Cold weather riding noob!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cold weather riding noob!

    I just moved to Chapel Hill, NC from Florida. Living in Florida my whole life I have never really worried about what type of gear to wear when it gets cold. Now that I am living in NC I am pretty sure that I am not outfitted correctly for when the cold gets here. Yes, I know there are more places that get a lot colder then it does here, but I have zero experience dealing with cold weather (I have never even seen snow before).

    I mostly ride trails that are XC with a little bit of AM thrown in there on occassion. I also, have a 3 mile commute ride to work each day (this is my first job I have been able to commute to, and I love it! I would like to continue this through the winter)

    I know full length wind resistant gloves are probably a must. My current cold weather gear is a base layer, some arm warmers, and some knee warmers... That's all I have (& I have never used the knee warmers)

    So what are the essential pieces of clothing I should have? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    how do you define cold ?? for me cold is 25F or below... Be sure to keep your camelbak close to your back so your body heat prevents the water from freezing...

    A shirt (or 2 shirts layered) made of a good wicking material is essential... It doesnt have to be a fancy cycling shirt... Just a shirt made of a good solid wicking material...

    I used to commute to my job every day when I lived in Morgantown, WV... Just as long as it was above 10F I was ok... when it got below 10, it became not so fun... What sucks is having to breathe in that ice cold air into your lungs... But you do get used to it...

    I never had a problem riding in above 20F weather...

  3. #3
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    I have a seperate gear bag with the cold stuff in it. Same as what you have but a ski helmet, anti fog skydiving glasses, dual pane goggles, toe warmer packs balaclava etc.

    But I would suggest just going out when it hits and find the spots that let the cold in that bothers you. I don't think big cold can be properly prepared for on the first couple runs. Too hot or too cold is the norm at first.

    Oh in answer to your question! Matches

  4. #4
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    One of the best cold weather investments is a vest that is wind proof in the front and vented in the back. The vents will let all the excess body heat escape and keep you from sweating and then freezing to death.

    Layers are much better than thick bulky stuff. If you can find a a wicking long sleeve shirt that has some wool in it, then that will feel nice against your skin and keep you warm and give you the perception that your are warm. .

    Head, Gloves and Feet are important to keep warm. Start with some wool socks, winter gloves and a skull cap. As it gets colder you'll probably add some shoe covers.

  5. #5
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    Some sort of wind deflecting shoe booties. wind proof gloves.

    I can deal with cold on my legs, but freezing feet and hands = no control of the bike.

  6. #6
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    one more vote for wool... excellent material for keeping you dry and warm...

  7. #7
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    I'll ride in the snow with:
    Fox PolarPaw gloves
    Under Armor Cold Tech Long Sleeve Base Layer
    Zoic Short Sleeve Jersey
    Under Armor Lightweight Jacket
    Under Armor Cold Tech First Layer Pants
    Fox Riding Shorts
    SportWool Long Socks
    Nevados Mid Height Boots

    I rode almost every day this past winter!

    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkirby258 View Post
    I just moved to Chapel Hill, NC from Florida. Living in Florida my whole life I have never really worried about what type of gear to wear when it gets cold. Now that I am living in NC I am pretty sure that I am not outfitted correctly for when the cold gets here. Yes, I know there are more places that get a lot colder then it does here, but I have zero experience dealing with cold weather (I have never even seen snow before).

    I mostly ride trails that are XC with a little bit of AM thrown in there on occassion. I also, have a 3 mile commute ride to work each day (this is my first job I have been able to commute to, and I love it! I would like to continue this through the winter)

    I know full length wind resistant gloves are probably a must. My current cold weather gear is a base layer, some arm warmers, and some knee warmers... That's all I have (& I have never used the knee warmers)

    So what are the essential pieces of clothing I should have? Thanks.
    Don't really have any gear suggestions. Just thought I would chime in about the winters here. They are pretty mild so don't go over board. It never really got cold last winter. We had days in December in the 70's. January is usually the only month you might see an extended period of cold weather. When I say cold I mean day time highs in the 40's. Last winter we didn't even have that. Significant snow is rare. Last winter it didn't snow at all.

  9. #9
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    A cycling jacket of some sort is key IMHO. Windproof on the front, vented in the pits and back. Long sleeves and a long tail so it fits you when in a biking position. After that, add layers as needed. A merino/smart wool shirt underneath will add plenty of warmth for the cold days (check out icebreaker brand). Everything else is really up to the person. Personally, my hands/feet/ears get cold easily so I've got warm gear for those. Others can ride happily down to 25f with regular summer gloves/shoes.

  10. #10
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    People react to cold differently.
    People also get adjusted to different temperatures but it may take a week or two to adjust to a steep change.

    Different rides also have different demands. My trail rides usually keep me working relatively hard at low speeds. My head and even fingers will cook in freezing temps if I add much insulation there. During a commute, where effort is lower and speed higher, my hands and toes are the first to feel the cold.

    When starting a ride, it is best to feel slightly cold. You usually warm up when you start pedaling. Having a jacket with adjustable vents can be good too, or having some items that you can add or remove during a ride..

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  11. #11
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    Get yourself a pure merino wool shirt, lightweight. You'll only need medium weight if below 35 degrees. A hat like the Icebreaker 200 pocket beanie will work down below 30 degrees, under your helmet. A belaclava if well below 20 degrees, the lightest weight for cycling. Then some merino cycling socks.
    I don't wear synthetics much at all anymore for several reasons. Merino regulates your temprature much better, doesn't stink and I have dogs, fleece attracts hair like a magnet.
    Then a cycling vest and lightweight jacket which you'll wear together till you warm up. Look for one that's water repellant, at least. Cycling soft shell would be overkill for NC. Autumn cycling gloves, being from FL you might need winter weight, also.
    agmtb

  12. #12
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    Thanks everyone! I have a cheapo bell cycling "jacket" that I have been using. It has a vented back & works pretty nicely.

    It was 54 degrees when I rode in this morning & my hands were cold... that is how weak this Florida boy is against the cold.... So some type of gloves will be my next purchase.

  13. #13
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    Hi mkirby, have you tried Endura cycling products? They are designed in Scotland, well made and quite cheap.

    Happy riding.

  14. #14
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    WTF....he's been smoking some crack

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