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  1. #1
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    What to wear on the fat bike for winter

    So its winter here in Colorado and I need some suggestions for clothing. I will be riding in the mountains and snow.

    Head: Ski helmet, and goggles or sunglasses.
    Base layer: Some sort of long sleeve shirt
    Jacket: ?? Looking for bike specific, something I could perhaps use in the spring
    Gloves: ?? Bike specific, ski gloves are bulky
    Pants:?? Bike specific, wold prefer not tights
    Shoes:?? need something high just in case I need to step in the snow.

  2. #2
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    Base layers: NO COTTON

    I prefer Merino wool or a merino/poly blend. Some people prefer synthetics.

    I too am looking for some good jacket and pants recommendations.

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    Head: Normal bike helmet and safety or sun glasses. I have a baclava that I throw on when its below 30 F but I don't like wearing it.

    Top: Warm base layer, no cotton. Long sleeve mountain bike jersey. This is good down to about 34 F. If colder I throw a light windproof jacket on top which doesn't breathe that well and keeps the heat in.

    Gloves: I have the cheap Head gloves from Costco which work surprisingly good in cold weather. Below 40 F I'll probably throw hand warmers in them. Below 32 F I use regular winter gloves which are actually too hot but on these long cold rides i prefer having my hands hot! I should probably invest in bike specific gloves.

    Bottom: Matching base layer tights as above (they are cheap Champion brand from Target and work fine) with padded mountain bike shorts over the top.

    Feet: Five Ten shoes, below 40 F I'll go two pair of socks. Below 32 F on a long ride I'll use toe warmers wrapped in aluminum foil between the two layers of socks.

  4. #4
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    Head: Regular bike helmet with headband, skull cap, or balaclava as needed
    Base layer: Smartwool, layered, long and short sleeved
    Jacket: Smartwool and Pearl Izumi soft shells with Pearl Izumi rain jacket if weather requires it
    Gloves: Giro Blaze or Bontrager OMW (chemical hand warmers added as needed)
    Pants: Pearl Izumi tights with shorts over
    Shoes: Bontrager OMW boots (with Trak Factory Hot Sockee and chemical toe warmers). Riding with Crank Brothers clipless pedals.

  5. #5
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    Whatever you do, your hands and feet will be the coldest.
    I use a thin layer of glove and a thicker glove over that. Using larger sizes leaves more (insulating) air.
    For boots use insulated ones a number larger, 2 pairs of wool or other wicking material.

    For the rest I use a wicking base layer pants (like long johns) and same for a long sleeve shirt. Then wicking sweater on top (or 2). Over that a wind breaker of some sort. Layering helps a lot, especially if temp change.

    Works down to 0F. again, the feet is what gives out first. No need to overheat your legs or core.
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  6. #6
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    As stated, feet and hands are the biggest issues. North 45 Boots and bar mitts works to keep your hands warm, even with thin gloves. Under Armor has worked well as has Duo Fold Union Suit. My issues is stopping for a few minutes and getting cold, even after hard riding again. So I try to never stop till done.

  7. #7
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    Generally, wear what XC skiers do. Anything heavier and you overheat like a mofo.

    You want to be a bit cold starting, it takes about 20 minutes before your body will reach "operating temp".

    You DO NOT want to sweat, you want breathable stuff. Gore-tex is generally NOT breathable. You want various weights/levels of soft-shells. If you need some protection against light rain, it can be ok with the rain that helps to cool your temp with a shell and light base-layer, but I find the conditions where this works are fairly limited, light rain around freezing. It's unlikely that one jacket will do it all if you plan to go ride in different temperatures.

    Carry the next heaviest layer with you, or an outer-shell you can put on to trap heat if necessary, such as in your fat-bike frame-bag. I rarely have to use this, but when I do, it's because I need it and you want to be prepared out there when it's cold.

    Protect your extremities. I've tried DHing with full winter gloves. It sucks and it makes me crash because I can't control the bike in tech terrain. Thin gloves are the way to go. Thin gloves with wind-blocker material (Pearl Izumi) are great. For truly subfreezing temps, I use Dogwood Pogies with the above-mentioned Head gloves. With Pogies, all you need are thin "liner" type gloves, so you are still able to control the bike. One big benefit with the Dogwood Designs is you can "roll them up" on the handlebar if it gets to warm, getting them completely out of the way so you can cool your hands off. I really like that feature. Makes them the best choice IMO unless you are getting into the -20F and colder realm, where more rigid ones make sense.

    One pro-tip is that an aluminum handlebar sucks a lot of heat away from your hands due to being such a great heat-sink.

    Flat pedals and snow boots work great and are warm.

    If you want to use clippless, be prepared to shell out some decent $$$ for winter boots. I find the boots like Lake 303s and Wolfhammers work ok down to the 20s or so, but even then sometimes my feet can get cold, but don't buy some glorified summer shoe that has neoprene cuffs. Some of the "winter" shoes really suck at winter. The wolfhammers are decent. I have wolfgars too, those are nice when it's teens or colder. If my feet get too warm, I'd rather have that than the opposite. It's tempting to not spend as much money and get what you think will be "ok", but IME it's better to overkill it a bit than end up under-gunned. Your primary enemy here is the pedal and cleat, they are heat sinks and with your foot close to the cleat, it's going to suck heat. You want as much distance as possible between the cleat and your foot to keep it warm, you want to get them big enough for thick socks AND to have room to move your foot around a bit.

    Ski helmet if it's cold, like 20s or colder, but if it's warmer, I won't wear a balaclava with one, it's too warm. Regular helmet and a few weights of balaclavas work. Ski helmet works, but may be too warm if you are riding in the 30 degrees and above temps. Buffs and thin beanies under the helmet work well if we are talking just around freezing.

    90% of the time, for temps from single digits up to around 40 degrees, I have XC ski pants, chamois shorts underneath, snow-gaiters, a base later, soft-shell jacket, and ski helmet+balaclava(but I ditch this for the warmer temps). If it's really cold, I go with a puffy insulated jacket on the outside, maybe some nylon pants or rain-shell pants over my current pants to trap more heat, the puffy and packable pants are good to pack in those cold temps in your frame-bag if it's going to be colder. I have a few different weights of base-layers and soft-shells. I buy the base-layers at places like Target, our supermarkets have clothing here, occasionally something like REI if there's a crazy sale, and so on. I get the softshells mainly at stuff like Patagonia/Columbia/Northface outlets on sale and REI on sale. There's nothing really here that needs to be "bike specific". Just make sure you can tuck your base-layer into your pants AND they aren't too loose. Loose base layers are cold and if they are too short they'll pop out while you are riding.

    Lastly, make sure you are prepared with the basic important stuff, tube, a pump you can use in the cold, basic tools, chem heater packs-I like boot-heaters because they are adhesive and work well for toes AND fingers on the handlebar, lighter/firestarter, light if you are going to be any time near sundown and multiple lights of riding at night, etc.
    "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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  8. #8
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    If it's very I cold, I warm up and get the blood flowing just before riding by doing some calisthenics (or something) and can keep my hands and feet warm during the ride. If I start out without warming up off the bike, my hands and feet can get cold when I start out. Once cold, it can be difficult/impossible to get them to warm up.

    For warm hands and feet, I need space and room in the gloves and shoes for insulation and to not restrict blood flow.
    Do the math.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    If it's very I cold, I warm up and get the blood flowing just before riding by doing some calisthenics (or something) and can keep my hands and feet warm during the ride. If I start out without warming up off the bike, my hands and feet can get cold when I start out. Once cold, it can be difficult/impossible to get them to warm up.

    For warm hands and feet, I need space and room in the gloves and shoes for insulation and to not restrict blood flow.
    Starting cold can take a long time to warm up, long time to never, just depends on the conditions. We sometimes look forward to climbs because we know we'll heat up and reach that "operating temperature", rather than starting with a downhill. Dowhills can "super-cool" you, which is why you bring that extra layer with you, even if it's not that cold, not putting on the extra layer for the extended downhill can leave you in a bad place in even mild conditions.

    Transporting the bike inside a vehicle helps in very cold temps, when starting from my house I'll throw my boots and gloves on the boot-dryer to pre-heat them, which also helps, using antiperspirant on your feet to keep them from sweating helps, there are a myriad of other "tricks", some of which work for most people and some of which do not.
    "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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  10. #10
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    Cold feet are my biggest issue, by far. Nobody seems to give rave reviews to any 'winter' cycling boots, so I don't want to spend $300+with so-so results. Has anyone had success w/ heated insoles?

  11. #11
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    Experience is going to be your best teacher. You have to stay DRY. Which means not sweating, and if it's raining or snowing keep the H2O off the inner layer(s).

    I wear a merino long sleeve base layer on top. Normally a long sleeve MTB jersey outside that.

    On bottom I wear padded lycra LINERS with my pants outside, if it's above 25F. If it's below 25F I have long lycra (padded) pants beneath the trousers.

    I have pants which are waterproof and have vents which zip open/closed. Open for climbing. I wear Endura MT500 pants, they are very good. And cheap in the Spring.

    For most of the rides here, my helmet is on my pack for the climb (it's a ski helmet below 30F, bike helmet above it). I know the safety nazis will castrate me for this, but there's nobody here on the trails and I am going 2mph, the helmet is just too much heat kept in. I have ski goggles on the helmet in case I need it. I have a beanie on my head or in my pocket, I can put it off/on while pedaling. I also keep my "downhill" gear in my pack. Winter gloves and jacket in the pack on the climb.

    Many people find their Summer backpack is too small. You need the space for the larger fatty tube (spare), jacket, gloves, etc. You are kidding yourself if you think you can be lean/mean and not carry much, if you do you are not prepared for changing conditions at all IMO. If you have any issues (riding buddy gets a flat), you can get chilled quickly standing around for 15min. You are out in a dangerous environment, one minor "issue" could be a big deal if you are not prepared.

    When I get to the top, it's a quick change to ski gloves and jacket, and close the venting on my jacket, pants, etc. I initially tried carrying just ski glove OUTERS to put over my MTB gloves at the top, but too often the gloves were damp with sweat from the climb. So now I just have 2 sets of gloves, MTB gloves for climbing and ski gloves for the descent.

    I have a light ski jacket (gore tex). One tip I can give you is the jacket should NOT be long. I made that mistake and the jacket was hanging up on the saddle, don't do that. Keep the jacket short so this cannot happen, OR use the skirt adjustment to keep it tight above your hips. Arcteryx, Outdoor Research, and Patagonia make great gear. Just make sure it's big enough to layer under. I also strongly recommend pit zips, it gives you another level of heat control, which I can't stress enough. I also carry a puffy in the pack if it's really cold. If it's that cold (below 15F), I have the jacket on me during the climb, puffy in the pack. You will never have both jackets in the pack at the same time once you learn what to bring. Each ride is different.

    If the route is more XC oriented, the helmet is on my head. If it's windy and cold I may swap to the winter gloves. Fat biking in the snow is simply being able to recognize an issue and being able to address it on the trail. Whether that's layering, or tire pressure, etc. It is really important to stay DRY.

    I ride clipless on the trail bike, and tried it on the snow. Not for me. So I ride flats on the fatty. For shoes, you can't go wrong with 45NRTH Wolvhammer, or Lake 303s (I have Wolvhammers, which I bought in the Spring for 1/2 price new). Buying gear off season halves the cost, Fat bike stuff in March-May, and Trail bike stuff in Nov/Jan.

    The new riders I bring to the sport I tell them to wear some good WARM hiking boots, just lace them to the outside so the laces cannot catch in the chain ring or front mech. For that matter, gators or pants which fit tight around the boot tops are pretty key if you are in anything resembling deeper snow. I do a lot of explorin' and postholing is common.

    Have fun, and remember to stay as dry as possible!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddoh View Post
    Cold feet are my biggest issue, by far. Nobody seems to give rave reviews to any 'winter' cycling boots, so I don't want to spend $300+with so-so results. Has anyone had success w/ heated insoles?
    Yes, but not the cheaper battery-in-the-insole ones, first, you need EVEN LARGER boots to use these effectively and they didnt put out enough heat for my cold conditions, Hotronics S4s worked for me, heat for hours.

    Id get the wolfgars before these though. The wolfgars are unlike any other spd shoe. I think you can go wrong with 303s or wolfhammers, not warm enough often in cold.
    "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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  13. #13
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    New Englander here - I ride in single digits all winter long. (It's 11* out right now and I'm actually just about to head out for an hour or two.) The most important thing you can spend your money on is good boots and good gloves.

    I wear Lake 303 boots, and with one pair of wool socks and some toe warmers they they are fantastic no matter how cold it gets. For gloves, I can't say enough good things about lobster claws. I happen to run Izumis but there are tons of brands out there that make them. I tried Bar Mitts a few times and I just can't get into them, they are more trouble they they're worth IMO - just get a set of good gloves.

    For the rest of your gear, just layers like you would for skiing. When it's really bitter cold/windy, I wear a waterproof shell as my outermost layer and just add layers below as necessary. For the top I wear this:

    https://www.pearlizumi.com/US/en/Sho...ket/p/19131501

    For pants I wear these:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I9FSU4Q

    But yeah - boots and gloves first. It's just like snowboarding/skiing - if your feet are cold, you're going to have a shitty time. The Lake 303s are expensive as hell but man are they ever worth it. I used to run them w/flats with no issues, but switched to clipless two seasons ago and never looked back.
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  14. #14
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    Lake 303, "With a much wider & taller toebox than our traditional lasts, the Winter last allows the foot to maintain proper circulation even when thicker socks are worn. "

    Shoes like the Lake 303 may have some fancy insulation layers, but in my experience, the main thing is having enough room for insulation and to not restrict circulation.
    Do the math.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    Lake 303, "With a much wider & taller toebox than our traditional lasts, the Winter last allows the foot to maintain proper circulation even when thicker socks are worn. "

    Shoes like the Lake 303 may have some fancy insulation layers, but in my experience, the main thing is having enough room for insulation and to not restrict circulation.
    Yeah, the fact that he has to wear toe-warmers with them is troubling. I do this on occasion, but I try to make sure I'm not relying on chem heaters for warmth, even though I do take them. The issue is the minimum distance between the cold heat-sink cleat and where your foot is. Some ways to help with this are to use sheep-skin insoles, build them up, or just boots that have a thicker distance here (like wolfgars). They can put all the insulation in the world around you foot on top, but it doesn't matter when the heat is being sucked out from below IME. Most important, as you say, just get them big enough, which IME is at least 2 sizes bigger, when you do things like put a sheepskin insole in there and wear thick wool socks.
    "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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    N. Minnesota rider here. Unlike a lot of riders on some of these forums I would say I'm a "blue-collar" rider and therefore make sure what I buy works for more than just riding in the winter. So no "bike-specific" items as they cost too much $$$ and can't be used for anything else.

    Head: Wool balaclava from varusteleka.com, if over 0d, normal bike helmet, less than 0d a "low vent" skate-style helmet. Around neck (over wool) is a cotton shemegh tied up "hipster scarf" style. Cotton is awful if its against your skin or where it can get sweaty, but out in the open like this, its great as a wipe for runny nose, etc.

    Base layer: Full wool long johns from varusteleka.com over shorts/bibs. If over 0d, Performance Ultra bike shorts. If under 0d, Performance Ultra bib tights.

    Jacket: Duluth Trading Company Black Hills. Either a long sleeve bike jersey over the wool undies under the jacket or a lite/medium weight wool shirt, depending on temps. You could go with slim puff vest if you just need to keep your core warm.

    Gloves: Giro winter gloves. My hands tend to stay warm if I'm on the bike so I just go with the wind-proof/waterproof gloves. However, if you have cold hands, most people find a good pair of gloves and pogies warmer than some ultra insulated glove alone.

    Pants: Duluth Trading Company Black Hills.

    Shoes: Older style 45NRTH Wolvhammers. Those are hard to find now, but several in my local club ride with the Merrel waterproof boots, comes in lace up or zip. "Ice pack" or some such name. I can not recommend flats for fat bikes enough. (All my bikes run flats, with iSSi Flips on the road bike to run either/or.) I know the cleat cultists will go bonkers about that, but flat pedals give you far more choices for warm boots at lower $$$. Especially for a fat bike, where you are less concerned about wattage and more concerned about returning with toes in a shade of pink and not black.

    The bonus about this setup ^^^ is that it can be mixed or matched for temps and used for other outdoor things. Also, these same items work or shoulder seasons without having to bust out a specific set of gear.

  17. #17
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    Here in Minnesota...for me, it's all UnderArmour Base Layers...2.0, 3.0, or 4.0 depending on the temps that day. Over that...some standard jogging pants (prefer something like Mission), and a heavier biking jersey followed by a Gore Bikewear jacket.

    It's all about the base layers. I wear the same jogging pants, same jerseys, same jacket. The only thing I vary is the weight of the UnderArmour.

  18. #18
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    Base layers work great. Some post back, one said he was not impressed with bar mitts. When it is really cold out, the mits keep any moving air from hitting your gloves. Huge difference. Hands do not get cold for a very long while. Bike specific boots with cleats tucked up inside the sole make great Football attire. Besides I often ride the bike to the games and I can clip in and ride on.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalon2018 View Post
    Base layers work great. Some post back, one said he was not impressed with bar mitts. When it is really cold out, the mits keep any moving air from hitting your gloves. Huge difference. Hands do not get cold for a very long while. Bike specific boots with cleats tucked up inside the sole make great Football attire. Besides I often ride the bike to the games and I can clip in and ride on.
    Plus, when my hands get too warm, I can just roll them up, like this. I did it a few times today, around 25-29 degrees, just enough that working hard on flats and uphill my hands get too warm with the thin windproof gloves, but on extended downs, they'll get a bit chilly. Easy and quick to regulate.

    What to wear on the fat bike for winter-img_5904.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.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    It's all about the base layers. I wear the same jogging pants, same jerseys, same jacket. The only thing I vary is the weight of the UnderArmour.
    I did this for a while and I still do it or do variations on it in certain circumstances. It's almost ridiculous how "low" you can go as far as temp with a thin base layer and some nylon running pants over them. They breathe exceptionally well and trap heat inside well. On the cheap, it works good. I do a variation when it's really cold, bring some full-size-zip waterproof pants in my frame bag (they pack down pretty well), put those on over my stretchy XC ski pants and bam, I'm good down to way below zero.
    "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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post

    Shoes: Older style 45NRTH Wolvhammers. Those are hard to find now, but several in my local club ride with the Merrel waterproof boots, comes in lace up or zip. "Ice pack" or some such name.
    New to fat bike this winter and like your approach! Is it Merrel "Icepack" or "Coldpack". Live in Michigan with similar weather as Minn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbros View Post
    New to fat bike this winter and like your approach! Is it Merrel "Icepack" or "Coldpack". Live in Michigan with similar weather as Minn.
    Its the Merrel Coldpack Ice+.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    Its the Merrel Coldpack Ice+.
    Thanks for the clarification. Wolverine (who makes Merrill) is located here in West Michigan, so we wear lots of Merrel products. I like the idea of multi purpose gear.

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    Base layer - i wear a long sleeve thermal roll neck. I have three, they're amazing. Unfortunately i can only find them for women, so a bit short in the sleeve, but i can still wear just that and a coat on the coldest days.

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    Here are a couple of recommendations from me

    Pants - I bought a pair of these from an ad on the Facebook: https://loox.io/i/EJWFtBSsQ they were around $40 and surprisingly seem to be of decent quality. They are a soft shell type material with a bit of a fleece backing. I wear them when it is around -15 celcious or colder. I wear Columbia omni heat longjohns underneath with a pair of biking shorts. For warmer winter days, I have a pair of pearl izumi shell type pant, just wear them with the long johns and cycling shorts

    For a jacket: I have a pearl izumi soft shell with some wind stopper material on the front. I wear various layer underneath depending on the temps

    I usually just wear a sleeveless underarmour shirt with something light to mid weaight over top. On really cold days -20c or lower, I might use a jelly Hansen vest

    For the hands - I have a pair of 45 north ponies. They are great, but really bulky, so lately I have been going with a pair of bontranger split finger mitts. Some days they are too warm as my hands get very sweaty. And they can be a pain to take off and put on again

    For boots, I had a pair of north face snow hikers and I recently bought a pair of these https://www.baffin.com/collections/w...ducts/softm014. Wore them today for a ride, and my only comment is that they did not hook up that well with my race face Chester pedals. It was a warm day here (0 c), so hard to know how they will be for the cold. They are a little roomy, so I can wear medium weight socks. I would have loved to have bought a pair of cycling steric boots; however, the price combined with lots of mixed reviews, make it hard to get excited. Although 45 north makes a really nice pair for $600 Canadian that I would love to see in real life, because the pictures look awesome

    For the head, I usually go with a ski helmet and ski googles. I have a helmet light rigged up on my cycling helmet, so at night I will go with that, and a sugoi block heater for my mind. I will wear clear glasses that I bought at Home Depot

    The edgeness pro pants I menti9ned above, seem to be available on Amazon and eBay under different names. I did a bunch of searching on the net, and some places here in Calgary and these pants offered the best price.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post

    For the hands - I have a pair of 45 north ponies. They are great, but really bulky, so lately I have been going with a pair of bontranger split finger mitts. Some days they are too warm as my hands get very sweaty. And they can be a pain to take off and put on again

    For boots, I had a pair of north face snow hikers and I recently bought a pair of these https://www.baffin.com/collections/w...ducts/softm014. Wore them today for a ride, and my only comment is that they did not hook up that well with my race face Chester pedals. It was a warm day here (0 c), so hard to know how they will be for the cold. They are a little roomy, so I can wear medium weight socks. I would have loved to have bought a pair of cycling steric boots; however, the price combined with lots of mixed reviews, make it hard to get excited. Although 45 north makes a really nice pair for $600 Canadian that I would love to see in real life, because the pictures look awesome
    Just a couple suggestions, I'd look for the flattest-sole winter boots to mesh well with flat pedals. There are some that are ok, some that are crazy bad, and some that look like they'd match right up. I saw these in my latest REI advertisement and they look intriguing: https://www.rei.com/product/138035/c...now-boots-mens

    Totally flat sole, which should work good with flat pedals. There are more out there as well as plenty that aren't totally flat, but simply don't have a big sculpted mid-sole.

    On the pogies, I need to get some heavier ones for more expedition stuff that I'll be doing next season. I've had 5 seasons on the Dogwood Designs and while they'll work in the real cold, things like the 45N and Revelate ones are better for the possible -40 extremes. The great thing about the dogwoods is if your hands get too warm, you simply turn them inside out and roll them up like this. To that extent, I run them on my non-fat bikes occasionally, like when it's frozen and dry. I think all of the heavier pogies pretty much compromise this feature, so even when I get heavier ones I'll still have some dogwoods because of the versatility and they'll probably be my primary ones. Regulating the heat is key for me.

    What to wear on the fat bike for winter-img_5904.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.

  27. #27
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    Those Columbias look pretty good Jayem, too bad they don't have a wide size for me to try. They look better to my eye than the LL Bean snow sneaker I tried recently. Can you think of any other suggestions that come in a wide?

    As for my typical setup in the cold of MN . Layers is key of course and the first thermal layer and associated sock thickness varies with the temp. I will then typically wear another active wear button down or long sleeve T, followed by a softshell, fleece or insulated jacket. Most of the time it is an OR Neoplume jacket that has a bit less fill in the body and more in the arms. I also like my windwall fleece as an outer layer if I don't need more. If the wind is piercing or the cold enough I will then wear a hard shell jacket. I have a thin balaclava and a thinsulate beanie for the noggin and the jacket has a hood if needed. As for the bottom half, I have been riding with some Dickies 874 pants that have some waterproofing washed in and wear OR gaitors as well. I do have some nylon pants but don't care for them as much. I never wear my snow pants because they simply get waaay too hot. Boots are currently either a Red Wing hunting boot with thinsulate when it's colder or a goretex lined Danner hiking boot. Depending on how far I might go and if there is somewhere to stop I will carry additional socks, gloves and a hat. The best gloves I've found are CC ski gloves. I also carry a hot beverage in the frame bag.

    As Jayem has stated, managing the heat is the toughest thing to do when pushing yourself. I still get pretty sweaty, so perhaps I'm not dressing down enough or I should go slower.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  28. #28
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    More power to you all getting your rides in these freezing temps!

    I thought I would point out a pretty good deal on Endura 100% merino SS base. I grabbed one and really happy with it....limited sizes ....

    https://www.endurasport.com/product/...-ss-baselayer/

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhammercycle View Post
    Those Columbias look pretty good Jayem, too bad they don't have a wide size for me to try. They look better to my eye than the LL Bean snow sneaker I tried recently. Can you think of any other suggestions that come in a wide?
    I saw some Merrill ones at the same time on REI that had some soles just as flat. I know there are more out there, it probably just takes some perusing and persistence. As always, don't forget to order large!

    On the sweat, IMO you gotta stop and dress down when you start getting a bit steamy. It's just like when we adjust pressure in the winter. If you don't do it and you think you should, you end up kicking yourself. When you think you should and you do, then you stay far more comfortable. There is a mental hurtle to get over and I will freely admit I had to get over this for tire pressure as far as snow-riding is concerned. It's one of those "if you maybe think you shoud...you should." Winter riding and layers (as opposed to where I said I use pogies on other bikes sometimes) is where fat-bikes come into their own, with their open front triangles usually equipped with frame-bags, because you can put a layer or two in here or stash something. Just like you can't be wearing too much mid-ride, you also can't wear so little that you freeze to death just getting the bike off the rack and getting started on that slight downhill. Real world, this can easily happen. So you need breathable stuff, layers, but also need to be able to open it up, unzip, roll up the pogies, pull the face-mask off or larger, etc.

    The slower the ride, the more insulation I need, but just riding alone, it's difficult to push yourself to race-pace, so just play it by ear. I guess what I really try to do is to use the clothing that I think will work well mid-ride to keep me dry and warm, and I carry the "next level" with me in the pack. Depending on conditions, the "next level" can be anything from a light rain shell to a down jacket with hood, mittens and over-pants. Too many layers may also be as bad as not enough. 98% of the time I'm using just two layers. Now I have variations on those, some very light and heavier softshells, some crazy light base layers and much thicker ones. Having only two layers makes it much easier to get at the base layer and ventilate, by just unzipping. With a bunch of layers on your chest, probably not as effective to unzip. Unless it has pit-zips or side-mesh, something like down jacket is usually going to create "hot spots" where you'll sweat, even if you ventilate, just due to being so warm. It's a balance, but not one that is insurmountable. I just wish I had even 15% of the gear and knowledge/experience I do now for those cold rides below freezing I used to do in the high country of AZ. Just being about to go out there and be comfortable for "as long as you want" is priceless. I wouldn't need nearly as many variations or the redundancy for consecutive rides, but just to have a bit of it would have been nice.
    "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.

  30. #30
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    One other tip I thought of today. When you are storing winter riding items like helmets, goggles and mitts or gloves,bring them inside so they dry at room temperature.

    In the past I used to leave my gear in my garage, putting on goggle where the foam was frozen was not fun
    2016 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky Mtn View Post
    One other tip I thought of today. When you are storing winter riding items like helmets, goggles and mitts or gloves,bring them inside so they dry at room temperature.

    In the past I used to leave my gear in my garage, putting on goggle where the foam was frozen was not fun
    Yep, I have a bright light indoors above my pull-up bar and that's perfect, I've always found that elevation+light dries stuff very well. I dry all of my performance gear this way (instead of the drier) so it doesn't get worn out too fast.

    The other one is one of those boot-driers. I bought one on a whim and holy cow, that's been one of the most useful things I've ever bought. I can dry my boots and gloves in an hour or so for riding the next day or pre-heat them before a ride. Getting into a wet boot is terrible and sooo cold. Not to mention the funk that develops if you leave them wet.
    "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.

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    Just want to say thanks to all of the comments and suggestions, I have put together a kit that will get me thru the rest of the season on the fat bike.

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