Fall/Winter gear?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: littlebadboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Fall/Winter gear?

    Hi! Newbie here. I am in Illinois. Summer is about to end and Fall/Winter is just around the corner. I just wanted to ask what apparel should I prepare to get and where? I would like to have the cheapest options too as I am unemployed with a student loan to worry about.


  2. #2
    Reputation: motard5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Pretty simple to solve if you want really cheap - just get layers at walmart/target's sport section.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: blockphi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    First off, start hitting up the local salvation army store and other thrift shops. You can generally get better quality gear that generally has lots of life left for half or more less than what you would pay at Wally World.

    Here in Alaska my "dirtbag" winter kit is as follows for various temp ranges:

    20 to 10 or so:
    Base: standard chamois shorts and wicking t
    mid layer (light insulation) - long sleeve wicking t and lyrca/spandex wicking tights
    Top layer: fleece lined windpants (Found a pair of Patagonia pants with a polar fleece lining for 3 bucks at a thrift store. Work awesome), midweight softshell type jacket (minimal insulation, but breathes well - Stormtech is the brand I've been using - often find these with company logos on them...)
    One pair poly socks, one pair light wool socks, waterproof boots, waterproof expedition style gloves (Grandoe for the last two seasons, dead now - more duct tape than leather on the palms), polar fleece stocking cap and, at the bottom end of the temp scale, a buff as a first layer over my ears.

    10 - 0
    Base: Chamois shorts covered by lightweight tights, light wicking LS T
    Mid: Polar fleece long underwear bottoms, polar fleece LS top
    Top: Same lined windpants, long sleeve wicking top, same shell jacket
    same sock and glove config, but wear insulated boots instead of just waterproof, windstopper polar fleece stocking cap with buff around neck

    0 - -10
    Base: Chamois tights, midweight wicking long sleeved T
    Mid: Capaline Long underwear, Polar Fleece long underwear, Underarmor ColdWare top, polar fleece longsleeve T
    Top: Same wind pants, same long sleeve wicking T, same shell jacket
    Feet: light wool sock covered by thick wool, insulated boots
    Hands: Light liner glove under expedition glove
    Head: Buff used as base layer (gator/hood style) around neck and over ears, windstopper fleece hat

    Anything colder than -10 and I just add more or heavier layers and may throw on a face mask and ski goggles - depends on the day and how I feel.

    A few things to keep in mind:
    1) Don't think that the first kit you buy will be the last - As you ride more, you'll figure out what items work for you and what don't. I have a huge Rubbermade tote full of stuff that just isn't comfortable that I use only as backup

    2) It takes patience and time to kit yourself out at a thrift store, but if you are in a college town you should have some great ones with some good finds. I generally hit local ones up at least once a week and have had some great luck in finding the gear I need.

    3) Watch for sales at places like REI/Cabellas. Both have great scratch and dent areas (REI is the attic and you have to be a member to buy from there and Cabellas I believe is called the cave and anyone can buy from there) This will help you find some excellent quality, sometimes cycling specific gear at good savings.

    4) Understand that you may have to buy some items new and at full price. Decide where your money is best spent here. My vote: hands and feet. Splurge on a dang good set of gloves and a decent pair of boots (if you can't pick them up at a thrift shop)

    Finally, get a good light or two or three. If you don't have a headlight that lets you see where you're going in the long nights of winter you will end up not riding.

    There is something amazing about riding in the winter. The dark, the quiet, the snow, the crispness of the air - it's just awesome! Good luck to you!

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