The key to staying comfortable during winter bike rides is proper layering. For temperatures from 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit I wear three layers of clothing on my upper body. The first layer (closest to my skin ) is an Under Armour ColdGear Fitted Longsleeve Mock. For the middle layer I wear a Spyder Outbound Half Zip Mid Weight Sweater, and for the outer layer I wear the Showers Pass Touring Jacket (one of the greatest pieces of cycling gear ever made).
The Spyder Outbound Men’s Half Zip Mid Weight Sweater was designed with snow skiers in mind, but that is fine with me. If you ride your bike in the winter and depend on cycling clothing manufacturers to make all of your cold weather gear then you either live in the deep south or you are going to freeze to death. Clothing that was designed for winter cycling in Europe won’t even come close to meeting the needs of winter cyclists in the Upper Midwest of the United States.
This sweater is thicker and heavier than most lightweight fleece sweaters you will find, but it is not bulky and it will not impair your mobility. Spyder’s Website says this sweater was “made with engineered fabrics that deliver both the dry warmth of wool and the caress of cotton.” The advertising folks got it right this time—this polyester sweater is very warm, incredibly comfortable, and breathes far better than cotton. The sweater closes in front with a half-zipper, so you can regulate your temperature (those of you in Florida might find this hard to believe, but even when it is 10 degrees Fahrenheit outside you can overheat).
This will be the third winter I’ve used the Spyder Outbound Half Zip Mid Weight Sweater for cycling and I simply love it. Even after repeated washings the sweater still looks like new.
The Spyder Outbound Men’s Half Zip Mid Weight Sweater is available in six sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL) and appears to be true to size. This sweater comes in seven different colors, and since I don’t like the way Spyder names their colors I will tell you what they look like: Black, White, Red, Yellow, Tan, and two shades of Blue. The Outbound sweater is cut for men—if you are looking for a similar product for women I would try the Spyder Valor Women’s Half Zip Mid Weight Sweater.
Both the Spyder Outbound Men’s Half Zip Mid Weight Sweater and the Spyder Valor Women’s Half Zip Mid Weight Sweater are available at numerous sporting goods stores and from online retailers. I purchased my Outbound sweater from a brick-and-mortar Dick’s Sporting Goods store. The Outbound sweater has a retail price of $99 and the Valor retails for $89.