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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-23-08, 04:55 PM   #1
kenseth03
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Cold weather riding

Well the cold weather has definately hit central Virginia. I want to ride bad but I have got to find a way to dress right without breaking the bank. I mean I just can't spend a whole lot on riding clothes. I figure I could use my long sleeve Performance jersey with one of numerous fleece jackets that I have. I also have the hands covered with some new cold weather gloves. What concerns me is what to wear for pants. I'm afraid that the cheap Performance brand tights won't handle the cold weather under 30 degrees. I'm also concerned about my feet. My feet get cold really easy. I also need to keep my head and face warm. I don't mind riding in the cold but I have to be comfortable or I'll quit for the winter and then I'll probably put on alot more weight, so I don't want to have to quit. Any suggestions would be helpfull.
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Old 11-23-08, 05:34 PM   #2
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You will need overshoes to carry on cycling in freezing weather, luckily they're quite cheap. I've been finding that normal cheap tights aren't quite warm enough at night, so I'll probably buy a pair of thicker tights designed for runners and wear those over the thinner tights. Running gear is quite a lot cheaper and almost the same.
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Old 11-23-08, 05:58 PM   #3
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I use Under Armour cold weather tights. They are $50.00. It is pretty expensive for me, but they seem to work well. I wear them over my bike shorts. I also have an UA hood $25.00 that keeps my ears and neck warm. I have some toe covers, but I really need some full shoe covers. I haven't ridden below 26 degrees. I rode today, but the cold wasn't a problem, but the anti-skid from the snows of the week. I also wear the tights and hood when I run.
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Old 11-23-08, 06:18 PM   #4
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Goodwill can be a source for a cheap wool sweater. Non-cotton undershirt beneath and a windproof (hopefully breathable) shell over, you'll have a good start. Balaclava's can be found in the snowboarding section in a deparment store, as well as decent gloves.
I suffer cold feet as well. The only solution I've found for <20F is warm hiking boots on platform pedals. Goofy is better than cold IMO.
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Old 11-23-08, 06:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kenseth03 View Post
I'm also concerned about my feet. My feet get cold really easy. I also need to keep my head and face warm. I don't mind riding in the cold but I have to be comfortable or I'll quit for the winter and then I'll probably put on alot more weight, so I don't want to have to quit. Any suggestions would be helpfull.
For your feet, wool socks, hiking boots, and platform pedals. For the head and face, a balaclava.
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Old 11-23-08, 08:18 PM   #6
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i found this place http://www.tii.us/ and have tops and bottoms they are mega warm. I haven't used them to ride because my tights seem to get it done for me. Do the tights have a chamois? if not find some synthetic thermal bottoms somewhere and just layer them under your tights and over your shorts. Heck if you want it bad enough just put some sweat pants over them Or if its REALLY cold get some snow pants. For your head most big stores will have lightweight but very warm balaclavas in the hunting section or sporting goods for 15 bcks or less. That should get it done. I've had some bellweather ones for years and they are super thin but warm. I if i get too warm i can roll it up and use it as a cap under my helmet
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Old 11-23-08, 08:35 PM   #7
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Breathable rain pants from LL Bean over tights gets the lower unit protected for me. Thicker tights sometimes...depending on the ambient temps. Upstairs I've been using an expensive Orvis fishing rain jacket (that I already had) as a shell over an Underarmor ls base, with a second layer between them sometimes. Thick wool socks and toe covers over my sneekers have protected the tootsies fairly well so far.

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Old 11-23-08, 08:48 PM   #8
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I found some nice PI tights at REI for $63 on sale a month or two ago. They also had another pair in another dept, (Hiking,?) that were similar but much warmer and only a little thicker. I didn't get them cause my legs started sweatin gin the dressing room when I tried them on. I believe they were about the same price as the PI's I bought.

I have a PI windbreaker ($75). Very expensive for what it is IMO. It does do much better than an ordinary windbreaker as far as repelling water. But as far as warmth, not a dern difference from the cheapo WB I bought for about $15 at a sporting good store sale.

Performance also has the leg warmer type covers. Maybe $20-$30 depending on sales. They work great!
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Old 11-25-08, 08:35 PM   #9
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I saw a really nice full head Balaclava at Target last weekend for $12.99 It was not just fleece, it was the neo/fleece.

Also, if you can pick up some of the new age wool underwear, you will not be disappointed. Try Sierra Trading Post. They have some really good deals on Wool undies.

Jay
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Old 11-25-08, 09:18 PM   #10
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+1 for Sierra Trading post. Once you have bought from them once you will get email special discounts.
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Old 11-25-08, 10:38 PM   #11
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Try Campmor.com. They often have excellent deals on stuff. I am using some polypropylene long underwear from them ($11 each top & bottom) and a thin-yet-warm 'Lavawool' beanie ($11). They have a cycling section too with stuff on sale.

Last week when it was 28 degrees I had on: helmet, beanie, polyprop underwear, a long-sleeve wicking shirt (EMS was closing a nearby store last year - $8!), and a soft-shell windblocking fleece jacket. Legs had the polyprop and some wind-blocking nylon ski pants with a thin liner ($8 on ebay last year). Feet had Fox River liner socks, 2 wool socks, and Shimano SPD sandals. For my hands a pair of cheap old windblocking fleece gloves. I was perfectly comfortable, except my hands which were overheating. My Rx Zeal Maestro sunglasses kept the wind out. Total investment this year: $43. Everything else I already owned from past winters.

The next level, say around 20 deg would be too add a fleece top, balaclava, and Gore-Tex oversocks for my feet. Oh, and over-glasses ski goggles. Actually my sandals are on Ebay since I need heel support for clipping out, so I will see what happens foot-wise.

Next year I might go for some actual cycling clothing. I like the idea of tights and a proper breathable outershell for my upper body but just don't see the need to be shelling out big bucks right now.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:17 PM   #12
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I don't wear biking clothes anyway, and that simplifies winter wear for a bike.

For moderate cold, something insulated that air can still sort of blow through works for me- such as fleece-type stuff. The air blowing through is to keep you from getting sweaty.

Layer. Colors don't have to match. You need some place to put stuff you take off.

Thick socks in my regular shoes work for me. I wear knitted wool gloves, not cycling gloves- same principle as the fleeze.

Blue jeans work if you can stay dry.

When you get all the cold-weather gear, don't be afraid to slow up some, or ride shorter distances- it is different from riding in nice weather. And this is like 40's weather, not sub-zero.
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Old 11-26-08, 12:26 AM   #13
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I picked up some very thin, light weight wool thermals last year when my husband and I went up to Norway around Christmas to watch killer whales. They made the shift to cold weather cycle gear beautifully. Even thin as they are they combat the cold very well if worn under my normal tights and a long sleeved top with a wind/water resistant layer over the top. They don't add too much bulk for the amount of warmth they give.
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Old 11-26-08, 10:05 AM   #14
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Last year I wore some running tights with polypro long-johns underneath, and a polypro turtleneck baselayer under my Performance Tundra-II jersey. A microfleece beanie or the fleece lined balaclava (neither over $15) kept the head/face warm. Booties over the shoes, and smartwool summerweight hiking socks kept my feet toasty warm down to 16 degrees.

This year I replaced the polypro turtleneck with a zip-front smartwool baselayer. ($64 at REI) and might be the best investment in my winter cycling comfort that I've made so far.
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