Help with clothing for the colder weather.
Hoping there will be some deals at the bike show on cold weather gear. Im also racing iceman in November and have no idea what to expect for weather.
I have been surviving with layers of what ever I have in my drawers. I have no pant/tights to and no jackets for cycling.
Do you guys have one jacket for fall and winter? and would that jacket be waterproof?
Winter tights: Are they to warm for fall riding? just not sure how heavy to get. Budget is low as usual so if I can get away with a jacket and tights for all purpose that would be great.
Rain gear: Do I just get the clear pull over type things?
I have a set of winter tights, MEC Roubaix. Nothing super expensive. I find they are pretty versatile from about 2-3 C on the road, to -10 C on the trails, as is. They are water resistant. I used them on some sloppy CX rides in the spring and was pretty comfortable.
I also use leg warmers, or high socks and knee warmers a lot in the fall on the trails (with a set of baggies over top my cycling shorts). That will keep me good down to about 0 C. A thin set of running tights (usually available pretty cheap) is great to throw over these combo's for just a little more warmth.
You really only need 1 jacket for spring and fall. A nice, light weight water resistant shell is a great investment (I've had a base model from MEC). Then you can just layer underneath as applicable. A merino undershirt, vest and a wind breaker will get me down to about 0C on the trails.
I do have a heavier cycling jacket that I use a lot for colder MTB rides (below -2) or road rides (below 5C). It's an insulated team jacket from our club. Not necessary, but it is nice. Even a descent soft shell would work well in this capacity.
Winter cycling boots are something I highly suggest investing in. Booties blow.
As for rain gear, between my roubaix tights and my wind breaker, that will get me into port in any storm. It has to be a pretty special occasion to get me out in any sort of rain when it's below 10C (actually probably 20C). If I do, I only plan to be out for an hour and I can survive getting wet once the water resistance stops working.
For me, truly waterproof gear, 1) it just too damn hot and you get soaked sweating within it, 2) If you are out in a real rain, ain't nothing going to keep you that dry, unless you are sealed up more than is comfortable to be riding in. Riding in the rain means getting wet. Accept it, deal with, plan so that you don't get super uncomfortable and have outs.
So my off-season kit would include this stuff.
1) Lobster mits
2) Heavier gloves (XC ski gloves work well)
3) Winter boots
4) A good set of mid to heavy weight wool socks
5) Knee warmers
6) Leg warmers
7) Set of high socks
8) Running tights
9) Heavier cycling tights with some water resistance
10) Merino long sleeve under shirt
12) Heavier jacket/jersey
13) Water resistant shell (something that packs small and can always be with me)
15) Buff (very versatile for cover neck, ears, etc)
Seems like a lot. But much of it doesn't need to super expensive. You can find much of this at non-cycling specific stores like Mark's or something, heck I've found some of my stuff at value village.
Biggest investment is winter riding shoes if you don't have them. They make a world of difference.
Last edited by CptSydor; 10-07-2014 at 11:31 AM.
Great info, this is what I was after. Thanks! I remember a friend mentioning MEC tights, I will look into that IF the bike show doesnt prove to have awesome deals. Boots are in my future, but I just got new race shoes so I will keep sporting the duck taped oldskool shoes that are to big for me (lots of room for socks). These have gotten me though a 2hour road ride in -15, with a bit of pain of course.
Everything Capt Sydor said covers it all.
Two areas not to neglect are the the feet and hands as they are very susceptible to cold injuries. For the get if you can pick up a pair of hoes a couple of size to big as it will allow for thicker winter socks. And won't constrict the feet and blood vessels that regular summer spring shoes will do. And of course the hands...this is a bit more complicated as you need to be able to brake and shift. Some here swear by lobster mitts.
Truth is what you use for our hands will also be decided by the bike you use. Bar Pogies only work with MTB bars. Some like this option while others don't...one advantage is your hands don't get as hot and sweaty. Plus depending o the one's you have you can put stuff in them like a camera to get those winter ride shots. Another option for hands to consider would be snowmobile gloves...I use a GoreTex pair and have had no issues.
Of course when it starts getting down to Jens Factor 5 and HC anything goes.
I'd add in for the head. Last year we started riding with a Downhill ski/snowboard helmet, made a world of difference! Breathed enough to keep head sweat down, buy also covered the ears very nicely on the -16 days.
Everything else is pretty much covered above by Enduramil and Capt Sydor.
1. I like wool as a baselayer, but not further out as it's expensive and rips easy.
2. I like jackets that are windproof at the front and NOT windproof at the back.
3. I only wear waterproof layers when I expect lots of water. Snow doesn't count.
4. I probably spend more money trying to keep my feet warm than the rest of my person combined, and they are still cold.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration
Came here to mention Merino Wool.
The Capn has pretty much owned the thread in one post.
Lol yeah he did. I didnt want to upset anyone.
I have some merino wool base layers. Thanks again for the pointers.
When it gets really cold many people swear by toasty hiking shoes and flat pedals. I do have winter shoes, but I wouldn"t exceed -10C in them. Merino.
I use a fleece lined spandex shirt/balaclava base layer from Sugoi that is probably my favourite winter garment.
"I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet
I used to work at Sporting Life selling outerwear back in the day, and was trained about what to use for different outdoor activities, so feel like I know a fair amount about this. I also ride year-round outdoors. What I can tell you is that the folks who have posted above have pretty much nailed it (it ain't rocket science) and so I have nothing much to add here. I will try and round things out with a a couple of random pointers and tips that have worked for me.
If you want to make your dollar stretch a little further, get a set of leg warmers that you can wear with your regular shorts, and a set of tights you can wear over your shorts. Use the money you save vs buying full-length bibs with a chamois in them for a good pair of winter bike shoes, and some shoe-covers - you can wear both together on really cold days. And buy the shoes big enough so you can get a pair of wool socks underneath without making the shoes too tight. SUmmer shoes, especially the sort that us XC geeks wear, are pretty tight and the most counter-productive thing you can do is restrict the circulation in your feet by wearing thicker socks under your regular shows. If you are going to go with your summer shoes and shoe covers, splurge on a pack of toe warmers at Canadian Tire - with the bigger shoes you mentioned, they will fit. I brought a 20-pack to the Steaming Nostril (-20c on the start line) for about $10 and all of a sudden had 19 new best friends, as well as toasty-warm feet...
Ski gloves/mitts work well for your hands. You probably already have something along these lines. Save a buck and use those.
You will lose a lot of heat thru your head so get a skull-cap/something that will fit under your helmet. That should be your next investment once your feet are covered. Likely $20 or less at MEC.
And Cpt. made a very good point - don't just look in bike stores for winter gear. XC skiing gear and winter running gear will do the same job and may be a little more affordable.
Avoid any cotton, especially on the base layer. As you sweat it gets saturated and chills you. If you are going to invest $ on anything after winter shoes and a skullcap, make it whatever you wear next to your skin as it will make the biggest difference. Merino works very well but the d-feat un-d-shirt is an affordable and effective base lawyer. I swear by mine.
Also, I find if I am warm when I start my ride, I will be overheated 10 minutes later when I warm up. I will then sweat and get chilled. The lesson to be learned from that is that It's good to start out a little cold. This is where layers come in handy - you can pull off a vest or even a mid-layer if you are too warm. Better to have a number of thin layers than a heavy fleece under a shell.
Eventually, with layers (base layer, mid-insulating layer(s) and shell) you will form a mental list (or an actual list in fact) of what you wear at different temperatures. That way you will know what to mix and match on a given day.
Another potential source for winter gloves and such will be here...
Re-Gear | Re-Gear | Pre-Owned Powersports Apparel
I have a skull cap that works really well.
I was out the other night around +3 and had a merino base with race jersey and an arctyerx fleec that worked really well. It even has some water proofing.
So it looks like im looking for wind/water resistant tights that i can wear over my bibs and maybe a jacket thats a bit more wind resistant.
My suggestion for water resistant for the legs is not tights. Look for something like the Endura MT-500's shorts or 3/4 shorts. Can use them both during winter and other times as well. Also can use with more clothing variations.
Yep I have the Endura Singletrack 3/4 love them.. now if I could get my feet warm - even today and it was 10C!
Similarly, a vest over a shell has more versatility for spring/fall riding
Not exactly clothing, but I am considering getting bar mits for fat biking this winter. Any brands recommended. Where to get them?
Lots of different versions out there.
Originally Posted by secret agent
MEC offers one. Though it might be a bit small.
MEC Northstar Cycling Pogies (Unisex) - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available
There was a Toronto courier who made or imported version a few years ago. I first saw it on Veteran Youth's bike and where carried by Cycle Solutions Beaches location. No idea if you can still get them.
And of course the offerings from the masters of snow riding.
thanks Endura. Called CS and they are going to order me a set. I did google and saw a bunch of stuff, but I was hoping for recommendations of what people are actually using themselves. Last year, it got pretty cold some days, and I had to go to some pretty heavy gloves. Hoping to be able to go to much lighter ones with the bar mits. If I like them, I am going to put them on my winter road bike too.
I'll add to this discussion by saying cold feet has always been my achilles heal with winter biking. After trying booties, waterproof socks, etc. finally plunked down the $ for some serious winter shoes and I can definitely say money well spent. Some quality wool socks (Woolie Boolie or Endura Merino) are generally all I need under these and my feet stay toasty and dry.
Shimano MW81 Gore-Tex Winter SPD Boots
MEC ones work okay, but it has to be -15C or colder before the rubberized fabric gets stiff enough to hold it's shape. Otherwise, they flop closed when you take your hand out and can be difficult to get back into on while underway.
Originally Posted by Enduramil
The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration
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