rapha Winter Glove

×

Rapha Classic Softshell

×

Rapha Winter Tights

×

Rapha Winter Collar

×

Rapha Turtleneck Jersey

×

Grabber Toe Warmers

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


Related Articles


NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:



Wordpress Comments:

  • Dennis says:

    Great ad for Rapha.

    There’s a lot of good gear out there . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and a lot less expensive than Rapha

  • Jason Sumner says:

    Indeed, lots of great apparel options out there from various companies. Mission of piece was to provide tips on how to dress. Hope you took that away as well.

  • steve says:

    my concern is getting a flat and being forced to freeze and take off gloves to change it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*