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  1. #1
    iks
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    Cold weather clothes

    I have not made the switch to lycra just yet but I assume I will when I become more concerned with wicking off sweat next summer and being aero and light, but now Fall approaches. What do you use to stay warm with? Right now it's 64, breezy and too cold in just a tee-shirt. What is your temperature range for riding?

  2. #2
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iks
    I have not made the switch to lycra just yet but I assume I will when I become more concerned with wicking off sweat next summer and being aero and light, but now Fall approaches. What do you use to stay warm with? Right now it's 64, breezy and too cold in just a tee-shirt. What is your temperature range for riding?
    I would be OK in 64F in a T, but that is me. anything above 60 is shorts and a jersey or T.

    I ride from about 32F - Hot.

    I don't have any "fancy" clothes for the colder weather. I have two long-sleeve jerseys with hoods, which help considerably in keeping the head warm. I have a "skull cap" out of that felt-like black material whose name has slipped me so far. I have an all weather jacket from LL Bean that is light and does pretty good. I have two different "tights" - one light and one heavy - at times I have been known to put them both on. If wet, I have some nylon-like waterproof pants to go over.

    I use some gloves I bought at Target a few years back, or for really cold, my "snow" gloves, which are like skiing gloves. I have a Balaclava if necessary.

    I pretty much look like a demented ice-cube-like Fred when I get all dressed up for the colder days.

    I don't own one piece of GoreTex or similar, but sort of wish I did, although it would go against my cheap-skate side!

    For about 50-60, I wear a jersey and a windbreaker, sometimes two jerseys on top of each other.

    "Layers" is the operative word.

    Today in 43F, on a purely recreational ride with my wife, I wore Levis, a T shirt, a sweat shirt, and a windbreaker with my Targert gloves and tennis shoes. Did me fine for a couple of hours of riding.

    Scary, isn't it!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-02-06 at 03:32 PM.
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  3. #3
    Member mcadam's Avatar
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    Here in the 4-Corners area, it might be 15 degrees in a Jan. morning and probably 100 in a July afternoon. For cold I find it most important to keep fingers and face warm.

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    -10 to Phew.

    The art of cold weather riding is to keep the hands and feet warm- Don't get the body cold and carry a portable fire on the bike.

    Generally find that layers works best- and if wet a waterproof that is waterproof and breathable. Main problem is at the start of a ride- before the body gets warm but as soon as it is warm- then unzip or take off a layer.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Agree with the others about hands and feet. Also would suggest a very good base layer that wicks moisture away from the skin (cotton is a very poor choice, because it hold water). Additionally, the wind in my area picks up considerably as the days grow shorter, and I need good wind blocking outer layers. Personally, I think an investment in quality cold weather riding gear is well worth the investment.
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    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I would only add that it's a good idea to have your pie heated, as well. Warm deep dish apple pie with some vanilla ice cream on top -- that's the cold weather ticket!
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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    stapfam is right about keeping the hands and feet warm, which is one reason I wear full-finger gloves frequently.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    I would only add that it's a good idea to have your pie heated, as well. Warm deep dish apple pie with some vanilla ice cream on top -- that's the cold weather ticket!
    Errr . . . what would you, San Diegoite, know about cold weather?
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Cadillac's Avatar
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    Cold weather clothing

    Below 65°F (18°C) I make sure my knees are covered. This is particularly important as we grow older. Many riders suppose that since they can walk around in shorts at that temp, they can ride in that temp too. The problem is that wind-chill (created by cycling) will pull the heat off the knees. The alternative to wearing tights is a heat salve that racers use.

    I will cycle in temps dropping to -5°F (-20°C), but as the temp drops, my clothing requirements change accordingly.

    50°F to 65°F (10°C to 18°C) = Helmet, short-sleeve cycling shirt, light cycling shell jacket, fingerless cycling gloves, cycling shorts, lycra shorts, socks, cycling shoes
    35°F to 50°F (2°C to 10°C) = Helmet, long-sleeve cycling shirt, wool vest, light cycling shell jacket, long-finger cycling gloves, cycling shorts, lycra tights, socks, cycling shoes
    10°F to 35°F (-12°C to 2°C)= Helmet, balaclava, long-sleeve cycling shirt, wool vest, down jacket, light 99-cent wool gloves inside long-fingered cycling gloves or leather winter mitts, cycling shorts, lycra tights, cotton trousers, two pair of socks, cycling shoes, neoprene booties
    -5°F to +10°F (-20°C to -12°C)= Helmet, balaclava, long-sleeve cycling shirt, one-piece Ski-Doo(R) suit, 99-cent wool gloves inside leather winter mitts, cotton trousers, two pairs of thermal socks, cycling shoes, neoprene booties
    "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head,
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired"
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    ajf
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    As it gets cooler, leg warmers and arm warmers.
    When it gets chilly, tights and long sleeved jerseys.
    When it gets cold, add leg warmers and arm warmers to tights and long sleeved jersey, and consider insulated gloves and booties made for cycling.
    When it gets really cold and windy, add them all together, and get a windproof jacket.
    To keep my face warm, I grow a beard every winter.
    This, plus Lycra shorts and a short sleeved jersey used to keep me comfortable in California from the low twenties to one hundred plus.
    Unfortunately, they all seem to have shrunk in the 14 years since I last did any serious cycling.

    -a.

  11. #11
    iks
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    As it happens I like pie!

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    What is "cold weather"? Here on the Treasure Coast of Florida, it is only hot or not so hot. I have only been riding for about a month, so I don't know what I'll do when it gets frigid here and drops below 70!

    Actually, one of my other passions is an old British Sports Car, a 1971 TR6. The guys up north put their cars in the garage and work on them in the winter, while we take ours out of the garage and drive them in the winter! I suspect biking will be the same. It will just be easier to to ride longer when things cool off a bit!

    John

  13. #13
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Errr . . . what would you, San Diegoite, know about cold weather?
    My momma taught me to respect my elders and so I won't offer a retort to this, despite the temptation.
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  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 67walkon
    What is "cold weather"? Here on the Treasure Coast of Florida, it is only hot or not so hot. I have only been riding for about a month, so I don't know what I'll do when it gets frigid here and drops below 70!


    John
    Cold weather here is when the gloop called mud, that does tire you out after about 5 miles of it, actually congeals with a layer of ice over the top to give you a firmer surface to ride over. Very cold is when you can't break through the ice on the puddles to get through to the water to wash the mud off your bike that has suddenly added 10lbs to the weight of your bike.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    Burrr

    I'll go as long as it's in the 20's Fahrenheit. Any colder than that I'll stay home. I just bundle up and go.
    Go ride, John K.

  16. #16
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Like some others, riding in cold weather can actually be fun if you're properly dressed. It's even more important to wear underlayers that have the ability to wick moisture away from the body in colder weather. You're still going to sweat and you don't want that moisture to stay next to your skin or else it turns the skin beet red and you get too chilled!!! It also helps to have garments that aide in blocking the cold air as well. Remember that you are moving through some very cold air and it penetrates the clothing in a heartbeat. Most non-cycling clothing tend to let too much cold air through the material and that causes real issues including too much heat loss. A lightweight wind vest or a jersey/jacket with that material on the front is a terrific investment.

    Invest a little in proper riding gear for cold weather and you can ride as long as the roads will let you stay upright.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Cadillac's Avatar
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    Clothing

    Even though you are wearing clothing to keep you warm enough as you ride along a flat road, you may find that as you go up a mountain hill that you are overheating. When that happens, you can unzip your jacket or open up the sleeves or remove your gloves, etc.

    Generally you don't want to stop to remove a jacket because getting underway again up a hill can be difficult.

    However, when you go down the other side, there is another danger. You need to put on extra clothing. At this point it is always wise to stop. If you watch the Tour de France, you will notice that on the crest of the downhill someone from the spectators will hand the rider a newspaper. The rider will tuck the paper under his jersey to prevent hpothermia.

    If you live in Florida or Winnipeg, ignore these instructions
    "Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
    The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
    But then begins a journey in my head,
    To work my mind, when body's work's expired"
    -- Shakespeare Sonnet XXVII
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  18. #18
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I've decided Iowa is not going to get cold this year.

    Last year I rode in weather as cold as -5 F. This winter Iowa will get down to the 60's but that is it. It will not get cold.
    Carpe who?

  19. #19
    Wes
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    If you dont want it to get cold this year, do not run over those Wolley(whatever) worms. They will get mad and we will really be in for it this winter.

  20. #20
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wes
    If you dont want it to get cold this year, do not run over those Wolley(whatever) worms. They will get mad and we will really be in for it this winter.
    They have been really light colored this year..... I think this is suppose to be a good sign.
    Carpe who?

  21. #21
    Recovering Retro-grouch CRUM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iks
    I have not made the switch to lycra just yet but I assume I will when I become more concerned with wicking off sweat next summer and being aero and light, but now Fall approaches. What do you use to stay warm with? Right now it's 64, breezy and too cold in just a tee-shirt. What is your temperature range for riding?
    64'F? Jeez, that's still shorts and barefoot wheather around here. Today was drizzly and about 58' to 60'F. Almost balmy. Wore the usual short sleeve jersey and Lycra shorts. As the temps dip I do at least bring along something to put on should I get cold. Below 55'F or so.

    Up here if we choose to not ride below 50'F, then we are relegated to only having maybe 3 months of riding wheather. I ride all year long. From below 0 to around 20'F I will usually keep as much skin covered as possible. Bacalavas for the face, thickly insulated work boots and snowmobile gloves. Then starting with good poly pro long johns, I layer from there. Finish off with a wind resistant layer. What I tell customers who want to ride in the winter is to not over dress, but always have enough with you to overdress should you need it. The biggest problem I think is trapping moisture against the skin when it is cold out. I always advise a good wicking layer first. Then use appropriate clothing on top.
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    Cold Weather Wear

    I've had good luck with winter gear from Foxwear (no connection, just a satisfied customer). I can wear a base layer Polartec T-shirt and my bibs, with an E-Vap Jacket and Powder Stretch tights over, down into the low 40s on a sunny day. Prices are exceptionally reasonable. www.foxwear.net

  23. #23
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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    Layers, layers, layers--- that's the key. We ride down to about 10F and everything is light weight. First, start with a wicking T. You can get Cool Max (or similar) undershirts at Campmore at a reasonable price. Then, I wear a long sleeve jersey, a wind vest, and a light weight jacket. Down under I wear tights and wind pants. If it's cold enough I put booties on over my regular cycling shoes. Of course, gloves and head gear. I've found out if I keep my core temp up and work hard, my hands and feet stay warm. If my hands get real cold, I put them behind my back for awhile, one hand at a time, alternating just to get them out of the wind. Sometimes I wear a skull cap with ear covers, or just an ear band, depending upon how cold it is. If it's really cold, a balacava is great. My stoker actually enjoys winter riding over a hot summer day any time. I like it hot, but find with the correct winter clothing, year around cycling is very possible. Road conditions are the only deterent.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    I have to weigh in on this one, as the cold is my norm out here 9 months of the year. Last year 26 below was the lowest I commuted in, but that isn't as bad as some warmer days with high wind and viscious wind chill. Layers and wool are the clothes-de-jour when the white stuff start flying around here. You won't get any OCP points for it, and you won't look like a cyclist, but polypropolene long johns, flannel or wool shirt, Woolrich malone pants, and a down filled coat will cover the torso nicely. The wind will bite thru the pants at times and Carhartt overalls are needed then. The tight canvas will stop the wind. Good wicking socks (stay away from cotton) with another pair of woolie socks over them and your best Red Wing hunting boots will keep your feet toasty, no room for clipped shoes when it gets that cold.

    Gloves will make or break you in sub zero temps...above that a good pair of lined leather gloves, or fleece undergloves with a leather over will keep you pretty comfortable. When it get's real cold, chopper mittens with long gaunlet tops are your only course of action. That leaves out shifting of any kind, but when it's that cold, things freeze up and shifting becomes a moot point anyway. It's fixed gear time with nothing to freeze up on them. Full head balaclava's are great, but a good scarf and a wool stocking hat can keep most of your noggin covered up. I tend to freeze up around the mouth on the balaclava.

    The old goose hunters around here use those little 'warm thing' packets that have some kind of activated char-coal or something in them. You open them, shake them around, and they put off heat enough to stave the frostbite off. In your shirt pocket, in your mittens, or in the top of your boots they'll make people rave at how damn tough you must be. The disposable are ok, but there's some you can reuse by boiling them...they are NICE!

    You end up looking like Nanook, but then again, warm never goes out of style around here - not for very long anyway...

  25. #25
    iks
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    Do standard colorfiul cycling clothes, the Lycra's and Gore-tex stuff, keep you warm at all? Are they windbreakers or designed to breath instead? I would think that you wear the wick-able stuff underneath and then a light shell of windbrreaker for the cold weather. Are leg and arm warmers obtainable at department stores or are the best ones only gotten on-line or at the LBS?
    Last edited by iks; 09-05-06 at 07:04 AM.

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