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  1. #1
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    Advice on extreme wind chill gear and rain gear

    I'd like to know what people use and endorse as being the most effective in extremely cold and windy conditions, and also what works in heavy rain.

    The rain jacket I bought at my LBS was expensive and isn't even waterproof. Rain leaks quite easily into the pockets, which damaged my phone. Everything at the LBS is outrageously priced but doesn't seem to offer much of what I need, instead catering to racers with big wallets..

    Mainly my problem area is(are?) my legs. Either cold wind freezes them up, or they get wet and the rain goes straight into my boots/shoes.

    I mean, I could just cut up a large trash bag for my legs and use grocery bags for my feet. But I'm willing to spend some money on a more permanent solution that doesn't deprive me of any style (or public respect). But I'm not spending $100+ for a single piece of base layer, such as what my LBS offers. That is outrageous.

  2. #2
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    foxwear.net or Showers Pass. I am car free in Buffalo NY for 2 years and will wear nothing else.

  3. #3
    Senior Member asmac's Avatar
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    Can't help with the style part but suggest shoe covers with rain pants outside them to keep the water out.

    I don't think "wind chill" and "rain gear" belong in the same sentence though. They are different issues and the only way I know of to protect against wind chill is to cover up with well insulated layers.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Heavy rainfall? non breathablt is the way to go..
    I got a Rain Cape from Riv Bike, .. Grundens makes it , they also make the Foul weather gear
    for commercial fisherfolk. Is about $120. a hat also Grundens is $40,
    get it 1 size big to wear a warm cap underneath.

    including those 'Deadliest Catch' Bearing Sea King Crabbers. as seen on TV.

    How about a 6K$ Velomobile you have a body around you that is streamlined
    and even a roof to close over your head.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-06-14 at 09:25 AM.

  5. #5
    Fixed Kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    I've also had good luck with rain pants (the cheap polyurethane kind). Rain pants + leggings, jeans, suit pants, whatever has worked for me in milder temperatures (30-50F); for cooler weather, I add long underwear (no cotton), sometimes multiple pairs.

    Some of the kids around here have endorsed military fatigues as an effective windblock for extreme windchill, though I haven't tried it. My experience has generally been that the most effective budget-friendly gear for extreme conditions can be found at your local hunting or agricultural supply store. Maybe not much for the style points, though!

  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I'm using a Marmot PreCip jacket as an outer shell in extremely cold or windy weather. It is also my go to rain jacket. While not cycling specific, it does the job for me. In fact, I have two of them. One to wear in summer months and the other a size to large to use as the outer layer in colder months. For lower body, when needed, I use REI rain pants.
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  7. #7
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I have been using a J&G breathable rain jacket (with layers underneath) and Rainmates rain chaps as my weather shell for the last 5 years with acceptable results. Total cost of the shell layer (jacket and chaps) was about $150. I have been warm and comfortable at -20 F.

    I was operating on the theory that the rain gear would also block the wind, seems to be working.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by asmac View Post
    Can't help with the style part but suggest shoe covers with rain pants outside them to keep the water out.

    I don't think "wind chill" and "rain gear" belong in the same sentence though. They are different issues and the only way I know of to protect against wind chill is to cover up with well insulated layers.
    I was concerned that might have been misconstrued. What I was trying to find out is what people wear for Winter and Spring, when it's either extremely windy and cold, or just raining a lot. Rain season is a few months away so I wanted to be prepared, especially since it will be awhile before I can buy it (saving for $1000 video card).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    I have been using a J&G breathable rain jacket (with layers underneath) and Rainmates rain chaps as my weather shell for the last 5 years with acceptable results. Total cost of the shell layer (jacket and chaps) was about $150. I have been warm and comfortable at -20 F.

    I was operating on the theory that the rain gear would also block the wind, seems to be working.
    -20F!? Interesting.. Would that work with just average layers underneath, like your average thermal top and legs?

  10. #10
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    UK winter is mainly cold, windy and raining. From Oct to May I usually wear a Paramo jacket as a waterproof and a windproof.
    If I'm using a goretex style waterproof, then I use a simple, unlaminated windproof in the dry.
    Winter windproofs need a good degree of windproofing capability so I use the huff test. Hold against mouth and huff. I should be able to force breath through the material under pressure.
    The cut needs a good seal at openings, a high collar to work with a buff.Pockets need a good cover, I prefer high chest pockets to rear or low ones. Anything banging around under my rib cage gets really annoying. Rear pockets on waterproofs are not very useful, more of a racing style. Mostly I use pockets for holding stuff off the bike, not when riding.

  11. #11
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrionXavier View Post
    -20F!? Interesting.. Would that work with just average layers underneath, like your average thermal top and legs?
    I believe that I was using a polypro baselayer, thermal, bottoms with my Cahartt work pants on the bottom. On the top I was wearing the polypro top, thermal top, t-shirt, insulated shirt-jack, and a fleece vest. Since then I have upgraded to wool instead of the polypro.
    I only have a six mile commute (one way).
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  12. #12
    Senior Member asmac's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=OrionXavier;16387490]What I was trying to find out is what people wear for Winter and Spring, when it's either extremely windy and cold, or just raining a lot. QUOTE]

    Got it. In rain I wear MEC shoe covers, rain pants (non-breathable), bike shorts, polyester Target base layer top, and a $100 breathable jacket from Aerotech Designs plus a MEC helmet cover and gloves. It keeps me mostly dry from the outside and not too bad from the inside. The gloves invariably get soaked. If it's chilly out (as opposed to 'wind chill') I add a layer of something under the jacket.

    For cold weather riding, I wear heavier wool sox and neoprene shoe covers to help keep my feet warm, regular pants over the bike shorts, maybe a layer of Target long johns, a well-insulated jacket over the polyester base layer, ski mitts (plus maybe wool gloves underneath), a thin balaclava and headband and/or watch cap under my helmet. It works OK down to -10C but there are always problems with overheating and sweating when you get going so it may be necessary to open a zipper on the jacket. I don't ride on snow and ice so later in the winter (i.e. colder) I don't have a plan. Generally, I would think that cross-country ski gear would work well.

    In general, I keep a supply of different and mostly inexpensive items which I mix and match to suit the circumstances.

    Right now, the wind chill is about -30 (plus additional wind chill if you're riding into the wind) and my solution to staying warm is to say home and look at my bike. It's really no fun to ride in this.
    Last edited by asmac; 01-07-14 at 12:50 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    cycling specific rain gear head to foot and leave no skin exposed

    to control sweating and body temperature you must maintain an assortment of layers at home and learn which pieces work best for you for any given day and temp spread
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  14. #14
    ****** squegeeboo's Avatar
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    Waterproof outershell (which is inherently wind proof also) and then whatever layering you need under it. Initially it can just be layers of sweatspants/sweatshirts, as you get more cycling gear you'll start switching out layers as needed.

    For my morning ride today (-3F, -30ishF wind chill, 25mph headwind):
    Feet (only part of me that got cold/numb):
    2 pairs of cold weather socks, insulated soles, really need to buy booties or toe covers or toe-warmers or something
    Legs(did fine, layered near perfect):
    Running tights, winter cycling tights, wool PJs, thin water proof shell
    Upper body(sweating or a little chilly based on how many lights I was hitting):
    Thick biking arm sleeves, wicking-tshirt, wicking full sleeve cool weather jersey, water proof winter cycling jacket.
    Hands(did fine):
    Fall full finger cycling gloves, snow boarding gloves
    Head(sweaty):
    Backalava, beardhead, helmet

    For the ride home, I'll prob. lose a layer from my torso/hands/head, but keep the leg/foot layers. Supposed to be about 5-10F, -15F wind chill, 20mph tail wind.
    In the words of Einstein
    "And now I think I'll take a bath"

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