Winter MTB clothing-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Winter MTB clothing

    Hi ladies! I've never ridden in the winter months in the mid atlantic region. Specifically, Maryland. I would be grateful for just how you would layer up and just what I should wear for cold temps. i.e. base layers, leg warmers or arm warmers, what gloves you might recommend, etc....'s cold outside. Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Dirty South Underdog
    Reputation: Andrea138's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Rule #1- Wool is your friend- it's warm, but never smells bad. Don't be afraid to spend a little extra for it, because a well-made merino wool piece of clothing will not only keep you comfortable, it will also last forever. I'd recommend getting whatever you can afford in wool (watch the sales this Spring- especially at Ibex)!

    As far as what to wear, it's going to be somewhat personal (kinda like saddles), and will take some experimentation to figure out what your cold tolerance is.
    Personally, this is what I do:
    <65, arm warmers w/a jersey and shorts
    <60-50, arm warmers, knee warmers, maybe a base layer under the jersey if it's cloudy and/or a vest if it's windy, add wool socks
    <50- switch the shorts/knee warmers to tights, add shoe covers, switch the regular jersey to a long sleeve jersey. Closer to 40, I'll go to a long sleeve base layer under the long sleeve jersey.
    <40- all of the above, plus a jacket
    <30- pyjamas and hot chocolate
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  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Gasp4Air's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Layers. Wool or wicking synthetics. Extra layer(s) in your pack. Extra next-to-skin layer to swap in if you get the cold-clammies. Leg/arm warmers are convenient to take off/put on mid ride. Layers. Hooded jacket or balaclava if it's really frosty. Sweat band that covers your ears.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Thank you both very much. I have never used arm, knee or leg warmers. As far as knee is a little confusing. Some look like leg warmers as opposed to just knee warmers. Do either of you have both? When do you prefer to use either? I am familiar with tights and have a pair, although I have never used them. I can certainly understand the ease of slipping on something warmer if necessary. As far as shoe addition to being waterproof, do you find the lined ones do keep your feet warmer? Can you recommend a functional yet warm glove? There are just so many different gloves on the market...and while trying them on in the store is practical, riding with them is certainly different. I do like the idea of hot cocoa below 30 degrees. Do you enjoy riding in the winter?

  5. #5
    Ms. Monster
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    See this thread too.

    I ride all winter through very chilly temps up in Canada. It's hard to get out there, but so worth it when you do.

    I use lobster claws, but you may not need to go that hardcore. Neoprene gloves can be good for the wet cold days.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: annamagpie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    plastic bags : )

    This day was about 25 degrees--I don't think it gets that cold in Maryland?

    But my biggest problem is keeping my feet warm after damaging the circulation after many years of tight climbing shoes. For my feet I have wool socks--not too thick or they make my shoes too tight, plastic food storage bags over the socks, shoes, neoprene booties. Then get off and walk when the toes start getting cold. And wiggle the toes while riding.

    Gloves--I have some Pearl, I dunno what they are I got them from Sierra Trading Post a few years back , but they are thick and warm, and even though my hands sometimes sweat, the moisture doesn't make them cold.

    Layers: top--long sleeved wool long underwear, wool short sleeve jersey , winter vest, wind shell. I could probably do without the vest because it can get warm, but I am too lazy to stop and de-layer.
    bottom--wool long underwear bottoms and tights--with shell on front and breathable on the back.

    oh and and a thin helmet liner which is easly removed if it gets too warm and a neck gaitor that I can pull over my chin.

    Riding in the winter gives you beauty that many people never get to see. It's wonderful.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Winter MTB clothing-anna-mhill-xmas-2.jpg  

  7. #7
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    I find the most challenging part is keeping the hands and feet warm, the rest can be managed by adding a layer or unzipping layers, plus adjusting your level of exertion to not sweat much, as that can be dangerous. For hands, I like the lobster claw type (got a nice pair by Kore with big gauntlets on ebay for $10), but skigloves work too. Something easy to get on & off is nice. Add (or just bring) handwarmer packets or a thin liner glove if it's real cold. The toewarmer packs are not quite as toasty since they have to fit in shoes, but I use those too. The only booties I found that work with my hi-top style mtb shoes are the Adidas mtb ones. Extra leg layers like long johns under tights or rain pants over them will keep your feet noticeably warmer, and the lower half seems less prone to overheating & sweating. Love my prana knickers (inner short & loose outer pant), and with leg warmers added they are good to maybe 20F. Coldest commute so far in VT -7F, which required facemask & ski goggles, but the way home is all uphill so I bring an earwarmer headband to switch to. I always bring or wear an extra layer - a lightweight insulated vest like a Patagonia puffball is comfy under my bike jacket. Stop for or bring some cocoa - just got a Liquid Solutions thermos @ EMS, fits bottle cage perfectly, a real luxury when I get on the bus!

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