Cycling during winter opens up a whole new world of sights and experiences. From the satisfying crunch of autumn's fallen leaves, now frozen on the trail, to the glittering frost that beckons you back up that old familiar tarmac. There really is something quite special about cycling this time of year.

It's even more of a special occasion when we're treated to a day of winter sunshine. Blue skies as far as you can see, the warmth of the sun a gentle reminder of those summer days spent in the saddle. Make sure you get the most out of your ride with our top-5 sunny winter day essentials:

1 - Sunglasses

If you're spending too much of your winter cycle ride avoiding being dazzled by the sun's beaming rays, add a pair of cycling sunglasses to your kit list.

We recommend the Polaris Lucid 3-Lens sunglasses. They come with three interchangeable lenses, giving you a good choice of tints to switch between according to the conditions. A hard case for safe storage and a microfiber pouch (to wipe away any nasties) are also included. All this for just £40. Yes please!

Review by doonhamer5:

At last some cycling sunglasses that don't steam up! I like the way the blue lenses aren't too dark. Great value compared with premium brands, and they come in a good quality case

 

2 - Armwarmers

Our cycling wardrobe #ArmDoping staple. With long sleeves and jackets in full swing, you may have overlooked the noble arm warmer. Truth is, they're an excellent backup for any ride. Wear them underneath your jersey for an extra layer of toasty goodness, or fold them up and stick them in your pocket as a just-in-case measure for the journey home.

Pictured: Svelte Armwarmers, Morvélo Stealth Stormshield Arm Warmers

Svelte Arm Warmers review by VF:

Love them! Good fit, warm and they make people smile.

 

3 - Lights

Ok, so we know the sun is pretty good at illuminating the way, but at this time of year it does have a tendency to clock off rather early. Even if you're planning on being back before dark, always take a light, afterall, we all know those coffee and cake stops can easily overrun. Don't get caught out, make sure you're always armed with your own beams of light for a safer journey back.

 

4 - Gloves

Cold hands may be all it takes to turn what otherwise would have been a pleasant winter wonderland ride into one best described as misery endurance. The sun may be up, but the temperature certainly won't be. Give your fingers and palms a loving hug with a pair of toasty winter cycling gloves.

Pictured: Sealskinz Sea Leopard Gloves, Café du Cycliste Winter Gloves

 

5 - Jacket

Take the edge of the chill with the help of a snug winter jacket. Despite the sun's warm glow, features such as windproof panelling will feel like an absolute godsend on those downhill stretches.

Pictured: Le Col Winter Jacket, Café du Cycliste Heidi Jacket

Café du Cycliste Heidi Jacket review by Deemaydoo:

Great quality top... Sleeves are lovely and long so is the back. Wind proof front, I only needed a base layer and waistcoat on a windy day 11 degrees. It looks great and is very comfy to cycle in so I'm very pleased with my purchase!