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  1. #1
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    Winter riding clothing

    Well today it was 50 degrees on our morning ride. I don't have any cold weather bike clothing do to the fact of my size. 5'11", 250LBS. Are there any clothing makers that make clothing for clydes and athenas. Sweat pants just don't cut it for me. I live in Connecticut and it will be cold soon until april. ECB1

  2. #2
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    I just used a set of PI leg warmers for the first time this past weekend (60&deg and rainy). They worked very well and did not slide around. The trick I used was to put the legs of my shorts over the leg warmers... this held them up. I did try the full PI bibs @ REI and the XXL size fit me (6'0, 270lbs) and the XL _almost_ fit. For the top I just use good thermal underwear (poly, wool, etc.) under my cycling jersey. On some days I'll use 2-3 layers before the jersey.

  3. #3
    Bicycle n00B
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    Layering is the key for me. I can always stop and take off a layer, but if I don't have it when I start the commute I can't put it on.
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

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  4. #4
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I also layer up. I'm 5'9" and 240 with the dimensions of a weightlifter/football player. I've tried some cycling specific gear (though I don't think they were meant for clydes) but it never fit right. It was always to tight around the chest and arms even when I bought XL. It seems XL is for taller riders not wider ones.

    I don't think you need to build up all at once. I like the Merino Wool long sleave as a good base layer. I also wear athletic pants during the cooler months into the winter. I always wear basketball shorts under any pants. I have a pair of Pear Izumi leg warmers I picked up on clearance which came in very handy in January and February. Total price for the Merino Wool ($20) and the leg warmers ($25) was $45. Everything else I already had.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I am definitely Athena and just dropping under Clyde-class. I can't comfortably wear women's cycling tights because the ankles are too tight! My approach is to wear women's bike SHORTS then unpadded men's cycling tights over. I have several pair of tights suitable for riding in the 50's down to 30's. The lightest ones are thin lycra; the heavier ones are fleece-lined, and the cold gear have water/wind resistant front-facing panels. For really cold days or in precipitation I have some rain pants to wear over the tights, but despite their big name brand and cycle-specific design, they aren't very breathable and I ride comfortably but get sweaty.

    The layering is especially good for commuters since temps can change so much during the day.

    I haven't tried leg warmers. I'll probably try them out this year for use in non-commute rides where I'll want to have a little warmer wear at the start but will want to take off a layer mid-ride.

    BTW, I don't know where you live, but I almost had to SAG out of a 8AM Labor Day ride here due to heat fatigue wearing my lightest cycling gear. It was > 90F, calm, plenty of hills; I am still several pounds lighter than the start due to profuse sweating that just rolled off instead of providing evaporative cooling. I've been doing hot rides all summer but started this one a bit overtrained. A 50F ride sounds DELIGHTFUL but I bet it's November before we see much of that in North TX.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Have you tried layering with the clothes hunters use? Here in Alabama, all the stores are starting to market hunting gear for the approaching season. Check your local sporting goods stores for clothing targeted to hunters and you may find some good useful stuff, and not all of it will be camouflage.

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelusionalDude View Post
    Have you tried layering with the clothes hunters use? Here in Alabama, all the stores are starting to market hunting gear for the approaching season. Check your local sporting goods stores for clothing targeted to hunters and you may find some good useful stuff, and not all of it will be camouflage.
    Camo is a poor choice for riding; it's hard to see on the road and if you ride through state game lands in hunting season..... >SHUDDER!<

    Hunting gear is available in orange blaze, but much of it is, in my opinion, cut wrong for bike riding, and too heavy as well.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECB1 View Post
    Well today it was 50 degrees on our morning ride. I don't have any cold weather bike clothing do to the fact of my size. 5'11", 250LBS. Are there any clothing makers that make clothing for clydes and athenas. Sweat pants just don't cut it for me. I live in Connecticut and it will be cold soon until april. ECB1
    Arm and leg warmers are a good and cheap investment, in my opinion. Long fingered cycling gloves are another good choice. Wool socks with a sock liner keep my feet warm riding in winter, and work just as well for hiking. If you wear jerseys, long sleeved jerseys are available cheaply at Nashbar and Performance, as well as other retailers.

    If you ride clipless, you might want to switch back to platform pedals for the winter months, since that means you can wear boots on your ride.

    In the photo below, taken in downtown Philadelphia December 22, 2007, I'm wearing:

    - a balaclava under the helmet
    - a Performance Illuminte jacket over a Performance zippered sweatjacket over a long sleeved jersey over a compression shirt (to keep loose skin in place.)
    - long fingered gloves
    - tights
    - two pairs of socks
    - hiking boots
    - a goofy look (my all-climate expression, sadly.)

    The temperature was in the upper 30s, with a breeze that day.



    I'm wearing much the same here, except I've ditched the sweatjacket. This was the start of 35 or so miles home on Christmas day from Green Lane Park in Montgomery County. The temperature was about 40 degrees.



    December 23 I took off the yellow jacket and sweatjacket and wore a cheap rainjacket from Performance. I could have skipped bringing this and instead wore the yellow one. This is a few miles south of Fort Washington, and one of my favorite ride photos. Temps, the low 40s.



    Thank you, neilfein, for the pictures!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DelusionalDude View Post
    Have you tried layering with the clothes hunters use? Here in Alabama, all the stores are starting to market hunting gear for the approaching season. Check your local sporting goods stores for clothing targeted to hunters and you may find some good useful stuff, and not all of it will be camouflage.
    I just put an order in to Cabela's for some fleece pull overs for riding. I have the Cabela's visa card, so they were "free" to me. Check out the hiking and outdoors gear for non-camo layer-able clothes. Some of the styles are available to 3X.

    I've also had good luck with Championusa.com and their Doubledry line. Mostly meant for basketball and running, but they work well for biking. Their fleece sweatpants are too long and baggy for me, but the doubledry pants work great. I would wear these down to the mid-40s.

  10. #10
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    For 50F, I'll wear:
    generic nylon cycling jacket--this breathes just enough to keep sweat from building up.
    either a short sleeve jersey or a long sleeve, depending on the range of temperatures during the ride.
    Pearl Izumi skullcap
    my usual bike shorts and cheap Performance unlined tights over them. I don't like leg warmers.
    wool socks
    windblocking booties--these are thin, with a fuzzy surface inside. I can wear these up to 60F or so without overheating.
    full finger gloves

    For 40F
    The same jacket and skullcap
    long sleeve jersey
    backpacking long sleeve baselayer--I choose between a thin one and a heavy weight one.
    Performance windblocking tights--these work great.
    wool socks and the booties
    heavier gloves
    neck gaiter --this tube can be pulled up over my nose and mouth on downhills, and keeps wind off my neck
    At about 40F, I'll put in some foam plugs in the front vents of my helmet.

    For around 55F
    Long sleeve jersey and one of the long sleeve baselayers.
    thin skullcap
    long finger gloves.
    thin tights over shorts -- this can be a bit too hot -- I sometimes drip some water on the tights if I'm too hot.
    Paper "vest" -- a piece of paper to fit under the long sleeve jersey to block the wind. Newspaper works, too This is used at the beginning of rides or at the end if it's getting colder.

    So, I just vary the layers depending on the weather and the ride. Last year, I kept track of most of my winter rides, so I would know what worked at what temperature.

    I use noaa.gov to get the hourly weather graph. It shows temperatures by the hour.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 09-08-09 at 05:48 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    For temps down to around 50 or so I like the leg/arm warmers. From there down, I like my bib tights and will wear a Nike cold gear base layer top uder my jersey. I have worn the last combo down to 35 degrees. I also have a Showers Pass Elite 2.0 Jacket for rain, but need to get the matching pants. I also find a PI skull cap helps warm me up more then expected.

  12. #12
    Old Fart gapwedge's Avatar
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    I like the Under Armour line of gear. Light weight and comes in both cool and warm gear. I stay in clipless shoes and use ankle high clipless shoe covers. I like to layer also so I can strip off as I get warm enough to do so.
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  13. #13
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Alpine skiing gear is great. I use Mountain Hardwear from Backcountry: http://www.backcountry.com/store/bra...-Hardwear.html

    I use these as base layers: http://www.backcountry.com/outdoorge.../MHW0988M.html and these http://www.backcountry.com/outdoorge.../MHW0987M.html

    I have rain pants for colder days and use both skiing and cycling vests for a wide range of conditions.

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  14. #14
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Funny no matter how cold it gets, I generally don't need anything extra on my legs. I have done rides in 30 degree weather and my legs were OK. However, my upper body does get cold. Best investment ever -ARM WARMERS! Just trust me, you will love them. I put them on and as it gets warm, roll them down. SOmetimes it gets cold again (like descending a long hill) and they go back up. Also cheap base layers. Places like Target, Walmart etc sell Under Armor and base layers for $15 - 20. Stay away from cotton. Make sure what ever you wear is wicking. Also a good vest. Catalogs like Landends, Eddie Bauer etc. carry lightweight, active, outdoors vests for larger sizes.

    At 50 degrees I generally wear a base layer, a jersey, a light vest and my arm warmers and I stay just right all day. For colder weather, invest in a lightweight fleece vest or pullover, something you would wear for skiing.
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