1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    Life is Short...Ride Hard
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    Cold weather riding gear suggestions needed

    Not sure where to post this, so I choose here.

    I need some ideas on brands and where to buy cold weather gear.

    I need pants shirts jackets and socks.

    Thanks
    Santa Cruz Highball
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  2. #2
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    Define "cold weather".

    also: are riding up and down a "real" mountain, flat ground, or up and down smaller hills?

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  3. #3
    backwoods and backwards
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    I get most of that stuff clearance style from SierraTradingPost. MTB stuff can get trashed pretty quickly so I wouldn't pay big money for anything. The jacket should be breathable and have some sort of venting. For pants I like any sort of softshell fabric with fleece under them. I'm a big fan of cheap neoprene socks with thin wool liners under them for keeping my toes dry. Some sort of wicking balaclava under your helmet and you're in business.

    Anything made with fabric from Malden mills is worth a little extra 'cause it's still the best on the market and they run the way an American company should.
    MERCY! MERCY! MERCY!

  4. #4
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    I have been getting some things from REI, they have a good selection and I like the quality of the items

  5. #5
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    Just buy cheapest stuff, it's all pretty decent

    Stack enough layers

  6. #6
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    For socks the only brand you should be looking at is Fits. Their performance trail sock is their go to biking sock, although for colder weather you may or may not want something thicker. I personally think the performance trail is just fine for cold weather riding. Other brands like Smartwool are nice and made of the same material (merino wool) but Fits is the only company that owns their own looms and factory (they actually used to make Smartwools socks for them) so their socks are much softer than the competition.

    For base layer clothing you need more merino wool. Its the only thing I use for cold weather biking. Won't hold smell like a synthetic, is temperature regulating and unlike the wool most people are used to its soft. I personally like Icebreaker for a performance base layer. Smartwool is fine for base layers as well but I personally think Icebreaker has a better fit for high output activities.

    If you need a little more than a thick base layer for insulation where you are at the only thing I would suggest would be the Patagonia R1. Its expensive for a fleece but the Regulator grid pattering really does make a difference and the athletic fit is great for riding. Only drawback is that it is a synthetic fleece so it needs to be washed frequently unlike wool which can last for a few rides before it needs to go in the washer.

    For a jacket I wear the Patagonia Houdini over my base layer for ultra-lightweight protection if I only need minimal wind and water repellence. If the weather gets a little worse Ill throw on a lightweight softshell instead, like the Patagonia Simple Guide. Id personally stay away from softshells that are windproof as the ones I have used don't breathe quite well enough for riding, but I also tend to get hot pretty fast if Im being active even in cold weather.

    I usually also take with me a warmer layer for when you're stopped. My personal go-to is the Arc'teyrx Atom LT, which is one of the best pieces of outdoor gear I own. Arc'teyrx is very expensive but also very worth it and will last a long time. Arc'teyrx uses Coreloft in their synthetic down products and I have found Coreloft to be the best synthetic down out there. It breathes unbelievably well and Arc'teyrx binds it to the inside of the fabric with glue so its not quilted, aka no cold spots. The Atom LT packs down to a pretty small size and weighs nothing. Arc'teyrx also makes the Atom in the SV (severe weather) form if you live in a colder environment and need something a little extra. Another good option is the Patagonia Nano Puff. It doesn't breathe quite as well as the Atom, when I go inside while wearing the Nano Puff I usually want to take it off as it gets too warm, where the Atom I can wear all day. But the benefit of the Nano Puff, something Patagonia doesn't advertise, is that its constructed in a way that makes it windproof even though it doesn't have a specific windproof layer of fabric in the jacket.

    All these things should be readily available at any respectable outdoor store and if they don't have the specific products I mentioned they can always order them so you can try them on before you buy. Remember to support your local stores and not those big box names.

  7. #7
    Life is Short...Ride Hard
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    Thanks SDKMann very detailed and very specific.
    Santa Cruz Highball
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  8. #8
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    No worries. A couple things I should mention though, the Patagonia R1 isn't really your only option for a midlayer, its just the best for riding (in my opinion). Smartwool last fall season started producing some merino wool-synthetic hybrid midlayers that are pretty good too, the vest they make could be a decent option. Also Solomon has some pretty sweet jackets for trail running that could be perfect for your outerlayer or a combined mid and outer layer. I have not used one of Solomon's jackets while riding so I don't have any personal experience with them but it is something that would be worthwhile to look at.

  9. #9
    'Tis but a scratch
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Define "cold weather".

    also: are riding up and down a "real" mountain, flat ground, or up and down smaller hills?
    OP - There is some value in you being a little more specific about your needs. Since you haven't yet, I'll just give you some general info. When I first started getting into cold weather riding and asking these same questions I found this website and it was rather helpful.

    Icebike Home Page

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LvilleFan View Post
    Not sure where to post this, so I choose here.

    I need some ideas on brands and where to buy cold weather gear.

    I need pants shirts jackets and socks.

    Thanks
    How about this for cold weather gear?
    Cold weather riding gear suggestions needed-%24-kgrhqnhje4fbknjq7bmbqh-uh68h-%7E%7E60_3.jpg



    North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Feathered Friends are good brands for cold weather gear.

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    Heh... (trying to imagine someone cycling with that on)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post

    North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Feathered Friends are good brands for cold weather gear.
    The North Face is sort of a good brand for cold weather gear. Ask anyone who works in the outdoor industry and TNF is one of the most avoided brands out there. When TNF became more mainstream they cut quality to meet a certain price point. If you're just using it to walk around town TNF is fine, but when you start using it in outdoor applications TNF starts to underperform. The exception to this is TNF's Summit Series which is still made to their old standards. I use some of the regular TNF stuff while outdoors and it works fine but Im aware that its never going to last as long as the rest of my gear and I would never use it in a situation where Im really relying on my gear.

    Mountain Hardwear is one of my favorite brands but still in sort of the same category. Its not bad quality but its on the lower end of the spectrum. If you're serious about cold weather biking and think its something you are going to do frequently or over a long period of time it would be better to buy higher quality gear that will last longer than a season or two. Buy it once, buy it right. People who cheap out on gear can sometimes be happy with it if they have never experienced higher quality gear, but once they realize that they're buying two or three jackets during the time period others are using their first one its hard to go back to buying cheap stuff.

  12. #12
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    I bought my biking cold weather stuff from https://www.goathleticapparel.com/

    Worked well and I like that it was made in the US.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shibiwan View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    There should be a layer of spandex over all that......all bikers wear spandex...
    "Faster, Faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - Hunter S. Thompson

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenCanoe View Post
    There should be a layer of spandex over all that......all bikers wear spandex...
    LOL. That'll be for "compression".

    -S

  15. #15
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    Get some under armor spandex running pants and a spandex long sleve shirt and wear it under your normal clothing. If its super cold throw a thin fleece cap under your helmet.

  16. #16
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    I second that motion! Underarmor has a line of ColdGear for use when it's... (get ready for it) ...cold. This gives you a comfy-warm feeling even if you have holes in your outer layers where the wind can rush in. Sometimes you may elect to just wear that and have a t-shirt or fleece over that. As far as pants go, I'm probably alone here, but I'll take a pair of sweatpants and pull the ankles up around the back of my knee, and voila! Capris! I hate capris, but they aren't a banana hammock, I don't care if they get messed up, and they don't get in the way of a crank like my gore-tex pants do. I also like to have my legs breathe really easily.

    Or you could also get some disproportionately large gloves.
    "Faster, Faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - Hunter S. Thompson

  17. #17
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    I used to ride in the wintertime in Illinois and found wind protection more important than layers. After riding for five minutes on a 20 degree day I was warm enough not to need insulating layers beyond my thick shell layer. I wore a full face helmet and ski goggles to seal out the wind. If you are going anywhere with a risk of being stranded by a breakdown then you'll have to at least pack more gear.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenCanoe View Post
    I second that motion! Underarmor has a line of ColdGear for use when it's... (get ready for it) ...cold. This gives you a comfy-warm feeling even if you have holes in your outer layers where the wind can rush in. Sometimes you may elect to just wear that and have a t-shirt or fleece over that. As far as pants go, I'm probably alone here, but I'll take a pair of sweatpants and pull the ankles up around the back of my knee, and voila! Capris! I hate capris, but they aren't a banana hammock, I don't care if they get messed up, and they don't get in the way of a crank like my gore-tex pants do. I also like to have my legs breathe really easily.

    Or you could also get some disproportionately large gloves.
    That's why I look for something in that line up, I cant stand tights unless I buzz the hair off my calfs and that is not fun either, not only that try getting a size 13 foot through tights. Big 5 has some deals on cheap stuff for winter might be last years inventory, snap it up and ride...

  19. #19
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    Sorry I havnt posted specifics till now.

    I ride in louisville KY so we are probably talking 30 degrees or higher. Below 30, im not riding. Ideal weather would be around 40 degrees.
    Santa Cruz Highball
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LvilleFan View Post
    Sorry I havnt posted specifics till now.

    I ride in louisville KY so we are probably talking 30 degrees or higher. Below 30, im not riding. Ideal weather would be around 40 degrees.





    At those temps some arm and leg warmers with tights and long sleeve jersey should just about do it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    At those temps some arm and leg warmers with tights and long sleeve jersey should just about do it.
    Agreed, through in some gloves and nice socks and you should be good to go.

  22. #22
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    For a tough wind layer you cant beat these for price. Apparel - Stealth Suit

    I use this suit for work (army) and it holds up really well in the field. waterproof, breaths, and blocks wind. Plus its silent

  23. #23
    cdouble
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    Don't overdress. Fifteen minutes into your ride you will be producing more than enough heat to stay warm in very cold weather. Just be sure to keep the wind off. We ride in the 30s with long sleeve jersey and breathable shell. In the 20s you'll want long pants (insulated spandex) and winter shoes or booties.

    If riding remote locations maybe pack a fleece jacket in case of breakdown and you can't keep generating your own heat.

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  24. #24
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    Well I didnt find a jacket to block the wind, strange cause it blows every day here. I only found/bought UA coldgear tights and some arm warmers. Have trouble finding jackets that don't cost $89 - $100 that will fit me and are long enuff on my torso.
    The thought of over dressing is always on my mind.

  25. #25
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    Columbia Outlet store

    I get most of my outdoor clothing at the Columbia Outlet store in the outlet mall in Vacaville, CA. You have to buy in tune with the retail cycles. That is, you buy summer stuff in late July when the Fall stuff comes in, fall stuff in September when the winter stuff comes in, etc. I've found that their more technical gear is good. I buy fleece stuff there and non-cotton shirts. I'll buy fleece gloves anywhere they are on clearance; I have two pairs with tags waiting in my closet now.

    Dress in layers. A non-cotton tee for the base, a long sleeved non-cotton shirt for the outer; a wool or acrylic flannel shirt or polypro sweatshirt. No cotton anywhere. This is great for the climb. For the descent, a tight woven polypro fleece like "Windstopper". Maybe a polypro vest underneath if its cold. Polypro fleece long johns on the bottom, if necessary. In colder weather, I wear convertable pants so I can take the legs off if it warms up. Gloves with a windproof outer layer. Of course, a goretex parka or equivalent if rain or wet snow is likely.

    Remember, clothing is equipment too and your life can depend on it in the wilderness.



    Most of this won't help much where it's really cold; you'll need more layers and more technical gear. By the way, my Columbia outlet is on the way to the Rockville hills park for me but these outlet malls are all over.

    My outfit is not that much different than layering for backcounty tele. The ski stuff is just warmer.

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