Cold weather race clothing????
What are you guys wearing at the starting line to some of these fat bike races? I feel like I am overdressing wearing a jacket. Some guys are dressed like it is summer? For 0-20 degree temps how can you stay comfortable, and race not carrying 10 extra pounds worth of clothing?
For 0-20F, you really don't need much. Some windfront tights or pants over shorts, a wicking baselayer and a highly breathable or very well vented, wind resistant shell. maybe a midlayer, but if so, you're probably going to have to adjust the shell more than you want to on climbs. A light vest might be best for a midlayer if you need one at those temps. There are several threads on winter footware, and quite a few different theories.
For around here (where we don't do much riding below 20 degrees and there are no snow bike races) I wear windfront fleece pants over shorts or knickers, Outdoor Research waterproof gaiters over insulated hiking boots, wicking t shirt, arm warmers, and an old Cannondale raincoat.with velcro closures that make it easy to open on climbs and close on downhills. I also usually wear some kind of scarf or balaclava and a Surly "Deer with Gas Mask" thinsulate watch cap. Sometimes I wish for a vest on the coldest days, but for the most part that works real well for our conditions and my riding style.
It's VERY conditions-dependent, but for the Farmer's Fat Bike race we had temps in the mid-20's with very little wind. I was pretty comfortable with 1 light and 2 heavier layers (one being a L/S jersey) on top and bib knickers and fleece tights on the bottom. Add in Lake boots and a balaclava and I was very comfortable until I stopped for 10 minutes or so.
One caveat: I am large and carry a bit of extra muscle and insulation. I tend to generate heat pretty readily. If you are a 160 lb. waif, following my recommendations might not work so good. YMMV. Don't come back and yell at me with shivering fingers.
Let the market decide!
Unfortunately, everyone is different. Is it 0-20 and sunny and/or windy? How about wind chill factor?
You should wear enough clothes to feel cold at the start, but will eventually warm up once you exert yourself. Don't forget that most of that cold weather biking gear are made to trap the heat after you exert yourself.
2012 Trek Madone 6.7 SSL
2013 Specialized Tricross Comp Disc
2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL
2012 Salsa Mukluk 2
I actually have different setups for below 0, 0-10ish, 10ish to 20 and 20 above.
I have to be really careful at below zero, I can sweat quite a bit and soak my base layers. I would say that some of the guys lining up for those races are generating a lot of heat. I don't ride fast enough to build that kind of heat. Don't feel bad if you're wearing a coat.