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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 12-21-12, 05:50 PM   #1
steve-in-kville 
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Its 5:00 AM, 19*F degrees and dark. How do you layer?

I did a thread back in November that was similar:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...yer?highlight=

I thought we could take another look at the issue, since the weather has grown a bit more harsh. I've ridden in about everything so far: mist, drizzle, driving rain, etc. I have driven the family battle wagon (or bummed a ride) only twice in the past 90 days. My layering has changed some, but not a lot... yet. But we haven't seen *real* winter weather so far.

One thing I do appreciate is: I much rather ride to work at 5am with temps in the teens and no wind, than ride in warmer, damper weather with a breeze.

Nothin' like a cold, clear, still and starry (and moon-lit) early morning to make me appreciate my morning commute. Dress right and it can be a very pleasant experince.
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Old 12-21-12, 06:49 PM   #2
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Full long johns, thick shirt on top, rainjacket, and wrap myself up with a Toyota Camry as a shell. Ha ha!

Lowest I have ever gone is 29F so far. 19 sounds tough.
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Old 12-21-12, 07:09 PM   #3
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I agree that's got to be cold, my lowest is 37F.
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Old 12-21-12, 07:09 PM   #4
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Long sleeved underarmor shirt. Bibs (normal bike bibs). Windstopper (REI Headwind) jersey. Windstopper pants (or long johns). Showers Pass goretex jacket. Craft goretex pants. Shoe covers (wool sox). Microfiber balaclava. Glacier Gloves. With lotsa coffee on the inside.
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Old 12-21-12, 08:46 PM   #5
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at 16F it was:

-Smartwool merino baselayer
-Nashbar Derby jacket
-UA Coldgear balaclava under LG fleece hat
-Bellwether Windfront tights
-PI softshell lobster mitts
-LG Zero SPD boots w/ two pairs of Sockguy midweight socks
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Old 12-21-12, 09:04 PM   #6
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Bottom: Jeans with either tights or long underwear.
Top: T-shirt, long-sleeve t-shirt (or turtleneck), sweat shirt & light windbreaker.
Other: Heavier gloves (mine are fur-lined) or full-fingered cycling gloves for cold weather, plus balaclava. A hat or hood may be needed with the balaclava.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-21-12, 09:42 PM   #7
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Almost no matter what you wear, your torso and legs will be fine. I'd wear a thick pair of tights, and a thick moisture-wick top covered with a wind layer. The really important things are what you wear on your neck, feet and hands. Mittens are way better than gloves. Windproof mittens with a little insulation work great. Be sure your shoes aren't mesh, and if they are use shoe covers. And wear some kind of face mask to cover your neck and chin.
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Old 12-21-12, 09:52 PM   #8
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Around here winter riding at 19F is peice of cake (I try really hard to find alternate transportation when it's less than 10 BELOW zero F).

At 19F I'd ride a beanie cap under my helmet, shell jacket with a long sleave shirt, medium weight gloves, normal slacks, and leather shoes or boots.
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Old 12-21-12, 10:53 PM   #9
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How long is your commute? I've made it fine down to 22 deg with jeans, long sleeve wicking top with a t-shirt over that, and a neoprene jacket. Thin polyester balaclava and some neoprene gloves. I only have 3 miles so, that may not count as a bona fide commute by some of the folks here! The gloves have been replaced as they did not work well enough to suit me. My legs were just starting to feel a bit of a chill. I usually try to take it easy the first mile. Push it a bit the second. By then I'm usually warm. By the time I get to work, I need to cool down. If I had 10 miles, it might be a different story.
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Old 12-22-12, 07:33 AM   #10
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5am 19F and dark? How do I layer?

A down comforter, a king size bed and a warm wife.
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Old 12-23-12, 10:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-23-12, 09:18 PM   #12
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We've yet to hit anything sub-25 this year, but this is the list.....a little colder and I might add lightweight long underwear on the bottom and heavier neck gaiter, but as long as it's dry and not too windy, I like the cold, dark mornings (11 mile ride to work) :

-smartwool midweight longsleeve, hi-viz REI jacket (heavy-ish, windproof, waterproof)
-wool buff, worn either as a double-layer beanie or as a neck gaiter/head cover combo
-normal shorts, swobo wool knee warmers, PI amfib tights
-heavy smartwool socks, MTB shoes, Endura mt500 shoe covers
-heavy sugoi gloves (firewall XT, I think)
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Old 12-23-12, 09:34 PM   #13
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At 5 degF, two dry wicking layer 8 shirts, Nashbar Derby Jacket, Bellwether Windfront tights over Nashbar padded shorts, Merino Wool socks and hiking boots, Saucany balaclava under a Bern helmet with the winter liner, thinsulate gloves. Clear, cold, dry is so great to ride in.
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Old 12-23-12, 09:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post

Nothin' like a cold, clear, still and starry (and moon-lit) early morning to make me appreciate my morning commute. Dress right and it can be a very pleasant experince.
It was 21 F here today and I did 1) a grocery run and 2) a 6 mile ride. I overdressed for the groceries just to get an idea of what to wear. Finally did the longer ride with a pair of jeans, 2 pairs socks, a baselayer/wool sweater/windblock layers on my torso. Balaclava and some gloves.

That worked pretty well, but if there has been wind I would have preferred a layer under the jeans.

One thing you can do is dress lighter than you think and bring a bag with another layer or two. You don't want to sweat heavily in this type of weather.
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Old 12-23-12, 10:00 PM   #15
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I would wear my thermal long johns, cotton t shirt, and heavy sweatshirt. I would double up on wool socks. Outer layer would be my showers pass rain pants, and showers pass jacket. Hi Tec waterproof ulitmate hikers for footwear, and Outdoor Research meteor mitts for my hands. Outdoor Research face mask for my head and helmet, obviously. This combination has worked very well for 2 winters now. If its snowing or really bad wind I might throw on my Smith goggles.
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Old 12-23-12, 10:19 PM   #16
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Down into the teens I wear my work shoes, work pants or sweats, and on the top just a shirt covered by a wool sweater covered by a waterproof windproof shell. My legs and feets are always comfortable after the first couple of blocks and the wool sweater covered with the shell is amazing. On my head I leave my helmet at home and use a wool knit hat.
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Old 12-23-12, 11:31 PM   #17
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Do you many of you guys have a winter shell or jacket you use or do you stick with a shower pass rain jacket?

if you guys use another jacket does anyone know of a good on and off the bike winter jacket, or soft shell?

Last edited by WickedOne513; 12-24-12 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 12-24-12, 09:29 AM   #18
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Head to toe:

Helmet cover, helmet, balaclava
Old Performance Illuminite jacket that doesn't breathe very well, long sleeve shirt, base layer
Windbreaker pants, shorts, knee warmers
Waterproof hiking boots, Smartwool socks

It's not too bad once I start working up some body heat. Not the best solution for a long ride, but it works for my 11 miles.
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Old 12-24-12, 10:55 AM   #19
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I wear cycling specific winter clothing from Pearl Izumi. Now I know most of you wear regular wear to work clothing but I have a place to store clean clothes with a private change room, (my office). With the Pro-style jacket and bibs plus lobster mitts and Sidi waterproof cycling shoes, wool socks, helmet liner, I stayed comfortable on a 60 kilometer ride at -9° C yesturday. This morning was a little warmer for my 10 km commute at -4° C. I must add chemical hand warmers to my mitts when the temperature gets in the minus zone but if I put the warmers in a zip-lock plastic bag when arriving at work, they are good to reuse for my trip home.
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Old 12-24-12, 11:00 AM   #20
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By the way, for anyone that would like to know how to key board the degree " ° " , just hold the Alt key and type 248.
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Old 12-24-12, 11:12 AM   #21
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High 20's today.

Thin wind vest
Mid temperature wind long sleeve shirt
winter sleeves
wicking sports under shirt

winter gloves

winter tights

1 pair woolish socks

balaclava

glasses

Not quite cold enough for the beard head or the ski goggles, but it's getting there.
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Old 12-24-12, 11:19 AM   #22
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Google is a very good tool for searching bikeforums. This thread has come up approximately 37 zillion times. I've personally responded to maybe 200 of them. I'm getting tired of typing for people too lazy to use Google.
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Old 12-26-12, 01:36 PM   #23
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Good so far down to 11 ° - from bottom up:
Foxwear socks with slip-on low-cut boots
Foxwear Powershield Rain Pants
Champion C9 long sleeve t-shirt base layer
Foxwear PowerDry long sleeve shirt middle layer
Showers Pass Elite 2 jacket
OR Meteor gloves
wool cap with ear coverings
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Old 12-26-12, 04:08 PM   #24
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19*? Lets see...normal work attire, winter coat and 3000 lbs of steel, plastic and rubber! 19 is too cold for me, I drive at that temp!
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Old 12-26-12, 04:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyboy1 View Post
Good so far down to 11 ° - from bottom up:
Foxwear socks with slip-on low-cut boots
Foxwear Powershield Rain Pants
Champion C9 long sleeve t-shirt base layer
Foxwear PowerDry long sleeve shirt middle layer
Showers Pass Elite 2 jacket
OR Meteor gloves
wool cap with ear coverings
How are the OR Meteor gloves working? I opted for the Meteor mitts thinking theyd be warmer. Love them so far!
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