Winter Cycling - High cadence and thick tights aren't mixing
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09-22-06, 08:55 PM
The Col'Lizard Polar Tech 100's were great the last couple of years. But I've turned up the intensity since March and do a cadence of around 95-105 RPMs.
Now it's diiffucult to maintain a high cadance. The tights seem to bind behind the back of the knee (although they are slightly too big). pretty noticable compared to yesterday's thinner tights.
Anyone else have this problem?
I had a similar problem in the past when dressing for cold weather. Especially advice that says to use long johns under tights. This is bad advice for fast riders. They don't stretch easily enough and make you tired from the binding of the material. I want my effort to go into moving the bike not bending the material. The solution for me has been to wear one pair of tights over regular cycling shorts. This gives extra insulation around the thighs and allows you to use the lightest tight that you can for the conditions.
Some tights are far more soft and stretchy than others and I found that Izumi made some really warm tights that are really soft and move easily. And not very expensive either. This combo is good down to 35-40 degrees F for most people.
When it is really cold I use baggy snow boarding pants that are tapered by me in the ankle. They are very warm and baggy enough in the knee to not be too much of a problem. I wear no tights under these just regular shorts or I get too hot since they are lightly insulated. They are almost too warm for 35 degrees so for me the 30-35 degree temps are the hardest to get right.
09-23-06, 08:52 AM
That's a great idea. Also thanks for confirming the slower speed. Although pedaling harder...my speed was noticably slower...like 5-7mph at times.
One thing that I have thought about that might work for colder temperatures is to have some kind of very stretchy insulating cycling short liner. Something like a powerstretch fleece short worn under the cycling shorts. And no longer than the shorts. Or Even a pair of Lycra exercise shorts worn over the cycling shorts to add more insulation to the thighs and pelvic region and thus allowing a thinner full tight on top so the knees stay agile.
However, the upper thigh muscles also need to be free so care must be taken.
09-25-06, 09:57 AM
Well below 60F the knees should probably be covered to protect the knee joints from the colder air.
10-03-06, 09:28 PM
Update: I bought the Pearl Izumi Thermal Fleece tights. They're working beautifully but are not water resistant.
Also considering the Ibex Breakaway tights - same problem. (and I'm worried they'll bind around the knee). Anyone know about these tights?
10-05-06, 10:54 PM
I wear long johns under combat fatigues in winter. Long johns go over standard chamois equipped shorts. That is for commute and MTB riding. For road I wear long johns under legwarmers. Can't have every thing no matter how much money you throw at it in high tech riding gear.
10-13-06, 07:27 AM
So far I've ridden in long-johns (the waffle-pattern looking material from Hanes) a full-body long-john type suit (although it was a ribbed material) and Terramar polypro baselayer. The biggest impact I've seen on my cadence was from the baselayer, which fits much tighter than either pair of longjohns. I noticed a little improvement by carefully bunching up a little extra fabric around the top of my knees.
For whatever reason, the full-body outfit seems to have had the best wind-resistance. I rode today in 32F and felt much warmer than in yesterday's 41f ride with the baselayer on.
10-14-06, 05:50 PM
Just tried out my peformance triflex tights and was quite surprised at how easy it was to pedal. There was no binding at all. Other than a woosh woosh sound there was no noticable difference. I regularly do a cadence of over 90, and on this ride I did some really fast spins(for me) of over 120 with no problem.
10-17-06, 02:44 PM
I have a set of Lusso tights and these are fine- What I do find though is that it just the extra weight of all the extra clothing that causes me and my legs to slow down.
Did a ride in the early summer that was cool and damp. No problem with keeping the cadence up with the tights all day- or for 10 hours of it.
10-17-06, 02:49 PM
Last week it got a little cold in the morning so I wore a pair of cycling shorts under my "unpadded" Knickers & man I sucked! I couldn't keep up with my usual "kickass" pace, I was hideous!, so it's shorts & leg warmers this week.
I should add that the knickers are by Canari and they are in fact pretty thick, so factor in the padded shorts and you got yourself some Cadence Killers.
On the weekend I picked up these http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442617947&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302692411&bmUID=1161134421082
They are the ones that Beckologist recomended. Only used 1 day so far but so far so good. They are waterproof material, but not 100% waterproof since the seams are not taped. Havnt ridden in an hours pouring rain yet, so cant say how much volume comes in thru the seams.
They are very thin, much thinner than my last tights. The fit is weird, snug at ankles, looser at upper legs, torso. Enough space to wear cycling shorts, and maybe some other thermal leggings.
Other than those, give Dave a call or email at www.showerspass.com and see if you can look at his rain pants. His shop is in Seattle. His jacket is best going I've found, maybe his pants are decent too.
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