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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 10-30-08, 06:36 AM   #1
oakback
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35F in Florida, why the hell am I sweating?

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Last edited by oakback; 09-23-11 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:44 AM   #2
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good gravy! Rolling sauna! I think I broke a sweat just reading that list!

It IS fun, isn't it?

Last edited by ban guzzi; 10-30-08 at 06:45 AM. Reason: spelin'
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Old 10-30-08, 07:14 AM   #3
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That's funny. I dress like you describe when it hits zero or so. This morning, it was 31. I wore my button down shirt with a windbreaker.
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Old 10-30-08, 07:15 AM   #4
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This is my first year of cyclocommuting, and I am in a similar climate to Tallahassee. Over the past week I have had to do some experimentation with cold-weather gear. I too made the mistake of bundling up too much.

I have found that above 50F, all I need are leg warmers in addition to jersey and shorts - not really for feeling warm, but to ensure the tendons/ligaments in my knees stay warm so I don't injure them. If it is really windy, I will wear a windbreaker in addition, but that is it.

From 40-50, I throw on a thermal long-sleeve shirt underneath my jersey, and if it is in the low 40s, a pair of thermal long johns, again mainly to ensure my knees don't stiffen up.

Under 40, same as above, just with the windbreaker. We don't get much lower than 30 here.

Oh, and gloves. Gloves are a must in cool weather - that windchill from riding can lock up my fingers very quickly without them.
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Old 10-30-08, 09:50 AM   #5
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I have yet to get to work and not be sweating, even at my coldest -25*F ride. My skin sweats when I exert myself. I've tried dressing lighter; I just wind up with almost blue, very cold, sweaty skin.
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Old 10-30-08, 10:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by oakback View Post
This morning was my first cold ride. I was anticipating the worst, so I bundled up. Apparently I bundled up a little too much.
At around freezing, I shoot for long underwear, wool pants, wool socks, an undershirt, wool sweater, windbreaker and maybe a knit cap under my helmet. If it's under 10 mph winds, that's plenty. I have yet to find the ideal hand solution, since fingerless gloves are too cold, my good mittens are too warm, and my leather/polarfleece gloves are too warm.

Most guys I know dress a bit lighter than I do... they tend to skip the long johns.
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Old 10-30-08, 10:54 AM   #7
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For 35F around Austin, TX I wear the following and it works well for me (unless there's a strong cold wind...then I put on a windbreaker too):
Underarmor cold gear top
Dryfit shirt
windproof/breathable fleece gloves
cycling shorts
leg warmers
windproof/breathable beanie cap
regular socks (I need to get some woolies)

My situation is probably a little different than yours though. I average ~18mph on a 9-mile one-way commute and have showers at work.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:00 AM   #8
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I have yet to get to work and not be sweating, even at my coldest -25*F ride. My skin sweats when I exert myself. I've tried dressing lighter; I just wind up with almost blue, very cold, sweaty skin.
Yeah I'm the same. Once I'm warmed up (anywhere from 15-25 minutes for my muscles, usually around 5-10 for my temperature to start getting comfortable) I'll start getting warm. I have to be careful in the wind and colder temps in case I sweat too much then aren't able to wick the sweat away.

I've not perfected it, but my clothing experience is getting better to avoid that. Otherwise, I don't mind being sweaty so long as I keep the wind out from it getting chilled.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:03 AM   #9
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Everyone is different. You overshot for your weather and your body. Next time take stuff off until you feel comfortable.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:04 AM   #10
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HAHAHAHAHAHA!

when it goes below 70F here, the geriatric set puts on long pants, down jackets, and ear muffs!

but yes, layered kit can make those early morning/afternoon rides easier...
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Old 10-30-08, 11:06 AM   #11
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For 35 degrees...

Glasses (wind protection)
long sleeve wool pullover shirt
Gloves
Bike shorts, shorts, knickers, whatever
Long wool socks
Shoes

Your outfit is a below zero outfit.

Maybe you had Celsius and Fahrenheit confused..
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Old 10-30-08, 11:38 AM   #12
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If you live in Tallahassee, that's not sub-zero clothing. We're talking Florida, where the blood runs thin after a summer in the 90s.

I had the same temps as Oak. I live in the South, too, so I'm not cold tough like a lot of riders who post here.

So, for today's ride in, I put on longjohn bottoms (thin version), bibs, knee warmers (to protect the joints) two thin longsleeved tops and a windbreaker jacket.

Oh, yeah, a balaclava, glove liners under my fingerless cycling gloves, wool socks and homemade toe covers (that is, taped some plastic-bag material over the toes of my cycling shoes).

That did fine for a 10-mile commute in today and the day before, when it was 29 degrees. I was a little sweaty underneath when I got to work, but I was comfortable for the whole ride.

I'm experimenting with wearing less under the jacket. What I've found is cold is not your enemy -- it's the wind.

I wear the long underwear bottoms whenever the temps hit the mid-60s or cooler. I want to keep the knees from getting chilled -- I've heard that's bad news.
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Old 10-30-08, 05:33 PM   #13
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For mid 30s I wear loose jeans, a lightweight polypropylene top under a t-shirt topped with a windbreaker, something on my ears, 1 pair of heavy socks under my sneakers, and gloves.

Don't sweat it, I used to overdress too. You should feel chilly for the first 2-3 miles.

Congrats on the baby.
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Old 10-30-08, 05:50 PM   #14
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my rule of thumb is: if i start a (cold) ride warm, then i'll get too hot in 5 mins.

if i start it a tad chilly, i'll be fine in 5 mins.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:58 PM   #15
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We're talking Florida, where the blood runs thin after a summer in the 90s.
during our summers, the blood is really almost more of a pinkish steam that sort of wafts through our circulatory system. My boss was saying he couldn't wait for spring once it got below 80.

Even down here in Melbourne though, it was in the 40s the other day, but all I wore to ride to/from school was a long sleeve t-shirt and jeans (cuffed). I'm from Michigan originally so...
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Old 10-30-08, 07:06 PM   #16
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Wife's last day of work is tomorrow, baby coming on 12/8, so I'm trying to get all the gear I can now! I have a feeling the day after Christmas I'm going to be doing a lot of online shopping for all the stuff I didn't get that I wanted.
You mean like a bouncy-seat, burp cloths ( Pro Tip: use dish towels as a handy substitute. place them in strategic locations around the house), size 1 and 2 diapers, novelty onesies.... wait, you meant baby gear right?

Once my kid gets old enough (8mos 11 days today), I want to convert his diaper bag to a book bag or messenger bag. So many handy compartments!

Good luck man. Take as much advantage of nearby family as you can, and sleep whenever you are able. The first 3 or so months seem the hardest but it goes by fast.
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Old 10-30-08, 07:41 PM   #17
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I also ride in Tallahassee, and also overdid the clothing today. So I discovered I'd rather be a bit cold on the front end than too hot on the back end. I also wear those duo dry shirts from target, and now I know that one of those in short sleeve, one in long sleeve, and a thicker version of a breathable synthetic over those works for me in the mid thirties, and still breathes a bit. Now I need to find a cap to keep my ears warm....
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Old 10-31-08, 06:11 AM   #18
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Keep at it. It takes a while to figure out the right clothing combinations for riding in the cold. Dressing too warmly is a common problem when you first start riding in the cold -- a mistake that all of us have made. I have found that it's best to underdress a little than to overdress because sweat will make you cold quicker than anything.

For temperatures in the mid to low-30s, I typically wear a wicking t-shirt for base layer, a cycling jacket (or long-sleeve winter-weight jersey with vest), tights over bib shorts, wool socks, and toe covers on my shoes. The hard part is finding clothes that are warm and wind-resistant yet breathable. That is why vests are so nice; plus they are easy to remove and stow if the temperatures warm up.
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Old 10-31-08, 06:20 AM   #19
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my rule of thumb is: if i start a (cold) ride warm, then i'll get too hot in 5 mins.

if i start it a tad chilly, i'll be fine in 5 mins.
I agree. I dress for how I'll feel 5 minutes into the ride, otherwise I'll be stopping and taking off stuff. Can't stand that!

Lots of 35 deg. F mornings around here lately. I'm in a tee and a windbreaker, pants, shoes. Sometimes two tees, if I put on my thin performance ones. Below about 30F I'll put on a second pair of undershorts. Gloves, hat. I don't use a bacalava yet at these temps--I suck up the frozen face for the first 5 to 10 min. but then it goes away. I put vaseline on my cheeks, nose, and forehead. It helps.
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Old 10-31-08, 06:40 AM   #20
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I agree. I dress for how I'll feel 5 minutes into the ride, otherwise I'll be stopping and taking off stuff. Can't stand that!
It's kind of fun. I start shakin' my stuff when I do the stoplight striptease. I think motorists like it. Or if not, they give me more passing room.
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Old 10-31-08, 06:59 AM   #21
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Yep, too many layers. On top I would wear a t-shirt, long-sleeve t-shirt and a hoodie. On the bottom, cycle briefs and either track pants or jeans or twill pants.
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Old 10-31-08, 11:03 AM   #22
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This morning was my first cold ride. I was anticipating the worst, so I bundled up. Apparently I bundled up a little too much.
Long-sleeve Champion Duo-Dry shirt (under armour knock off)
thermal shirt
dress shirt (work shirt, button-up)
pullover hoodie
thermal pants
dress pants
2 pairs of socks (which I always wear), and dress shoes
thick neoprene gloves (leftover from my motorcycle days, wear them long enough and your hands smell like feet)

I got to work, and I was sweating like a pig in summer! Unless the temp drops below 30F, I think I'll remove the thermal shirt and hoodie. I'm keeping the thermal pants, the dress pants are almost-nothing-thin in the legs.
It sounds like you were dresses just fine for 20F.
To about 30F all I need is a T shirt and my wind resistant fleece Evap coat from foxwear. On my legs I wear a pair of loose tights over my shorts and wear a normal pair of socks. I will wear a beanie cap on my head and some medium thickness gloves.

For riding in 2F last year (-26 with the windchill according to the weather channel), I added a pair or rain pants as a wind breaker for the legs. I also added a thin shell as a wind breaker for the body and a long sleeve shirt as well. The normal shoes were replaced by winter boots, and I did use a face mask to prevent frost bite on my cheeks and for the 1st time used ski googles to prevent problems with my eyes at those low temps. Its amazing how little clothing you need when cycling. The body pumps out quite a bit of heat on its own.

As a rule of thumb: If you feel comfy and warm when you stand outside next to your bike, then you will be too warm to ride.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 10-31-08, 11:38 AM   #23
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Shorts and a t-shirt would have been fine. You would have been cold for a few minutes, but then the breeze would have felt good.
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Old 10-31-08, 12:43 PM   #24
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35F in a tshirt and shorts? lol
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Old 10-31-08, 12:51 PM   #25
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35F in a tshirt and shorts? lol
Yeah, that's me. I typically go skiing in shorts & t-shirt.

The thing with sweating is that it's a balance of internal temperature and muscular activity. Outside temperature doesn't have much to do with it other than to conduct away the extra heat from muscle usage. So if you're putting out 200w, your core will still heat up about the same as before and you'll sweat roughly the same amount. THEN... the outside temperature comes into play. The evaporation of sweat to vapour carries away A LOT of heat. With lower outside temps, your sweat actually isn't as effective, you end up shedding fewer BTUs/sec. There will be an increase in heat-transfer from your body directly to the air, but that's not as effective as sweating since there's no phase-change.
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