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  1. #1
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    Warm Jersey for Cold Race

    Temps are going to be in the 20s to 30s for a 70 mile race this weekend. I'm looking for a recommendationon a jersey that will keep me warm, but not get soaked with sweat. Usually I'm done racing before the temps get this cool. Of course it was in the 70s all week, cold came just in time for the race.

    Anytime I put a shell on and ride at high effort, I get soaked and then cold.

    I think I've had good luck with Pearl Izumi PRO Thermal jersey. Zipper is broken on one I have, so I thought I'd get an opinion before getting a new one. I remember it being good in wind, but not sure on moisture transfer.

  2. #2
    Livin' the Dream
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    I'm a huge fan of the Craft Pro Warm (I think, check their website) base layer with thin down layer and then any "wind" jersey on top of that. Cold is cold, but this combination seems to mitigate the worst of it (at least for me). Good luck
    DO RIGHT AND FEAR NO MAN

  3. #3
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    base layer + down

    I've tried base layer plus super light down (patagonia nanopuff). For me, the moisture just can't get past the down layer (even without a shell). On a long ride at high effort I get soaked and then cold.

  4. #4
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    Down is probably one of the very worst things to wear while racing. Save it for the finish. Assuming it's dry, a good baselayer, smartwool or similar long sleeve jersey, maybe a vest to regulate core temp, and a shell for long downhills should be good. Layers and adjustable ventilation are key. A light helmet liner and good gloves will help a lot.

  5. #5
    Livin' the Dream
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuckred View Post
    Down is probably one of the very worst things to wear while racing. Save it for the finish. Assuming it's dry, a good baselayer, smartwool or similar long sleeve jersey, maybe a vest to regulate core temp, and a shell for long downhills should be good. Layers and adjustable ventilation are key. A light helmet liner and good gloves will help a lot.
    I agree if its above freezing or a XC race where you have maximum output. But below freezing for 6+ hours (at an aerobic pace), you don't build up enough heat to make wicking an issue. (At least not in my experience)
    DO RIGHT AND FEAR NO MAN

  6. #6
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    I'll second the craft stuff. Voler makes some great cold weather stuff and their thermal stuff is made by craft. I use it for both xc skiing and cold weather riding and have had nothing but a warm body for all my activities.

  7. #7
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    Layers of wool is what works best for me. Wabi Woolens stuff is amazing--truly heirloom quality.

    Wabi Woolens - Quality Wool Cycling Jerseys

    Thin merino undershirts from Icebreaker, Smartwool, Ibex, and others work great, too.

  8. #8
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    Sporthill XC Ski tops. Originally developed by Bill Koch during his olympic skiing years. Amazing stuff. I also like the black Craft winter top with 3 pockets that is breathable on the back and windproof on the front (sorry, can't remember the name and tags are gone). Most definitely NOT the more jacket style one with a zippered pocket in back, and nearly all windproof. It just doesn't breath enough for going hard.

    In general, you might want to get some more ideas from a competitive xc skier (I bet there is one at your favorite LBS). We deal with your challenge in every long race (for short ones, we mostly just go so hard that lycra is plenty).

    Finally, one of the best ways I know to stay warm and fairly dry during hard winter efforts is to dress a little light and breathable on the body, and wear an ear-covering skull cap under the helmet. PI, Craft, and Lous Garneau all make good ones ranging from really thin and wind proof to semi-thick but more breathable (my preference).

    Good luck!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  9. #9
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    merino + PI thermal fleece

    Did my pre-race shake out ride this morning w/ thin merino long sleeve base + pearl izumi thermal fleece jersey. Felt about right. Full zip jersey, so I can ventilate when needed. Was actually getting a little warm on relaxed climb home. It was about 30F.

    Good call on bringing a shell for long downhills - there's a 4,000' descent. I'll bring the down nano puff in case I get really cold on downhills or something goes wrong.

  10. #10
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    Thanks a lot.

    Seems everyone likes the Craft stuff - local shop has huge Craft selection, going to drop by this afternoon.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcoady View Post
    Temps are going to be in the 20s to 30s for a 70 mile race this weekend. I'm looking for a recommendationon a jersey that will keep me warm, but not get soaked with sweat. Usually I'm done racing before the temps get this cool. Of course it was in the 70s all week, cold came just in time for the race.

    Anytime I put a shell on and ride at high effort, I get soaked and then cold.

    I think I've had good luck with Pearl Izumi PRO Thermal jersey. Zipper is broken on one I have, so I thought I'd get an opinion before getting a new one. I remember it being good in wind, but not sure on moisture transfer.
    Even breathable shells don't breathe enough for active endurance. If you are expecting bad weather I would get a "soft shell" jacket, made with Schoeller Dryskin, pricy but extremely useful.

    Something like this

    MEC Sandbagger Jacket (Men's) - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

    or this

    EMS ENDO Jacket - Men's - Eastern Mountain Sports

    If you expect good weather, I'd just use a good wool jersey.

    Under that I would have a light synthetic layer, and carry a spare in the pack if at all possible. Everything gets wet eventually and swapping out that inner layer for a dry one can make a big difference.

    Eat and drink lots, bonking in cold weather is even less fun than bonking when it's warmer out. Plan to be able to take the jacket off for climbs. The key to managing 'sweat out' in cold conditions is use layers and just like eating and drinking, put on a layer before you get cold and take off a layer before you get hot. There is no magic fabric that will allow you to be stupid about this (or I've been trying to find one for 40 years and I'm still looking. )

    - Booker C. Bense

  12. #12
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    I'm doing the same race, and wearing a base layer and full zip long sleeve jersey plus jacket. Using the zipper for heat regulation. Ear muffs and good gloves with wind stop also.There's a good amount of hike a bike so that adds to temp regulations problem. We will see rain and snow at altitude like last year just colder.
    Good luck, looks like a lot of people dropping out this year.

  13. #13
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    A couple products I like are the Gore BIke wear jacket with sleeves that zip off. I also like the cold gear under armour long sleeve to wear under my jersey.

  14. #14
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    For temps like that, I would go with a merino base layer - I use a smartwool longsleeve ziptee, armwarmers, and a marino cycling jersey (Icebreaker, Rapha I have both and am happy with them) finally a vest to block the wind.
    The armwarmers are great because it's so easy while riding to pull them up or down to regulate your temperature/wamth.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfcooper View Post
    I'm doing the same race, and wearing a base layer and full zip long sleeve jersey plus jacket. Using the zipper for heat regulation. Ear muffs and good gloves with wind stop also.There's a good amount of hike a bike so that adds to temp regulations problem. We will see rain and snow at altitude like last year just colder.
    Good luck, looks like a lot of people dropping out this year.
    Yeah - I did it last year too. I'm surprised so many people dropped out. It's not going to be that cold.

    Have a great race - see you out there.

  16. #16
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    Castelli Transparente Due Wind FZ Jersey

    Couldn't find the Craft jersey I wanted. I went with the "Castelli Transparente Due Wind FZ Jersey". Definitely my new favorite piece of cold weather gear. Windstopper panel in front, but has full zipper if you start to heat up. Insides of arms and back panel very breathable. Neck goes nice and high if you zip and is fleecy and doesn't choke you.

    Didn't get wet, too hot or too cold all day. Mix of 20mph flat sections. 15% sustained climbs. And long hike a bikes.

    Wore merino base layer.

    I did need my light puffy and shell for a huge 1 hour descent.

    Great day except for fixing a flat with frozen fingers.

  17. #17
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    Looking at everyone's suggestions for tops, but wonder what everyone does for bottoms? Deciding between leg warmers, normal tights over cycling gear, or bib-tights for training, and then racing in Feb..

  18. #18
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    PI tights

    I really like the pearl izumi tights. The regular thermafleece ones work well for me to about 30deg. Below that, I have pair of their Amfib tights. The front is a thin neoprene (I think), back is breathable. They work well in cold weather, but I rarely ride more than a couple hours when it gets that cold.

    I also used the chemical toe and hand warmers below 30deg on long rides. After mild frostbite a few years ago my fingers and toes get cold very fast.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnduroT View Post
    Looking at everyone's suggestions for tops, but wonder what everyone does for bottoms? Deciding between leg warmers, normal tights over cycling gear, or bib-tights for training, and then racing in Feb..



    Layers, wicking base and the appropriate number of layers over that. Second the P.I. thermal tights suggestion. Leg warmers are good since they can be easily removed when needed. Think about wind proof outer, it really helps.

  20. #20
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    Thin Woold base layer and any of the Gore Windstopper Jackets seem to be the trick for me, best part is I dont get to hot because breath well togheter when it starts to get warmer.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  21. #21
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    I've never raced that long in that cold, only cross when the intensity lets you get away with pretty light clothes, but when I do 4hr base rides on the road I use an insulated wind-stopper jacket, and windproof front tights. For mountain biking at slower speeds, I'd be tempted to go with a light weight base, long sleeve jersey, a lightweight vest with a full wind-shell jacket as a backup, and windproof front tights. The chest protection with the vest maybe can be enough, with still a lot of breathe-ability. Warmer gloves, shoe covers, skull cap, and a light neck gaiter (like a buff) would also be on my list. Chemical handwarmers as a backup might be the difference between finishing or not.

  22. #22
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    At those temperatures, my hands and feet are the toughest to keep warm. I need to use chemical toe warmers and wool socks in winter mtb boots at those temps. If you are using neoprene bootie-covers over shoes, try hand warmers in-between the neoprene and shoes (they have more heat and last longer than toe warmers). I find that if my toes get cold, they only get colder.

    With my hands, I find that my hands start out cold, then get warmer and I have to shed gloves. I wear long-fingered bike gloves with fleece gloves over top and take off the fleece gloves if necessary.

    For 20 - 30 degrees, my favorite thing to wear in the top is a base turtleneck, covered with a long-sleeve jersey, then a fleece vest. On the legs, I wear compression tights and thin over-tights or just thicker tights over my bike shorts.

    On the head, a thin beanie or head band to cover the ears and I duct tape the vents of my helmet.

    If I get too warm, I remove the outer gloves, roll up my sleeves, and pull my head band down to my neck. That really helps me cool down and I can do it while I'm riding.

  23. #23
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    I was out on that course for 11+ hours (riding a Singlespeed) and for all but the last long 4,000 ft drop I was fine with the P.I. thermals and a wind stop layered bib tight over them. For uppers I had a polar fleece hat with ear flaps, wind stop thermal gloves and synthetic base with thermal fleece full zip jersey, wool socks.
    When I got to the drop the weather turned for the worse and I had a spare (dry) hat and gloves, with a wind stop shell. That got me down but I had to stop a few times because my hands got so cold I could not brake very well. The windchill made it unbearable at times but I keep going cause I did not want to stay out there much longer (darkness coming). Half of the racers bailed and a few got lost but everyone made it back in one piece.

  24. #24
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    Plastic grocery type sack on your stomach between base layers. I use these all winter long. Zero air gets through to your core so the sweat you'll build up is a non-issue and it keeps a ton of heat in.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Ark View Post
    Plastic grocery type sack on your stomach between base layers. I use these all winter long. Zero air gets through to your core so the sweat you'll build up is a non-issue and it keeps a ton of heat in.
    +1. I might even up the stakes and use bubble wrap in case of a crash.

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