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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-28-06, 06:41 PM   #1
PedalistMaximus
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Winter Riding Gear

Hello All,

I was wondering if anyone out-there could give me an idea of what to wear during this time of the year. I've heard runners put on an extra layer for every 10 degrees. How does this work? I find that I'm either putting on too much or too little? What's everyone using for a measure?
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Old 10-28-06, 06:50 PM   #2
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A good thing to do is make a note of what temp it is when you leave the house, and how you felt during the ride. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of it. Get up, turn on the tv and see that's it's 45, then I know exactly what I need to put on.

I've never tried to translate that into a scale.

around 50 I switch from long-sleeve jersey to something thicker
40's I switch from shorts to tights
30's I double-up on the top and switch from a standard full glove to something warmer
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Old 10-28-06, 07:00 PM   #3
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It would be a tad helpful to know where you live. Temperature, like saddles and chain lubricant is going to be driven by the individual.

If I put on another layer for every ten degrees, I'd look like Randy from "A Christmas Story".
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Old 10-28-06, 07:31 PM   #4
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...Right! I live near Toronto, Canada.
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Old 10-28-06, 07:34 PM   #5
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I'd wear one layer less than if I was walking.
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Old 10-28-06, 07:38 PM   #6
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Sounds like you have a good system already. I typically start riding around 5:30 AM EST. Every ride starts a bit on the chilly side and of course in a few minutes it turns into a sweat bath. I'm finding it a bit difficult finding a happy medium. I normally have a pair of shorts with knee warmers, a singlet, a long-sleeve jersey, and a Microft windproof jacket on. I don't wear a skull cap until we are hitting numbers below zero. I live in South-Central Ontario, near Toronto. The air is pretty humid here. Do you know of any jackets with lots of vents?
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Old 10-28-06, 07:40 PM   #7
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That sounds reasonable. Perhaps I've been afraid of being too cold. I'll explore that. How long is your commute? Is there any water near you on your route?
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Old 10-28-06, 08:18 PM   #8
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I find the right winter mix through a lot of trial and error. One thing that's stayed pretty true is starting out a little cold. If I start out and I'm comfortable, I will be way to hot by the time I'm done. If I start out a feeling like I'm a little on the cold side, I'm usually pretty comfortable a couple (10) minutes into the ride. Paying more attention to my hands, feet, face and head pay big dividens.
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Old 10-28-06, 09:15 PM   #9
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Right now it's about 28 to 40*F in the mornings, and wet. At 40, I'm wearing bike shorts, a long sleeve compression top, some loose, cheap lined nylon running pants (with a velcro band on the right ankle), and a waterproof, vented rain jacket, waterproof breathable gloves, wool socks, a helmet cover and I have a poly stretch tube of fabric from Nashbar that I put around my neck then stretch it over my head before putting my helmet on, so only my face sticks out.

At 30, I add a T-shirt (poly, alertshirt).

At around 25 or so I'd add some running tights under the pants.

At 15-20 I'd start thinking about wrapping a fleece scarf round my neck so that the ends covered my chest.

Down around 5-10 I'll wear long underwear (cotton, I'm too cheap to go buy good stuff) over the poly shorts and tights, under the pants. Wool would be better but I haven't needed it.

At 0-5 I'll add some kind of insulated shirt.

I do run a bit cool, but I like it like that. Generally my core temp is up but my skin is pretty cold when I get there. I don't feel cold, but the warm shower feels quite hot and my skin on my torso feels chill to my hands.
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Old 10-28-06, 09:20 PM   #10
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I start off cold, but I'm warm 5 mins. and one hill later. Last year, I mostly wore silk long johns under my pants, a longsleeved silk undershirt, a polypro or wool t-shirt and a ski jacket w/ pit zips. I always wear a skull cap, even in summer, to keep from getting helmet hair. When it got really cold, I put on thicker long johns, wore the zip-in fleece that came w/ the ski jacket (also has pit zips) and a balaclava. Eddie Bauer gloves that I got on sale and good wool socks to complete the outfit. As for being near water, I live on the tropical isle of Manhattan.

This year I picked up some more wool shirts to wear when it gets wintry. Wool wicks, dries fast and doesn't smell as funky as polyester. Plus it's stylin'.
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Old 10-29-06, 07:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PedalistMaximus
...Right! I live near Toronto, Canada.
I'm in upstate NY, just south of the border (think Lake Placid). Typically I really don't start layering until it dips down below 40F. Between 30-40 I'll probably double up on my shirts, a short sleeve under a long sleeve. Below 30F, I'll trade the long sleeve for a fleece or hoodie. Under 20F I'll finally go with knickers or some other leggings, the hoodie and a heavier undershirt. Under 10F, something like a UnderArmour ColdGear shirt, and the hoodie. Below 0F, the layers add on. I don't think it's ever been more than 3-4 layers.
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Old 10-29-06, 09:15 AM   #12
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This thread was very helpful for me....

Today, I Wore...
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