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  1. #1
    db9
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    New question here. Dressing for the weather...and cold weather riding tips

    Wanting to extend the season.. but I find that I constantly struggle with being over dressed or under dressed almost to the point that I won't even go. Put this Q in this forum as weather and riding tends to be local (Southern Ontario)

    I tend to think (correct or not) that if I'm coolish in the parking lot then I'll warm up as I go - I guess I sweat enough that I don't or the wind chill from moving just makes it worse. So then I add a layer and become over heated as I ride

    Main complaint is I get cold core, feet and head get cold (neck as well) this leads to a headache and then I'm done. Hands are never an issue as I have that dialed in pretty good. As my intensity goes up I also find that at cool and colder temps my throat and airways get really irritated from the cold air.
    I see other riders at the trail head dressed like the Michelin man and I wonder how are they not overheating.

    Realizing that we are all different - What are others doing?

    Thanks for reading..

    What I'm currently using...
    My outside (top layer) is an older Norco activa jacket (zips open or closed as needed) - and I layer below that. Adding or subtracting merino or Under Armour layers (my ski layers)
    Legs are long 'sausage' with padded liner, but no extra layer.
    Feet, since I run clips, are a pair of Shimano 'hiking' style boots and smartwool socks.
    Head is always tough as finding something that fits under the helmet without applying pressure across my head is problematic (maybe the helmet is too narrow) - cold ears will give me a headache (same with overheating) currently using a X-country skull cap under my Giro helmet.

  2. #2
    namagomi
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    Extra und-e-wears, make sure they are clean ones!

  3. #3
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    Get a balaclava, it will keep your neck warm at the same time. You can buy them with a removable mouth piece in case you face is warming up too much. You need to ensure you are pulling the sweat off your body with the clothes you wear as a base layer, from there wear enough to keep the wind and cold out.

    Better to be too warm then cold, the body focus' its energy on keeping its temperature.

    Other food for thought, you body will focus all of its heat on your bladder if you have to pee. Never hold it as it will just make you cold.

  4. #4
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    I've found that a lycra running cap fits nicely under my helmet and it keeps my head warm enough until about -20 when I'm in full-on balaclava mode.

    For the core, I just keep piling on thin layers by degree ranges. From 5 to 0, I usually do just a long-sleeve jersery and a shell. From 0 to -10, I'll switch to long sleeve merino with a short sleeve jersey and shell. From -10 to -20, I'll throw an undershirt on below the merino. From -20 and beyond, I'll have all that but switch the shell for a lined jacket.

    If it's wet out, I switch the shell for a rain jacket.
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  5. #5
    humber river advocate
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    to hell with fashion, lose the clips and use platforms with a warm waterproof lightweight snowshoe boot.

    lots of more info here...
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  6. #6
    Ms. Monster
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    My tights are quite thick and windproof on the front. Makes a difference. I wear shorts with a chamois underneath. Also, proper winter shoes make a difference. If you won't be off your bike, those neoprene booties aren't bad, but they pack up with snow like crazy if you do any walking (inevitable if you're snow riding in the forest). It sounds like you're dialed from the waist up.

  7. #7
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    Having commuted throughout the year for 5 years (35-45 minutes each way), they best advice I can give is, get experience.

    Though here are a couple pieces of a more off camber advice

    1) If you hate being cold, just dress a little warmer and take it easy, it's winter anyway an you ain't racing (if you are, you'll need no more than a couple layers anyway). Wear a pack and carry extra stuff, or to be able to remove things.

    2) If I end up being over dressed, I just open everything right up and put a little chill into myself. When I start to feel uncomfortable, zip it all back up. I find I'm good for a while without over heating after that point. I might cycle this. (Generally only a good idea if you are relatively 'close' to were you can get heat in case things go wrong).

    3) I always carry an extra hat and gloves. I sweat significantly from those area's, so it's a nice treat to replace them part way through.

    4) Wear whatever you like, but if you like clips, a proper set of winter shoes are the best investment I have bought for winter/foul weather. Your feet won't fall off.

    5) I find I am happiest and most comfortable when my core is well insulated, but my arms legs are a little under dressed to expel heat. I find that's a good, relatively safe way to keep me from over heating. As such, I always ride with a vest, I love them. Unless it's really brisk (or windy), often my outer top layer.
    Last edited by CptSydor; 12-02-2011 at 09:06 AM.

  8. #8
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    I have a balaclava made of some kind of thin material intended for running that works well under the helmet. it keeps the head, face and neck warm to about -12 or so for about 1 1/2 hours. I have not found that I can find the perfect combination of jacket and layers where I will not end up soggy at some point. I have tried a combination of lots of materials and thicknesses. I now just carry a knapsack with a change of clothes and I will just get changed quickly about 45 minutes to 1 hour into the ride. Then I am usually back home or at the truck by the time I begin getting wet again. As to running clips, I tried booties and different socks, but did not work. I just went to platforms with a really well insulated hiking shoe.

  9. #9
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    my go-to items...

    • Shimano MW-80 Goretex Shoes. A must for any winter commuting / extended riding
    • merino base layer(s). wicks the sweat up to the next layer efficiently.
    • GORE windstopper jacket. This thing is unreal. Worth the $$. Pitzips are a must for when you are warmed up to exhaust the heat you're generating.
    • PROPER FUELING! This one to me is most important. I find as soon as I start to get hungry, my extremities are the first to get cold. Stay fueled, stay warm. You burn more calories in the winter to stay warm.
    • I like to use a neck guard as well to prevent any wind coming down your neck and cooling your torso


    phil shep

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  10. #10
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    Wool socks. Neoprene is okay if you like the nasty smell that develops after use. Especially good if you want your spouse to stay away from you after you get home.


    Other then what else is mentioned. Old school Roach vest I only use in winter. As well as a bomb proof Core Rat Deluxe jacket.

    And when it is cold enough.

    TeamNFI: Handlebar Booties

    One not mentioned detail especially if commuting or doing trg on the CX bike on roads is knowing the locations of coffee shops. When it's cold out it's handy for when you need to warm up and get warm fluids in. Though I'm really the oddball here. Joely can confirm that if I have the choice between turbo trainer or riding outside in minus 20 in a snow storm. I'll take the snow storm.
    Last edited by Enduramil; 12-02-2011 at 11:25 AM.

  11. #11
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    One not mentioned detail especially if commuting or doing trg on the CX bike on roads is knowing the locations of coffee shops. When it's cold out it's handy for when you need to warm up and get warm fluids in.
    I'm 100% certain a Tim Horton's hot chocolate was the only thing between nspace and certain death on one of our Spring rides in Niagara. He was shaking so bad, he could barely hold on to the cup!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I'm 100% certain a Tim Horton's hot chocolate was the only thing between nspace and certain death on one of our Spring rides in Niagara. He was shaking so bad, he could barely hold on to the cup!
    Buttertarts can help as well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I'm 100% certain a Tim Horton's hot chocolate was the only thing between nspace and certain death on one of our Spring rides in Niagara. He was shaking so bad, he could barely hold on to the cup!
    That's one overlooked aspect. That being you can read all the stuff about winter riding and buy all the gear. But in the end you need the knowledge to go with it. You need to know how you personally react to these situations. As like everything else we each individually will have different reactions to cold. Some will get cold really quickly while others like me don't.

    I'm fortunate that I have spent alot of my life outside in winter so have a good idea how my body will react. And you can't get that knowledge from a book. It only comes from experience.

  14. #14
    db9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    I'm fortunate that I have spent alot of my life outside in winter so have a good idea how my body will react. And you can't get that knowledge from a book. It only comes from experience.
    I agree, having spent my youth (so long ago) xc skiing from the house into the local field and forests I got to know what worked. Now winter is driving to work - shoveling snow (when do we really get snow anymore) and teaching skiing (DH) - none of this is really high intensity. I just like being outside in the winter and cycling is one of the activities that I would like to continue into the cold weather. Let's see if I can 'fit' some riding.

    Thanks for the suggestions

  15. #15
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    That's one overlooked aspect. That being you can read all the stuff about winter riding and buy all the gear. But in the end you need the knowledge to go with it. You need to know how you personally react to these situations. As like everything else we each individually will have different reactions to cold. Some will get cold really quickly while others like me don't.
    Agreed, but people also need a way to get started. Suggestions based on the experience of others, and sometimes taking a best guess at buying a few pieces of starter gear gives people a way to get out there and gain that experience for their own needs so they can make the necessary adjustments from the generic / 3rd party advice. Getting in the ballpark with initial suggestions often means less iterations (and potentially less expense incurred) while doing it wrong a couple of times.

  16. #16
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    I'm a big fan of balaclavas and wool socks ( not like Granny used to make).

    Also, in my experience pre-warming your gear. My Wife maskes me keep alot of my stuff in the (unheated) garage, so I take it in beforehand and preheat it on a heating vent, especially shoes. May sound dumb, but I preheat my coffee mug and my coffee carafe as well!!!
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  17. #17
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    This year I replaced a pair of mitts, gloves and a windshell that I had been using for quite a while. Needless to say I was stunned at the vast number of choices in the these product categories that have crept up over the years. I experienced moderate to severe choice paralysis and ended up just grabbing whatever was on sale. Well, two of the three items turned out to have polyurethane-coated nylon - a product feature which was comparatively rare when I first put together an outdoor kit. That stuff is bad news in winter; don't make the same mistake I did.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Agreed, but people also need a way to get started. Suggestions based on the experience of others, and sometimes taking a best guess at buying a few pieces of starter gear gives people a way to get out there and gain that experience for their own needs so they can make the necessary adjustments from the generic / 3rd party advice. Getting in the ballpark with initial suggestions often means less iterations (and potentially less expense incurred) while doing it wrong a couple of times.
    Yes. Though people need to also learn a bit for themselves a bit.

  19. #19
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    Two little details...

    - If you are dressed to ride and you are already hot and sweaty before leaving you are wearing to much. The general rules is when you step outside you should feel a wee bit chilly. It's simple really.. to much gear on will get hot sweaty and wet when you start exerting yourself. Bad idea.

    - Hydration is important.You lose moisture from breathing while riding.

  20. #20
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Yes. Though people need to also learn a bit for themselves a bit.
    Trial and error is all part of the process. When I started, it was sweatpants and T-shirts and it's improved as my experience and budget allow.
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  21. #21
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay. View Post
    This year I replaced a pair of mitts, gloves and a windshell that I had been using for quite a while. Needless to say I was stunned at the vast number of choices in the these product categories that have crept up over the years. I experienced moderate to severe choice paralysis and ended up just grabbing whatever was on sale. Well, two of the three items turned out to have polyurethane-coated nylon - a product feature which was comparatively rare when I first put together an outdoor kit. That stuff is bad news in winter; don't make the same mistake I did.
    P U!! I don't blame ya.

    Replacing gloves/mitts often is a good idea as insulation packs down on the palms and looses it's value.

  22. #22
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    I spent last year riding in a wool jacket as well as wool base layers and wool jersey. The wool jacket is great for most conditions for me. As long as the temp is below zero the air is fairly dry and I don't get nearly as soaked with sweat as I do with a shell. I know there's shells and then there's shells, I just haven't found the perfect one yet and I begrudge spending what seems like an awful lot of money on something which may or may not leave me feeling like plastic wrapped sausage. Below a certain temp ( I'm still working on figuring out what temp ) and wind factor, I add a shell for a bit of extra warmth.
    By the way, I've been riding to work year round since '93 and I still haven't got the clothing completely figured out. What works one year doesn't cut it the next, and there's always new stuff to try.
    Cheers, Dave

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Trial and error is all part of the process. When I started, it was sweatpants and T-shirts and it's improved as my experience and budget allow.
    My biggest mistake in learning was to have too much change in my setup when making adjustments on the road or trail. In other words, I would add or lose a major article or layer of some kind (although this was partially dictated by what clothing I had available).

    Now I tend to build my layers from many more small pieces like arm warmers, knee/leg warmers, polypro glove liners, headbands, etc. so that I can make more incremental changes to fine tune for changes in temperature, wind/air flow, and effort level that can occur during a ride. Usually I can leave my major pieces around my core areas in place, and then use these incremental changes to my limbs regulate my overall condition. Sometimes, I will even bring more than one set of these small pieces packed along on a ride, so that if the first set becomes too moist I can "reset" mid-ride.

    I also learned that - like most people perhaps - my feet and hands are very prone to cold while riding. People usually think of starting with larger items like the jacket first, but in my opinion if funds are finite it's better to allocate resources to gear for feet and hands first - after they've acquired some idea of what the right gear is based on their needs. Nice jackets and legwear, etc. are great too, but I find I can get away with less than optimal gear more easily on these items than I can with the feet and hands which are the real deal breaker for me.

  24. #24
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    Merino wool base layers have been the biggest improvement over the years. Having a nice itch free wool layer next to skin does wonders for moving moisture.

    Breathable shell is the next major thing. There are lots of trade-offs between waterproof and breathable and windproof. For riding I'd side towards breathable and windproof over waterproof.

    For anyone looking for some merino a company I work with is doing 10% and free shipping right now.

    10% off and Free Shipping | I/O BIO Merino

  25. #25
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    Now lets add in one area not at all covered. Eye wear. 2 reasons being hard to ride when you can't see because you had none so your eyes watered. And your lashes froze together.. not fun.

    Other reason is called snow blindness.

  26. #26
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Now lets add in one area not at all covered. Eye wear. 2 reasons being hard to ride when you can't see because you had none so your eyes watered. And your lashes froze together.. not fun.

    Other reason is called snow blindness.
    Anyone had any luck with ski goggles in REALLY low temps? Mine fog/freeze almost immediately.
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  27. #27
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Anyone had any luck with ski goggles in REALLY low temps? Mine fog/freeze almost immediately.
    Uh, don't breath onto them and you're set!

  28. #28
    humber river advocate
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    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/18832964?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/18832964">Untitled</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3593422">single sprocket</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Anyone had any luck with ski goggles in REALLY low temps? Mine fog/freeze almost immediately.
    Speaking of skiing, a bud at work sent me this link of a short flick from the Banff Mountain Film Fest event he went to in Vancouver last night. I'm not a skier and don't normally see ski films, but I like it! (for all I know every ski bum on the planet has already seen this...) I guess it's the ski equivalent to riding's "urban".

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/32863936?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/32863936">JP Auclair Street Segment (from All.I.Can.)</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/sherpas">Sherpas Cinema</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

  30. #30
    humber river advocate
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    thats not eastern canada...
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    thats not eastern canada...
    Like the film said, it's Trail B.C.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Like the film said, it's Trail B.C.
    shouldn't that be posted in western canada? tring to figure out your logic... like you don't live here, so you don't really know what is happening out on the trails...

    anyway some local vids...

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/18230341?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/18230341">flooded ice ride</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user3593422">single sprocket</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    shouldn't that be posted in western canada? tring to figure out your logic... like you don't live here, so you don't really know what is happening out on the trails...
    I'm missing the connection between posting a little ski vid and whether I do or do not know anything of trails in Ontario.

    However, you know where the Report Post button is, and therefore if you are finding the content objectionable report the post. Your report will be sent to the entire group of supermods as well as myself being the assigned moderator for this forum. Between the group it will be decided if the post should be deleted and whether the poster should receive any warning or disciplinary action.

  34. #34
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    op just needs less insulation on the arms, more on the legs and groin(extra underwear like i said) and to wear a bandana or fleecy banada thing. Also make sure you didn't put on 5 layers of socks that are the same size and your feet are strangled inside shoes that are too small.

  35. #35
    db9
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    electrik..
    thanks - 1 layer of sock is all I use (same as when I ski)

    Goggles..

    I spend a lot of time in the winter keeping goggles clear - and I also wear prescription glasses - not a great combination - as electrik said - don't breath on them. You can also use the same liquid you use on a hockey clear visor - HOWEVER - most (but not all ) decent ski goggles will have an anti fog coating on the inside - you need to take care of this coating for it to be effective (basically don't touch it and only use the lens cloth to wipe the lens).

    Other things to consider - if its really cold - don't keep taking the googles off and on - put them on and as long as they stay clear keep them on - air movement is key to keep things clear so don't block the vents (top and bottom) this is a challenge when your trying to cover your lower face. Old snowmobile trick was a pice of duct tape over the bridge of the nose to make a peak that would deflect the warm breath down away from the goggle - since I no long ride sleds - I'm sure things have improved.

    Smith and Oakley makes a number of models for those of us who are optically challenged (so do most of the major brands) but Smith also has Turbo Fan models - basically a couple of batteries and a small fan in the goggle - yep they work...

    I have a pair of Smith Pivlocks (with Px insert) that I use in the other 3 seasons and they wrap around pretty good - not sure how well they would work in the deep cold - but up to this point they have been working.

    Hope this helps someone..

  36. #36
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by db9 View Post
    electrik..
    thanks - 1 layer of sock is all I use (same as when I ski)

    Goggles..

    I spend a lot of time in the winter keeping goggles clear - and I also wear prescription glasses - not a great combination - as electrik said - don't breath on them. You can also use the same liquid you use on a hockey clear visor - HOWEVER - most (but not all ) decent ski goggles will have an anti fog coating on the inside - you need to take care of this coating for it to be effective (basically don't touch it and only use the lens cloth to wipe the lens).

    Other things to consider - if its really cold - don't keep taking the googles off and on - put them on and as long as they stay clear keep them on - air movement is key to keep things clear so don't block the vents (top and bottom) this is a challenge when your trying to cover your lower face. Old snowmobile trick was a pice of duct tape over the bridge of the nose to make a peak that would deflect the warm breath down away from the goggle - since I no long ride sleds - I'm sure things have improved.

    Smith and Oakley makes a number of models for those of us who are optically challenged (so do most of the major brands) but Smith also has Turbo Fan models - basically a couple of batteries and a small fan in the goggle - yep they work...

    I have a pair of Smith Pivlocks (with Px insert) that I use in the other 3 seasons and they wrap around pretty good - not sure how well they would work in the deep cold - but up to this point they have been working.

    Hope this helps someone..
    For the deep cold some i've seen people use a painter's respirator. There is also a brand of balaclava you can get that has a rebreather attached which acts a a heat exchanger.

    Also to consider is your saddle is fitted well and it's somewhat hard and is minimally compressing your veins or artery(some compression is inevitable). So make sure when you sit you're seated on your "sit bones" and it has a good cutout. I was thinking to experiment with compression gear this year as there is some small evidence that when worn on the calves it helps to pump cool blood back up to the heart which is good because we as cyclists don't get as much of that pump as runners do. Some people even use compression socks... though i'm not sure about that.

    Lastly some people just have a poor cold induced vasodilation response perhaps due to nerve damage in the feet(slight frost bite). In fact a recent study I read was a bit alarming, it seems when you get "used" to the cold it only means you stop feeling the cold not that your feet have improved their vasodilation response to the cold. So keep warm!

  37. #37
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    I struggle with cold weather riding all the time because I sweat a lot. It really does not matter what I wear, I sweat and soon enough I'm am soaked, so my preference is to be slightly over-dressed. That way I have a chance to stay out there 1-2 hours.

    As for that urban ski video ... pathetic conditions but amazing skills. I would rather see powder ... at least I can imagine myself powder skiing
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post

    However, you know where the Report Post button is, and therefore if you are finding the content objectionable report the post. Your report will be sent to the entire group of supermods as well as myself being the assigned moderator for this forum. Between the group it will be decided if the post should be deleted and whether the poster should receive any warning or disciplinary action.
    Okay... I'd like to file a complaint that the ignore feature is half arsed. It's all good and wonderful till someone decides to be non compus mentus and quote the Troll.

  39. #39
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    I keep a quick log on my cell phone of the temps/wind conditions/sun or not/woods or not vs what I wear and how I felt.

    It seems to be working very well for me this fall. I just need some warmer shoes and gloves and I'm set!

  40. #40
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    About goggles.

    I use normal oakley snowboarding goggles and a full-face helmet. All winter, every ride. They've never fogged.

    I've gone on winter rides with others who were using identical goggles and they have fogged them almost immediately.

    I think it must have something to do with the circulation in yer face.

    The flip side or the circulation issue is that I have to completely cover my face at like -2C, whereas I see other guys with no balaclava and no glasses even riding at -12C and lower.


    Otherwise - Mw80s with thermal insoles on feet, fox thermopaws under MEC pogies on the bars.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  41. #41
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    My regular Oakley's are fine for most winter rides, They never fogged. Also fleese under gortex, thin tights under a shell, thin but warm balakava, warm gloves (I wear Spyder brand), If I wear hiking shoes, I wear gortex socks over a thin wool pair. I am toasty warm for all winter rides


    Hard to see but the googles I'm wearing for skiing are Oakley DH, They never fogged, they were comfortable. My ski instructor loved them and got himself a pair!


    Same googles for summer

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    I use normal oakley snowboarding goggles and a full-face helmet. All winter, every ride. They've never fogged.

    Otherwise - Mw80s with thermal insoles on feet, fox thermopaws under MEC pogies on the bars.
    Haven't figured out the fogging goggles yet, but I wear a full face for most winter riding because it's nice and warm.

    I'm very happy with my MW80s.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickboers View Post
    Haven't figured out the fogging goggles yet, but I wear a full face for most winter riding because it's nice and warm.

    I'm very happy with my MW80s.
    I wear my ski helmet for winter riding (its got a warm liner).It has a strap on the back to keep the goggles in place. (I don't usually need to wear the goggles for most rides,)

  44. #44
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    What not to wear
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Ride a Santa Cruz heckler
    And many part bikes : )
    " Team Van Go"

  45. #45
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    Here's what I have found works for me:

    -keep a brief journal of rides, with the temperatures and conditions, what you wore and how you felt. Did you roast? Were you too cold as it was really windy, etc. I found this really helpful in dialing in my riding attire.

    -Merino wool really is the bee's knees. People have been saying it for eons, but I've only just caught on. Socks, jersey, oh I am building a collection

    -Pitzips are crucial for venting body heat before you start sweating.

    and lastly,
    -Shimano winter shoes = toasty toes, worth every penny!

    There! That's my two cents.
    I love riding my bike!

  46. #46
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash&bern View Post
    What not to wear
    Yellow gloves... off the list.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash&bern View Post
    What not to wear
    I don't know, I can't say I see anything wrong with that.

    Then again, back in the days...

  48. #48
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    is merino supposed to go next to your skin or can i use a base layer with merino on top? this will be my first winter of actual trail riding. i'm going to have to learn as i go. full face seems like a good idea and i suppose my five tens will keep my feet warm as they are pretty stifling in the summer.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  49. #49
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    is merino supposed to go next to your skin or can i use a base layer with merino on top? this will be my first winter of actual trail riding. i'm going to have to learn as i go. full face seems like a good idea and i suppose my five tens will keep my feet warm as they are pretty stifling in the summer.
    You can wear it next to the skin, but the best way is to wear an ultra thin fabric like a body-fit power-dry base layer which is hydrophobic and will move sweat out to the wool which is hydrophilic.

    Five tens are warm, but they're not a boot so you'll get snow in from the ankle.

  50. #50
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    I've always worn merino base as opposed to synthetic. I find, for me at least, that it keeps my drier than the synthetic. I'm a heavy sweater and the synthetics end up getting soaked after an hour. Take a 5 minute break and I'm screwed.

    I usually wear a lightweight merino base and if it's really cold add another merino layer before my exterior shell. Merino on merino tends to 'lock' together which is nice because you don't actually feel like you've got layers upon layers sliding around under your jacket.

    Some Icebreaker propaganda explains it better than my ramblings....

    Why Layer Merino?

    cheers
    phil shep

    COMM|T OR EAT SH|T

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