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Thread: Winter Gear ?

  1. #1
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    New question here. Winter Gear ?

    Just curious how some of you folks keep the cold out and sweat wicked? Been on a few winter pumps, sweat on the climbs (esp under pack) and freeze on descents... I've had to turn to hot totties instead of cold beers for post-ride satisfaction.

    Any good gear recommendations?

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    I got a set of these Louis Garneau shoes a couple of years ago and they are great. Keeps the tootsies nice and toasty.



    As long as it is sunny, I usually find that a set of full length tights, a long sleve jersey, and and one to two short sleeve jerseys on top of it are sufficient for most winter rides. When I start getting hot on the climbs, I strip one of the ss jerseys and stuff it in my camelback.
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  3. #3
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    Sweat is going to happen. The key is to move it out. Layers of wool/snythetics is the way to go. They insulate and move moisture, but most don't resist wind. Some do, but most don't. This is where a shell comes in handy. But it better be a good one, 'cause a cheap one won't allow moisture to escape, and then you're screwed. Then you gotta consider hard or soft shell. Hard shells are generally more moisture/wind resistant, but are stiffer and only the best ones are breathable. Soft shells are softer, more flexible, and breathe well, but are usually more pervious to moisture and wind. Personally, the only issue I have is with my feet. Still haven't figured that one out yet.

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    wool is your friend.

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    Big Mac
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    For clarity, I'm interpreting a "cold" ride as a night ride on a cold night. Anything above freezing is not a "cold" ride. Though tonight did seem cold.

  6. #6
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderSupertramp1969
    wool is your friend.
    What'd you do, ride today or something? You're nails grow back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65
    What'd you do, ride today or something? You're nails grow back?
    I wish I could ride. I can just now get the pedals all the way around on the trainer.

  8. #8
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    M favorite article of clothing for winter riding is my wind vest. I can't remember who makes it or if that's even the proper term for it but it's completely wind proof in the front and the entire rear panel is mesh. It goes on as your base layer next to your skin, keeps your torso warm on decents and all your heat goes out the back on climbs. Wear whatever you want on top of it as long as it's synthetic. I've seen similar vests that are to be used as the top layer and kinda loose fitting but I prefer the base layer tight fit variety.

  9. #9
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    I have problems keeping my feet, hands and crotch warm. I use layers up top which I strip off as I get hotter. I have toe covers that work for about 15 minutes then my feet start getting cold. I have long finger summer gloves which provide no warmth, my hands are frozen a few minutes into the ride. I have smashed my hands up on trees and could not ever feel it until I got home and they warmed up. I have leg warmers that keep my legs toasty but they stop at my thighs so my summer shorts don't keep the wind and cold out and my crotch freezes, which is a very interesting feeling, that I am sure does not help the baby factories. All that being said, I recommend leg and arm warmers, warm gloves and warm shoes or shoe cover. Remember that when you get hot on the ride things need to be small enough to fit in you pack so you can strip down as you go.
    Has anyone tried newpaper stuffed in the front of your jersey, like I see them do on the tour.
    What works well for the head? balaclavas? Snow goggles? Ear muffs? etc.

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    Haha, frozen baby factory. I've got the head figured out. Got a bern macon helmet which came with a very thin wicking toboggan, and very few vents, its the jam. I need to figure out the core thing. I must sweat more than the average person. Going to experiment with wool and synthetics I suppose

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    I've got hand enclosures that attach to the bar. You slip your hands in and they're almost too warm. Above freezing, I use no gloves, below, summer gloves. They can hamper your ability to get your hands out quickly, so some extra care is needed.

    No solution for my feet, yet.
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    I fear cold weather. But I'm married to a man who doesn't put away his sleeveless jersey 'til after the first snow, so "too cold to mtb" does not exist. I've spent the last 15 years learning how to dress in Pisgah:

    undershirt - Hincapie wool undershirt..."like having a cat fall asleep on your chest".
    jersey

    vest- just like FatTireGoose said...it needs to be wind-proof on the front (like Gore wind-stop), lighter in back optional for me.

    jacket - I keep a back-up jacket in the camelback in case I underdress, or the weather changes while I'm out. Fave is Sugoi thin windstop w/ lighter stretch panels under the arms and on the back.

    arm warmers - not those useless roadie things, but real Pearl Izumi fleece lined arm warmers. The up/down capability is priceless. If its WAY cold, I'll wear a long sleeve jersey and put the arm warmers over it, so I can still regulate arm temp.

    knee/leg warmers - i like DeFeet wooleators
    feet - thin liner socks, regular wool socks (for me, that means knee-high ski socks), neoprene shoe covers. The kind w/ a bottom. Yes, you'll wear them out fast when you hike-a-bike...it's the price of admission. Just don't wear enough socks to make your shoes tight...that's the worst thing you can do.

    hands - Get the heaviest things you can find. I always was fine w/ just the heaviest bike specific gloves (Cannondale, Specialized Radiant) until last year when it was so damn cold. I switched to the Wisconsin-born husband's ancient ski gloves. Then I went to REI and bought liner gloves w/ metal filaments to radiate head from chemical heater packs. The liners had built-in pockets for the heaters. Of course, spending the $$ made spring come, so I haven't used those yet.

    head - Long hair covers your ears. Anything more makes me afraid I won't hear the pickup driver or little pot-head girl that's about to run over me on the gravel road.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike
    I got a set of these Louis Garneau shoes a couple of years ago and they are great. Keeps the tootsies nice and toasty.



    As long as it is sunny, I usually find that a set of full length tights, a long sleve jersey, and and one to two short sleeve jerseys on top of it are sufficient for most winter rides. When I start getting hot on the climbs, I strip one of the ss jerseys and stuff it in my camelback.
    +1 for the full on winter shoes. I have the pearl izumi version. I hate having cold feet so these make cold rides bearable for me. I also wear wool socks (actual I wear them year round). On really cold rides I'll stuff some hand warmers in my shoes. Like I said, I can't handle cold feet.

    Wool jersey is very nice. It will keep you warm even when it's soaking wet from rain, snow, sweat or any combination of. Wool is kinda expensive but it works very well.

    Also, a skull cap is very effective. Nothing worse then getting a brain freeze on a decent. Well cold feet are worse but that's my pet peeve.

  14. #14
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    Lightly fleeced knickers. Solves the leg & knee warmers stayin put & doesn't require taking on & off. Get too warm? Just roll them up a bit. First winter last year using them & won't be without again.

    All other post's are solid for the other areas.
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    Here's what I wore last night, starting temp 28:

    Head: Capilene hat
    Hands: Liner gloves beneath windshell gloves.
    Feet: Lace up standard shoes with expedition weight wool socks. This options ROCKS! Adding another wool sock beneath this, I've done rides at less than 10 degrees in Michigan and been fine for about 2 hours. The lace up shoes are the key as they can accomadate the thick socks, plus I have narrow feet.
    Legs: Shorts and mid-weight tights.
    Upper Body: Midweight wool longsleeve base layer, midweight fleece top with windshell chest. Put an additional windshell on top for descent down Ingles Field at the end of ride as got pretty cold standing around at Five Points.

    A lot of this stuff is much cheaper and usually higher quality if you buy from a non-cycling specific source.

  16. #16
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    I still have winter shoes from my days up north. Don't use them much here any more, but when I need them, they keep me dry and warm. Rest of the stuff is just trial and error. I tend to over dress on the dirt, and under dress on the road. Hm.

    I'll mirror what every one else said though, base layer, main layer and a shell if it's really cold. I got a non-wicking rain jacket that I tried once as a shell - don't bother.

    I guess the adage is that it's better to be too hot than too cold. Use a larger camel bak and shred layers when needed.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexanderSupertramp1969
    wool is your friend.
    +1 especially on your feet. If I could only pick one thing to wear when it's cold out it'd be some Woolie Boolie socks.

  18. #18
    dragin' fly
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    make sure you leave some wiggle room when layering socks or gloves.
    i like to bring some extra glooves in case i get wet.
    i try to stay on trail. roads are fast and cold.
    stopping means getting cold.
    i love my wool.
    i love my winter boots.

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    Lots of good suggestions here already. My .02 from up in PA is this: inner synthetic wicking shirt, middle layer cotton long-sleeve, hoodie or hard-shell on top depending on severity/type of winter weather that day. "Breathable" snowboard or snowmobiling gloves work for me although those split finger mitten gloves look interesting. Then tights with knickers or full-length riding pants on top. I got some thin collapsible earmuffs worn with the top behind my neck so the helmet sits right. Still working on the right shoe set-up

    Worked well this morning at 8:00 AM with a 15-20 mp.h. NW wind, flurrying, on a frozen trail directly downwind of a large lake.

  20. #20
    Big Mac
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxnroots
    Lots of good suggestions here already. My .02 from up in PA is this: inner synthetic wicking shirt, middle layer cotton long-sleeve, hoodie or hard-shell on top depending on severity/type of winter weather that day. "Breathable" snowboard or snowmobiling gloves work for me although those split finger mitten gloves look interesting. Then tights with knickers or full-length riding pants on top. I got some thin collapsible earmuffs worn with the top behind my neck so the helmet sits right. Still working on the right shoe set-up

    Worked well this morning at 8:00 AM with a 15-20 mp.h. NW wind, flurrying, on a frozen trail directly downwind of a large lake.
    I think a cotton layer is a terrible idea. But that's just me.

  21. #21
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    Anyone have an specific brand suggestions for upper body base layers and second layer for those of us who sweat profusely? Seems no matter what the conditions, I am a sweating fool. I can't seem to find a wicking layer that can help me. Also anything as a secondary insulating layer just makes me warmer/sweat more.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    Anyone have an specific brand suggestions for upper body base layers and second layer for those of us who sweat profusely? Seems no matter what the conditions, I am a sweating fool. I can't seem to find a wicking layer that can help me. Also anything as a secondary insulating layer just makes me warmer/sweat more.

    Craft Pro Zero Extreme windstopper long sleeve or short sleeve. Best technical under layer ever made(IMHO) So light you don't know you have it on. It wicks sweat really well and eliminates the need for a wind shell, in most cases. I pair it with a Wabi Woolen long sleeve jersey, best wool product I have ever owned. Worked really well yesterday while riding some of the seasonal trails with all that frigid windy mess. Think partially frozen water bottles cold.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    Anyone have an specific brand suggestions for upper body base layers and second layer for those of us who sweat profusely? Seems no matter what the conditions, I am a sweating fool. I can't seem to find a wicking layer that can help me. Also anything as a secondary insulating layer just makes me warmer/sweat more.
    Have you tried wool? It wicks very well and it will keep you warm even when it's wet.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    Anyone have an specific brand suggestions for upper body base layers and second layer for those of us who sweat profusely? Seems no matter what the conditions, I am a sweating fool. I can't seem to find a wicking layer that can help me. Also anything as a secondary insulating layer just makes me warmer/sweat more.
    I'm a sweater!

    For my base layer under wool I use Zensah. They make a complete line of compression/wicking clothing including 3/4 tights which are perfect under my 3/4 wool ibex riding pants. They are not cheap @ ~$55 for tops or bottoms. They also make excellent compression shorts which work very well to reduce fatigue on long summer rides. I've gotten three seasons of riding out of my shirts and tights so $110 for the pair isn't too bad. They also make a nice beanie for all seasons, it wicks all the sweat off your noggin so no salt in the eyes. I'll use it until sub-freezing when I switch to a wool beanie and I carry several of those to make sure I've always got a dry one for the downhill parts of the ride.

    Mid-layer is a wool mock turtle with zipper. I've only ever found the zipper variation in smartwool and it is pricey @ $75 but again a good value because it works so well.

    For gloves I use silk liners under regular gloves down into the forties, then a windproof liner under regular gloves to the low forties and then wither windproof liner under light winter glove or a silk liner under heavier winter gloves. The silk liners do a great job wicking the swaet off your hands - for me that's the key to warm hands, keep them dry. Sirius is my brand of choice for the windproof liners and they just came out with a windproof/waterproof glove that I've used once and my fingers were toasty until the very end of a long gravel descent.
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  25. #25
    Jamin, Applesause, No?
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    I used a set of $1 stretchy gloves under my regular gloves and they kept my hands warm all yesterday ride. 37 degrees. I put on 2 toes covers and my feet still froze and I had warmer socks on. Gona have to figure out the feet this week for the weekend rides. I got a Timberland jacket for $35 bucks at Stienmart that blocked all the wind until I went above 18mph and then I coudl feel it coming through on the bottom half through the zipper. The zipper is only protected at the top? weird! I still had on my summer shorts with leggings and my crotch froze when I stood up, but stayed warm as long as I stayed seated. I started off with ear muffs (180's) and took them off after the first long climb. I never felt I needed to put them back on and my head was fine the entire way.

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