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  1. #1
    jeduncan14083
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    Cold Weather Layering

    Hi all,

    I'm new to fatbiking, and cold weather riding, and am trying to figure out how to layer for temps below 30įF without becoming a sweatsicle. Anyone have any experience-based recommensarecom for budget friendly base, mid, and outer layers? Everything I'm seeing specific to cold weather riding online is pricy as hell.

    If anyone has tried and liked anything from a cheapo place (wish, lightinthebox, Alibaba, etc) that has been effective in keeping them warm(ish) but more importantly DRY of sweat, please name/link drop!

    I'm primarily looking fir recommendations for my upper body, as I have no issues anywhere else .

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You don't necessarily have to buy anything new.

    You need to learn to layer and vent appropriate to the speed (because speed creates wind) and effort you're putting out.

  3. #3
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    As Mikesee suggests, you don't need bike specific clothing. Start with a wicking base layer and a shell that has pit zips for good venting. If cold enough, use a mudlayer to deal with temperature variations. I find that mid layers with full front zippers are best. They allow venting straight to your baselayer during high exertion and give greater flexibility when used to compliment your shell vents. You can also tweak your base layer to deal with different temperatures.

    The objective is to not overheat, use your venting to actively regulate temperature. In general dress cooler than you think at the trailhead and carry an extra layer just in case. You just have to experience what works for you.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    jeduncan14083
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Pidassle View Post
    As Mikesee suggests, you don't need bike specific clothing. Start with a wicking base layer and a shell that has pit zips for good venting. If cold enough, use a mudlayer to deal with temperature variations. I find that mid layers with full front zippers are best. They allow venting straight to your baselayer during high exertion and give greater flexibility when used to compliment your shell vents. You can also tweak your base layer to deal with different temperatures.

    The objective is to not overheat, use your venting to actively regulate temperature. In general dress cooler than you think at the trailhead and carry an extra layer just in case. You just have to experience what works for you.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    Thanks. Yeah, I have some windproof softshells, but nothing with pit zips or anything. Anyone have any recommendations for an inexpensive but legit softshell with pit zips or another optional venting feature? What about good recommendations for an inexpensive moisture wicking base layer?

    If I have a legit baselayer and a good venting outer shell, what's a good mid layer? If riding in 15 degree weather, would a columbia fleece be overkill with an inner and outer?

    THanks again!

    Justin

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeduncan14083 View Post
    Thanks. Yeah, I have some windproof softshells, but nothing with pit zips or anything. Anyone have any recommendations for an inexpensive but legit softshell with pit zips or another optional venting feature? What about good recommendations for an inexpensive moisture wicking base layer?

    If I have a legit baselayer and a good venting outer shell, what's a good mid layer? If riding in 15 degree weather, would a columbia fleece be overkill with an inner and outer?

    THanks again!

    Justin
    Iím still figuring my layering out, since I think it takes a couple of tries to get it right! Recently, I wear a Marino or tech baselayer, (lately just a short sleeve). Then I wear either a light fleece layer or one of the newer ďpuffy core/stretchy armsĒ type workout mid layer and then a shell with venting pits. This gives me options for ditching the shell if the wind isnít bad, or ditching the puffy if it warms up. Right now itís been tough since the rides have started colder and ended up warming a bit. (>35 on finish)

    Equally as Important as the core is the head cover. I have a 45nrth skullcap which is reasonably thick and covers the ears. Works well with my winter cycling helmet. If itís really cold, then a baclava and my skiing helmet.

    For bottom, usually winter cycle pants with windproof front and Lycra backside. I did by a pair of even warmer bottoms, but on the last ride they were too warm, so those would be for lower than 25 rides. If itís snowing, or really windy, a shell over winter riding tights.

    Gloves are currently winter riding gloves, but I bough pogies recently as my finger get cold easily. I will put them on soon for the remainder of winter. Imagine they donít work well on really narrow single track though...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeduncan14083 View Post
    Thanks. Yeah, I have some windproof softshells, but nothing with pit zips or anything. Anyone have any recommendations for an inexpensive but legit softshell with pit zips or another optional venting feature? What about good recommendations for an inexpensive moisture wicking base layer?

    If I have a legit baselayer and a good venting outer shell, what's a good mid layer? If riding in 15 degree weather, would a columbia fleece be overkill with an inner and outer?

    THanks again!

    Justin
    Yep, that would be overkill.

    For most temps down to single digits, I go with 2 layers, a synthetic base-layer, and a soft-shell jacket that can breathe. XC ski pants work great for the bottom. You need to be a bit cold when you start out, because in about 20 minutes your body temp will rise. You need to stay away from "hard shells" and most "waterproof" stuff, they simply do not breathe well enough and liquid water is not a concern below 30 degrees, except for perhaps your feet. I have several different weights of base layers and soft-shells. Most of the soft-shells were purchased on sale from places like columbia outlet, REI, etc. Most of the base-layers are from places like target and others. Synthetics dry faster and are warmer for the weight. Important to wash them every few rides though.

    Generally, XC ski stuff works well because their energy output is similar, so your clothing should be the same or similar. Much of their stuff is windstopper on the front and breathable fabric on the back.

    It's almost comical that most of the riders around here have the exact same model of Craft XC ski pants.

    Really, most of the stuff is not all that special or expensive if you do it right, shop around, etc. A "ghetto" way to run the pants is pant base-layer, and then simply some nylon running pants over. These trap heat well and breathe well, the 2 important things that you need. I still revert to this in a way when it gets real cold, like colder than single digits, when I throw some hard-shell rain-pants over my normal bottoms. I only use the "hard shell" stuff for crazy cold temps, for the upper body, a down puffy jacket is a great "cold weather **** hits the fan" layer to have in your frame-bag.

    To get any notion of ski parkas and snow-pants out of your head, go run 2 miles in that kind of stuff and tell us how it is after, that's what it's like trying to ride in that kind of stuff. XC skiing involves much higher speeds at lower activity levels "most" of the time, but you also get a significant cool-down period on the lift after the extreme exertion levels and they have to keep you warm still at those low-levels on the lift, it's very different.
    "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.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeduncan14083 View Post
    Thanks. Yeah, I have some windproof softshells, but nothing with pit zips
    You don't need pit-zips, they can be nice to have, especially on rain-gear, but you can unzip the soft shells, roll your pogies back, take off your balaclava, pull your sleeves up, or other things, to regulate heat. If you are really working hard enough that you are sweating in the soft-shell, you need to ditch it in your pack and put it back on when you start downhill again. IME, pit-zips are not critical, a good breathable soft-shell is critical. Look for sales and get a few different "weights" of soft-shells.
    "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.

  8. #8
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    The other tip I have is always carry your "next level" in your frame bag. Sometimes for me this is a simple as a packable rain-shell top, or sometimes it's a puffy down jacket+rain-shell pants, depending on the temp. This means that when the **** hits the fan, I can put on an "emergency layer" and be just fine. I bought these layers so I can put them on OVER what I'm already wearing, which keeps me from getting colder (removing layers to adjust mid-layers, etc.). Full side-zip shell pants and slightly larger than I usually wear down puffy jacket. This is why frame-bags are so nice. Even things like revelate feed-bags can hold a heavier balaclava or some other article. On real cold rides, I even bring an extra pair of mittens.
    "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.

  9. #9
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    15F or 15C? Plenty of Canadians on mtbr.

    I find there to be too many variables to say that 1 layer that I like will work for someone else. I moved to a new area a little over a year ago, and found last winter that my old winter kit didn't work very well for the new conditions. Even at similar temps, everything else was just incredibly different. At the new place, any given ride I do traverses some notable elevation, whereas at the old location it did not. Because of the terrain, I also have to deal with a bit more exposure to wind at higher elevations, or in valleys oriented the right way relative to the prevailing winds. And also with the lower sun, I have to deal with shading in other valleys. Longer climbs mean I heat up more. Longer descents mean that I need an extra layer in my pack when I get to the top, so I can stay warm on the downs. So my rides now deal with larger temp swings much more frequently. I found that I needed a new shell. Particularly, a lighter wind shell for a wider range of conditions. I ended up with one that has zip-off sleeves so I can wear it as a vest, too.

    Beyond that, your personal physiology is going to make a big difference. I generally don't bother with insulating layers per se. If I need warmth, I generally just put on more "base layers" maybe of a different thickness. So I might put a lightweight base layer ss t-shirt on first, and then a midweight LS piece on over that and then my shell of choice. I might wear 3 "base layer" tops all at once to achieve the warmth I want. My one exception to that rule is a light (but dense) fleece vest. It isn't a full wind shell layer, but it does cut a light breeze and it does insulate okay. For me, most fleeces are just out of the question for high exertion. They breathe too well to use on their own (I almost never put a shell on over my dense fleece vest), but when combined with a shell that blocks wind, become too warm for biking for me, in the temps I've dealt with in wintertime (down to about 0F at the most extreme, but most commonly in the 15-20F range).

    When I show up at the trailhead to ride in the wintertime, I often look underdressed compared to a lot of others there. But I've dealt with overheating enough while riding in the wintertime that I try to avoid it as much as possible. Honestly, I think overheating in the wintertime is even more uncomfortable than it is on the hottest summer day (I used to live in E.TX and have done plenty of rides above 100F with swamp humidity), and I hate hot weather.

    So, my answer to OP is going to be that you're going to have to experiment and make decisions based on your local conditions and your own body.

  10. #10
    jeduncan14083
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    For clarification, I do mean įF.

    And I totally agree that overheating is way worse in cold weather, since the excess moisture causes you to freeze.

    I'll have to try to find a good balance. Maybe a decent base layer with a fleece and for days at 0į or close to it, bring out a venting softshell or something. Haven't invested in pogies yet, but I probably should. I have the same issues of overheating my hands and then freezing them from being wet.

    I'll have to invest in a good frame bag and a bottle cage, because I think a big part of my overheating has to do with my Camelback bag.

    You guys rock. Thanks for the input - keep it coming!

  11. #11
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    Here in Minnesota we have wide temp variations. For me, layering revolves around level 2 through 4 Underarmour base layers depending on the temps and whether or not the sun is out. Same pants (usually breathable jogging pants or similar), maybe a biking jersey, and a GoreTex BikeWear insulated jacket.

  12. #12
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    Also, I find that close-fitting base-layers are far warmer than loose fitting. When it's loose it doesn't wick moisture away and I think that makes you a lot colder, but the effect definitely feels colder.
    "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.

  13. #13
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    I have now started make notes what works well in certain conditions. I list the temp/wind/sun and what I layered up with and how it worked. It is just really a page and a half of notes that I could probably keep on my phone instead, but I can look to it when getting dressed and I find I'm closer to hitting it right now. I'm in Minnesota where another poster has said we do have varying temps regularly.

  14. #14
    jeduncan14083
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    Yeah, here in Michigan itll be 9įF one day, and 35įF the next. Sometimes with those same swings in a single day. Layering is going to be tough.

  15. #15
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    I dont wear anything water resistant or proof. It just locks sweat.

    Winter Running and xc sking clothing that breaths is the best.

    Can buy poly base and mid layers from walmart for cheap.

    I still to this day wear a walmart sports brand 1/2 zip running shirt around 32f and throw a quilted front breathable back and under arms jacket over when its colder. The jackets Patagonia but im sure similar can be found for cheap, its basically a winter running coat.
    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  16. #16
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    subbing just to gain knowledge....lots of good points here

    live in Ohio, where the weather is different hour to hour
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

    15 Surly Krampus
    LET IT SNOW!

  17. #17
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    I like a mid weight base layer and one or two layers of cheap, old fashioned windbreaker material. The nylon windbreaker letís just enough wind through. Iím good like that to around 10 deg f. Colder than that add a fleese and always have a down jacket with me.

  18. #18
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    I find that a steady diet of bacon, whiskey and fudge gives me the perfect winter layer

  19. #19
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    OP, big fan of merino wool base layer. Try some online sales and discounts. Turn out i'm ( wait for it) an XXL slim fit( marketing genius there) Go to the salvation army or used clothes store. Get some merino wool sweaters for $ 5-10 bucks. MA guy here. Temps of 20-35 are really common. So, wool base layer, sweater, and a windproof fleece vest. For me, keeping the head, hands and feet warm are key. I mix up the layers and weights of the layers as need. I take off the vest all the time. Sometimes I run a headband instead of a hat. Its all about temp regulating and trying not to sweat.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yep, that would be overkill.

    For most temps down to single digits, I go with 2 layers, a synthetic base-layer, and a soft-shell jacket that can breathe. XC ski pants work great for the bottom. You need to be a bit cold when you start out, because in about 20 minutes your body temp will rise. You need to stay away from "hard shells" and most "waterproof" stuff, they simply do not breathe well enough and liquid water is not a concern below 30 degrees, except for perhaps your feet. I have several different weights of base layers and soft-shells. Most of the soft-shells were purchased on sale from places like columbia outlet, REI, etc. Most of the base-layers are from places like target and others. Synthetics dry faster and are warmer for the weight. Important to wash them every few rides though.

    Generally, XC ski stuff works well because their energy output is similar, so your clothing should be the same or similar. Much of their stuff is windstopper on the front and breathable fabric on the back.

    It's almost comical that most of the riders around here have the exact same model of Craft XC ski pants.

    Really, most of the stuff is not all that special or expensive if you do it right, shop around, etc. A "ghetto" way to run the pants is pant base-layer, and then simply some nylon running pants over. These trap heat well and breathe well, the 2 important things that you need. I still revert to this in a way when it gets real cold, like colder than single digits, when I throw some hard-shell rain-pants over my normal bottoms. I only use the "hard shell" stuff for crazy cold temps, for the upper body, a down puffy jacket is a great "cold weather **** hits the fan" layer to have in your frame-bag.

    To get any notion of ski parkas and snow-pants out of your head, go run 2 miles in that kind of stuff and tell us how it is after, that's what it's like trying to ride in that kind of stuff. XC skiing involves much higher speeds at lower activity levels "most" of the time, but you also get a significant cool-down period on the lift after the extreme exertion levels and they have to keep you warm still at those low-levels on the lift, it's very different.
    Lifts for XC skiing??

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelo View Post
    Lifts for XC skiing??
    Naw, in that context I had switched back to downhill, as I mentioned parkas and snow-pants, usually associated with downhill skiing or snowboarding. That's why I started the next sentence with "XC skiing", to differentiate. I could have been clearer, although not having lived in a very "nordic" place before, my perception, and I assumed most other people's, is that winter=heavy baggy type clothing like parkas and insulated snow-pants. I never really knew XC skiing was so big in these places. Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder to do with low or no snow, like right now here in the great not-really-frozen North. But that's why I have bikes

    The funny thing is that although I live at 61įN, I could have used some of this stuff (and knowledge) even where I lived in Arizona and I would of had some great rides in winter. One day in the winter, I thought it'd be a good idea to go riding, it was 5 degrees F, probably colder back in the mountains around town where I was riding. I lasted about 30 minutes and then made an emergency-b-line for the car, swearing off such a stupid idea, and although I did some snow-rides in AZ at times, I just had no idea what I was doing. These days, with just a bit of the gear I have now, I could enjoy such stuff and the bottom line is that being able to enjoy the ride makes it worthwhile. Knowing what I know now, I'd own some of this stuff almost no matter where I lived, as long as it wasn't the deep South, just so I could get out in all conditions and enjoy it.
    "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.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Knowing what I know now, I'd own some of this stuff almost no matter where I lived, as long as it wasn't the deep South, just so I could get out in all conditions and enjoy it.
    You might be surprised by the cold snaps that hit the deep south from time to time. Might be less common, but they do happen. And if you lived there long enough, you'd be so poorly adapted to the cold that you'd probably wear the same stuff anyway. Ha.

    My experience with the cold (and dressing for it) in the midwest means that I'm not bothered at all by the sorts of winter conditions I see in the southern Appalachians. Only things that will keep me indoors would be pervasive cold rain (just not fun conditions) and ice storm conditions (more of a driving-to-the-trailhead issue than being in the woods).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You might be surprised by the cold snaps that hit the deep south from time to time. Might be less common, but they do happen. And if you lived there long enough, you'd be so poorly adapted to the cold that you'd probably wear the same stuff anyway. Ha.

    My experience with the cold (and dressing for it) in the midwest means that I'm not bothered at all by the sorts of winter conditions I see in the southern Appalachians. Only things that will keep me indoors would be pervasive cold rain (just not fun conditions) and ice storm conditions (more of a driving-to-the-trailhead issue than being in the woods).
    I've experienced them, it's just that they tend to pass fairly quickly, if you are in the Appalachians at all, then that wasn't what I was referring to. The ice storms are bad and that's where I can't justify having studded tires just for a couple days, but when a bad one comes through, it definitely shuts stuff down for a while.

    I'm not really convinced we "adapt" to the cold or hot anywhere near what we sometimes convince ourselves. Even when I lived in a much hotter environment, it wasn't "fun" going out and riding when it was 90+ degrees, it was damn hot! Getting comfortable at the lower temps is a little more realistic to me, if not always easy, but getting that clothing figure out and knowing what steps to take is the key. Standing around making hot-chocolate mid-ride this evening made me go for my "extra layer", the down puffy that I should have in no way been wearing when it was 20 degrees out. I tried to take it off when I started back up, but my core was a bit cold still. No problem, just keep it on, when I got back to the trailhead I was warmed and took it off for the rest of my (downhill) ride back home. That's the entire reason I carry stuff like that and there's no way I could have been wearing it before, I would have overheated like crazy.

    I sometimes wonder how much of this I "forget" in between seasons, as it gets colder I start getting back into colder and colder-weather routines, different face-masks, base-layers, etc. I have to wonder if I'd remember everything like anti-antiperspirant on my feet and all the other little tricks if one day it was 90 degrees and the next day it was 5. It always seems like the gradual transition helps to prepare you. You get out on one ride and get a little cold and remember, "Oh yeah, I should have....".
    "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 Jayem View Post
    I've experienced them, it's just that they tend to pass fairly quickly, if you are in the Appalachians at all, then that wasn't what I was referring to. The ice storms are bad and that's where I can't justify having studded tires just for a couple days, but when a bad one comes through, it definitely shuts stuff down for a while.

    I'm not really convinced we "adapt" to the cold or hot anywhere near what we sometimes convince ourselves. Even when I lived in a much hotter environment, it wasn't "fun" going out and riding when it was 90+ degrees, it was damn hot! Getting comfortable at the lower temps is a little more realistic to me, if not always easy, but getting that clothing figure out and knowing what steps to take is the key. Standing around making hot-chocolate mid-ride this evening made me go for my "extra layer", the down puffy that I should have in no way been wearing when it was 20 degrees out. I tried to take it off when I started back up, but my core was a bit cold still. No problem, just keep it on, when I got back to the trailhead I was warmed and took it off for the rest of my (downhill) ride back home. That's the entire reason I carry stuff like that and there's no way I could have been wearing it before, I would have overheated like crazy.

    I sometimes wonder how much of this I "forget" in between seasons, as it gets colder I start getting back into colder and colder-weather routines, different face-masks, base-layers, etc. I have to wonder if I'd remember everything like anti-antiperspirant on my feet and all the other little tricks if one day it was 90 degrees and the next day it was 5. It always seems like the gradual transition helps to prepare you. You get out on one ride and get a little cold and remember, "Oh yeah, I should have....".
    I keep a little journal on what I wore and what temp and how it performed as there is no way I can recall what worked and what doesn't.

  25. #25
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    I only have a couple of bike specific articles of clothing. The rest works really well while costing less.

    I use an Under Armour base layer and Smartwool socks. Then I have a pair of padded Aerotech Designs fleece lined bib tights. They are money well spent.
    Then I use a wicking shirt over the base layer and over the bibs. Short or long sleeve depending on how cold it is.
    If it isn't very cold, I then use a Trek jacket that I bought years ago over that. If it's like 25 or below, I add another layer.
    Then a thin neck gaiter, beanie under my helmet and gloves.
    I like turtles

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I've experienced them, it's just that they tend to pass fairly quickly, if you are in the Appalachians at all, then that wasn't what I was referring to. The ice storms are bad and that's where I can't justify having studded tires just for a couple days, but when a bad one comes through, it definitely shuts stuff down for a while.
    I never said that the Southern Appalachians are deep south. I just happen to live there now, but in the past, I've lived in much warmer parts of the south. I know people in areas that WOULD be considered the deep south who have had snow this season already.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeduncan14083 View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm new to fatbiking, and cold weather riding, and am trying to figure out how to layer for temps below 30įF without becoming a sweatsicle. Anyone have any experience-based recommensarecom for budget friendly base, mid, and outer layers? Everything I'm seeing specific to cold weather riding online is pricy as hell.

    If anyone has tried and liked anything from a cheapo place (wish, lightinthebox, Alibaba, etc) that has been effective in keeping them warm(ish) but more importantly DRY of sweat, please name/link drop!

    I'm primarily looking fir recommendations for my upper body, as I have no issues anywhere else .

    Thanks!
    It's a game of experimentation since everyone's body regulates temperatures different. There is no one size fits all solution.

    Temperature, Wind, Trail difficulty (lots of hill climbing or not), speed, humidity all will play a factor and determine how many layers you wear or don't wear.

    With that said...these are hands down the best winter cycling pants for the money. Don't bother spending more on some name brand stuff costing $100 or more.

    https://www.amazon.com/4ucycling-sto...ng+pants&psc=1

    This is also a good cycling Jacket...

    https://www.amazon.com/ARSUXEO-Softs...cycling+jacket

    Baselayers I add or remove as needed and own an assortment from Cabelas, Bass Pro shops, Columbia and Under Armour.

    The main thing to remember is you want to to be cold before you start biking. If you are layered up with so many clothes that you are warm just standing there doing nothing...you will suffer on your ride.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    I find that a steady diet of bacon, whiskey and fudge gives me the perfect winter layer
    I actually quoted this to myself last night in the dark on a chilly windy road ride. [ I wuz dressed fine ]

    friggin lone rider chuckling to himself in the night...
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    I find that a steady diet of bacon, whiskey and fudge gives me the perfect winter layer

    I agree. I also find that internal as well as external application has merit. Depending on wind chill...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I agree. I also find that internal as well as external application has merit. Depending on wind chill...
    That's why our fore fathers put it in the Constitution!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    I actually quoted this to myself last night in the dark on a chilly windy road ride. [ I wuz dressed fine ]

    friggin lone rider chuckling to himself in the night...

    What the Hell are you doing road riding, Edzo?
    The woods are ripe for fatties!

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    Base layers from 32Degrees are cheap and not bad. I got several at Costco for $7/ea. They do not wick as well as something from Craft, but they are not $40+ either.

    I have two soft shell cycling jackets. One is Craft and one is Gore. Not cheap but they can be layered to work from 0 degrees to 45 degrees. Amazon has any number of off brands for less than $50.

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    All good advice. Iíd add that owning multiple thin layers and jackets is much more versatile than stocking up on a multitude of thick layers. Iíve got cheap Walmart stuff and expensive high end stuff as well. Whatever works!

    Also, since Iím not racing I often moderate my output (fat biking or skiing) if Iím far from the road and donít want to drench all my layers with sweat.

    Finally, I always bring dry gloves, skull cap, and base layer shirt for the return trip. Iíll strip down at -30 deg C just to put on a dry shirt. Feels great having a dry layer next to your skin after a few hours in the cold.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanmoreBruce View Post
    Finally, I always bring dry gloves, skull cap, and base layer shirt for the return trip. Iíll strip down at -30 deg C just to put on a dry shirt. Feels great having a dry layer next to your skin after a few hours in the cold.
    I've heard people say this before, but man, I'd never strip down at that temp, it'd get my extremities into a losing battle where they would cease to function, unless there was warmth available from a campfire or similar. If I got that desperate, I'd have to build a fire first. If you are riding and you are soaking layers in those kind of temps that's a huge red flag. That means you probably need to look at your entire laying system. Sometimes I bring some emergency mittens, or for warmer rides where it's just a little chilly I'll bring some dry gloves for the descent, because I'll sweat on the climb, but that's only when it's warm enough that I can do that. Otherwise, sweat is a huge enemy and I do everything I can to avoid it.
    "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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    I'm adding to the chatter here only because the OP follows my M.O.



    I have acquired some bike-specific gear over the years, though.



    Bike-specific:

    Endura waterproof pants. I can wear my James Bond tux under these and ride through mud holes without concern.

    Cold weather fleece-lined tights with silicone waterproofing. These things are so hot I almost never wear them.

    Regular tights. ...under the Endura pants is good for 5F at normal effort.

    Long sleeved wool jersey (CampMor!)



    More generic:

    Picked up a pair of these!

    Cold Weather Layering-61h3xmbgdkl._sl1500_.jpg
    Super comfy flannel-lined. I've slept in them.

    Good for cold weather hiking, biking, XC ski, water splash, wind...

    I have ~3 different thicknesses of long-sleeved wicking shirts: Fleece-lined, pile-lined, and un-lined. Cheap!

    Lotsa thin(ner) wool socks.

    And I have sort of a thing for gloves... but Winter work gloves seem to be better than Winter cycling gloves for me, and also cheaper!
    The layers are largely dependent on planned effort: Am I going to be generating a lot of heat?
    For how long?
    Is everything frozen, or will I be splashing?
    Is it windy? Am I really "out in it" or will I have trees, hills, or other buffers?

    If you look at this pic, which I set up in order to encourage social media friends to try some colder rides (this kit is proven to 0F for 2+hrs at low effort - it is too much for a regular ride, but shown for example), the only cycling gear is the helmet and the Endura pants. The rest is cheap acquisitions. That's even a cotton under shirt, which I DO NOT recommend.
    Cold Weather Layering-20171213_203557.jpg

    I also have WalMart Ted pajamas...
    Cold Weather Layering-fb_img_1520805960328.jpg

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If you are riding and you are soaking layers in those kind of temps that's a huge red flag.
    You must be fitter than me! Ski touring or fat biking I try not to Ďsoakí layers at that temperature but if Iím working, there will be moisture. And damp = cold when youíre low on energy and the sun is going down.

    My layering systems are actually pretty dialled. And swapping out damp socks, gloves, hats and shirts is part of that system. Iím very comfortable in most conditions all winter. If I wasnít, I wouldnít be living here in some cold ass mountains...

  37. #37
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    For teens to thirties in Michigan, I keep it very simple up top. Thin to middle weight base layer(I use nike/under armour, but u can find cheaper options). This year I've started wearing a wind resistant vest over that. Won it at some Fun Promotions relay race in podunk, so free to me. :-) Full zip for starting rides keeps me pretty comfy. Ten or fifteen minutes in it goes to half zip mode and instead of keeping my heat in, it now channels air flow to regulate heat and moisture. Less is more. Keep it simple. YMMV.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanmoreBruce View Post
    You must be fitter than me! Ski touring or fat biking I try not to Ďsoakí layers at that temperature but if Iím working, there will be moisture. And damp = cold when youíre low on energy and the sun is going down.

    My layering systems are actually pretty dialled. And swapping out damp socks, gloves, hats and shirts is part of that system. Iím very comfortable in most conditions all winter. If I wasnít, I wouldnít be living here in some cold ass mountains...
    It sounds like your trapping too much moisture, if your body temperate rises dramatically when you start "working", you need to take off some layers, unzip, open up, etc. You are right that damp=cold when your activity level starts to drop off, and it can tank fast IME. The closest I've come to not following this advice was in the 100 mile winter race where I was at the last checkpoint and really didn't want to unzip and take off my side-zip shell pants. I probably would have been better off without, but I didn't know what to expect. It was still -10 (same as the start) and I just went for it with a group of fast people that had gotten lost previously the same as I. Only 10 or so miles out, but I got way overheated and started sweating pretty good. If I wasn't at the end, such a move could have been critical. It's like tire pressure though, it's always worth it to stop and adjust your tire pressure and you'll kick yourself for not having done it sooner. Of all the people I ride with, I've never seen anyone strip like that to change out a layer, mostly because they don't soak layers, they adjust them to prevent the soak. I'll still say with the proper clothing and adjusting it, people shouldn't be soaking layers with their sweat. If I do take a calculated risk with that, it's only in a situation where I know I won't have to take off a layer.

    Hope I don't come off too harsh, what works for you works for you. I'd recommend to others to try and not get into the situation where that's needed, but the bottom line is being able to ride and be happy most of the time, which comes from being comfortable. There's definitely some personal variation.
    "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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    Jayem, I your advice is wise, and no, you donít come off as too harsh. But enough with this soaking layers business. Iíve clearly stated that I donít do that. In two posts. Yet you write about me soaking layers??? I adjust my output and clothing as required so as to not soak my layers. After 40+ years of dressing myself for winter Iím not a fool.

    Why do I swap out for dry clothes from my pack? Because theyíre bone dry and I can. Iíve spent enough of my life in the bush at -40 to know the value of moisture management.

    Thatís all I have to say about that.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanmoreBruce View Post
    Jayem, I your advice is wise, and no, you donít come off as too harsh. But enough with this soaking layers business. Iíve clearly stated that I donít do that. In two posts. Yet you write about me soaking layers??? I adjust my output and clothing as required so as to not soak my layers. After 40+ years of dressing myself for winter Iím not a fool.

    Why do I swap out for dry clothes from my pack? Because theyíre bone dry and I can. Iíve spent enough of my life in the bush at -40 to know the value of moisture management.

    Thatís all I have to say about that.

    -40 is no joke.
    "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.

  41. #41
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    Full disclosure: I donít fat bike or ski for fun anymore at -40. I smartened up. Or I got old. Or both....

  42. #42
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    Here in the Highlands of Scotland we rarely see below -20ļC and our winter is usually between -10ļC to 5ļC. The hard thing to deal with is sweat because we don't have groomed snow trails, so you have to work hard.

    For me the worst conditions are when it's hovering around zero because we have a wet temperate climate. I'm much happier when it's below -5ļC because dry cold is easier to deal with.

    I often use a Buffalo shirt, which is a very thick pile with a breathable Pertex shell and it's worn next to the skin. It's very good at dealing with sweat, and even being soaked. If it's sleeting, I'll chuck another thin shell on top. It's comfortable over a wide range of temperatures because it has huge pit zips to let you dump excess heat.

    Buffalo ‚Äď¬*UK made outdoor clothing

    I've also found that string vests are very effective and I use these if I am not in the Buffalo shirt. For 24 hour races in winter I usually wear one with a Rab VaporRise breathable Pertex shell which has a thin pile lining.

    https://www.brynje-shop.com/index.html?language=en

    I usually wear Rab VaporRise pants which are the same construction as the jacket. If it's very cold I'll wear a base layer merino tights under, and if it's very wet, I'll use overpants.

    I also duct tape over most of the vents on my helmet.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57ļ36' Highlands, Scotland

  43. #43
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    Iím a Clydesdale and run hot easy. I rock a Nrth Face waterproof wind breaker with a long sleeve t shirt underneath. I wear Cross country ski pants,45Nrth Wolvhammers and wool socks. If itís stupid cold ,I wear a my Bern snowboard lid but only 15f or below. Lastly, Pogies are a dream with my favorite summer gloves.

  44. #44
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    Hey Fleas, Are those pants from Ebay ? hows the sizing, True to size ?
    Thanks
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post

    More generic:

    Picked up a pair of these!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	61H3xMbGDKL._SL1500_.jpg 
Views:	57 
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ID:	1227584
    Super comfy flannel-lined. I've slept in them.

    Good for cold weather hiking, biking, XC ski, water splash, wind...
    These look interesting. What brand? Where can you buy them?

  46. #46
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    The thing is minimize sweating by starting out being cold and (unless it is raining or wet snow) avoid anything that is not highly breathable until the wet snow/rain starts or you stop or head downhill.

    It is highly variable based on conditions and the type of riding, but for under 30 temp I usually start out with thermal bibs with chamois, mtb shorts over the top, wool (or nice synthetic) socks (with toe warmers where needed), Keen Summit county winter boots (flats only for me where there is potential ice), gaiters, and a merino t-shirt. I then either use a combination of wool/synthetic long sleeve zip shirts, jackets, and vests depending on the temperature. I have one of those highly packable patagonia rain jackets (and a vest of the same material) that I carry and put on when I stop or head downhill. On my rides, we almost always climb for an hour + straight and then descend for a bit, there is no up and down up and down, which makes it easier to change out clothes for the task at hand. Again, the key is to start out cold and wear breathable clothing so you dont get sweaty. Save your windbreakers for stopping and descending.

  47. #47
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    Cold Weather Layering

    Quote Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
    Hey Fleas, Are those pants from Ebay ? hows the sizing, True to size ?
    Thanks
    I think aliexpress and wish haha

    https://m.aliexpress.com/item/328870...A1544055499140


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    Fatbike, XC bike, Gravel Bike....

  48. #48
    jeduncan14083
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    Nice. Gonna get a pair.

  49. #49
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    Found those above fleece pants on ebay and amazon. Reviews and sizing seems positive. price range from 15 to 40 bucks from different sellers.
    FilipinoMafia - Ohio Chapter

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
    Hey Fleas, Are those pants from Ebay ? hows the sizing, True to size ?
    Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    These look interesting. What brand? Where can you buy them?
    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    I think aliexpress and wish haha

    https://m.aliexpress.com/item/328870...A1544055499140


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by dirt diggler View Post
    Found those above fleece pants on ebay and amazon. Reviews and sizing seems positive. price range from 15 to 40 bucks from different sellers.
    Ever since I bought those I've had ads popping up... and now I couldn't find them.

    But I got mine from newchic. There are plenty of variations, but mine actually say "Kwakjian" near the pocket.

    They could be a tad longer - I'm 6'-3" - so I always wear my hikers with them instead of any low-top shoes. I wouldn't trust the non-zip pockets to retain anything important - they are at such an angle as to eject items when you sit down. Gusseted knees, zip pockets, wind protection (but breathable), durability, comfort (esp. lots of pedaling), water-resistant - all very good features.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  51. #51
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    Get the purple

  52. #52
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    The best base layer garments I have found is the Arcteryx Phase wear. The fabric is designed to spread out the moisture from perspiration so that it can readily evaporate from the fabric. It is extremely effective in keeping the wearer dry and thus warm which is the foundation of effective cold weather layering. I have been running/skiing/riding in Alaska since the mid 80's and it is the best (most effective) base layer material that I have worn. It is also very durable. I have multiple garments in different weights which I have used year around for several years and it has held up extremely well. I am still using Phase garments which are at least 6 years old. Yes, it is very expensive but I have been able to justify the expense given the effectiveness and durability/longevity of the material. It's hard to put a price on being comfortable in the cold but this technical wear is a very good investment and goes a long way toward achieving comfort in the cold (IMO).

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Ever since I bought those I've had ads popping up... and now I couldn't find them.

    But I got mine from newchic. There are plenty of variations, but mine actually say "Kwakjian" near the pocket.

    They could be a tad longer - I'm 6'-3" - so I always wear my hikers with them instead of any low-top shoes. I wouldn't trust the non-zip pockets to retain anything important - they are at such an angle as to eject items when you sit down. Gusseted knees, zip pockets, wind protection (but breathable), durability, comfort (esp. lots of pedaling), water-resistant - all very good features.

    -F
    What size jeans do you wear and what size did you get of these?


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  54. #54
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    Itís -22 here in Quebec this morning. Iím about to head out for a 3.5 hour ride. Iím be wearing two thick socks with a pair of wolvenhammers 2 sizes bigger, leg warmers with backcountry ski pants over. On the body will be a synthetic base layer, thermal synthetic layer over top, then a cheap wind stopper running jacket, and a winter cycling jacket on top. For the head will be base layer balaclava, then touque, and a thick neck warmer. Hands will be a pair of ski gloves with a pair of gortex overmitts. Iíll remove the overmitts once my core is warm after about 15 minutes. The mitts will go back on whenever my hands begin to get cold again. Iíve done this many times - pretty normal temps in these parts during the winter.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    What size jeans do you wear and what size did you get of these?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    34 x 34 and I bought size XXL. And like I said, they're just a tad short.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanmoreBruce View Post
    Finally, I always bring dry gloves, skull cap, and base layer shirt for the return trip. Iíll strip down at -30 deg C just to put on a dry shirt. Feels great having a dry layer next to your skin after a few hours in the cold.
    I figured out from this topic that this is considered as a bad move by pro riders.

    Well... regardless how smart I am layering, how often open/close zips to vent and to reduce overheating, my base layer, and often mid layer too, are always soaking wet after several hours of intense fatbiking or skiing. Simply because I sweat A LOT, from my own observations more than people around me. Also, we have a very high humidity here which doesn't help too.

    So after several hours riding, when sun goes down and I am tired I must change some clothes. I always take extra gloves, hat and packable mid-layer (love my MH Ghost Whisperer jacket). I also take an extra base layer when riding in cold autumn too, for the same reasons - riding in wet clothes can easily get me in trouble.

    I don't like merino base layers, yes they are very warm but it doesn't good at transferring moisture to the next layer, also when it is wet - it stays wet. Often, I use merino base layer as a mid-layer over thin fast drying synthetic base layer. It works better this way.

  57. #57
    jeduncan14083
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    I started packing extra base layers too, because I'm just a sweaty dude.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mebaru View Post
    I figured out from this topic that this is considered as a bad move by pro riders.

    Well... regardless how smart I am layering, how often open/close zips to vent and to reduce overheating, my base layer, and often mid layer too, are always soaking wet after several hours of intense fatbiking or skiing. Simply because I sweat A LOT, from my own observations more than people around me. Also, we have a very high humidity here which doesn't help too.

    So after several hours riding, when sun goes down and I am tired I must change some clothes. I always take extra gloves, hat and packable mid-layer (love my MH Ghost Whisperer jacket). I also take an extra base layer when riding in cold autumn too, for the same reasons - riding in wet clothes can easily get me in trouble.

    I don't like merino base layers, yes they are very warm but it doesn't good at transferring moisture to the next layer, also when it is wet - it stays wet. Often, I use merino base layer as a mid-layer over thin fast drying synthetic base layer. It works better this way.
    Something I put in the general apparel forum was that it's possible some people are using too-many layers. It might be better to have a few different softshell jackets that are different in terms of insulation and the same with the base layers. 3 or more layers can be extremely hard to ventilate no matter what you do. 95% of the time, I just have two, my base layer and my jacket, so I can open/unzip my jacket and expose the base layer. It gets pretty hard to overheat and sweat this way, and my "emergency" layer is in my pack that I can put over everything if I get too cold. My "cold" setup would usually be with a heavier base layer and maybe a heavy-weight synthetic sleeveless shirt, but that's as far as I'll go and that's for the 0 to -20 stuff for me. Wearing all the layers you think you'll potentially need or wearing more than 2 really may be a recipe for sweating. This is just me, but having to strip to my core to take off a sweaty layer would leave me a LOT colder than when I started and it would take a long time for my body to work back up to regain it's heat. I'm not saying it's not worth it, but it'll take other considerations such as energy (food) and terrain. I would absolutely have to put on a down over-jacket if I wasn't wearing one already to try and re-heat back up. Most likely, if I was going to do this, I'd build a fire first, because this is usually more towards the "desperate" end of my riding. It's usually cold enough where I'm riding where stripping to your bare skin is an emergency situation.
    "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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  59. #59
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    Sometimes it is not possible for me to keep from sweating when riding a bike no matter how good my layer management practices are. I sweat during a max effort climb no matter how little I have on. When that happens the time it takes to change into a dry top is on the order of 10 seconds of exposure to cold. This beats sitting for a long time in wet clothes on the drive home even with the heater cranked up.
    Latitude 61

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