To keep warm:
I was wearing my soccer scarf then inserting my face in it, but recently experimented with a neck gaiter. It is stretchy and light and when you exhale warmth out while under it, you can keep your face warm.
My hands were hurting until I got a new pair of winter gloves that were cozy inside. Made all the difference.
I have found that breaking wind (pardon the pun) makes all the difference too. In 20F even a normal button down shirt and my leather jacket which is wind resistant was enough. Two thin layers under a thin windproof rain jacket should do it too. Breaking wind is the key.
I wear jackets that have a hoodie I can wear under my helmet for ear protection. Keeps the whole head comfy.
I found that for some reason just ordinary pants keep you warm enough in 20F but below that I need rain pants as a second layer over or sports tights as a first layer under. Legs seem much more resistant to cold than hands.
I see bikers with swim goggles. Haven't tried those yet but plan to, must really help with cold eyes and vision?
I can't stop my eyes from tearing or my nose from running - just have to put up with that!
And no snow yet - that's another kettle of fish!
Hey, SlowCoach, how far is your commute. That also makes a difference on the ride gear.
Bar mitts, or pogies, are my key winter gear. My hands suffer the worst and these make a huge difference.
I have a several base layer shirts from Eddie Bauer that are great. The ones with the collar and short zipper and heat-reflecting fabric in the inside are the best. With these, I don't wear a jacket until its 25 or below. Pricey, so look out for sales.
I stay inside. :P
I have been pretty happy with my current weather gear.
I have three different balaclavas one is very light. One is very heavy with a guard for my face and nose. I am wearing the middle one which is still pretty light. I avoid the heavy one unless it is below 20 as it can get gross very fast. No further details are needed.
I wear a single breathable layer (I have a handful in varying thicknesses) under a Patagonia soft shell jacket. As far as I am concerned a soft shell is essential to a cyclist as a simple black dress is to a person who wears dresses. It is an essential to the wardrobe. If it is below 30 I may have a lighter fleece sweater layer in between like I did on Saturday.
I have Sealskinz lobster gloves and they are nice and toasty. If it is above 40 I have a pair of Outdoor Resarch Windblock gloves. If it is below 20 I use down mittens.
I have light fleece tights by Pearl Izumi.
I wear wool socks and hiking boots.
If I am fool enough to ride when the above is not enough I can always add a layer with a thin down jacket and handwarmers. So far the lobsters are making the hand warmers unnecessary.
I have goggles but the way my helmet is cut they don't work great so I rarely use them.
I always follow these useful tips, you may interested in also
When it's cold enough to require a balaclava, I need goggles to prevent my glasses from fogging. I use OTG (over the glasses) ski goggles - the cheap kind - untinted (since I am often riding in the dark in winter).
Last winter i stumbled over what i think must be a snowmobiling suit in a thrift store and it fits me... it’s super fun and warm for really arctic or messy conditions. But most of the winter i find (like David says) that a wind-proof shell with wool or other breathable layers is plenty. I do have a balaclava which protects my throat and cheap safety glasses with a soft foam edge so they work like goggles a bit. They help a ton with tearing and eye comfort generally, and i think they were only $20 at the hardware store. “Help with” is an understatement, actually: my eyes don’t tear at all when I’m wearing those.
Swim goggles? Never heard of that one before.
Seems like they would be really hard to see out of and provide very little protection from wind, other than on your actual eyeballs.
Ski goggles work great for this purpose. They have the added benefit of covering up more of your face and keeping it warm.
I've been taking the bus this winter. It keeps me warm.
Breaking wind with ski googles on mi face fo sho!