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  1. #1
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    How to layer tights?

    I really hate cooler weather. I mean I really really hate it. Perfect weather for me is 85 degrees and sunny. When it gets down into the 60s I'm uncomfortable. Down into the 50s and I'm cold. In the 40s, even with sun, and I'll probably stay home instead of cycling. My thyroid levels along with everything else are normal - I just think I'm on the edge of the bell-curve with respect to temperature preference.

    So, to try and minimize my discomfort during 50 degree weather I cover my torso and arms with layers - a base layer on the bottom, a long sleeve thermal jersey on top of that, and thicker long sleeve cycling "sweater" on top of that. My question is what is the best way to keep legs warm? I have a pair of Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Bib Tights but my legs, even when pushing myself at an average of 83% of my max heart rate for 2+ hour rides, are cold. Cold to the point of near pain. When I get home from those ride I end up spending 20 minutes in a hot shower before I get comfortable again. And yeah, my feet get cold, but it's really not as bad as my thighs and calves.

    Do people wear layers on their legs? What kind of clothing and in what order do you wear it to keep your legs warm?

  2. #2
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    In temperatures down to the high-30s or so I wear normal bicycle tights with an unpadded exercise tight over the top. It works, but the out tights tend to slip down (I think they're too small).

    If it's colder than that, I'll put a wind layer over that.
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  3. #3
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    If you have rain pants you can try wearing them over
    your tights. This will block more wind. I use Marmot Precip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
    In temperatures down to the high-30s or so I wear normal bicycle tights with an unpadded exercise tight over the top. It works, but the out tights tend to slip down (I think they're too small).
    I've used suspenders to hold them up in the past. The trick is to put the clip towards the outside of your waist If you put the clip dead center it will dig in.

  5. #5
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. So, as long as I'm wearing my cycling bib tights as the first layer I don't have to worry about chafing by having other layers between me and my saddle? I might try wearing a pair of sweat-pants with tight cuffs that will keep the leg material out of the chain.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    If you have rain pants you can try wearing them over
    your tights. This will block more wind. I use Marmot Precip.
    This. Put rain pants over your current thermal tights. Once the wind stops cutting through, you will most likely roast. And they don't have to be high end rain pants, either, just something to cut the wind.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by engstrom View Post
    So, to try and minimize my discomfort during 50 degree weather I cover my torso and arms with layers - a base layer on the bottom, a long sleeve thermal jersey on top of that, and thicker long sleeve cycling "sweater" on top of that. My question is what is the best way to keep legs warm? I have a pair of Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Bib Tights but my legs, even when pushing myself at an average of 83% of my max heart rate for 2+ hour rides, are cold. Cold to the point of near pain.
    Sounds like you're in need to some wind protection...

    I love cycling when the temps are in the 70s. Hotter or colder and I start to get uncomfortable. That said, I've found an outfit that works well for me down into the low 50s or high 40s:

    - Craft short-sleeved Windstopper T-shirt
    - Long-sleeved wicking T-shirt
    - Gore Phantom jacket (converts to vest)
    - Regular bib shorts (with chamois)
    - Gore Contest SO tights with Windstopper
    - WrightSock running socks
    - Louis Garneau toe covers
    - Pearl Izumi Cyclone gloves (only gloves I've found that are really wind-proof)
    - A Novara fleece beanie (keeps ears warm)
    - Smith Voodoo Slider sunglasses with lenses appropriate to conditions

    I find that the Windstopper fabric in the Craft T-shirt, Gore jacket and Gore tights goes a long way toward keeping me warm. I'm usually a bit cool before I get on the bike, but once pedaling I can quickly get to the point where I'm too warm. The Craft Windstopper T-shirt is a fantastic piece of kit: I throw it on under a jersey whenever it's cool or windy. The tee plus arm and knee warmers are great for temps in the 60s...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    For weather like we are having now, I carry a pair of lightweight nylon runners wind pants to put on over the tights when necessary. They are breathable, (unlike many rain pants).

  9. #9
    Cyclist storckm's Avatar
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    I ride all year round in OH, and when it gets really cold, I wear a pair of fairly thin merino wool ski tights under pants.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    This. Put rain pants over your current thermal tights. Once the wind stops cutting through, you will most likely roast. And they don't have to be high end rain pants, either, just something to cut the wind.
    For cold temperatures I wear two pairs of cycling tights, the outer one a heavyweight material, and my cycling shorts. Below about 20* F I add a pair of surgical scrub pants under the outer tights as a wind screen. I work in a hospital and wear them on duty, so that's how I got the idea, but they can be purchased from a uniform store, e.g. Work 'N Gear. They are a cotton polyester blend and are pretty baggy and non-constricting while pedalling. They are not water proof of course, but I don't worry about rain at that temperature, and they breathe better than rain pants.

  11. #11
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by engstrom View Post
    I really hate cooler weather. I mean I really really hate it. Perfect weather for me is 85 degrees and sunny. When it gets down into the 60s I'm uncomfortable. Down into the 50s and I'm cold. In the 40s, even with sun, and I'll probably stay home instead of cycling. My thyroid levels along with everything else are normal - I just think I'm on the edge of the bell-curve with respect to temperature preference.

    ...... snip......

    Sorry, could not help myself. Carry on.
    (Good advice so far).

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  12. #12
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I'll try the wind block pants - seems like that's a real good idea.

  13. #13
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post

    Sorry, could not help myself. Carry on.
    (Good advice so far).
    No problem...I know I'm a cold wimp. But when I was riding the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred century and finished in 113 degree heat I figured that my lack of cold tolerance is made up for by my heat tolerance. One of my friends who likes it really cold refers to me as "Heat Miser".

  14. #14
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by engstrom View Post
    No problem...I know I'm a cold wimp. But when I was riding the Hotter 'N Hell Hundred century and finished in 113 degree heat I figured that my lack of cold tolerance is made up for by my heat tolerance. One of my friends who likes it really cold refers to me as "Heat Miser".
    You obviously have some sort of freakish reverse polarity in your wiring system.

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  15. #15
    Getting a clue engstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    You obviously have some sort of freakish reverse polarity in your wiring system.
    You say that like it's a bad thing.

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