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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 11-25-11, 08:32 PM   #1
jgalak
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Cool weather bike gear in large sizes

I'd been off the bike for a few months due to an injury, and now that I can ride again, the weather went and turned cool on me. As I'm new to this, I have no idea what one should wear to ride in fall/winter weather. I'm 6'1", about 280lbs, and in the summer rode happily in an a pair of Love2Pedal bibshorts in 3XL plus a normal 3XL t-shirt.

I picked up a pair of Pearl Izumi ELITE Thermal Cycle Tights (http://www.rei.com/product/803403/pe...le-tights-mens) in XL, and they fit OK, but I had issues with the waistband rolling. I then put on a wicking t-shirt under a regular t-shirt, and went riding in about 55F weather. My legs were fine, but even after 5 miles my torso was freezing - the wind was cutting right through me, even at a fairly slow 12mph or so. I had to stop after about 5 miles due to the cold - just couldn't do it.

So I'm hoping for some advice: Does anyone sell bib-tights large enough to fit me? Pearl Izumi has one style of bib-tights, but they only go to 2XL. Anyone know if the size would work for me (I can't seem to source them locally, so would need to mail order)?

What should I wear on the torso? I see various long-sleeve jerseys, do they block the wind? Or do I need a jacket? Are there specific ones folks like that are available in my size?

Down to about 65F I'm ok in my summer gear, but I'd really like to keep riding as the temps drop through the 50s, and even 40s.

Advice appreciated...
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Old 11-25-11, 08:42 PM   #2
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I just ordered a windproof jacket from aero tech designs a few days back. It hasn't come yet, but I've had good experiences with their bike shorts, so I decided to give the jacket a shot.

http://aerotechdesigns.com/cycling-j...erproof_jacket



It only comes in red in 3X and 4X, unfortunately, but hey, I've learned to live with limitations at this size.

Also, if you order by 11/30, you can use the coupon code "Cornucopia" and get 15% off anything in the store.

Last edited by Mithrandir; 11-25-11 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 11-25-11, 08:57 PM   #3
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I JUST got mine in the mail. I ordered the 4x. Will try it on tomorrow and report back. I am 6 foot 4 inches and 329 pounds.
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Old 11-25-11, 08:58 PM   #4
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damn... wish i would have known about the coupon code. How did you hear about it?
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Old 11-25-11, 08:58 PM   #5
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No cotton.
Lots of layers.
No cotton.
For the worst commuting I had to deal with - 15 miles each way in rural Alaska, on the coldest days I had the following:
Legs: a Polypro thermal underwear under insulated bike pants under jeans and rain pants.
Feet: Shoes one size large. (No bike shoes - one because they channel heat to your feet, two I can't wear them anyways so why worry?) Bulky socks. Plastic bag over the socks.
Top: Underarmor polypro long sleeve under an acrylic long sleeve shirt under an acrylic sweater under a windbreaker with a removeable fleece liner.
Neck: Knit scarf made out of the super heavy yarn.
Head: Fleece earwarmers. Lightweight knit cap, but usually it was in my pocket.
No cotton.

That was good for -15f or so; colder than that and my tattered larynx started objecting and I had to call a cab. If I had some sort of breathing gear I could have ridden in much colder weather. I tried out a heat exchanger mask, and I was able to ride in -20f easily and with less layering, but the taste and the buildup of water was hideous. Also, at that temperature I felt like I had to start covering -everything- on my face to avoid getting any oddly shaped thermal injury on that long stretch of headwind. If it had worked out better I could have probably done a ride in -50f.

No cotton.

Add and remove layers as needed. Dress so that when you step out the door, you feel chilled. Regulate your heat by your engine output. If you're starting to feel comfortably warm, slow down a bit. If you're feeling too cold, crank it up a bit.

But JZ, why no helmet or hat? Easy: I found that if I tried to wear a heavier hat, heat regulation became much much more difficult. My heat would skyrocket really fast, my ability to sense my own body temperature was impaired, and it was very hard to find an equilibrium. If heat regulation is more difficult, that means that instead of "oops, I have a slight amount of sweat to worry about", you end up coming stumbling into work with blue lips, open your coat and everyone looks over at the crashing noise of ice falling to the floor.

Oops, just looked and realized that the OP lives in a place that can be described accurately as "not cold", or even "hot".
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Old 11-25-11, 09:05 PM   #6
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I'd hardly call NY "hot" if I were coming from New Orleans, LA Of course compared to Alaska it's downright balmy, I'm sure...

At -15 I woldn't even want to walk to my car, let alone bike.

I'm looking for gear for biking in the 50s and 40s.

That aerotech designs jacket looks great. How does it do on cutting down wind? They have a bunch of bib tights, but the only one that's big enough is the fleece ones, I'm concerned that might be too hot for 50s weather...
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Old 11-25-11, 09:23 PM   #7
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Check REI. Dunno the size range, but their Headwind pants are great, and I am coveting a jacket...
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Old 11-26-11, 07:06 AM   #8
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damn... wish i would have known about the coupon code. How did you hear about it?
They sent me an email because I've purchased from them before.
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Old 11-26-11, 07:42 AM   #9
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If you can find a jacket with pit zips that is extra nice. Jackets can be difficult to vent with only the front zipper. Mine doesn't have pit zips and I wish it did.

Also, a thin wool beanie for under the helmet is extra nice and keeps the ears warm. I have one from Ibex.
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Old 11-26-11, 01:08 PM   #10
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I really don't have anything bike specific. I just layer my clothing, but I'm a commuter (off & on lately).
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Old 11-26-11, 01:57 PM   #11
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This is what I do.

I have a pair of Boure winter knickers.
Boure does custom, so you can have them as tights.
I had the insulating material go a few inches extra up my back, which is nice.
They also use soft and stretchy bib straps that don't dig in.
The link takes you to their winter tights. With boots, and tall socks, I prefer the knickers.

http://www.boure.com/2523.html

Over those I wear Sugoi Espresso pants.
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/35661...pping&subrnd=0

I use a variety of base layers. The Corewarmer is my midlayer. Order TWO sizes larger
than normal, and ask them to make it TWo inches longer than normal. Trust me on this,
this is great bang for the buck in cold weather clothing.

http://www.coldlizard.com/product/me...AE-core-warmer

The biggest problems are hands, ears and feet. You can use cheap ski gloves
if you ever did skiing. I need to cover my ears, there are a variety of choices, most not very good.
Feet can be a problem. But the solution depends on a lot of different things, you will have to try different stuff
and work it out.
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Old 11-26-11, 03:55 PM   #12
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mith: tried on the jacket which is a 4x. It fits ok... kinda tight. I am going to call the company later and ask them if they have a 5 x
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Old 11-26-11, 05:19 PM   #13
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Other than that, how was the jacket? Temperature? Breatheability? Wind resistance?

Thanks,
Juliean.
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Old 11-26-11, 05:37 PM   #14
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mith: tried on the jacket which is a 4x. It fits ok... kinda tight. I am going to call the company later and ask them if they have a 5 x
Hmm what are your measurements. It says 54-58 for chest, and 48-50 for waist. I measured myself at 54" around my manmammaries and my waist is pretty much 48" now, so in theory I'd be between 3x and 4x, but I went 4x out of precaution.
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Old 11-26-11, 06:46 PM   #15
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I havent used the jacket on the bike yet. Put it on for a second and it felt warm but it was a warm day.

Mith: my measurements? BIG. enough said!
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Old 11-26-11, 07:42 PM   #16
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I am thinking of trying the Big Man's Cycling Jacket, it's a new softshell, and at 129.95 it's
cheap if it's a real softshell, but at that price it's prob an Asian imitation of Schoeller rather than
the real thing.

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/000143.php

That is not meant as a knock, Schoeller is extremely expensive, and there is a bunch of very good
alternatives.

The idea behind a softshell is that you don't need to wear a lot of layers, usually just a heavy jersey or sweater
underneath it.
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Old 11-26-11, 07:52 PM   #17
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And what about for the women? I don't usually have a problem finding decent cycling gear in size 2X, but I've been really struggling to find a warmish jacket to wear on my morning commute and weekend rides. All the lovely, well-designed technical jackets I've found are only available in a very fitted XXL, which doesn't quite fit me. And the ones I've found in 2X are either ridiculously baggy, non-technical, or just plain ugly (I'm looking at you, Moving Comfort and Junonia!). Is it possible to find a warmish jacket in a technical fabric (and hopefully a bright/visible color, or at least one that's not drab or pastel) that fits plus-sized ladies?
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Old 11-26-11, 08:12 PM   #18
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but at that price it's prob an Asian imitation of Schoeller rather than
the real thing.
Aero Tech is made in America. Pennsylvania I believe. One of the reasons I buy from them.
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Old 11-27-11, 07:44 AM   #19
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Aero Tech is made in America. Pennsylvania I believe. One of the reasons I buy from them.
One of my bike frames was made in Waterford, the other one was made in Florida.

The fabrics in those jackets prob come from Asia.

I have gotten a fair amount of my cycling duds from Boure, which is in Durango.

But their stuff works well for me, I'm also a big fan of Sugoi.

It's not an issue with me. I got my Gunnar because I liked it better than anything I had ever been on.
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Old 11-28-11, 10:02 AM   #20
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Aero Tech is made in America. Pennsylvania I believe. One of the reasons I buy from them.
Coreapolis, just outside Pittsburgh and starting point of the Montour Trail.
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Old 11-28-11, 10:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by jgalak View Post
I'd been off the bike for a few months due to an injury, and now that I can ride again, the weather went and turned cool on me. As I'm new to this, I have no idea what one should wear to ride in fall/winter weather. I'm 6'1", about 280lbs, and in the summer rode happily in an a pair of Love2Pedal bibshorts in 3XL plus a normal 3XL t-shirt.

I picked up a pair of Pearl Izumi ELITE Thermal Cycle Tights (http://www.rei.com/product/803403/pe...le-tights-mens) in XL, and they fit OK, but I had issues with the waistband rolling. I then put on a wicking t-shirt under a regular t-shirt, and went riding in about 55F weather. My legs were fine, but even after 5 miles my torso was freezing - the wind was cutting right through me, even at a fairly slow 12mph or so. I had to stop after about 5 miles due to the cold - just couldn't do it.

So I'm hoping for some advice: Does anyone sell bib-tights large enough to fit me? Pearl Izumi has one style of bib-tights, but they only go to 2XL. Anyone know if the size would work for me (I can't seem to source them locally, so would need to mail order)?

What should I wear on the torso? I see various long-sleeve jerseys, do they block the wind? Or do I need a jacket? Are there specific ones folks like that are available in my size?

Down to about 65F I'm ok in my summer gear, but I'd really like to keep riding as the temps drop through the 50s, and even 40s.

Advice appreciated...
In this photo:



2x bib tights from Performance, wool socks, cheap compression shirt from Wal-Mart, winter weight long sleeve jersey, cycling cap. Temperature starting out in the upper 40s. French Creek State Park, PA, November 2008. 16 mile ride with 40 pounds of gear in a trailer.



Nashbar 2xlT tights (bad size for me, they are too long), same base layer as above, long sleeve jersey, wool hiking socks, Performance jacket, long fingered gloves. Sheeder-Hall covered bridge, PA, March 2009. Temps in the low 50s for this 8 mile ride.



Same basic ensemble as above, except I'm wearing a rain jacket and hiking boots. Fort Washington, PA, December 23, 2007. Temps in the upper 40s with rain.



This was a fail, despite my appearing with Rocky. Temps in the low 40s on a 72 mile ride November 2007. The jacket was too thin and I didn't wear insulated gloves. I was severely bonked when I got home. Other than that same ensemble as above.



Same ensemble as above, except I've added a Performance Bike sweatshirt (synthetic fabric). Temps in the 40s Christmas Day, 2007. Start of a 35 mile ride home. I was so warm I kept the jacket open, zipping and unzipping the sweatshirt as needed.
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Old 11-28-11, 10:43 AM   #22
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Not cycling specific, but Costco has Calvin Klein 100% merino wool men's V-neck sweaters for $20 in lots of sizes. They make excellent insulating layers.
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Old 11-30-11, 09:44 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
I havent used the jacket on the bike yet. Put it on for a second and it felt warm but it was a warm day.

Mith: my measurements? BIG. enough said!

Damn. Got mine today and it's a little tight around the belly. I'm not terribly concerned though, just more incentive to lose the girth by spring...
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Old 11-30-11, 10:29 AM   #24
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These people never seem to be mentioned here:

http://www.bicycleclothing.com/

Here's the jacket. It's an unlined shell, very nice but since it doesn't look "roadie" I'm sure people will shun it. I find it very comfortable, and cut generously.



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Old 11-30-11, 11:03 AM   #25
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No cotton.
Lots of layers.
No cotton.
Bingo. But I don't think there's enough emphasis on one point: NO COTTON!

Wool is nice, whether it's merino (next to your skin) or cashmere (insulating midlayer).
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