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Thread: Shell

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    I found the same thing to be true riding while it is snowing, I don't notice it getting me wet. I've found I tend to undress my lower half, especially when it is windy. While I don't mind my legs getting a bit cold, if that's happening then I've got bigger issues like my dick getting cold and that makes me nervous! 😀

    I'm starting to wonder if I should shove the shell in my bag and just try some non wind resistant shirts and just layer when there isn't a strong breeze when it's really cold? I don't often get cold from the speed of the bike. I think I'll try that for my commute to work tomorrow.
    Either that or a light shell vest? I use a light Novaro jacket when commuting for the shoulder seasons and the sleeves can be undone in a few seconds. Much of the time in the warmer temps, I will ride with a base-layer and the vest, to get some visibility with the yellow color and reflective strips of the vest. I also have a slightly heavier race face one that I rarely use.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  2. #52
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    I did some more experimenting with clothes this past week and learned that unless it is pretty windy, a wind resistant shell, no matter how thin, causes me to get too hot and overly sweat. I'm still going to pack a shell but I found that wearing either a single or two layered wicking type shirts are much better at regulating temperature. Even if there is a slight breeze it helps to keep you cool. My goal is not to sweat as I'm riding to work. I think I've got a decent system finally figured out.

  3. #53
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    We rode out to Knik Glacier today, 20 miles each way. Was -11F when we started. Below zero for the entire ride as far as we can tell. One guy wore a "hard" shell on the outside, got drenched in his on sweat. No such problems here. I went back and forth between my performance jacket with wind panels on the front side and putting on a light puffy insulated jacket over it (but leaving it mostly unzipped). We were breaking trail and pushing in a few places, but it was pretty cold. A few times I'd start overheating and take off the puffy and store it. I kind of get a bit of warning, because my glasses start to fog, which means I need to take a layer off. Anyways, this was a cold ride, slightly different protocols, but as evidenced by today, your body still has to breathe. That guy was pretty chilled at the end and spent a while trying to warm up in the restaurant, the car-ride back, the hot shower he said he intended to take, etc. Heck, I'm still wearing the same clothes I wore right now sitting on my couch, because they are dry Shell-01ff17826f4249f4409f326fa1b6a4ea2535d7f4be.jpg
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  4. #54
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    One thing I've noticed in the last few days (because of your thread) is that the base layer needs to be tight. Not constricting tight, but it needs to be form-fitting and not loose, to effectively transport the moisture and regulate temperature. This is why it's the base layer, and not the "trap heat between the base layer and outer layer"-layer. Seems obvious possibly, but in the past I "just did it" and never really thought about it, till I used a loose layer recently.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  5. #55
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    Damn! 40 mile round trip, that's a crazy long way! I've not ridden out at Knik since the late 90's, and that was on dirt bikes when I was living in Anchorage. We never did make it to the glacier.

    I agree with you about the form fitting. I hate tight fitting clothes but I've got one really thin, really light weight wicking shirt that is especially form fitting and it keeps me warmer than I'd ever expect. I noticed that today when we got out of the wind and I took off an inner layer due to getting to hot. We got back into the wind later on and I stayed comfortable even though I was just wearing a fleece jacket that had no wind resistance. We were a lot warmer than your temps at 18F. Until I read your post I hadn't thought about it but my back seems to feel more sweaty with my looser fitting shirts than the tighter fitting ones. Makes sense that the form fitting shirt can more easily wick the sweat away to evaporate and hold a layer of warmth next to your skin better. I've been learning more about clothing this winter than ever before.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak-rider View Post
    ...Makes sense that the form fitting shirt can more easily wick the sweat away to evaporate and hold a layer of warmth next to your skin better. I've been learning more about clothing this winter than ever before.
    Good point. When you think about it, it can't wick unless it's touching what it's supposed to be wicking.
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  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Good point. When you think about it, it can't wick unless it's touching what it's supposed to be wicking.
    Yes. I have not found anything that works as well as Patagonia Capilene jerseys. Tight fitting and hydrophobic with a zipper you can open one handed by just spreading it open. It is the basis of my simple and reliable layering system.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    I can't seem to find a shell that's actually breathable. They're always covered in sweat/condensation after a ride.

    There's no such thing as breathable when temps are below freezing. Any moisture that leaves your body freezes and plugs the "pores" in the jacket before it can get out.

    That aside, there's not a breathable fabric out there that can move the amount of moisture that a cyclist produces when working hard, regardless of temp.

    Finding something that's windproof and heavily vented is the answer, and taking it off when you get too warm is mandatory. Otherwise you end up soaked.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    There's no such thing as breathable when temps are below freezing.
    If you are "doing it right" and conditions are right, I've seen plenty of situations where it condenses on the outside of the clothing and you can just brush it off. In reality, it doesn't always happen even if you think you've dressed perfectly. Maybe you were talking about a harder windproof shell, where I agree, but with breathable non-waterproof stuff, I've seen and experienced it many times. But, it's also nearly impossible to not have any dampness within your clothes, it's going to happen and the key is to be able to get rid of the moisture at a rate where it doesn't "pile up" excessively, as in you getting drenched. You can't operate at the same output level all the time and insulation is the opposite of sweating, just reality. Depending on how elaborate you want to get, you can get huge arm-pit zips and other venting technology to not have to take off as many/any layers, but many of these get crazy expensive vs. something simpler and more inexpensive that you can just take off. So then it becomes more about storage and smart selections for your ride, rather than one or two pieces of "wonder-apparel" that are going to do everything and anything under the sun. Still, you have to be pretty smart about what you buy. Lots of stuff sold or marketed for a certain activity can actually be pretty damn crappy for that activity.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    There's no such thing as breathable when temps are below freezing. Any moisture that leaves your body freezes and plugs the "pores" in the jacket before it can get out..
    I disagree with this. I have 2 of the Chinese jackets from Amazon that I linked earlier in this thread and a Swix Cross country ski jacket. They all block wind in the front and breath on the back and back side of sleeves.

    The jackets are form fitting and close enough to the body that warmth from my body keeps the pores from freezing up. I've ridden down to 5 degrees without them freezing up.


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  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If you are "doing it right" and conditions are right, I've seen plenty of situations where it condenses on the outside of the clothing and you can just brush it off. In reality, it doesn't always happen even if you think you've dressed perfectly. Maybe you were talking about a harder windproof shell, where I agree, but with breathable non-waterproof stuff, I've seen and experienced it many times. But, it's also nearly impossible to not have any dampness within your clothes, it's going to happen and the key is to be able to get rid of the moisture at a rate where it doesn't "pile up" excessively, as in you getting drenched. You can't operate at the same output level all the time and insulation is the opposite of sweating, just reality. Depending on how elaborate you want to get, you can get huge arm-pit zips and other venting technology to not have to take off as many/any layers, but many of these get crazy expensive vs. something simpler and more inexpensive that you can just take off. So then it becomes more about storage and smart selections for your ride, rather than one or two pieces of "wonder-apparel" that are going to do everything and anything under the sun. Still, you have to be pretty smart about what you buy. Lots of stuff sold or marketed for a certain activity can actually be pretty damn crappy for that activity.
    Great post. I started this thread looking for suggestions and think I've got it. I bought a convenient, packable wind shell. I ride my fatbike with a Tangle Bag for storage. I also have a solid Merrill Rain Shell. It all just depends...but a ditchable wind breaker is what I'm looking for now that I think about it. I need temp wind protection on the road to and from the trail.


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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    I disagree with this. I have 2 of the Chinese jackets from Amazon that I linked earlier in this thread and a Swix Cross country ski jacket. They all block wind in the front and breath on the back and back side of sleeves.

    The jackets are form fitting and close enough to the body that warmth from my body keeps the pores from freezing up. I've ridden down to 5 degrees without them freezing up.


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    I wouldn't go too far, I was just disagreeing that it's impossible. On the flip side, even when it's 15 to 20 degrees colder than you were riding in, or hell, as cold as you can possibly ride in, when the trail conditions are marginal and you are alternating between having to push and being able to ride 5-10 feet at a time before punching through or hitting a deep drift, you start to work extremely hard and your output rises considerably. At this point, nothing may be able to keep up with your exertion. Even if you were riding against a headwind and breaking trail (like yesterday), as soon as this happens your body temp can skyrocket. It was a lot worse for me yesterday when coming back, but I started to fog up (which instantly freezes) due to the hard work, which is where I had to stop and take a layer off/on several times. I think the tailwind may have contributed to this, reducing cooling/moisture transport. It's very easy to get into these high exertion situations when out breaking trail and I agree all the "breathable" in the world may not help in some of these. Shell-g0205446.jpg
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #63
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    That's been my experience. In a 1st gear sufferfest, barely making it through the snow and pushing, postholing, basically being miserable, I've not found a shell that can breathe well enough to keep you from getting drenched in sweat. Interesting to read how you noticed the wind at your back not cooling you the same way as whe it hits from other directions. That's been what've been noticing on my commute as the wind tends to blow in the direction I'm heading and feels way colder as a headwind on my way home.

    This past weekend just wearing wicking layers and a non windproof fleece was quite comfortable in the windy conditions. I've finally resigned myself to the fact that that no single jacket is going to work really well for every single winter condition, not counting in rain.

    Great photo of the ride to the glacier!

  14. #64
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    I still haven't figured out how to dress for longer rides, but I sure sweat less riding my Vaya than riding my fat bike regardless of the temperature. Last single digit fat commute my skin turned bright red where my softshell jacket was more breathable.

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