What winter riding gear do you rate or hate? Newbie advice needed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What winter riding gear do you rate or hate? Newbie advice needed

    Hey all!

    So Iím coming into the world of fat biking as a complete novice and this will be my first winter sport so have no experience when it comes to the clothing gear. I have been doing a load of research as Iím a very sweaty person who tends to run hot. To this point I understand quality base layers merino wool would be wise for me to invest in.

    Where Iím having a dilemma is the price differences between brand name gear e.g. Fox racing, MEC, Patagonia, 45NRTH etc and some no name brands on Amazon namely Rockbros. Iím struggling to see a difference in the quality of the products. Iím not against spending money on quality but Iím not all about brand names and honestly the cheaper products seem to have better features at 1/5 of the price..

    Additionally Iím based in Ottawa, Canada so expect to be heading out in -20c conditions.

    It might be good to try the cheaper gear before investing more down the road but Iíd rather ask some people with experience and maybe youíve tried some of their products? I have used the Rockbros bike rack and love it so quite tempting to give it a shot.

    Links for context
    Fox
    https://foxracing.ca/flexair-pro-fir...066-001-L.html

    45NRTH - seems unavailable but looks like an awesome jacket for ventilation
    https://45nrth.com/products/naughtvind-jacket

    Rockbros
    ROCKBROS Winter Cycling Jacket Warm Men's Windproof Thermal Coat Softshell Black Red XL https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B077ZJM356/..._0.7GDbAWZY1DV


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  2. #2
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    Don't over think it or buy into all the marketing. Not just yet, anyway.

    I've been riding in the winter for well over two decades. Not a lot of "snow" gear back then. I just rode in a long-sleeve jersey, wool sweater (random one from the closet), and a lightweight shell. Some combo of those three worked for me.

    For my hands, either some fleece gloves or snow gloves, or ski mittens for extreme cold (negatives).

    I've had winter specific cycling gear, but I still use that above combo.

    Point is, you don't need to spend mega bucks to ride in the winter. Just use what you've got in your closet, especially if you're starting off. They may end up working out just fine for you, or you may decide you don't even like riding in the cold.

  3. #3
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    There are many different riding scenarios. Quick run to the store, couple hour fitness quest, out all day, out for several days self supported. And your needs will vary for each.

    Generally speaking wear layers so you can adjust while underway. Try what you have, first, as the other post suggests. From there you'll find where improvements can be made.

    It seems most ride for a few hours of fitness. For that when you first step outside to ride expect to be a little under dressed because you will heat up fast. Be ready to throw on an additional layer that you've packed in case of stopping or other emergency. Look to cross country skiing for gear that may work for the exertion level.

    I've seen guys out for a casual spin to go ice fishing etc wearing whatever hunting gear they have.
    Hat at 0:22 for example.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8--BVNetz1o

  4. #4
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    Thank you both! Iíve ordered just some basic gear to get me started as I donít have anything useful already but like you so I need to feel it out and gauge what Iíll need to change from there.


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  5. #5
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    Hat at 0:22 for example.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8--BVNetz1o[/QUOTE]

    Iíll have to dig that one out the wardrobe


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    I swear by Patagonia mid-weight capilene underwear. After a good base layer the upper layers are easier. There are plenty of good footwear around that cost less than the 45North type brands (e.g. LL Bean snow sneakers). I stopped clicking in years ago. There are many threads on here discussing things like boots, base layers, and outerwear. Well worth perusing. My personal limit is about -25(c) after that too many bad things can happen too quickly. Down to that some capilene base, poly tights and wind pants work pretty good. Upper body capilene, a poly sweater, a poly vest and outer shell will get you down to -25(c) I've never used pogies, but there are cheap versions out there for ATVs. Sometimes you just have to get off the bike and run.

  7. #7
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    Merino will is way overrated, as with wool in general.

    XC ski gear works great, similar output to riding.

    I donít want to get off the bike and run.
    "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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    It's surprising just how quickly you warm up (but then you cool down equally quickly as well) when riding even moderately hard. Being able to manage and control your temperature tends to be key - overheating can be just as much a problem as the cold.

    -20C in windy conditions is markedly different to -20C when it's still and "wind" includes coasting downhill since you aren't generating heat at that point.

    I go for bib tights in Roubaix material - the nap of the material acts as a windstopper, I suppose you could say it's a close fitting soft shell. Synthetic base layer, as stated - woollen products aren't the best for an active base layer. Some sort of fleece on top of the base layer, ideally with a windproof shell. If it is windy then something to deflect that.

    Pogies make a big difference IME. Take a variety of gloves, they'll get damp whatever either due to sweat or falling off and covered in snow.

    A puffer jacket or duvet for when you stop to keep the warmth in.

    I use some mountaineering boots that I happened to have, so flat pedals and just go with what you've got to begin with, you live in Ottowa so likely to have some cold weather gear.

    As with most things - start easy, ride a few loops round your local park never too far from your car or home in case you get things totally wrong and have to bail. You'll soon learn what works for you in a variety of conditions.

  9. #9
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    A puffer jacket as mentioned above is a great idea, they pack up small and are a great comfort when you stop or have a mechanical.

    I like to start off a little chilly as you soon warm up with the exertion, if you're toasty at the start of the ride you'll soon be sweating. I find a vest works well to keep your core warm but still let the excess heat vent. Everyone is different though so it's best to experiment on shorter rides to see what works best for you.

    Fingers and toes seem to suffer the most on the bike, I had a hard time finding something that worked for me at the beginning, nothing worse than feeling your toes start to freeze when you're still a long way out from the car or home. I ended up with boots and gloves from 45NRTH, they are overpriced IMO but I can say that they work as advertised for me, I've never had an issue with cold digits since. YMMV

    Always a good idea to pack along some of those little heat-packs for emergencies.
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    Thank you! This is all good to know! I should have clarified while I live in Ottawa Canada, Iím actually British and only been living here for 4 years. Additionally I lost over 100lbs so Iím having to start a fresh as hoodies and jackets 3 sizes too big arenít going to keep the wind out.

    Definitely a good shout taking a extra layer if I have to stop as Iím more concerned with over heating than getting cold. Normally just walking around in -20 Iím getting too hot in a T-shirt and down coat and Iím one of those guys that will go out in fall clothes in -5.

    I think luckily for me thereís the Decathlon store opening and they have some really cheap but quality products so Iíll stock up on some starting gear there.

    Now shoes there another issue for me I have size 15 feet so havenít found specific shoes easy to find. I managed to find some Etnie cycle/skate shoes some summer but winter Iím kind of stuck with classic Timberlands for winter so think Iíll have to experiment with layering socks and have order some waterproof ones to start.


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    That's some weight loss - well done!

    Going back to my climbing days, early climbers on Denali (Mt McKinley) in Alaska would use "bunny boots" which I think were old airforce issue footwear. Basically what the ski crowd would call "moon boots". So long as your boots have a reasonably stiff sole so that your feet don't tire when on the pedals anything rated to the expected temperature will do. Make sure they are big enough that with whatever socks you wear that you aren't constricting blood flow and you certainly want to be able to wiggle your toes.

    As a fellow Brit, still here in Blighty, continental cold is completely different to our winters which are what most Americans would call "shoulder season", i.e. just above freezing and damp. Cold and dry is much easier to deal with, much easier.

    As before just head out on a local loop, only has to be 5km at max, and figure out what works. Stick a bag of spare clothes in the back of the car and after each loop change, add, remove whatever until you are happy.

  12. #12
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    I live in middle CA, SF Bay Area ... Winter here means being able to ride in temps down to about 35įF and occasionally rain. I ride on the street with my fat bike.

    Most of the time a 2/3 length sleeve cycling jersey over a t shirt, a set of full finger coverage mountain bike gloves, and a set of Aero Tech Design full-length All Day Cycling Pants do me well. On days where temps will stay lower and/or water will be about, one of their All Sports weatherproof jackets instead of the over-jersey does me fine.

    Congrats on the weight loss! I also have recently achieved having lost 100 lbs, and hugely improved my fitness with workouts and personal training. I feel like I just became thirty years younger and gone from being a crippled, incapacitated old man to being a kid again!

    onwards!
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  13. #13
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    Get a jacket with pit zips.
    Out to ride

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Merino will is way overrated, as with wool in general.

    XC ski gear works great, similar output to riding.

    I donít want to get off the bike and run.
    To each their own, I guess. Wool has been excellent for me. Baselayer, wool, outer shell, if needed. Wool has excellent ventilation so I'm not sweating as much. Keeps me toasty warm.

    I'd bet XC ski gear would work very well. I just don't want to spend money when wool works so well.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    To each their own, I guess. Wool has been excellent for me. Baselayer, wool, outer shell, if needed. Wool has excellent ventilation so I'm not sweating as much. Keeps me toasty warm.

    I'd bet XC ski gear would work very well. I just don't want to spend money when wool works so well.
    Well, XC ski gear can usually be found here in far more variety (and cheaper) than "riding specific" gear, and the riding specific gear is often ill-suited to the conditions much of the time, as in there are very few choices that actually work.

    Wool is less insulating per weight and doesn't have the magical "insulates when wet" properties that people think it does, recent comparisons using scientific methods have shown this. It takes a lot longer to dry. It's more about the industry wanting to sell something at a premium. There are some small benefits, but no overwhelming advantages. It's not like it won't work, it works fine, but it's not the golden bb that people think either. More important I find is for the base layer to be close to your skin, gaps and loose-fitting are cold IME.

    You can get pretty creative with winter clothing. Going on the cheap, a base-layer pair of leggings with some nylon running pants over will endure some crazy cold temps and be comfortable to wear.

    Some great suggestions above about clothing, taking a down puffy, etc. Real down is like "instant heat" IME and get a layer like this that can fit over your current setup, to make putting it on real easy. Some of us wear the camelback underneath a jersey or layer, which can be an additional consideration. I like to take "one layer more" in my frame-bag, which is often the puffy and some rain-shell side-zip pants. If I get super-cooled in the ride, throw those on and I'm instantly warm again. Going downhill can super-cool you fast, radically different than climbing, cannot be underestimated. Sometimes the "one layer more" is just a rain shell jacket, which packs smaller, because it's not going to get *that* much colder on the ride no matter what and if I do start feeling chilled, a "hard shell" that makes up a rain shell is perfect, as it's nearly 100% wind blocking and trapping of air. "breathable" and waterproof is a joke. In mtb, you can have one or the other. Waterproof helps when it's ultra-cold because it's simply not breathable. When it's significantly below 32 degrees, we generally don't care about waterproofing, which is why we get away with the breathable layers. When snow falls on you, the outer few mm of fabric is still below 32 degrees, so you never get "wet" due to the snow.
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  16. #16
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    What winter riding gear do you rate or hate? Newbie advice needed

    I take my sleddog out everyday with fatbike. Done some trial and error with clothing. I recomend pogies and putting something on brake levers. Last winter I just taped some lamwool around them but now I have rubber socks that wrap around. In feet I just used summer cycling shoes with these xc-ski ower shoes with lambwool that I found from local skishop. Didnt have any feeling on my toes last winter so prodably try sorels and flat pedals this winter. One clothing I really like Is small downwest wich I can stuff in my pocket or bottle holder when I warm up.


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    Quote Originally Posted by richard1hammond View Post
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  18. #18
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    Fellow Ottawan and fatbiker here. Check out the Ottawa Fatbike Society if you are on Facebook.

    You can wear surprisingly little clothing when you are pedalling hard on a bike and producing loads of excess body heat. As others already noted above, XC ski and fall bike clothing works well for this purpose, with additional layering as the temperature drops.

    The body parts that tend to suffer are the extremities: head, hands, feet:

    • A stretchy thin polypropylene balaclava that fits under the helmet will take care of your head.
    • Mitts, lobster claw mittens, or pogies for your hands. With pogies is you can wear a thinner pair of gloves inside them for better dexterity when braking and shifting.
    • Good pair of warm socks and winter boots with room to wiggle your toes. If you use cleats, get a pair of winter cycling boots. If you get really cold feet like me, electric socks can work wonders.



    A down sweater (puffy but thin down jacket) is great for when you aren't pedalling hard, like when you are dealing with a mechanical or emergency, or waiting for your mates at the trailhead.

    Yes, it can get below -20C here, but most of the time, it's in the sweet spot between about -3C and -15C. Below about -15C, some people just stop riding. If you don't need to ride every single day, it's just easier to wait a few days for the temperature to climb back up.
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  19. #19
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    I'd focus on XC ski gear, and if clipped in, then some toasty bike specific boot with aerogel footbed or equivalent.

    also bring a bunch of handwarmers it can really help if you need to do trail repair and expose your hands to the cold, handwarmers can turn shit to shinola

    bar mitts, even the cheapest on amazon, are total lifesavers vs trying to run exposed and using massive gloves or 'lobster gloves'.

    https://www.amazon.com/Docooler-Hand...gateway&sr=8-5
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    Only -18 last winter for me. at that temp you need to keep thing covered.

    I've tried many things. I have a closet full of stuff I no longer use. Biggest winner is Patagonia Merino wool top and bottom, hands down. Doesn't stink out like man made fiber does. Better in a range of temps than most other stuff. Dries out when you sweat, if you ventilate. I like the tops with a 1/4 zip for cooling off when needed. I also wear wool briefs and socks year round as they breath so much better than anything else.

    I wear my Amfib bottoms for things below 45 or so. Below zero requires wool tights base layer. Below -10 I have "shell" pants I wear over top.

    Castelli Espresso coat comes with "napolean zips" on the chest and used to come with wrist zips, but the current ones don't have the wrist zips, so they are not as adaptable to temp changes and worthless IMHO. I use the wrist zips a lot as the allow cool air to tunnel up my sleeve and out the breather slits in the back. Castelli works down to zero with base layer.

    Downhill ski helmet when it gets too cold for MTB helmet with a thin hat under it. I have overcovers for the MTB helmet that work OK, but I prefer the ski helmet. You can get a $1 shower cap to see how you like the overcover method. I place a pad inside the ski helmet to make it ride a little higher on my head. Ski helmets are all made for people standing up and looking downhill, and on the bike you are hunched over, looking up. I only use ski goggles at the extreme low temps. I also have a neoprene nose/chin guard to keep comfortable.

    I also use downhill ski gloves. Pogies are way too hot for me and also too restricting. When below -10, I wear a downhill ski shell coat over either my Castelli Espresso or Patagonia waffle style lightweight zipped fleece.

    Lake MKZ 400 boots when it gets too cold for Sidi shoes with neoprene covers. I like to be clipped in.

    I carry a pair of the cheapo chemical hand warmers in case I would have an emergency, but I have never had to use them.

  21. #21
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    45nrth boots, Swix Bekke pant, thin wool base layer (Ibex, Smartwool) Pendleton insulated wool flannel, 45nrth wool hat, light wool liner gloves (if needed), Patagoochi Houdini wind shirt (if needed), poofy vest (if needed). I'm good to -15f or so.
    I look like a homeless man and not sure how I have not ended up on the Anchorage Stolen Bike facebook page. The yuppies in Anchorage are brutal.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Wool is less insulating per weight and doesn't have the magical "insulates when wet" properties that people think it does, recent comparisons using scientific methods have shown this. It takes a lot longer to dry. It's more about the industry wanting to sell something at a premium. There are some small benefits, but no overwhelming advantages. It's not like it won't work, it works fine, but it's not the golden bb that people think either.
    I'd circle back to, to each their own here....

    Been outdoors in the winter for at least 35 years where I "thought about it" in any sense.

    Started out in plastic, sure it worked. But it's clammy when wet, yuck AND brrrr. The smell that develops despite best efforts from chemical companies, is still pretty incredible too.

    I'd add, it's plastic, and well, plastic is something we all could stand to have a little less of, around. On top of that, theres now ample evidence of the microscopic fibers working their way into everything environmental, from that class of apparel.

    I own plenty, I'm not bagging on it entirely. Against my skin though? All wool, and I couldn't be happier. Socks, underwear, base layers, love it.

    Over the last 10 or so years, I've slowly migrated more and more of my gear to wool, and every single issue I mention above, is gone.

    Much more comfy against skin when wet, natural fiber, no dinosaurs died for your skivvies. Smell? The stuff never smells. Wear it and sweat in it a week, then bury your nose in the arm pit, it smells like fabric. At least for me, and everyone I've turned onto it....

    That's nice additionally, because it means you wash it less, so that's an extra environmental improvement.

    Better thermal management too. Less donning and doffing of layers.

    I would love to see some scientific links about it not being warm when wet (i'd also love to know if it was funded by the petroleum industry, my hinky meter is buzzing). I've experienced the utter, complete opposite. Am I just making it up cause I want to justify ownership? Highly doubtful. If I have gear that doesn't do what I want, I dump it. I've yet to dump any wool, unless I've just worn it to shreds.

    And that would be the one thing I'd give plastic, it's more durable.






    OP:

    Better wool is longer fiber, and thus, more durable. Better *anything* (and not bought on Amazon) will tend to come from a company that supports their products, pays a better wage for the work done to create it, and many (like Patagonia) are now offering services to repair, patch, etc, your worn, damaged gear.

    Also, speaking of Patagonia, check out their "Worn Wear" site it sells used, refurbished gear at great prices. Their "Web Specials" page on their main site has been my go to for needed items for many years. The heck with paying MSRP for stuff you're going to get greasy, muddy, torn, and beat on, let the rich folks do that.

    I'd concur with pretty much all the advice given, lots of thin layers, a puffy "emergency jacket", and a few trial loops near your car to swap out gear till you find what actually suits your specific BTU output. Have a buddy who runs hot, he'll be in short sleeves and no hat (and sweating his ass off) when I'm layered up and not sweating at all.

    We all run different, and winter gear choices are all about YOUR needs....
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  23. #23
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    I love wool. I wish it worked better. I XC ski and snow bike. Wool is awesome but it has limitations IME. Cold and still, wool is the best but wind is itís kryptonite. As an outer layer itís warm and moisture will clear out really fast. But if you cover it with a technical fabric that kills wind it gets and stays wet from sweat. I donít use it in layering at all anymore. Granted, I am not at all impervious to the cold, the opposite, I struggle with it. So I have adapted and developed my own layering. Plastron base first, the best investment you will ever make, and $25 at most. Under Armor cold gear baselayer over. Any warming baselayer material next followed by fleece shirt. Soft shell over fleece. Iíve done this to 4 degrees F. I have never had bad smells, of course I wash everything after every use. The biggest thing about the cold is getting every layer/area exactly right or the ride can be hell.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I'd circle back to, to each their own here....

    Been outdoors in the winter for at least 35 years where I "thought about it" in any sense.

    Started out in plastic, sure it worked. But it's clammy when wet, yuck AND brrrr.
    If you are getting that wet in the winter in the first place, I'd seriously re-consider the layers. One thing I see a lot of is people going with too many layers and trying to be "warm" before starting. 3 layers max, usually 2, any more and you will soak the base in anything other than extreme cold. People say "layers layers layers", but I find that to be fairly simplistic. Bring an extra layer, but you simply can't put many layers on, you trap in way too much moisture. 3+ layers of "breathable" material and all of a sudden it really isn't.. As far as being clammy...err, wool doesn't dry out nearly as fast as synthetics and I'll take dry in the winter time every time. One reason my feet get cold (one, not all of them) despite the wooliest wool socks is because of the moisture that my foot puts out and how socks get damp, keep it dry and it's better (with various methods). It becomes a very active process when riding to stay ventilated and dry. Sometimes it involves rolling up the pogies (I can do it on the fly as long as the trail is pretty straight), unzipping, etc. Sometimes it's the balaclava that provides all the body-temp regulation, either mouth covered or un-covered. The trick is to have the clothing flexible enough that you can do this with minimal effort and logistics, but sometimes it's not always possible to do it on the fly or without switching something out. One thing I've learned the hard way though is that it's always worth it to do so and remain comfortable, rather than keep going with something that isn't really working. Those rides where you get colder and colder till you can no longer take it aren't all that much fun IMO. I want to be comfortable.

    The only hands-down difference I notice is down, a puffy with real down is instant heat when you put it on. They make down insulated pants for the same purpose, although it's more rare to need them. Synthetic down doesn't even come close IME.

    I'll see if I can drag up the study for you, I've posted it a few times. Scientific with evaporation rates, insulating properties, etc. There was a slight difference when wet, but synthetics and cotton also kept heat and it wasn't a big difference. Then by weight, synthetic was better. While there could be something to be said with funky smells...for the love of god people, wash your clothes. I'm using disinfectant on some parts that can't be washed as often (helmet) and that seems to help too. I started using a combo of foot powder and disinfectant in my climbing shoes and the funk never comes. Before I figured this out...it was nasty.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard1hammond View Post
    Thank you! This is all good to know! I should have clarified while I live in Ottawa Canada, Iím actually British and only been living here for 4 years. Additionally I lost over 100lbs so Iím having to start a fresh as hoodies and jackets 3 sizes too big arenít going to keep the wind out.

    Definitely a good shout taking a extra layer if I have to stop as Iím more concerned with over heating than getting cold. Normally just walking around in -20 Iím getting too hot in a T-shirt and down coat and Iím one of those guys that will go out in fall clothes in -5.

    I think luckily for me thereís the Decathlon store opening and they have some really cheap but quality products so Iíll stock up on some starting gear there.

    Now shoes there another issue for me I have size 15 feet so havenít found specific shoes easy to find. I managed to find some Etnie cycle/skate shoes some summer but winter Iím kind of stuck with classic Timberlands for winter so think Iíll have to experiment with layering socks and have order some waterproof ones to start.


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    Great job on lost weight... Think about your new metabolism in case your inner heat or system has been affected.
    Aside from lots of good advice by others here, many suggest it's a lot about what works for YOU. That leaves some specifics to figure out but I think the one thing I learned and you may already know is doing some experimenting outdoors under load. Go run or jog or brisk walk, chopping wood -- whatever and experiment with layers. If it's - 10 c and you'll be quite active, you may want to dress as if its 0 c. That kind of thing. I've seen it here in Colorado where I can use a mental off-set for temps like that. Just training yourself to prepare like that and consider changing weather and the forecast. Wind and rain or snow ice and melting on you can be big difference in comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xylx View Post
    I've never used pogies, but there are cheap versions out there for ATVs. Sometimes you just have to get off the bike and run.
    This is true. I did just that and bought a pair of them on a scooter site, might have spent $25 or $30 USD .... lol . Yet to use but the reviews and buyer info says the quality and thickness for pogies is not a deal breaker usually. Most important, just blocking airflow. I didn't see anything more fancy or robust in design til $100 to $150 and up. No thanks. Don't need heavy, super thick or bulky, just a simple slip cover. Think quilted hot pad.

    ADDED - Here they are -- $20 Scooter Logic https://www.amazon.com/Airhead-SLHM-.../dp/B0022ZJJSK
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If you are getting that wet in the winter in the first place, I'd seriously re-consider the layers.
    I think this discussion, is much like prior *debates* I've run across with Mikesee. And we've come to the understanding that unless we're standing next to one another talking about the exact same thing, neither of us is wrong. Your overall approach, I'm in complete agreement with.

    There's a ton of minutia buried under the thoughts, that's not generally put out there, or understood.

    And most of that has to do with your local terrain, how you ride, what snow conditions, temps and humidity, etc.

    Our riding is social, but also hard, and our terrain is very punchy, and often, trails aren't broken in.

    So we're doing a combo of high exertion super steep climbing, mixed with slogging through wet slop on foot, crossed with waiting for our group to recollect (which often takes longer in the winter), repeat.

    My kit's pretty dialed, but sweat does still happen, and for my money, and maybe we're all just in denial, but wool has proven itself superior in comfort next to skin.

    As I said, it's a combination, I don't wear boiled wool jackets and Woolrich pants (though one guy rocks a pair of the Woolrich he got off ebay cheap, and loves 'em) I do fleece and filament puff vest sort of thing.

    So yeah, the hows and whys are almost more important than one fabric is "blanket statement" better.

    If you have that report, PARTICULARLY since it says cotton is functional for keeping one warm when wet, I would honestly like to check it out, thanks.
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  27. #27
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    My hands and toes lose feeling - so I buy hand warming packs and stuff them in my gloves and shoes. Strangely, if my hands and feet stay warm, I feel warmer overall and can wear less layers overall.

    I use Showers Pass waterproof socks too. They're thick and feel nice.

    Can anyone recommend decent electric/rechargeable socks? I've tried some battery powered shoe inserts but they sucked.

    A down puffy also packs small due to compress ability. Easy to store and have just in case.

    Coldest I ever got was due to a flat tire. Was doing fine until I had to stop. Then my sweat cooled me down instantly. And had to take my gloves off to work with tools. Brrrr!

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  28. #28
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    don't know what jayem is getting at but wool and silk can't be beat in warmth when dripping wet, or dry, durability, >and -stink free-<, and available ...not some single maker uber fabric you can't find anywhere. it friggin works
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If you are getting that wet in the winter in the first place, I'd seriously re-consider the layers. One thing I see a lot of is people going with too many layers and trying to be "warm" before starting. 3 layers max, usually 2, any more and you will soak the base in anything other than extreme cold. People say "layers layers layers", but I find that to be fairly simplistic. Bring an extra layer, but you simply can't put many layers on, you trap in way too much moisture. 3+ layers of "breathable" material and all of a sudden it really isn't.. As far as being clammy...err, wool doesn't dry out nearly as fast as synthetics and I'll take dry in the winter time every time. One reason my feet get cold (one, not all of them) despite the wooliest wool socks is because of the moisture that my foot puts out and how socks get damp, keep it dry and it's better (with various methods). It becomes a very active process when riding to stay ventilated and dry. Sometimes it involves rolling up the pogies (I can do it on the fly as long as the trail is pretty straight), unzipping, etc. Sometimes it's the balaclava that provides all the body-temp regulation, either mouth covered or un-covered. The trick is to have the clothing flexible enough that you can do this with minimal effort and logistics, but sometimes it's not always possible to do it on the fly or without switching something out. One thing I've learned the hard way though is that it's always worth it to do so and remain comfortable, rather than keep going with something that isn't really working. Those rides where you get colder and colder till you can no longer take it aren't all that much fun IMO. I want to be comfortable.

    The only hands-down difference I notice is down, a puffy with real down is instant heat when you put it on. They make down insulated pants for the same purpose, although it's more rare to need them. Synthetic down doesn't even come close IME.

    I'll see if I can drag up the study for you, I've posted it a few times. Scientific with evaporation rates, insulating properties, etc. There was a slight difference when wet, but synthetics and cotton also kept heat and it wasn't a big difference. Then by weight, synthetic was better. While there could be something to be said with funky smells...for the love of god people, wash your clothes. I'm using disinfectant on some parts that can't be washed as often (helmet) and that seems to help too. I started using a combo of foot powder and disinfectant in my climbing shoes and the funk never comes. Before I figured this out...it was nasty.
    Yes I believe I have seen this study on wool keeping you warm even once wet! This was why I was thinking it would be a good choice for me as a sweaty person! I read an article saying basically avoid sweating! Lol Thatís not a possibility for me I break into a sweat after a few minutes! Ahaha

    Again thank you everyone for all your helpful information! Iím honestly overwhelmed by the time taken to help out! Really good idea of taking a few options and doing quick loops to test out gear rather than heading out as hoping for the best!

    Once the winter sets in Iíll report back with my findings!


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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard1hammond View Post
    Yes I believe I have seen this study on wool keeping you warm even once wet! This was why I was thinking it would be a good choice for me as a sweaty person!

    Wool doesn't wick sweat as well, doesn't dry out as fast, and doesn't provide as much warmth for the weight. It offers a tiny bit more warmth when wet, but not much, consider the issue with the warmth per weight, and synthetics also provide warmth while wet, this has been downplayed to promote "buying wool" and people have just repeated the "wool is warm when wet!" line over the decades without any data to support it, but if you want to see some actual test results, look here:

    https://backpackinglight.com/comfort...etic_clothing/
    "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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  31. #31
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    I really like these pants, good for freezing and down to maybe-15ish.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AQDTTC6

  32. #32
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    Gear I rate well....pogies-(Dogwood is what I use.)
    Neos Navagators (insulated) with thick 100% wool socks and merrill sandals.
    Thin poly hat or trapper's fur hat.

  33. #33
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    What winter riding gear do you rate or hate? Newbie advice needed

    Saw this recently. Talks about how a combo of wool and synthetic fibers is the sweet spot.

    Interesting.


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  34. #34
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    so much gimmickry in high priced cycling clothing. The idea of wearing natural fiber and not needing to wash so frequently is most meaningful in my appreciation of wool base layers.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I really like these pants, good for freezing and down to maybe-15ish.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AQDTTC6
    Agreed. Iím using them just as much for cross country skiing as I am biking.


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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I really like these pants, good for freezing and down to maybe-15ish.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AQDTTC6
    I bought some of those as well after seeing someone post them here. I still prefer to use a nice pair of thermal bibs (I have a couple pair of Gore Bikewear), with baggies over them for pockets, winter boots, and gaiters, but if its really cold (like below 5 deg F) and Im going to be out for more than 1.5 hours, those work great over my thermal bibs. If my bib are dirty, I put on a chamois with those over the top.

  37. #37
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    My outstanding list:
    Columbia down fill puffy with hood
    Old Performance-brand winter soft-shell with wind-block on frontside
    Having a variety of other lighter soft-shell jackets for warmer days
    45N Wolfgar winter boots
    Snow gaiters, the toughest 1000 denier cordura you can find, even when there's no snow, they provide an extra warmth layer for that area where you are trying to overlap tucking in pants/socks/etc.
    Craft XC ski pants
    Balaclavas
    Pogies (the Dogwood designs ones you can "roll up")
    Frame bags
    Emergency mittens
    Carbon handlebars and brake levers that don't transmit heat effectively
    Ski helmets
    Buff neckwarmer/balaclava/beanie-things
    Foam grips
    Full-side-zip shell pants for extreme cold
    boot chemical heaters for handlebars

    My "meh" list:
    45N Wolfhammer boots
    Lake 302s
    Anything without some wind-blocking
    Most waterproof stuff not used as emergency heat-trapping layers in extreme cold
    DH skiing-style winter gloves that make your palms sweat and your fingers freeze
    DH skiing pants, way too much insulation and no breathing
    Too many layers in general and soaking base layers
    Loose fitting base layers
    Goggles, unless it's -20F, and even then they still fog/freeze up (yes, even the ones that claim they don't)

    And in general, not having the clothing to be comfortable while riding in the cold. That doesn't mean wearing it all at once, you might have some articles stowed in the frame bag, but dressing in a way that allows you to be comfortable and not "racing the clock" until you can't feel your feet/toes/fingers/etc. That's where it's no fun to be out. The stuff I love usually has an incredible temperature range, so like the wolfgars vs wolfhammers, the wolfgars don't suffer much in the warmer temps where I'd think that he wolfhammers would be hands down better, but when it gets colder, the wolfhammers fall far short due to their general design. So if you are going to get one boot, get the wolfgars. They'll do "ok" in warmer 20-30įF temps and outstanding below that, vs. wolfhammers that do ok in the warmer temps but terrible when it gets 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

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard1hammond View Post
    So Iím coming into the world of fat biking as a complete novice and this will be my first winter sport so have no experience when it comes to the clothing gear. I have been doing a load of research as Iím a very sweaty person who tends to run hot. To this point I understand quality base layers merino wool would be wise for me to invest in.
    First, understand going out and filling a cart might not be the best thing. Get some items (baselayer, gloves, etc.) that you need right now. Experiment with setups that work for you. You might find what you think you need and what you actually need aren't the same. As an example, I ride in northern MN on tracksled groomed singletrack trails exclusively. The setup that works for me prioritizes warmth and comfort and minimizes the "drift busting" hike-a-bike needs. That might be the complete opposite of what you need.

    Second, contrary to what some people (well one) on this thread might say, go with wool base layers. Lots of options, and they just work. There are personal reasons too. For me its three reasons: 1) I don't hate the Earth, so I try reduce clothing made of plastics (synthetics), especially those items that get washed. 2) Wool wicks and wicks regardless of other factors meaning while one ocean killing super synthetic can beat it in X circumstances, wool is good in a wider range of circumstances, A thru Z. 3) Wool does not get the funk, unlike synthetics, especially if you sweat like whore in church and your sweat counts as a bio-hazard, which mine does. Properly taken care of, wool lasts forever. Don't machine wash it, just a gentle soak every couple wears is all that is needed. I have nearly every wool baselayer (Sarma TST) sold on https://www.varusteleka.com/ and I can't recommend their wool items enough.

    Third, XC skiing gear ain't bad. Hit a swap meet or buy discounted stuff at the House. https://www.the-house.com/buy-cheap-...-ski-shop.html . That being said, its still one use items. If you want something you can wear fat biking, snow shoeing, around town, etc. look at wind/water proof outerwear (Black Hills line from Duluth Trading Company is a good one). Yeah, its mostly synthetic, but if you want to do better (and willing to spend the money) Vaude, Picture Organics or Cotopaxi all make items from recycled plastics.

    Lastly, a bit of tip: create a fat biking to-go bag. One place you have all your stuff. Most people have an old backpack or gym bag laying around. If you don't, go to Play It Again sports and get a used kids hockey bag, the smaller ones. It will fit everything. Mine has 2 sets of base layers (cold and really cold), mids, boots, wool socks, gloves and post-ride comfort clothes.

  39. #39
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    I like to have balaclavas of different warmths, for changing conditions, and just in case first one gets too wet. You can also just tape up some of the helmet vents for extra warmth.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    First, understand going out and filling a cart might not be the best thing. Get some items (baselayer, gloves, etc.) that you need right now. Experiment with setups that work for you. You might find what you think you need and what you actually need aren't the same. As an example, I ride in northern MN on tracksled groomed singletrack trails exclusively. The setup that works for me prioritizes warmth and comfort and minimizes the "drift busting" hike-a-bike needs. That might be the complete opposite of what you need.

    Second, contrary to what some people (well one) on this thread might say, go with wool base layers. Lots of options, and they just work. There are personal reasons too. For me its three reasons: 1) I don't hate the Earth, so I try reduce clothing made of plastics (synthetics), especially those items that get washed. 2) Wool wicks and wicks regardless of other factors meaning while one ocean killing super synthetic can beat it in X circumstances, wool is good in a wider range of circumstances, A thru Z. 3) Wool does not get the funk, unlike synthetics, especially if you sweat like whore in church and your sweat counts as a bio-hazard, which mine does. Properly taken care of, wool lasts forever. Don't machine wash it, just a gentle soak every couple wears is all that is needed. I have nearly every wool baselayer (Sarma TST) sold on https://www.varusteleka.com/ and I can't recommend their wool items enough.

    Third, XC skiing gear ain't bad. Hit a swap meet or buy discounted stuff at the House. https://www.the-house.com/buy-cheap-...-ski-shop.html . That being said, its still one use items. If you want something you can wear fat biking, snow shoeing, around town, etc. look at wind/water proof outerwear (Black Hills line from Duluth Trading Company is a good one). Yeah, its mostly synthetic, but if you want to do better (and willing to spend the money) Vaude, Picture Organics or Cotopaxi all make items from recycled plastics.

    Lastly, a bit of tip: create a fat biking to-go bag. One place you have all your stuff. Most people have an old backpack or gym bag laying around. If you don't, go to Play It Again sports and get a used kids hockey bag, the smaller ones. It will fit everything. Mine has 2 sets of base layers (cold and really cold), mids, boots, wool socks, gloves and post-ride comfort clothes.
    A gentle soak every so many uses? I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. As for eco-friendly practices, your argument is so pathetic. Do you drive a car? Live in heated house? Do you wear clothes in general? What a ridiculous argument. The more times you use something the more eco-friendly it is. Iím not compromising on wearing actually clean clothes, so durability given actual sanitary conditions is a trade off. I guess modern technical fabrics come from Area 51 or something? I mean they are unnatural? I love that IVs save millions of lives a year and they are plastic. I think disposable syringes and even cannula are awesome! I guess they'd be better if they were wool too? Look, I love wool. But, like everything on earth, it has upsides and downsides. Hell, Iím a farm kid, Iíve sheered sheep for wool. They generally love it! But we still used a tractor that ran on gas and had rubber tires. That argument is a black hole.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    A gentle soak every so many uses? I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. As for eco-friendly practices, your argument is so pathetic. Do you drive a car? Live in heated house? Do you wear clothes in general? What a ridiculous argument. The more times you use something the more eco-friendly it is. Iím not compromising on wearing actually clean clothes, so durability given actual sanitary conditions is a trade off. I guess modern technical fabrics come from Area 51 or something? I mean they are unnatural? I love that IVs save millions of lives a year and they are plastic. I think disposable syringes and even cannula are awesome! I guess they'd be better if they were wool too? Look, I love wool. But, like everything on earth, it has upsides and downsides. Hell, Iím a farm kid, Iíve sheered sheep for wool. They generally love it! But we still used a tractor that ran on gas and had rubber tires. That argument is a black hole.
    You'd think from reading what he said that it's impossible to use chamois, shorts, gloves, tights, anything that isn't wool. I mean, given how much stuff we are all using that is synthetic, NOT including base tops and bottoms, it can't possibly be as bad as he's making it out to be. Most of these get sweaty too.

    1. Wash your funky ****. A couple rides can be fine on synthetics if you didn't soak them like Savanna Georgia in August (yes, I've been there).

    2. Dry out your funky ****, especially right after riding. A boot-drier is one of the best things I've ever bought, not just for damp riding shoes, but gloves, and as a pre-heater for cold rides from the house. Chuck damp boots in a dark place where they won't dry and they'll funk up eventually. This goes for uppers too, hang-dry works great, especially if you got a light source.

    3. Wash your riding stuff on gentle to minimize washer damage and always hang-dry it.

    4. Wash your funky ****.

    The notion that wool is some sort of wonder-material for cold is just as ingrained as titanium for frame material.

    I have several pairs of chamois, because 1, my bits get frigid without some extra insulation, and 2, THAT is what might get funky, since it's up in your crack. With several sets, I can wash one and have plenty available for the next days rides. On light commutes, I might use them a couple days in a row with no funk.

    One thing I find very important is to have options, to be able to mix and match, to have flexibility to wear something that won't cause you to overheat and sweat. Sweat is one of the biggest enemies when riding in the winter. Not because of the funk from not washing your clothes...
    "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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  42. #42
    Rippin da fAt
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    Wool is akin to wearing a porcupine...
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  43. #43
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    There's a lot of good info -- more theory than specifics -- here:

    https://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/je...e-1032251.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    A gentle soak every so many uses? I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.
    Actually, that is recommended method to wash 100% wool. https://www.wikihow.life/Wash-Wool. As to how often you wash wool, it depends on when it needs it. But because wool doesn't it get the funk, it doesn't have gag inducing smells. That isn't some "hippy-dippy" thing, again its the recommend care instructions. https://www.iwto.org/odour-resistance

    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    The more times you use something the more eco-friendly it is. Iím not compromising on wearing actually clean clothes, so durability given actual sanitary conditions is a trade off. I guess modern technical fabrics come from Area 51 or something? I mean they are unnatural? I love that IVs save millions of lives a year and they are plastic. I think disposable syringes and even cannula are awesome! I guess they'd be better if they were wool too? Look, I love wool. But, like everything on earth, it has upsides and downsides. Hell, Iím a farm kid, Iíve sheered sheep for wool. They generally love it! But we still used a tractor that ran on gas and had rubber tires.
    Yep, the more you wear something the better. But what it is made of also counts. Plastics are made from petroleum, not recovered alien technology. Now this isn't some "plastics are evil" rant, they have their place. However, synthetic clothes (especially those that are washed often) shed a lot of micro-plastics into the environment. https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9...ashing-machine Again, its not an "evil plastic" argument, its a "do the plastics become evil in this situation?" argument. The discussion was on baselayers. Synthetic (plastic) baselayers are fine. But they aren't light-years better than wool baselayers and some circumstances are worse. So, your choice is to purchase a mostly equal product that comes with a whole pile of negative impacts (creation impacts and then usage impacts) or product with some negative impacts (creation impacts) but none of the resultant usage impacts. As you so wonderfully said, everything has its upsides and downsides. There is no Planet B. If we don't want to jack this one up, we have to choose the things that have maximum upsides with minimum downsides. By that measure, when comes to baselayers, wool stomps synthetic.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleKrieg View Post
    There is no Planet B. If we don't want to jack this one up, we have to choose the things that have maximum upsides with minimum downsides. By that measure, when comes to baselayers, wool stomps synthetic.

    Well put.

    I wish that this opinion (and the mentality behind it) wasn't the 1%er viewpoint.

  46. #46
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    super thin silk as a base layer...warmer per weight than wool and same no-stink. for what feels like 'about nothing' in fabric it delivers a lot of warmth. I use silk base in fall when transition temps arrive and don't want to bulk up too much(warm afternoon depart, chilly ride back in dark) and also dead winter base layer under all the other stuff. baller

    I wash my stuff each ride, at least in a bucket with suds and a bucket to rinse. some of youze is just nasty. if multi-day trekking and cannot wash...at least wool and silk won't make you puke if it doesn't get washed
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  47. #47
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    1.) Think layers - You can make an outer layer work from 10 degrees to -20 depending on what you put on under it.
    2.) Pogies - as others said
    3.) I ride platform pedals with hiking or hunting boots (mostly well traveled or groomed trails). Add some gaiters to keep the snow out if you go into deep stuff.
    4.) I like bibbs or shorts with a chamois and then warm chamois-less tights over them. I add some thermal underwear under the tights when it gets in the -15 range.

    Bibbs and baselayers get washed EVERY ride. Outer layers could go a few rides depending how sweated up they get.

  48. #48
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    ptarmigan hardcore

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    Wool is akin to wearing a porcupine...
    LOL. There is wool and there is WOOL. I am not sure we are all talking about the same thing. From the link Jayem provided:

    "Traditional wools are typically at least 32 microns, and frequently up to 80 or more microns. This explains why old wool fabrics felt like Brillo Pads against your skin. The thinner fibers of Merino wool are more flexible, hence softer and more comfortable against your skin. A few manufacturers are now producing merino wool fabric with fibers less than 18 microns in diameter, and efforts continue to produce affordable base layers with ever more comfortable fabrics."

    I dug out some old merino wool biking tights from 40 years ago... and yes indeed they were a lot more scratchy than any wool item I currently use. My synthetics from that long ago got thrown away as they were far too stinky.

    "Merino wool fibers can absorb approximately 30 percent of their weight in water. Synthetic fibers themselves will not absorb any water. They only hold water between the threads." So, in theory the wool will hold a lot more water that a synthetic. If you overdress you are in trouble either way!

    Wool is naturally resistive to the bacterial growth. Synthetics are working on catching up in that area but are not there yet. If you plan on socializing or hitting a bar or food joint after the ride - wool is your friend... er Ö it will help keep your friends

  50. #50
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    The only bike specific winter gear I have is a pair of Aerotech Designs fleece bib tights, a pair of Lake 303 boots and a Revelate Desighs hoodie. I only got the hoodie last year because it was on sale. Prior to that, I was fine but I do like it.
    Everything else is regular stuff. Under Armour base layer, A couple of Eastern Mountain Sports wicking layers, beanie, balaclava...
    Like mentioned earlier, I layer up according to the temperature.
    I like turtles

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    ... we've come to the understanding that unless we're standing next to one another talking about the exact same thing, ...
    No kidding.
    My first thought was that there's wet, then there's wet and then there's wet.
    And there's wool, then there's wool, and then there's wool.

    More and more I'm going back to wool that kept me warm during my canoeing days, and more cotton and I wish there was cheap linen available instead of just niche premium products.
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    Don't over think it or buy into all the marketing. Not just yet, anyway.

    I've been riding in the winter for well over two decades. Not a lot of "snow" gear back then. I just rode in a long-sleeve jersey, wool sweater (random one from the closet), and a lightweight shell. Some combo of those three worked for me.

    For my hands, either some fleece gloves or snow gloves, or ski mittens for extreme cold (negatives).

    I've had winter specific cycling gear, but I still use that above combo.

    Point is, you don't need to spend mega bucks to ride in the winter. Just use what you've got in your closet, especially if you're starting off. They may end up working out just fine for you, or you may decide you don't even like riding in the cold.
    This. Get a few pair of good wool socks, shoes/boots that will keep your feet dry (i use some old water proof hiking shoes, low-tops even!), and the rest can be made up of whatever layers you have/can find cheap. Ride a little and find out what areas you need to change up and make purchases based on real world feedback. i bought some cheap base layers when i started and they've worked just fine for me in Michigan (it can get pretty cold next to lake michigan). Might be worth trying pogies too, i find that anything about 25*F i can usually take off my gloves after a few miles and ride barehanded.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Well put.

    I wish that this opinion (and the mentality behind it) wasn't the 1%er viewpoint.
    What winter riding gear do you rate or hate? Newbie advice needed-env_impact.jpg
    image from http://globalfashionagenda.com/wp-co...ustry_2017.pdf

    Actual environmental impact of wool is higher than plastics.

    And this infographic is per kg of material. But wool base layers fabrics generally weight more than comparable synthetics. So wool impact per shirt is even more harmful.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by grisha View Post
    Actual environmental impact of wool is higher than plastics.
    Well... hang on there. Sources matter.

    Independent groups, not tied to the fashion industry (and profit motives or the need low lead times) or not connected with vegans, all point some mix of natural and synthetic fibers for different items. Typically, the big deciding factors are a) how long will the item last/be usable and b) does the usage of that item have issues, like the synthetic's micro-plastics problem discussed before.

    The argument here isn't that wool is this magical thing never has any impacts or downsides. In total, factoring in everything, it just has less impact then synthetics for this described use (baselayers). Because of factory farming and the like, at creation phase of the garment, wool isn't great. (With organic, animal friendly farming and less emphasis on bleaching raw wool it would be much better.) But where wool starts winning the day is due to three factors: 1) less need for machine washing (soaps, water use, energy), 2) fiber loss in washing is lower/bio-degradable and 3) wool garments tend to last longer by virtue of thickness, cost and less washing action. Getting a 100% wool baselayer and UnderArmor, honestly, doesn't have that much difference at the POS. But because you have to machine wash that UnderArmor after every use (lest the funk start) and because over time the UnderArmor just won't last as long as the wool, the wool wins. Generations of those differences made by millions of people add up.

    The study "Does Use Matter? Comparison of Environmental Impacts of Clothing Based on Fiber Type" by Consumption Research Norway and Queensland University says it best when it says:
    Based on todayís knowledge, it is possible to address inequalities in use. Clothes of different fibers are washed differently. For example, wool requires less energy and chemicals to be kept clean, compared to cotton. Cotton requires a more powerful wash, and often also uses energy for drying and wrinkle removal. Synthetic fabrics become dirty faster and are washed more frequently. Another clear difference is that synthetic clothing releases microplastic fibers during use and also contributes to the problem by forming microplastics in the end-of-use phase due to fragmentation to micro- and nano-sized plastic particles... The different fibers not only have different environmental impacts, but also different functionality. To compare clothes in different fibers without taking use into account is like comparing apples and oranges; they are fundamentally different and, therefore, not suited to comparison. The consequence is that disposable products are equated with lasting products. It generally requires less environmental and economic inputs to produce clothing for short lifespans. By not including lifetime and use, products with short life are favored; plastic and man-made cellulosic fiber clothes will be favored over those of natural materials which have higher environmental costs at the material production stage. The most effective solutions for reducing the environmental impacts from the production and consumption of clothing most likely lie within reducing consumption and making fewer and better clothes.
    Not sure why some in the forum have a turgid crush for synthetics. But regardless, their arguments have been that synthetics are light-years better in performance than wool for baselayers. That isn't true and if you factor in the environmental aspect, wool is the better choice, even if under performs some synthetics in specifics situations by a small percentage.

    If someone wants synthetic baselayers because of whatever reason, that is their choice. Just don't pretend that makes them Captain Planet for doing so.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    Wool is akin to wearing a porcupine...

    20 years ago we would be in agreement.

    These days it doesn't have to be that way. I have a handful of wool t-shirts that I wear to work, to ride after work, out running errands, working in the yard, etc...

    I don't have many cotton t-shorts to compare them to, largely because cotton takes about 3 uses to be permanently stinky. But IMO my wool t's are softer, more comfortable than any of the cotton that I have here.

    Basically, you need to catch up!

  56. #56
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    Mike, it's just the thought of times been and gone, lol...

    While the vegans might not approve of the use of wool, down, leather and other materials for a given purpose, eat your mutton cause you can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat- Pink Floyd
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    20 years ago we would be in agreement.

    These days it doesn't have to be that way. I have a handful of wool t-shirts that I wear to work, to ride after work, out running errands, working in the yard, etc...

    I don't have many cotton t-shorts to compare them to, largely because cotton takes about 3 uses to be permanently stinky. But IMO my wool t's are softer, more comfortable than any of the cotton that I have here.

    Basically, you need to catch up!
    This would be valid if people only wore wool underwear, socks, shirts, all the time. But they don't, because it's not required when you are washing your nasty ****. If we were to believe half the hype, then we can't do any outdoor stuff in anything but a lamb carcass.

    I went for a few little runs in Juneau this week, totally soaked, in typical Juneau fashion. Not warm, low 40s. Used a supposedly waterproof shell and thin synthetic base layer. One run was nylon pants the other was shorts. I didn't die and I was able to dry out my **** just fine.

    I suppose I need wool shoes too now...
    "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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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    This would be valid if people only wore wool underwear, socks, shirts, all the time. But they don't, because it's not required when you are washing your nasty ****. If we were to believe half the hype, then we can't do any outdoor stuff in anything but a lamb carcass.

    I went for a few little runs in Juneau this week, totally soaked, in typical Juneau fashion. Not warm, low 40s. Used a supposedly waterproof shell and thin synthetic base layer. One run was nylon pants the other was shorts. I didn't die and I was able to dry out my **** just fine.

    I suppose I need wool shoes too now...

    You missed the point. You're good at that.

    Go do that run again tomorrow. And then the next day. And the day after that. And then tell my your synth sh1t doesn't stink.

    My point is that wool is both comfortable against the skin, and doesn't stink like cotton or plastic.

    Not saying it's the end all be all. It's just better than most give it credit for, with the side benefit that it doesn't stink after a week on my body/on the trail.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Wool doesn't wick sweat as well, doesn't dry out as fast, and doesn't provide as much warmth for the weight. It offers a tiny bit more warmth when wet, but not much, consider the issue with the warmth per weight, and synthetics also provide warmth while wet, this has been downplayed to promote "buying wool" and people have just repeated the "wool is warm when wet!" line over the decades without any data to support it, but if you want to see some actual test results, look here:

    https://backpackinglight.com/comfort...etic_clothing/
    Yeah so these test results show wool to be best in the concussion...


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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard1hammond View Post
    Yeah so these test results show wool to be best in the concussion...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    If that's what you take from it, then great.

    The opinions here that you can't possibly do any sports without wool are ridiculous. You can see the huge exaggeration of "benefits" with your own eyes.
    "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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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by racefit View Post
    Saw this recently. Talks about how a combo of wool and synthetic fibers is the sweet spot.

    Interesting.


    https://www.outsideonline.com/240117..._medium=social




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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If that's what you take from it, then great.

    The opinions here that you can't possibly do any sports without wool are ridiculous. You can see the huge exaggeration of "benefits" with your own eyes.
    Iím completely open to suggestions hence my asking. I was just pointing out your reference contradicts your argument that you were making against wool and what it seems like everyone elseís opinion that itís good. Not saying your wrong or right sir!

    Seems like this is a rather hot topic!!

    What understand from the article was

    Synthetic is best for quick drying and fast wicking.. so it should stop you over heating but will cool you faster when you stop.

    Weíre as wool is able to hold the moisture in and this leads to better heat retention and worsted heat dissipation.

    So if your a cold person looking to keep warm then wool is better but Iíd like me someone who runs hot and wants to dissipate heat then synthetic could be better for you.

    So for me I could well be better with synthetic as over heating is more a concern than getting cold so I DO appreciate your input!

    But this is all science lab theory not real world results which will have many veritably a of person and climate.

    As such thereís no definitive answer! So can we keep this on topic of what gear you like/ donít and be friendly



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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    The opinions here that you can't possibly do any sports without wool are ridiculous. You can see the huge exaggeration of "benefits" with your own eyes.

    The only person in this thread that's made any bold claims about wool -- positive or negative -- is you.

    You came into the thread venting about how horrible it is and how so many people exaggerate the opposite.

    Re-reading the thread, most people have said something along the lines of "I prefer wool, but I use other stuff too". Or, "Use whatever you have around. But consider wool if you have to buy something".

    The most aggressively anyone has opined is to say that synthetic stuff stinks, and wool doesn't.

    You get to interpret things however you want to. But to turn the above opinions into something they aren't is serving only to show us exactly how paranoid/delusional you are.

    Chill. It's just bikes, and wool.

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    I have an eclectic mix of layers. Lots. I general I prefer merino wool for most of my winter activities. The primary exception is really high output skate skiing. Thatís a sweatfest. For that I have a few synthetic layers that handle the serious sweat better than wool.

    For all my other activities, I normally wear wool because itís very comfortable and less stinky.

    Lots of good advice in this thread. Iíd say start with a few lower priced thin layers, thereís lots of functional stuff for cheap these days, Then go on short rides in moderate weather (e.g warmer than -10deg C). Then work on expanding your temperature range and distance. I used to live in Ottawa. Surprising how few layers you need at -5 or -10 if youíre active.

    Unless Iím doing the short loop by my house I always carry an extra base layer, puffy, gloves, and a toque in case Iím injured or need to hike out.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post

    The opinions here that you can't possibly do any sports without wool are ridiculous. You can see the huge exaggeration of "benefits" with your own eyes.

    This is called a straw man fallacy.

    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

    "Strawman
    You misrepresented someone's argument to make it easier to attack.
    By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone's argument, it's much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.

    Example: After Will said that we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying that he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenceless by cutting military spending.
    "

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by KThaxton View Post
    This is called a straw man fallacy.

    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

    "Strawman
    You misrepresented someone's argument to make it easier to attack.
    By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone's argument, it's much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.

    Example: After Will said that we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying that he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenceless by cutting military spending.
    "
    I never claimed there were no benefits, I claimed they where overblown and some of the purported disadvantages of synthetic were not real, which the data shows. Look at the actual charts.

    Screw it, next year Iím going strait to wolf and Iím going to wear it every day.
    "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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  67. #67
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    I am only calling your statement that I specifically quoted as a straw man. Nobody said anything remotely close to "you can't possibly do any sports...etc"

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by KThaxton View Post
    I am only calling your statement that I specifically quoted as a straw man. Nobody said anything remotely close to "you can't possibly do any sports...etc"
    Iím pointing out that mountain biking is not the only sport where people sweat and for some reason those donít get this lopsided argument that you have to wear wool or that itís far superior.
    "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.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanmoreBruce View Post

    Unless Iím doing the short loop by my house I always carry an extra base layer, puffy, gloves, and a toque in case Iím injured or need to hike out.
    For the OP I think this is a key point for the Canadian winter, better to have it and not need it than vice versa.
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    A spare base layer for sure but such myopic generalizations fail to specify optimum fiber content for the spare base layer.

    This is an affront. I am now eager to joust with any combatant foolish enough to think they know more than I about the optimum fiber content of the spare base layer.

    Bring it on vulgarians!

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