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  1. #1
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    Jackets for Commuting

    Hey guys,

    I'm going to start commuting by bike, just need to get it assembled, and am looking for a descent jacket to keep warm. Now keep in mind I live in AZ, so I am an incredible weenie when it comes to cold. 50°F is cold to me...well, like 75 can be cold to me as I seeem to be more used to 110°F

    Anyways, from what I have been reading, one of the key things everyone has been mentioning is to block the wind, and then get a warm layer underneath. I have been looking at a few jackets online, and then stumbled across this one from target: C9 by ChampionŽ Men's Softshell Jacket - Assorte... : Target

    Seems like a pretty good price and the reviews seem pretty good, anyone else have one? I took a look at one today, but the one drawback I saw was no elastic around the wrists, so it could let cold air in.

    thanks,

    matt

  2. #2
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    OK, I get that you're a weenie about 50 degrees. What I don't know is the temperature band you're trying to be comfortable in.

    I have a soft shell I'm quite fond of for commuting. I'll wear it down into the 30s before I start adding anything beyond a T-shirt. If the wind blocking part works well, soft shells (at least mine) already offer some insulation, and since I'm working, I really don't need a lot. I think it's really easy to overdo it on insulation layers for something as aerobic as riding a bike.

    While I also wear mine in temperatures in the 50s and up, that has more to do with convenience. I pretty much wear it all day. If I were to go for a ride in those temperatures, for the sake of riding, I'd probably go for an uninsulated wind breaker.

    A big part of all of this is how you ride. If you're pedaling pretty much continuously, you'll be generating a fair amount of heat. So it's easy to overdo it on the outerwear. If you're working as little as you possibly can, you might still want to bundle up.

    Unless you really don't own any athletic or casual jackets, wind breakers, sweat shirts, etc., I think you're best off just building up your bike and riding it to work. Try out what you've got and I think you'll have a good idea of what you're looking for from something new (or you'll find an acceptable solution without owning more crap.)

    You can also get an idea of what you're looking for by analogy. Riding a bike in cooler temperatures is a lot like running in cooler temperatures, if it's also a bit windy. So it has the same problem - if the wind has a bite, I don't really want to expose a lot of skin, but if I wear too much, I get gross and sweaty and if I lower my effort for a moment, the wind cools the sweat and then I'm gross, sweaty, and also cold. Lame. I usually end up wearing a bit more to ride my bike in the same weather as what I might wear to go for a run on that day. But only by a little bit.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
    jrm
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    Make & model? Thanks
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  4. #4
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    Who are you asking? What product are you asking about?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Andrw,

    Thanks for the input, much appreciated. I will see how it goes with a jacket i already have, and go from there. I have one jacket that is somewhat athletic enough for riding. As i said, i still need to assemble the bike too. It arrived last friday, but with family in town and school all weekend i haven't had time to do anything more than open the box.

    matt

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    OK, I get that you're a weenie about 50 degrees. What I don't know is the temperature band you're trying to be comfortable in.

    I have a soft shell I'm quite fond of for commuting. I'll wear it down into the 30s before I start adding anything beyond a T-shirt. If the wind blocking part works well, soft shells (at least mine) already offer some insulation, and since I'm working, I really don't need a lot. I think it's really easy to overdo it on insulation layers for something as aerobic as riding a bike.

    While I also wear mine in temperatures in the 50s and up, that has more to do with convenience. I pretty much wear it all day. If I were to go for a ride in those temperatures, for the sake of riding, I'd probably go for an uninsulated wind breaker.

    A big part of all of this is how you ride. If you're pedaling pretty much continuously, you'll be generating a fair amount of heat. So it's easy to overdo it on the outerwear. If you're working as little as you possibly can, you might still want to bundle up.

    Unless you really don't own any athletic or casual jackets, wind breakers, sweat shirts, etc., I think you're best off just building up your bike and riding it to work. Try out what you've got and I think you'll have a good idea of what you're looking for from something new (or you'll find an acceptable solution without owning more crap.)

    You can also get an idea of what you're looking for by analogy. Riding a bike in cooler temperatures is a lot like running in cooler temperatures, if it's also a bit windy. So it has the same problem - if the wind has a bite, I don't really want to expose a lot of skin, but if I wear too much, I get gross and sweaty and if I lower my effort for a moment, the wind cools the sweat and then I'm gross, sweaty, and also cold. Lame. I usually end up wearing a bit more to ride my bike in the same weather as what I might wear to go for a run on that day. But only by a little bit.
    Great advice here. Yes, it is very easy to over due it when it comes to layering up. Even on the cold midwestern days (10-20 degree f) I don't need much underneath my wind shell. I usually use 2 layers of polyester underneath and end up sweating. For 50 degree weather, you really shouldn't need much.

    But yes, a wind breaker type jacket is the key outer layer for your upper body. Water resistance is another thing to consider, but I've found that good wind breaker jackets usually repel rain fairly well too. Consider a packable jacket for rainy days.

  7. #7
    jrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Who are you asking? What product are you asking about?
    sorry, the jacket you speak of in your post. Thanks
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    sorry, the jacket you speak of in your post. Thanks
    I thought you might mean me, wasn't sure...

    I have two jackets I wear at different times.
    I have a Patagonia Slopestyle soft shell hoodie that I practically live in. It's a replacement for a cheaper one that I finally wore out, so I was already sold on the concept (and already had money stuck in store credit limbo) when I bought it. Pretty expensive in my world, but I like it a lot.

    I also have a Showers Pass Elite 2.0. That's for commuting in more serious weather or for training/fun/rec. rides. It breathes really well and doesn't insulate - so great for a longer effort, and if it's cold, I layer under it; not as great for a short trip to school and then hanging out all day. I leave a sweater at my desk to change into on days that it's crappy outside and I commute in the Showers Pass jacket.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    My stuff's all cheap and not worth talking about, but I will note that I value variety over quality here. I have a different outfit for 0-10, 10-20, 20-30, etc. They all are cheap stuff that's not special but I'd rather have the ideal outfit for what I'm riding in than one nice jacket that I have to use sometimes in non-ideal situations.

    Just my $0.02, obviously my way isn't the only way. Probably less important in your climate.

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