Cold weather riding - clothing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cold weather riding - clothing

    I need some ideas. I've been thinking about revamping my riding clothes for cold weather.
    It's not enough.
    I want to ride more in the cold/rain, but can't take more than 1 hour before I'm soaked and chilled to the bone.
    I currently use Pearl Izumi long stretch pants (I'm a spandex/tights/behind the seat all the time/don't want to catch any clothing on the seat kinda rider.)
    and a Gore Bike Wear top.
    If need be, I'll layer up with long johns, extra layers of polypro up top, etc.

    I live in an area that gets lots of rain and is usually between 30-50 degrees in the winter.
    Napa Valley, Ca.

    Doesn't sound that cold, but it's the humidity that gets to you.
    I would rather have it be 20 degrees and dry than 40 degrees and wet.
    Wind chill is a huge factor.

    Gloves, clothes - non-restricting/waterproof etc. I have excellent shells(goretex jackets) to repel the rain, but what do you wear for cold, drizzly dayz to keep you warm?
    I wanna go shopping...

  2. #2
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    These are working on....

    my feet. Just got a chance to try them. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=577039
    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  3. #3
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    I've ridden in 10 deg with:

    3 part upper: From inside to out - T-Shirt, long john top (Rocky brand from Wallie World), and a windbreaker I got for $10 from wallieworld.

    2 part lower: Long john bottom (Rocky brand from Wallieworld) and sweatpants.

    Hands: Cheap $15 full finger thinsulate gloves.

    Feet: Polyester sock liner I use during hunting season and regular sock.

    Head: Balaclava from the LBS.

    I have had no issue with freezing with these, in fact, after about 5 min of riding, I am pretty darn toasty.

  4. #4
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    Engineered base layer , wicks the moisture away from your skin . Insulating second layer . Wind blocking , rain proof third layer . Add more insulating layers as needed .

  5. #5
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    Merino wool! Smartwool is my brand of choice, leg/arm warmers and base layers. It doesn't dry quickly but keeps you warm even when damp.

  6. #6
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    Winter Clothing 101
    The science to staying warm on those cold weather rides
    By ED SASSLER, coach for the Harvard University Cycling Association

    You've probably heard the most common advice - dress in layers. They never really explain the layers, so I try to. I break winter clothing down into three layers, and then deal with the special areas as needed. The three layers are wicking layer, thermal layer, and isolation layer. Each layer has a specific job to do, get them in the wrong order and it can't work (sort of like trying to put the insulation on the outside of the walls).

    Wicking layer: You need to keep your body warm, but your body is also trying to regulate itself, so there's moisture. The wicking layer's job is to pass that moisture to the outside, away from your skin. The mountain climbers' saying "cotton kills" comes from the fact that cotton absorbs water and acts like a wall against wicking. The thing that most people don't get about the wicking layer is that it's NOT warm. Wicking doesn't work across a temperature drop, if it's body temp on one side and 20 degrees colder on the other side, it's just not going to work well. The insulation or R factor comes in the next layer - don't let the marketing fool you.

    There are lots of winter jackets that say they pass moisture to the outside, have you ever seen salt build-up on a winter jacket on a cold day? The reason I point this out is because your body will keep producing moisture, and at some point the wicking layer becomes saturated. The amount of wicking you need is based on the time you plan on riding. For short rides you can get away with a thin layer; longer rides you're going to need more. This is based on the individual, and everybody has their problem areas - if you understand the wicking layer's job you can make it work.

    Thermal layer: This is much like the insulation in your walls, thickness = R value to some extent. Think of this as a dead airspace, if air is warm, trapped and not moving, this layer is doing its job. This is the layer that most people have, the wool sweater or polar fleece top - all good stuff. Where the
    wicking layer is based on time, the thermal layer is based on temp. On either of these two layers I like the thin/thick/both method of getting the most for your money. If you have one thin layer and one thick layer you have three temperature ranges, which should cover almost all of your riding needs.

    tIsolation layer: If the thermal layer is the dead air space around your body, and you're moving, something has to keep the wind out. The isolation layer's job is just that, keeping the wind out, with the ability to regulate using the zipper. No ability to vent and you'll feel like you're in a steam room, until you cool down and then you'll feel like you're in an ice storm. The cut of the isolation layer counts, I've found very few all-purpose jackets that do what a cycling jacket is asked to do, but some of the new cycling jackets can be worn anywhere.

    Hands and head: Hands and feet are always a problem. For hands, I have a bunch of different gloves for different conditions, but they all have one thing in common - room for glove liners.

    Glove liners are basically a wicking layer for your hands, but as they add thickness, they also add some R value. Here's a little trick: get two pairs of glove liners, keep the second pair in a back pocket. After you stop, you have two options, you can put the wet gloves back on, or you can switch to the warm dry pair of liners. Everybody else in the group will think you're a genius. For the head I've tried just about everything, and here's what I've found: you can't jam enough inside the helmet to do the job, and you don't have to. There are helmet covers that go over the helmet, forming a little greenhouse around your head. Add a headband that covers your ears and you're good to go!

    tFeet: feet are a big issue for many. The common mistake is to try to jam thicker socks into shoes that were fit for thin ones. If you compress insulation you get itchy cardboard, so don't do it. If you're not using cleated shoes, find that set of boots you wear with the thick wool socks. If you are wearing cleated shoes, booties are the answer, and once again there is layering to think about. You could just throw the booties over your shoes and be off, but a lot of people find that falls short. If you buy booties slightly larger and find giant thick wool socks, you can cut a hole for the cleats in the socks, put them over the shoe and then put the bootie over that. You can even fold the end of the sock down to keep the zipper tab from flopping around, and give you Clydesdale look.

    Lastly, there is the scarf. Cycling is an activity, it requires effort that requires breathing. The one inlet of cold air you can't eliminate is your breathing, but you can do things to warm both the air and your neck and chest. The scarf is the perfect item for this. It goes around the neck and tucks in right in front of the chest. They're cheap, you may already have one, and if you match the extra wool sock sticking out of your booties, you get extra style points. Note: never let the scarf hang down near the wheels.

    Dressing for winter riding is a bit of a science, and it takes a while to get it all so that you're comfortable, but it does work. The up side will become clear, you can ride more of the season, and, understanding how to dress for cycling means there aren't a whole lot of things you can't be ready for.

    There's a saying, "there are no bad riding days, just poor clothing decisions."
    Last edited by jeffw-13; 12-07-2009 at 09:46 PM.

  7. #7
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    Wool

    Kucharik sells some great marino wool tights and long sleeve jerseys, that with barrier layer would work very well.

  8. #8
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    for my feet I use Sorel Fairbanks drift (shoe/boot things). waterproof, lined in thick felt. a bit wide to accomodate my merino wool socks. I've got some seirus neoprene socks, but even down to 15 degrees I haven't had to use them yet.

    For my hands I use some gloves I found at Sports Authority called "Ice Armor". They look like typical winter gloves, but they are much less restricting and I really like the wrist strap. Inside of these I wear Seirus silk liner gloves.

    I honestly don't know what I'd do for my hands in cold rain. The Ice Armor gloves say they are waterproof, but a little melted snow/ice is different than drowning in rain.

    I wear a Giro Talon ski helmet with Scott Storm OTG goggles. for the face and neck I wear a Maxit Headgator. Everyone should own one of those headgators.

    On my body I wear
    1. a duofold sport thermal (basically a wicking layer)
    2. a 100% merino wool Kona jersey (mix of insulating and wicking)
    3.thin duofold polypro top

    over all that I wear whatever cool looking regular jersey I feel like wearing. Not as warm as it sounds, but it keeps me just about right.

    for my legs I wear some quarter inch thick polypro that the Air Force issued to me, Its awesome. Probably a little too warm, really. But I've got to keep my patellar ligaments warm as they get cold easily. Over that I wear either some Kona moto style pants or some actual motocoss pants from a brand called Shift.


    I bring with me the matching quarter-inch poly pro top just in case things get serious. With that on I'm usually too warm though, so I avoid wearing it if I can.

    warm water goes into my camelback mule. the main part is pretty well insulated and water doesn't temp too easily nature, so it stays warm. I've got a lizard skins insulator on the camelback hose, not sure if it helps at all. But with the warm water as long as I drink about every 10 minutes, the hose doesn't freeze solid.

    put the lowest weight oil you can get into your suspension fork. If your shock is easily serviceable, do the same.

  9. #9
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    My really cold weather gear:

    All in order from skin

    upper: Base layer (long sleeve under armor, or short sleeve under armor with arm PI arm warmers,old school trek wool jersey, rain/wind shell if needed, but always take.

    Lowers: Cycling shorts, Nike winter running tights, and not so loose fitting cargo shorts if above freezing and dry, or wind/rain pants (with elastic cuffs and waist) if wet and below freezing. Running tights IMO are far more comfy and warm than cycling tights. They tend to be a little looser fitting, nice for being worn over shorts, but have tighter (non-zippered) cuffs. And my nike brand ones have a nice jersey (t shirt material) lining.

    Head: under armor skull cap, behind the head ear muffs if needed, and doo-rag over face if windy.

    Feet: nice wool socks and if wet/windy, plastic sandwich baggies over toes.

    Hands: Tight cotton winter running gloves, fox long finger gloves


    Rain gear was from Dicks, I think store brand, very cheap, but sturdy.

    I'm one of those always hot and rarely cold guys, so I like to dress in layers so I don't sweat (backpacking/climbing background.) I'll sometimes get buy with regular jersey and arm warmers and tight fitting fleece vest, and tights (with cargos on top) or my climbing knickers over cycling shorts if its dry and above freezing.

    The trails here (south central PA/north central MD) are pretty much wooded, so that helps with the wind.

    When its really cold, or snowy/muddy, I wear hiking shoes (low top) and use platform pedals. Little warmer and easier to get around than on cycling shoes.


    This morning ride it was 28F, and I wore in order from skin: Long sleeve base layer, long sleeve jersey (not wool) and fleece vest up top, and shorts, tights, knickers below. and skull cap under helmet. Wool socks, and hiking shoes. It was not very windy, but cold and some snow left over form Saturday on trails. I started to wish about an hour in I had wore short sleeve base layer and arm warmers, as I was getting a little warm, and would have been nice to remove them.
    Last edited by jmadams13; 12-07-2009 at 08:43 AM.

  10. #10
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    I run hot and what I have Im usally good to about 15deg.

    UnderArmor Metal compression top
    Bike Jersey
    Champion zippered fleece jacket
    windbreaker

    Louis Garneau riding tights, light weight
    baggy riding shorts

    Shoes, I wear my normal shoes, and wool socks

    I have a Bell skull cap that covers my head and most of my ears, for gloves I have some Fox winter motocross gloves that are durable and warm.

    I like finding peices of gear from other sports that work well, or even better than expensive cycling gear....but sometimes only cycling specific stuff will do!

  11. #11
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    Yesterday I did a 1 hour snow ride in 12 degree weather. I was comfortable except for my feet - I've got lake mxc300 shoes that are about 5 years old. These are the ones:

    http://www.bikeman.com/LAKE-MXZ300-42.html

    I'd invest in new winter shoes but I don't know if they'd be any warmer. Lots of people swear by the lakes, but they haven't worked out that well for me. I'm using them with medium weight smartwool socks.

    Other than the shoes I was wearing some insulated snow pants that a friend found in the local 'free box', a non-insulated ski shell, long underwear top and tshirt. Also ski gloves and a ski helmet. I had on a fleece jacket at first but I got too hot.

    So far my coldest experiences have been on long descents - recently I did a big climb on the road and felt great, but on the way down I had to stop a few times to warm up, the wind really got to me. I guess the trick is to pack some extra layers for that phase.

    Egg beaters have been working great for me in the snow (and mud too), this winter I've watched a few friends in shimanos take falls from frozen pedals. I came across one rider who fell in a snowdrift and ended up having to remove her shoe to get out of the pedal!

  12. #12
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    Maybe some of my tips won't apply to the OP because I don't have humid or wet conditions, but I do ride in temps between 0-20 deg F almost every morning all winter long.

    A couple things I'd add to what's already been said:

    The Winter Riding 101 by Ed Sassler that jeffw posted is right on.

    Upper body: I wear a good polypro or similar base/wicking layer followed by my fleece insulated Castelli long-sleeved jersey down to 25-30 degrees. Below that I add a Pearl Izumi Fleece pull over.These both have tall zip-up necks.

    Legs: Sugoi medium weight inuslated tights with my regular Hoss Ponderosa baggies on top.

    Feet: Regular thin cycling socks (wicking layer) with medium weight Smart Wool socks (insulating layer) over that. Regular shoes covered with the Performance fleece lined neoprene full booties (insulation and barrier). If it's below 20 I add a pair of chemical toe warmers under my toes... If it's below 10, I add a second pair on top of my toes.

    One thing he doesn't mention is that one reason it doesn't work to just layer up thick socks inside your regular shoes if they are too tight is because that cuts off the circulation to the feet. No circulation = No heat. So it's ok to wear regular shoes, just have some that are roomy enough for extra sock layers.

    Another thing that helps with the feet is to cut out a piece of neoprene from some old toe booties and place under the insole right over the cleat to help keep the cleat from sucking all the heat out of your feet and to make that hole a bit more water resistant. Or replace the regular insole with a thicker felt insole. Again, make sure there's enough room for circulation.

    Head: Head band that covers the ears is suffient down to 20, below that I add a thin polypro balaclava under that to help keep the top of the head and my face warm.

    Hands: Ditto the glove liner comment. That rocks. And I love the idea someone posted about a second pair to change into mid-ride when the first pair gets wet!
    Knit polypro glove liner followed by Fleece windstopper gloves down to 25 degrees. Below that there is absolutely nothing better than Moose Mitts. Handlebar-mounted insulated pogies. This set up is great. Probably pretty water proof too. I'm good down to zero and below with this set up. Only caveat is that they're too warm for me above 30 degrees.

    Oh and just some advice for Lawson Raider: If you ever get into some really cold wet weather or get stranded out in the hills after sweating a bunch in that set up of yours you could be in for some trouble. Cotton long johns and sweat pants/shirts are death if they get wet. They don't say "cotton kills" for nothin'.
    Last edited by KRob; 12-07-2009 at 05:53 PM.
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  13. #13
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    Hi guys!
    I red the comments, and red several articles in this issue, but no answer for my problem. I understand the point in Ed Sassler's article, but what abaut waist? In chilli weather after 2 hours riding I feel pain in may lower back around the waist. The reason is get could. While riding down the slope, you sit behind the saddle therefore your jacket slips up a little bit. Maddening thing always pull it back I need a waist band or something keep my waist warm. I use these handwarmers in my back pocket with a fair mark. But for 2 or 3 hours riding I need 3 or 4 of them, gives extra weight to carry on.

  14. #14
    i also unicycle
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    more cycling specific clothing? my jacket has a fairly long tail to stop that from happening.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
    bikes & beers (on my blog) http://idontrideenough.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
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    I have Pearl Izumi winter jacket and trousers. But you could be right, I have to look around. Unfortunately here in Hungary, hard to get the newest technology. The shops get it for you, but only if you really wants to buy it. No chance to try it on . Buy it from CRC or similar webshop carries a risk, what if something not as you imagine. Takes time, extra money .....
    Still looking for some kind of waist warmer solution.

  16. #16
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    Bib insulated tights. No slippy. No gap at the back. Done.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

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  17. #17
    Terrain Sculptor
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    I grew up in an area where staying warm in winter was a matter of survival, not just comfort.

    In cold weather your most likely source of loss of body heat is the top of your head (look it up). The first place you are likely to feel it is in your feet and then your hands.

    In northern Canada there is an axiom, "if your feet are cold, put a hat on"

    Wool is a great insulator as mentioned before. It works when wet.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumblemumble
    Merino wool!
    This! It works as a base layer in many, many configurations, be it with jerseys, shells, even armours over it...

  19. #19
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    A little shill'ish, but some decent, good points.


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Bib insulated tights. No slippy. No gap at the back. Done.
    +1 with chamois and wind blocking panels on front.

    PI overboots, thick wool socks in roomy shoes.

    Mountaineering gloves, or mechanix gloves or fleece gloves. A dry pair for the ride back, usually thicker.

    Thick or thin balaclava or fleece headband.

    Light or mid or heavyweight polypro top, PI Kodiak jersey, wind vest or shell or rain shell in CB.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  21. #21
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    Just carry a flask of whiskey.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu
    Just carry a flask of whiskey.


    But seriously, that's a good way to feel like you're warm while you're freezing to death.

  23. #23
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    Sporthill clothing has been my favorite for years
    originally designed for cross country skiing, they do well for all winter sports.
    I have the 3SP XC pants which have a nice fabric and looser fit the standard tights.

    http://www.sporthill.com/3sp-fabrics.php

  24. #24
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    Get some Neoprene bootie's and gloves for the really cold days, rides are starting out in the 30's here In Tahoe so there getting a lot of use right now. I'll bring short fingered gloves along also if it heats up. Besides that typically just some leg and arm warmers that can be easily peeled or rolled up and down on the fly and a jacket that has removable arms so it can be turned into a vest. Even when it's cold you can heat up real quick on climbs so being able to layer up and down is important.

  25. #25
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    Under Armour Cold Gear. The end.

  26. #26
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    Under armor cold compression base layers. Mid layer upper with fleece high neck zip up outer layer, I don't really ride in conditions where I wind/moisture protection is vital in the outer layers.

    Padded cycling shorts over the UA leggings, and baggy cycling shorts over that.

    Warm wool socks, possibly very thin wicking layer socks too. Normal cycling shoes.

    Underarmor skull cap under helmet, I remove the padding from the helmet to make it fit better, but it also makes my whole helmet/head combo look absurdly large. Sometimes I can just go with helmet, I'm in the mid-atlantic and for the most part the winters don't too extreme temp-wise, so with this set up I am comfortable if not a bit hot once I get going on a serious ride.

    For gloves I have a pair of Fox "Polar Paws" and was very happy with them last season. They are like a neoprene/wet suit sort of material inside with a faux leather exterior. You can feel some cold air seep in at first but once I get going they feel plenty warm without feeling hot.

    It seems very odd for me posting this when during a warm Indian summer spell. Like I'll walk outside to leave and it will be 30 deg.

  27. #27
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    Sounds counter-intuitive, but try not to sweat and you will be warmer. Many overdress, sweat, and freeze. Wicking fabrics help but are no cure-all; wet = cold. Be just warm enough on the downhills, and unzip or remove a hat, or warm gloves on the uphills. When it gets really cold, I hate to stop and remove/stow a layer, better to keep riding, slow up a bit, and unzip the outer shell. I prefer a bigger/looser jacket in cold weather to increase layering ability and avoid any gaps. Back and/or underarm vents help too.

  28. #28
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    I wear my ski helmet on really cold days, may look a little weird but works great for cold and the down hill wind chill.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff in Bend
    I wear my ski helmet on really cold days, may look a little weird but works great for cold and the down hill wind chill.
    Ski helmets look badass! I wore a Giro Talon when I lived and rode in Alaska. I was constantly getting good comments about it. I even had some skiers ask me where I got it.

  30. #30
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    My lucky hoodie, 3/4 shorts, mx gloves, elbow and knee/shin pads, crew length socks. No extra base layers, wool, gore-tex, polartec, North Face nonsense. I also wear a TroyLee full face helmet, but I wear that when it's hot too.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion
    A little shill'ish, but some decent, good points.

    That was filmed at the Performance Bike store in Carboro, NC. I recognized it immediately.

  32. #32
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    I would recommend anything made by Ground Effect. i have a bunch of their cold weather gear ( but not wet weather gear) and its all really awesome. really high quality.

    http://www.groundeffect.co.nz/

  33. #33
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    Cold weather apparel on a budget

    Several people have referenced Under Armour Cold Gear compression clothing. While I will attest to the effectiveness of my Under Armour Cold Gear during hunting season, it is also very expensive. I have found that the C9 Active Wear by Champion is of good quality providing complete protection from the cold at a fraction of the cost of Under Armour.

    Check out the C9 line from Champion http://www.c9bychampion.com/. They have short and long sleeve compression shirts for your base layer, full and half zip mid layers, and wind/water resistant shells or warm weather jackets. Items range from $15 to $35 and for those on a budget, you can afford the proper clothing without the exorbitant price tag.

    For your legs, hands, and feet... do yourself a favor and invest in some decent gear so that you don't find yourself wishing you had better quality stuff later.

    Feet and hands: Your LBS will have liners that you can wear with your wool socks and if your particular area gets really cold, invest in some neoprene booties for over your shoes. The same holds true for your hands. Like the other posts mentioned, buy two sets of glove liners and windproof, insulated gloves. Regular winter gloves aren't bad, but windproof gloves definitely make a difference. There's nothing worse than frozen fingers and toes... they seem to take forever to get warm.

    Legs: Buy either leg warmers or full length poly tights with a lining inside. I know some of you may not like the "spandex" look and feel, but you can always wear your baggy shorts over the top of them. Trust me, I wasn't a fan of the tights look, but the difference is undeniable. The tights will allow wicking of any moisture along with eliminating the space for cold air that loose fitting pants inevitably allow. With that said, avoid loose pants as they may catch in your gears while you're riding. As always avoid any cotton products as cotton absorbs and traps moisture preventing your body from ventilating properly.

    I hope that you enjoy those cold weather rides and that you stay safe, dry, and warm.

  34. #34
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    I have been using my condura motorcycle jacket as an outer layer when the temps get really low. It is waterproof/windproof, has a zip in insulated liner, and plenty of pockets and vents for temperature regulation. These usually have armor in the elbows, shoulders, and back but it is removable. It could come in handy for those who really like to bash trees or if you find yourself crashing more on snow rides. You can also get 3/4 length styles if you want more waist protection

    Newenough.com usually has something on closeout really cheap and they have awesome customer service. This is similar to what I wear just a different brand:

    http://www.newenough.com/street/clos...le_jacket.html

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  36. #36
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    for my feet I use Sorel Fairbanks drift (shoe/boot things). waterproof, lined in thick felt. a bit wide to accomodate my merino wool socks. I've got some seirus neoprene socks, but even down to 15 degrees I haven't had to use them yet.
    I just want to reiterate how great the Sorel Fairbanks Drift footwear were. I wore them with a single pair of Merrino wool socks and never had problems with cold feet. Granted, I never rode for extended periods in less than 15 degrees (because I don't really think its a smart choice to be riding, specificially, in that sort of weather) but I did ride 2 miles to work everyday in weather that cold and never thought about my feet in those two miles. On extended rides in 15 degrees or warmer, I never thought about my feet. The shoes looked new after a 6 month winter of riding on spikey platforms.

  37. #37
    Schwizzle
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    +1 for Under Armour cold gear. Those shirts are awesome.

  38. #38
    My cup runneth over
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    I have a winter eyewear question:
    When the temps drop to 20 F and below I usually wear a ski mask, balaclava or neck gaiter etc. The problem is that all my usual eyewear fogs up even when if I have the mask down a little to let the warm breath out. Are there any glasses/goggles that are somehow held a little bit away from the face (1/2 to 1 inch?) so that they still provide protection as well as air circulation I am assuming the distance away from the face would provide a similar benefit as the venting in ski goggle do FWIW I have found ski goggles fog up when riding (unlike skiing) and again am assuming it is because of the additional exertion of riding. Lots of assumptions please correct me if I am wrong.

  39. #39
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    Get Contact Lenses

  40. #40
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    Who has an Endura Stealth jacket? On paper it looks great except for the slim fit. I'm thinking going 1 size bigger (from M to L) to accomodate a thermal jersey, and Nike cold weather undershirt. I currently use a cheapo softshell jacket as an outer layer which has practically no ventilation so it gets warm quite quickly.

  41. #41
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    Do you have any experiences with clothes from DeMarchi? I've noticed this cycling jacket, they say it's warm and water resistant. The price is acceptable, but first would like to see what you think.

    Thanks,
    M.

  42. #42
    gravity fighter
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    Quote Originally Posted by chameleoneel
    I just want to reiterate how great the Sorel Fairbanks Drift footwear were. I wore them with a single pair of Merrino wool socks and never had problems with cold feet. Granted, I never rode for extended periods in less than 15 degrees (because I don't really think its a smart choice to be riding, specificially, in that sort of weather) but I did ride 2 miles to work everyday in weather that cold and never thought about my feet in those two miles. On extended rides in 15 degrees or warmer, I never thought about my feet. The shoes looked new after a 6 month winter of riding on spikey platforms.
    I'm battling cold toes in my first effort to ride year round and these look promising. How stiff are the soles compared to skate shoes (Vans) and how is the grip?
    I'm in the PNW so winters are usually in the low 30-40's and VERY wet and so far it's just my feet bringing me home early from rides.

  43. #43
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    Read this thread and was motivated to get out and RIDE!

    Its about 30 out right now and I just went for a great 6.5 mile ride.

    I am admittedly the kind of guy who is always cold, so I was hesitant to ride this winter even though I am trying to get into biking to stay in shape. I had been craving exercise but didn't want to brave the cold, but this thread motivated me. So at 11pm I go for a late night ride. IT WAS GREAT!!!! I took the dog for a 2 mile run next to the bike around the neighborhood and then dropped her off at home and headed out on my own. The roads are mainly clear, hit some paved roads and dirt roads. I then went a mile up the Rails to Trails which was hard packed from snowmobiles. I've never ridden on ice and snow before, it was easier than I expected.

    On top I wore a Nike Dri Fit base layer with a Columbia Fleece and an Athletics (yes cheap, $10 at MC Sports) light jacket to cut the wind.

    Legs had UA Cold Gear with some nylon cargo pants.

    Feet had thin liner socks with some 5.11 Tactical level 1 socks. I just wore some insulated hiking boots and my feet stayed toasty warm.

    I wore a skull cap under my helmet and a Seirus Neofleece combo face mask.

    I also had some Seirus softshell gloves which are thin, but cut the wind and are very warm.

    I ride a mid-90's Giant Upland, no suspension bike. I'm saving up for a new hardtail this spring.



    Last edited by Paladin54; 12-29-2010 at 11:21 PM.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxo
    Do you have any experiences with clothes from DeMarchi? I've noticed this cycling jacket, they say it's warm and water resistant. The price is acceptable, but first would like to see what you think.

    Thanks,
    M.
    I bought a very similar jacket from DeMarchi, and it is indeed warm. The jacket is absolutely windproof, which really helps. I have worn it in the very low 30s, with just a compression long sleeve shirt underneath, and I was fine. When in the 20s, I wear an additional windproof jacket on top, and that's all I need.

  45. #45
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    My favorite all-time cycling specific hands down second to none.

    http://www.endurasport.com/

  46. #46
    The MTB Lab
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    Couple of ideas popped into my head. Since the OP mentioned more rain, I added gore-tex to the list (the new gore bike wear is nice and high tech), which is usually not needed as much in the winter

    1) Layers don't work as well for biking nor running, you need to under dress at first since you will get too warm once on the ride
    2) bib shorts
    3) gore-tex (or other brand) pants, if less rain and snow then good tights are fine
    4) gore-tex (or other brand) top, if less rain and snow, then a good wind stopper
    5) gore-tex (or other brand) commute overshoes, easy on and off, need them big for mtb shoes
    6) rubber dish or chemical gloves, get them oversized to go over normal gloves for winter, if in less rain then get some of the bar mitts neoprene handlebar covers are sweet
    7) balaclava for the head, and a thin ear protector (buff headwear make nice ones), a skull cap when it gets colder
    8) as much wool (smartwool is sweet) as possible, jersey, socks, etc
    9) gore-tex (or other brand) helmet cover
    10) eyewear, stick with either uvex or julbo, they have the flogging issues down to a science (mostly due to the excellent technology they use)
    11) always better to overdress the feet, hands and head!


    It is currently 0 degrees here in Colorado, with a windchill of -25, brrrr.

  47. #47
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    Looking for a light weight balaclava

    It dose not get that cold here low 50's any idea's as to a good choice?

  48. #48
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    Sorry to revive this thread but cyclegear sells equipment called Freeze Out, its for motorcycle riding but works well for MTB also. Its also not real expensive.

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