Riding in the depths of winter can be tough - and the months of January and February can often feel like a cruel trick once the distractions of the festive period have passed.
Though it's often said 'there's not such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing' - we'd beg to differ. Sometimes bad weather strikes, but good quality gear can go a long way to making the elements a lot less noticeable.
Cold extremities can dramatically impact how warm you feel - so gloves, overshoes and indeed caps and headwarming devices are incredibly important.
Nobody likes the feeling of freezing cold air rushing past their ears, so we've rounded up some of the very best defense mechanisms...
Castelli Head Thingy - £17 - here
With all the 'DRYTEX', 'NANOFLEX', 'SUPERBREATHE' tech that does the rounds in cycling, it's kind of cool to see Castelli opt for the less superman sounding title of 'Thingy' for this neck, ear and head warmer.
The tube can be worn around the neck or over the ears and head, and is made of 'Softlex fabric' (yep, the tech had to come in somewhere) so it's super cosy. It's only £17, but this small investment could make a big difference to your comfort.
Rapha Winter Hat - £30 - here
Head warming: check. Neck warming: check. Ear warming: check. Rain-catching-peak: check. This cap is made from a mixture of merino wool, polyester and stretchy elastane, with a sweat wicking nylon and elastane lining. Seven panels are sewn together to create a one-size-fits all construction that will suit most head sizes - though we did find when we tested it, the cap felt a bit bulky on smaller noggins.
It can be worn with a helmet over the top, and we'd probably sport this one off the bike, too.
Vulpine Thermal Storm Cap - £25 - here
Currently on sale and available in black (size small) and orange (small and medium) this 'storm cap' is fleece lined and extends over the neck and ears whilst still fitting under a helmet.
To cater for the wetter elements, the fabric is water resistant and the peak will keep the worst out your eyes, whilst a reflective strip does its bit to make sure you're noticed.
Findra Striped Betty Beanie Lambswool Striped Hat - £25 - here
This one features 'Piccalilli, Black Grape and Dark Navy' stripes, but there's a myriad of other colour options available, all with the FINDRA tag to show it came from the great new all-women's-brand dedicated to broadening the offering for the girls.
Buffwear Kuzma - £25 - here
Most brands have a 'buff' that they call a 'tube', 'neckwarmer' or - er - 'thingy', because it was the brand Buff who made the original Buff. Therefore, it would be rude not to include them here, and we do love this awesome light blue leapord print version.
Made from 'skin-soft, wool like acrylic fibre', Buff's warmers are thick and cosy - great for days when you can see your breathe if you don't keep it enclosed and use it to insulate your chin!
Gore Bike Wear Universal Windstopper Soft Shell Neck and Face Warmer - now £19.99 - here
Who says bibs are just for children? Here Gore have expanded on the neck warmer idea and extended their offering to cover the top of the chest as well.
Using Gore's Widstopper Shoft Shell material, with flat-lock seams to prevent chafing, this plain black option can be pulled over the nose or worn just around the neck.
Rapha Merino Headband - £20 - here
A personal favourite, headbands are a great option if you don't like material bunching under your helmet - a constant struggle if, like me, you're graced with a 'petite head'.
This stretchy merino headband from Rapha is incredibly warm, and very wide - which means you can double it over to cover just your ears, or spread it right out to encompass most of the top of your head.
Available in black, black and white stripes, or grey with yellow detail, at £20 this really is a steal for a high quality Rapha item.
dhb Blok Meso Neck Tube - £6 - here
Keeping costs down? This version from dhb is the cheapest at just £6. Available in flouro pink or yellow, the neck tube shares its pattern with the rest of Meso range (check out our review here) so you can look the absolute business.
Made from a soft bi-elastic micro brushed jersey material, this is a single layer of fabric and fairly thin. Having tested this one we'd advise it as a lighter layer for those who either don't suffer too badly with the cold, or want a little ammunition for milder days or hard rides when bulky fabric may cause overheating.
Castelli Viva Donna Headband - £8 (winter offer) - here
Another personal favourite, the Viva Donna is incredible and a genuine ride staple. Constructed from a super light Thermoflex fabric, it adds hardly any bulk, but is warm enough to make a notable difference to comfort.
Raw cut edges don't get in the way of helmet straps, and for a final cherry on top, Castelli have added a hole in the back for a ponytail. Which is handy when you can't find any hair ties, as it can be used to keep your mane out of your face as well!
Sportful WS Face Mask - £29 - here
Ride in traffic and want to keep the fumes out your face, as well as stay warm? Though it doesn't promise any pollution filtering features as purpose made pollution face masks, this one will at least cut down on the smell and it also boasts Windstopper 4 Way warming and ThermoDrytex neck insulation to keep sweat from cooling on your skin.
The mouth hole is mesh covered - because breathing is always useful.
We hope there's something in there that takes your fancy! If you're after wet weather winter gear, check out this round up.