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  1. #1
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    What should I wear in colder temperatures while commuting?

    Hey yal, today I had my first commute of the year that was cold. Partially because of rain and because summer is winding down. I've been riding in gym shorts and a t-shirt because I can't afford cycling shorts as of now. Wearing those kind of clothes on more days like this aren't gonna cut it lol, and I don't want to end up sick. So my question is, what kind of clothes should I be wearing in colder, wetter temperatures while commuting? I don't know of any special material that would best suit these conditions and I don't think blue jeans would be to comfortable.

  2. #2
    Senior Member joyota's Avatar
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    I rode in my jeans today and was slower but not bad in terms of comfort. However, they are pretty restrictive of your leg movement. I hope to see other people's responses. I'm in the same boat.
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    Speedy bikes & hoppy brew Badger6's Avatar
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    How cold? It was 55 here in the DC area this morning.

    On a real note, start looking at nashbar and some other discount retailers, and buy some proper stuff. You don't need much, you can wash it, but get the right stuff, it really helps...more than you know.

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    Speedy bikes & hoppy brew Badger6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joyota View Post
    I rode in my jeans today and was slower but not bad in terms of comfort. However, they are pretty restrictive of your leg movement. I hope to see other people's responses. I'm in the same boat.
    I wouldn't do it. I have–for the 8.25 miles i ride to and from–but never again. Cannot stress enough, find a way to afford a few items of specific clothing, it will make the experience, if not enjoyable, a non-negative one...and will create the conditions for you to want to keep on keeping on.

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    I got 2-3mph faster after ditching jeans. but it works in keeping you warm. You are in NC right, cannot get that cold there..50s, maybe 40s? ideally you can get spandex/lycra with wool undershirt if necessary. If you dont want to spend $$, then long sleeve t-shirt + khaki pants should be fine, maybe some sort of head covering.

  6. #6
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
    How cold? It was 55 here in the DC area this morning.

    On a real note, start looking at nashbar and some other discount retailers, and buy some proper stuff. You don't need much, you can wash it, but get the right stuff, it really helps...more than you know.
    it was only in the low 60s. It could have dropped into the 50s but im not sure. It isnt cold when your just walking around but the windand rain made it feel a lot colder. I promise im not a wuss lol

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    What should I wear in colder temperatures while commuting?

    Long johns and a light pair of hiking pants, I wear my rei pants rolled up just enough to not snag, look like high waters when off the bike but I could care less.

  8. #8
    Speedy bikes & hoppy brew Badger6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    it was only in the low 60s. It could have dropped into the 50s but im not sure. It isnt cold when your just walking around but the windand rain made it feel a lot colder. I promise im not a wuss lol
    Wind and rain make everything suck. Put on 100% cotton anything in that, and at 70 degrees you'll be sucking wind. Suck it up, and buy a few pieces of technical gear. It will make a HUGE difference. I promise.

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    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    Low 60's? shorts, wicking tee shirt, sandals. It was 46 this morning. I put on a long sleeve tee and gloves with fingers. When it hits the 20's & 30's you need to wear
    other stuff
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    I have a "blue jean job", and a short commute, so riding in jeans in no big deal. I'm not in a hurry to GET TO WORK, anyway, lol..... Even when my commute was 9 miles one-way, I wore jeans unless the temp was 75F+ by 8AM. Then, I'd wear shorts and pack the jeans.

    For cooler temps, yeah, wicking materials and layers. You can get that stuff just about everywhere now; all my wicking stuff is from Walmart....

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    Senior Member RGNY's Avatar
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    at 50F this morning it was unpadded bike shorts under stretch golf shorts and a sleeveless wicking athletic shirt.

    mid-to-low-40's i add -wool- arm/knee warmers, or a wool base layer under a shortsleeve jersey if it's going to be cold and windy.

    not a tough guy, but my tolerance is way way up from when i started bike commuting two years ago. i quickly realized that sweat was the enemy and that after 5-10min i'd be much warmer than i thought.....

  12. #12
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    40 and above = jeans and tshirt
    40 - 32 = jeans and a jacket, full fingered gloves and a light cap
    <32 = long johns, parka and rain pants, wool cap and mittens
    2014 Specialized Dolce, 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

  13. #13
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
    wicking tee shirt
    what is this so called wicking?

  14. #14
    Speedy bikes & hoppy brew Badger6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    what is this so called wicking?
    A garment made out of a fabric that is designed to pull moisture away from your body. These fabrics, especially as a base layer, reduce chafing, and keep you cooler in summer/warmer in winter (because the sweat isn't on your skin anymore). In a full on sweat, like lots of moisture coming off your body, the garment will be damp/wet, and you'll be sweaty too...but the garment won't be sticking to you like it is glued in place like cotton does. You can get inexpensive wicking tees at Dicks, Nike, UnderArmour, Reebok, Adidas....just a plain tee will work wonders.

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    Cotton T shirts are often feared because they will kill you by hypothermia. Really that is overblown. It is bad to work up a sweat on a cold, damp day and then coast down a steep hill and ride for hrs in wet cotton, that may give you hypothermia. Normal commuting over 5 miles where you can regulate your temp to avoid sweat is just fine.
    A lot of T shirts are made from polyester and they act as wicking materials so they dry more quickly. The expensive ones are a bit better than cheap ones but all are a lot better than cotton for getting dry.

    Jeans are pretty bad cycling wear. Polyester/cotton mix hiking pants are much better: lighter, more windproof, quicker drying, thinner seams, more hardwearing. I wear mine all year round and only feel the need for long johns below -5C. I have expensive brand ones and cheap no-brand ones and they both work fine.

    Get yourself a thin windproof top that is NOT waterproof. Bright colour, reflective bits
    A breathable waterproof jacket.
    waterproof pants
    Wool socks

    Wear a wicking T short (no need for a cycling jersey style)
    A windproof shell.
    Add midlayer insulation as required: light fleece, wool pullover.

    As it gets colder, add gloves, neck-tube, more midlayer insulation. Always start off riding cool so you warm up to operating temp and avoid sweating.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    Hey yal, today I had my first commute of the year that was cold. Partially because of rain and because summer is winding down. I've been riding in gym shorts and a t-shirt because I can't afford cycling shorts as of now. Wearing those kind of clothes on more days like this aren't gonna cut it lol, and I don't want to end up sick. So my question is, what kind of clothes should I be wearing in colder, wetter temperatures while commuting? I don't know of any special material that would best suit these conditions and I don't think blue jeans would be to comfortable.
    Avoid cotton like the plague. Synthetic shirt/shorts plus a water resistant jacket will keep you plenty warm for now. When temps get closer to freezing you'll eventually need to cover the legs as well (not with jeans).

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    cheese connoisseur Mumonkan's Avatar
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    i dont break out the special stuff unless its under 40

    but in general, everything wool. it retains something like 75% of its warming properties when soaked, dries fast and doesnt stink, like ever.

    when its really cold i wear wool mountaineering socks, underarmour conpression tights, heavyweight long sleeve wool shirt, northface skiing gloves and a jersey with a shemagh around my neck/face
    ride bikes, eat food. the circle of life.

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Cannot speak for NC.. I Have a Showers pass Portland jacket , and a Carhartt High viz Parka
    http://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/s...uickView=false

    often wear Russel poly track suit trousers .. fleecy absorbant liner slick jersey outer compound knit fabric.


    the sweatshirt is nice too http://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/s...uickView=false
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-17-13 at 01:56 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member GTryder's Avatar
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    I find dressing in layers to be most effective, especially for upper body. I tend to wear (cargo or golf) shorts for work from late spring to early fall. When over night frost starts, I wear loose fitting wind/rain pants over the shorts in the mornings along with a long sleeve jersey over a T shirt and windbreaker/rain jacket if needed. Full fingered gloves and a fleece "ear-band" under my helmet.

    I have a few relaxed fit jeans or khakis that aren't too restrictive, but they can be cold in freezing temps, unless covered with wind/rain pants or insulated snow pants once winter weather starts. At that point a light insulated parka and balaclava or face mask under the helmet along with insulated gloves, mittens or "bar-mitts." Foot wear goes from athletic shoes w/half clips, to low cut hiking boots and finally Thinsulate Kodiak winter boots on platform pedals.

    Along this transgression, bike and riding style changes as well. Going from rigid hybrid (700C) to hard-tail (26") to 3 speed (26" studded tires) - each step brings slower speeds, a more upright potion (higher stem/bars), with slightly lowered saddle to allow for the extra bulk of clothing / emergency dismounting.
    Last edited by GTryder; 08-17-13 at 02:14 PM.

  20. #20
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    I've been riding in gym shorts and a t-shirt because I can't afford cycling shorts as of now.
    Many layers, all the same, synthetic athletic wear from walmart or khols. Unless it's really cold the legs are ok if you keep your effort up, yet some of these winter riding folks wear shorts even below freezing. I have some nashbar leg warmers which work for me 30's and 40's temperatures, and a couple of polyester warmup pants for more serious weather.

    Blue jeans are uncomfortable in any weather, but for me worse in the cold weather when I have to stop after sweating.

  21. #21
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    I like merino wool jerseys. You can get a few long sleeve or short sleeve with arm warmers. They aren't cheap but you can ride several days before cleaning, they don't stink. I buy mine from Vintage Velos and a company in Portland (oregoncyclewear). The Oregon stuff is very good and they run specials on some colors. Spring for a long sleeve and a short sleeve and a few arm warmers and you are set on the top. If your legs get cold get a pair of cycling rain pants in goretex or event. Again, you only need one or tow pair at most.

  22. #22
    Senior Member wsgts's Avatar
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    Like in the other thread, I use Champion Gear from Target for commuting, the basketball pants work well. The only thing is to make sure you use something on the pants leg of your right leg unless you have a enclosed chain to keep you pant leg out of the chain.

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  23. #23
    Let's Ride! RidingMatthew's Avatar
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    not sure exactly where Shelby, NC is but I also live in NC.

    I tend to ride in my jersey and bibshorts when it in the 60's I wear knee warmers and arm warmers. When it is cooler I wear wool jersey I bought from the Clymb for like $45 or so dollars. I also bought from them bib tights and they have kept me warm down into 40's. I also have a performance softshell that i wear for really cold days. If you can block the wind that really is what robs you of body head but if you are biking you want to be vented or something that will let you vent some heat off after you start getting warm.

    http://www.theclymb.com/invite-from/MHart504536

    if you sign up under me and purchase something I get $ back. They have good quality name brand products at 70-80% off.
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