Good advice on dressing warm-
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  1. #1
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    Nov 2010

    Good advice on dressing warm

  2. #2
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    Aug 2004
    Pretty much seems to sum it up, thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2008
    I'm a bit dubious about the vapor barrier method. I've tried it on my feet, and when you stop you get cold real fast.

    A few weeks ago, we had a cold snap here, and I went out for a sixty mile ride, when it was -10F. The following is what I wore.

    Feet: 1 pair thin smartwool bike socks, one pair foxwear power stretch socks, merrell boots
    Legs: Foxwear power stretch tights with REI mistrail softshell pants as outer layer
    Torso: capilne 2 crew on skin, followed by capilene 3, patagonia nanopuff outerlayer
    Hands: powerstretch gloves, with REI mitts as outershell
    Head: smartwool helmet liner, with moutain hardware windstopper over that.

    Results: I was toasty warm the whole way, and didn't get wet. I think everyone needs to figure this one out yourself, but years of experience have proven this approach right for me. I also carry an extra capilene 2 baselayer with me at all times, and extra smartwool socks, and a small compressible down jacket or goretex outershell, depending on conditions.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
    Wrapping your feet in plastic bags seals in the moisture. Not a good idea.

  5. #5
    Harmonius Wrench
    Reputation: Guitar Ted's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by beaverracing View Post
    Wrapping your feet in plastic bags seals in the moisture. Not a good idea.
    From the article:

    While there are many approaches to staying warm, they tend to fall under two distinct categories. People who try to stay warm by staying dry aim for wicking materials next to their skin to keep their skin and clothing dry. People who aim to stay warm by not letting their insulation get wet accept the fact that they will sweat during physical activity, and put a water-proof layer next to their skin to keep the moisture in and prevent their sweat from soaking their insulating layers.
    So, there are two approaches.

    I've read how Arctic riders will do the moisture barrier thing, as it is imperative to keep the outer layers dry. Of course, they are using windproof materials as well. I can see how it works, but as has been said, each individual has to "thinker it through" for themselves. Many of these experienced riders have years of trial and error behind them and what they learned can't be condensed into a simple web-mag format.

    The bottom line is "moisture management". Do it right and you'll ride a long ways. Do it wrong, and you could be flirting with Death.

    I've picked up a few pointers along the way reading ride reports and trip reports by the various snow bikers up in Alaska. Good stuff, but not all of it is relevant to me, my riding, and where I live. So, I have to think it through, modify, test, and learn.

    It is part of the fun of bicycling in any kind of weather.
    Riden' an Smilin'
    Guitar Ted


  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
    Up to the individual, I'd say.

    I go mountain running down to -15C. Running produces loads of heat, so its very tricky to balance it with the dramatic winter temps. My strategy is to wear a layer of Merino next to the skin, and a windproof layer on the outside. Seems the most flexible set-up. I often run around a bend to the 'shadow side' of a mountain. To find myself in severly worse weather than a couple of strides ago.

    I use the same strategy when winter cycling. With an added fleece layer. Its this fleece layer that needs to be kept dry. Cycling in a mountainous region means you often desend quickly into valleys, collect all the cold air. I've always relied on ventilation. I could'nt bare the idea of having plastic next to my skin when cycling/running. I'm one of lifes sweaters.

    Always interesting to see other people take on it though.

    On the west coast of Norway. You need to cope with bad weather, more than bad temperatures though.
    A big boy did it, and ran away.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2007
    We rarely get extreme cold here in Scotland. The lowest I've seen is -25C on my bike thermometer.

    Generally I don't have a problem once the temp is below around -5C because there little moisture in the air and it's simply a matter of layering properly.

    It's the band from about 5C down to -5C that is the problem for me because it is often accompanied by sleet or mist. Wet cold that penetrates every garment you've got on. Pertex and thick wool plus base layer seems to be the best solution although I also use Buffalo clothing (Pertex outer, and thick pile designed to be worn next to the skin).

    Of course a bit of weather can change everything quickly so it's necessary to be able to adapt quickly - chuck on something else or take shelter.

    I summarise it "Dress for the mountain, not the bike"
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 5736' Highlands, Scotland

  8. #8
    All fat, all the time.
    Reputation: Shark's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Yah, it really depends on the location, & type of riding you plan to be doing.
    My cold weather riding is still just singletrack, usually a few hours. So for me, it's best if I dress so I start feeling a bit cool. Once I get riding & warm up nicely & don't sweat too much.

    Wool socks & good boots & gloves help alot. Other than that, just adjust the base layers depending how cold it is. Just a pair of long-undies under the riding shorts is good until the low teen's F.

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