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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 09-17-09, 08:03 AM   #1
Injun_Josh
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Winter Clothes Question

Well guys, first off my rides have been going great. Im up too 28 miles three times a week. thing is I know it is fixing to start getting cold. I want to keep those pedals turning all through the winter months, so what do cyclist usually wear to keep the cold out? also what do you guys do to keep your face from freezing?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:07 AM   #2
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Old 09-17-09, 08:39 AM   #3
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You can also get a balaclava. I own a few for motorcycle riding and use the same things for my bicycles.
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Old 09-17-09, 09:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Injun_Josh View Post
Well guys, first off my rides have been going great. Im up too 28 miles three times a week. thing is I know it is fixing to start getting cold. I want to keep those pedals turning all through the winter months, so what do cyclist usually wear to keep the cold out? also what do you guys do to keep your face from freezing?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
A perennial question, even in the summer. Try the Winter Cycling and Commuter Forums for the best advice. For example I posted to this recent thread, "Winter Weather Gear":

Winter Weather Gear

See my post #3 and the one by TSL of Rochester, NY, #11.
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Old 09-17-09, 10:32 AM   #5
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It all depends on what kind of winter you get. Here in Seattle, I dress differently than riders up in frozen-arsed Manitoba or Buffalo.
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Old 09-18-09, 07:57 AM   #6
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One word: layers

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Old 09-18-09, 08:26 AM   #7
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I just start piling on the clothes. I don't really own any bike specific gear, partially because I am commuter and I only ride for 45 minutes at a time. If its really cold out I will start with a good pair of wicking long underwear under slacks or on some occasions jeans. On top I sport a long sleeve wicking top and a long sleeve cotton t-shirt, if it dips below 20f I throw on a gore-tex jacket. As for keeping my face warm, I rock out a big full beard. I am bearded year round, but I let it really fill out during the winter, it really takes the edge off the wind. I find that if I put the visor on my helmet and tape up all of the vent holes, that combined with my beard is warm enough.
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Old 09-18-09, 08:34 AM   #8
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Yep, layers. People prefer different things as well. I prefer versatility, and prefer to have gear that crosses-over to other activities, but some things made specifically for bicycling really do work better. Here is what I use.
  • For my head.
    1. Bandana or do-rag. I used to only wear this from about 35-45 degrees F, but wear it all the time now, so that my balding pate does not sun burn under the helmet vents (red-stripe head ).
    2. Medium-weight balaclava for anything colder. I open the face when it is above freezing, and cover more as needed.
    3. Regular synthetic stocking cap on top of the balaclava. Thicker ones for colder weather.
    4. Either a rain-proof rain cover, or a plastic grocery bag in a pinch, over the top of my helmet for when it is cold and raining/sleeting.
    5. A scarf when it is really cold.
  • For my torso.
    1. Poly shell riding jacket that fits a little bit loose, so that you can layer stuff underneath it. I wear this unzipped when just my arms are cold, and zip it up as needed. Jackets made for riding are worth the money (PI Zephyr, Performance Century, etc.). They are longer in the back and wick sweat away from your back better than normal jackets.
    2. Synthetic thermal under-shirts, and sweaters (layers).
    3. Regular fleece jacket.
    4. Goretex Parka shell, for when it is raining/sleeting, and when it gets down below 15 degrees F.
  • For my hands.
    1. Neoprene or wind-stop fabric riding gloves, for 40-50 degrees F.
    2. Regular fleece ski gloves (thick), for 35-40 degrees F. I also wear these on top of the above for 30-40 degrees F.
    3. Hand-sweats (a poly-shell lobster-type glove), worn on top of all the above for when it gets colder than that.
    4. Regular synthetic or wool gloves, to layer under the above for when it gets nasty-cold.
  • For my legs.
    1. Medium weight tights, for 35-45 degrees F.
    2. Gore-tex riding pants, at least a size too big. I wear these in rain, and when it goes below freezing, on top of my tights.
    3. Synthetic fleece workout pants, and thermal underwear. Layer under the rain pants as needed.
  • For my feet.
    1. Socks. Lots of socks.
    2. Poly shell booties. I put these on when it is below 45 degrees F or raining/sleeting.
    3. Neoprene booties, for when it is colder than that.
    4. I have a pair of old and really thick hiking socks that I wear on top of my shoes and under the poly-shell (cut a hole for my riding cleat). I only wear these when it is below 20 degrees F.



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Old 09-18-09, 12:26 PM   #9
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Go and check out the Winter riding forum. They have loads of good info on how to layer properly.

You definitely need to layer, but the kind of layers are important. You need clothing that will breath. For the 1st Winter I started using a fleece cover, but it was not wind proof. I then added a "breathable" shell. The shell would be soaking wet by the time I got to work. Now I have a wind proof, breathable, fleece coat from Lou at www.foxwear.net.

For bottoms a good pair of tights can make a world of difference. Again, the wind proof modern fleece materials do wonder for keeping you warm, but with non of the massive collection of sweat you get with "solid" clothing.

I use a beenie type hat to keep my head warm. I generally don't add a balaclava till the temperature drops into the single digits.

Happy riding,
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Old 09-19-09, 03:42 PM   #10
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I rode today 8:25am, 45degrees and windy. 1 underarmer shirt under my jersey and a wind braker over all. I wore shorts but thats coming to an end. I would like to get a pair of riding tights but I don't want to look like a fat tinkerbell so when it gets colder I will wear sweat pants. ECB1
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Old 09-19-09, 04:01 PM   #11
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Breathability is the key - if the air trapped inside your shell gets wet with sweat that you're just as soaked as if the rain penetrated. No other rain and wind proof breathes as well as a Paramo - this stuff actually pumps water away from you like a wicking T, but more so. Kayakers love it because they can get soaked and then their Paramo gear will dry them off. Or in the case of cycling:
Quote:
www.outdoorsmagic.com/news/article/mps/uan/3160 It's also very effective at handling excess moisture when you do boil over. Some mountain biking mates were amazed by the steam rising from the Velez during a rest stop on a hectic night ride. Really, clouds of steam rising from the surface of the garment...
Slightly pricey and hard to find in the US, but worth it. Tends to be cut to a stocky fit, btw.

Beneath the Paramo I'd wear either a modern wicking T or a merino T. Conditions would have to be amazingly bad to require much than this for your torso while cycling.

Oh - *THE* best articles on the net on staying warm in bad conditions are at a mountaineering site: http://www.psychovertical.com/?clothing

eg http://www.psychovertical.com/?theartofnotsuffering

and http://www.psychovertical.com/?thecomfortgame

(And please, God, never let anyone persuade me to go climbing again.)
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Old 09-19-09, 07:05 PM   #12
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A few things that work for me:

1) Wool - I have a SmartWool quarter-zip top that is good down to 20F or so. And Wool socks are a must in winter.

2) Tights - below 40F, I usually wear a pair of Pearl Izumi Amfib bib tights (made with wet-suit like material). They are also great in the rain and snow. Below 20F, I add long underwear under the tights.

3) Goggles / Face mask - Somebody mentioned the neopreme face mask. I use that with a pair of ski goggles with clear lenses for commuting (it's dark at both ends of the day during the winter).

As was mentioned previously, layers are key.
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Old 09-19-09, 07:14 PM   #13
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For the face I use a neoprene face mask like the ones Barrettscv linked to. However with glasses I prefer the ones with an mesh like opening around the nose area. It helps to keep the glasses from fogging up.
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Old 09-20-09, 06:21 PM   #14
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One word: layers

Dan
What Dan said.
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Old 09-21-09, 01:52 AM   #15
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Has there been no mention of newspaper?
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