Winter Cycling - Help choosing winter clothes
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Looking to do a lot more riding this winter then the past years. Here is some info on the conditions.
35+ degrees F
No Riding in the rain or snow
I already have regular bibs and short sleeve jerseys.
What would be enough clothing?
How warm are arm warmers and leg warmers? What temps are they good for with regular cycling clothes?
I was looking at Hammer Nutritions site and see they have wind jackets and thermal jackets? What is the main difference between the two? Are the hammer ones anygood?
It's real personal. Some people are more sensitive to the cold than others. And it depends on how you acclimate.
Take today for instance. 63°F, winds 10MPH off the lake. I was chilly to start in regular shorts and jersey, but warmed up as I rode. Everyone I saw on bikes was wearing more than I. One girl had on a winter coat with a scarf. A coat and scarf at temperatures some people I know keep their A/C set at.
Anyway, this is the time of year when I start to acclimate. I use the same rule as I do the dead of winter--one that I learned here in this forum: Start the ride feeling a little chilly, maybe even worrying that you're underdressed. If you warm up before a mile, you're wearing too much and will certainly sweat through in no time. If you're not warm yet after two miles, you're wearing too little.
The way that works out is that one morning last week in lower 50s, I wore a baselayer top, armwarmers and a regular jersey, regular shorts and knee warmers below. I did pretty good. In winter, that same combo will get me to the lower 40s or upper 30s. Add tights and a windbreaker and I'm good to the mid-teens.
But, if I don't acclimate and I layer up now--like that chick I saw today--it's hopeless when winter gets here. So I let myself get a little colder than is comfortable now, so that in the dead of winter I don't have to dress like the Michelin man.
In winter, say the 20s to the upper teens, I wear a baselayer, long sleeve jersey, and windbreaker on top, shorts, kneewarmers and tights on the bottom. Double-glove and winter cycling boots. Like this:
I know that doesn't specifically answer your question, but I hope it shows you that only your own experience can answer it. Clothing is the toughest thing to get right in the winter--and probably the most important thing to get right too.
Some people will dress the same way I do and sweat through at the same temperatures. Others will freeze before they're out the door. There's no way someone on the Internet can say how you'll do.
Edit: That's also why there's a bewildering array of cold weather gear out there. Everyone is different.
As for the jackets you asked about, the windbreaker is exactly that. There's no insulation or lining. There is some insulation and a lining in a thermal jacket.
09-23-08, 08:35 AM
35+ and clear? Tights, gloves, light jacket. you won't need much to deal with that. Remember, you generate a LOT heat.
09-23-08, 11:23 AM
I agree with everything you said. One thing I would add that is along with being difficult to give exact advice on the ideal winter riding gear for each individual, it's just as hard to to give exact advice on a budget riding wardrobe. Again, you learn from experience what clothes work, then you're able to find something similar that costs less. It's like sex, nobody does it perfect the first time.
One thing I appreciated most about winter riding, was riding past people parked in front of their houses, brushing, scraping, and chipping away ice from their windshields, or hunkered down in their front seats shivering, waiting for the car to warm up. People would ask me how I did it. I'd have to convince them that at these times, I'm warmer and more comfortable than they are. Plus, I arrived to work warmed up, and wide awake.
09-23-08, 02:57 PM
wool and silk. 2 layers of wool and thin thin thin base layer of silk
best stuff evar.
and some type of shell
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