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Thread: Base Layer

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    Base Layer

    Not trying to get too personal here, but when it's cold and you are cycling, what do you wear under the outer stuff?

    I want to try, again, to ride during the winter months. Thus far, I haven't been really successful at this particular endeavor.

    I was at a local outfitter/bike place here in Northwest Ark. to get some cycling shoes , and I decided to look at base layer apparel. One of the employees directed me to the hiking/backpacking area where they have Marmot Infinity Silk Weight and Mid Weight base layer tops and bottoms. The top part of me is the part that usually suffers the most. I talked to an employee, and she said she uses the silk weight stuff for backpacking because the mid weight is too hot. So now I'm thinking of the silk weight top, a long sleeve jersey, and a wind jacket. I would like to be able to ride in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. I know that's not really cold to some of you, but I'm fairly sensitive to cold weather. I have a balaclava, which does fairly well at keeping the brain housing group warm enough to function as designed. My legs usually do well with leg warmers. I thought for cooler weather, I might get some non-chamois tights to go over the leg warmers.

    Help!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Here in central Fla, the only thing under the outer stuff is sweat.

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    I'm so glad you asked... I've been wondering the same thing. Or, if a base layer could just as well be a thin layer of wicking fabric, not necessary intended to be a base layer but could be worn as such. I'm hoping some of the options will be basic, practical, inexpensive items.
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    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
    So now I'm thinking of the silk weight top, a long sleeve jersey, and a wind jacket.
    Help!!!
    Sounds like a good setup to me. With the layers, you'll be able to adjust as needed, ie. take off the windshell when you heat up, or whatever combo you want. Good to have a nice light wind/rain shell so you can compact/ stow it more easily.

    Also, the lightweight (silk) materials have always worked best for me as well- anything more is just too hot. My absolute favorite is Patagonia Capilene which in my experience feels much smoother & comfier than most everything else I've tried, including The North Face base layer stuff. The Patagonia is somewhat expensive, tho, I think a top was like $60 IIRC. Also, for the top, I like having a zippered turtle-neck collar so I can also adjust THAT for heat as needed.

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    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Expedition weight fleece followed by a wind break layer, a fleece balaclava, fleece glove liners and lined leather work gloves, goggles and a full helmet - good to -10F and 20MPH (but thats on the ski slope).
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    I commute year around. It's CA, so I'm not heroic, but it does get to freezing.
    As it gets colder I add a base layer. I like Under Armor, but knockoffs work too. Long sleeves.
    Then add a long sleeve jersey. Then knee warmers. Colder, knckers, colder yet, bib tights over the bibs.
    I also use a buff, the go to a cap, then the buf over my mouth.
    Hands get thin gloves, then ski mittens when it's really cold.
    I also have toe covers

    I try to think of it as skiing. I ski when it's cold, why not ride? Truth is, i liek commuting in teh cold, but almost never go ride for fun in the cold.

    Good luck!
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    Senior Member granularus's Avatar
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    I'm in Central Arkansas - the weather is about the same give or take a couple of degrees. I mostly wear a long sleeve Louis Garneau or Craft cold weather base layer, a light jersey and a shell jacket. Mostly wear just Hincapie shorts and leg warmers. I add Kucharik wind proof tights on really cold days. I have a Louis Garneau cycling jacket too - on the coldest days, I wear it over the Craft base layer and add the shell. Most of the time its too hot after the first 10 minutes for that combo. I was comfortable in that on the coldest morning I rode last year - about 22 Fahrenheit. The Craft stuff is much better than the silk stuff. As long as you don't have to stop for long a good base layer with a jersey and shell is going to work most of the time - I find that excess sweating with more than this will make me colder rather than warmer.

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    Yes it is a paradox
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    Some of the Craft base layers with wind block sections or nice when wind chill is a problem. A light weight cycling vest can help fill in for many different temp ranges.

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    Winter riding for me just means extra layers. And has this summer has not been too warm but the advantage of layers is that they can come off.

    Winter riding- I have a base layer vest and then my short sleeve cycling top. A long sleeve top that is made of "Roubaix" material and this is warm- slightly waterproof and light. Then over the top is a windproof top. Pertex- showerproof- Polaris jacket that is a bit warmer- or the goretex. All of these will keep the wind out so not losing body warmth. Legs normaly have leggings. The big problem I find are the extremities. Feet and I have SealSkinz socks- Waterproof and warm. Hands I have a pair of ordinary gloves that are water and wind proof and the Face- I wear a Ski mask. That also goes down the neck and is mostly too hot but being thin does not affect the fitting of the helmet.

    Couple of winters ago I went out on the Tandem on a really cold Morning and also put a thin fleece on. Just glad I had a pannier on the bike as that came off after about 30 minutes- as did the Waterproof once the sun came out.
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Plan ahead for emergencies while riding in the cold. Its bad news to be hot a sweaty while riding only to find that you are hot and sweaty with a flat tire or a broken chain. Bring layers that you wont wear while riding to keep yourself from freezing while fixing that flat.

    You folks in California, just carry a map that shows the nearest Starbucks...

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    For 40-50 degrees, I'll wear a base layer(sometimes short sleeve, sometimes long), jersey w/arm warmers and a jacket on top. Shorts w/warmers or tights. When it gets cooler I start increasing the weight of the various layers.

    There are a lot of good manufacturers as well as good sales/deals to be found.

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    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
    The top part of me is the part that usually suffers the most. I talked to an employee, and she said she uses the silk weight stuff for backpacking because the mid weight is too hot.
    At the age of 58, I would love to be talking to a female employee about silk underwear. What she prefers for the top, the bottom....

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    el padre
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    Basic, Practical. Enexpensive... My technique was to look in the closet and start layering,,,try a couple of layers and check the thermometer, if what I had on was not enough for the temp,,,,next ride I add another layer, heavy or light depending on where I felt real cold or just a little cool. Course you have to keep in mind that you want to start uncomfortable cool and warm up as you go.
    peace

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    you can get suprisingly warm riding in cool/cold weather.
    easy to get too much clothing, especially if the temp is in or above the 20s F.
    i know they are ugly and fred like, but a thin layer of old fashion long johns
    under a hooded sweatshirt and jersey pants work suprisingly well, is fairly
    inexpensive and easy to wash. IMO, one difference cycling in cooler/cold
    weather- compared to summer; it is the usually rainy or snow season so you often
    get slopped up. fenders are helpful, but they don't help when a suv passes
    you and splashes the contents of a pothole puddle all over you. plus you can
    get them in bright yellow or blue colors to help with visibility on dull dreary days.
    jcpenny has a good size and color range in their e-catalog.
    ps. hydration is just as critical in cold weather as hot, it is easy to forget
    to take fluids with you when it is cool out. dehydration is one of the
    first steps of a bad cold exposure experience.

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    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I just wear long underwear, but they came out with some new stuff. One of my friends still rides a motorcycle and he just bought some kind of underwear that cost about $500 at the motorcycle shop. He also bought a set for his wife. That's a little to rich for my blood though.
    George

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    The early morning temp has been quite nippy these days and I use a short or long sleeve moisture wicking clothing (not bike jerseys but other performance sports clothing) for base and just a fleece over it. I would take off the fleece as the temp start to climb and it get very pleasant and comfortable. I don't wear those expensive bike jerseys with commercial printed all over available from bike shops. You pay premium for those jerseys and then be a moving billboard? No thanks. Target or any sporting good stores usually carry mositure wicking short and long sleeved shirts priced at $10.00 to $15.00 if they are on sale. Sometimes I have cotton shirt over the moisture wicking clothes and is sufficient enough to break the wind temperature.

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    The wicking shirts are good, but you can also get bike jerseys in plain colors on sale for $20 to $25 online. Well worth the little extra cost for the zipper and the rear pockets.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Peddlin' Around Detroit Motorad's Avatar
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    The first biological department to fail the Motorad system are the toes. I bought these to see how they work, but I haven't tried them yet.
    http://bergsskishop.com/grabber/toe-...5136c2115.html













    Besides ... we're not authorized to talk about winter until November:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    There Will Be No Discussion Of Winter On This Forum Until November!!!

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    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorad View Post
    The first biological department to fail the Motorad system are the toes. I bought these to see how they work, but I haven't tried them yet.
    http://bergsskishop.com/grabber/toe-...5136c2115.html
    +1
    I tried them last year and they work great. The local home improvement store had the regular hand warmers for sale so I switched to them. I put them between my booties and shoes with a bit of tape. Works great. And if you stick them into a small glass jar (I use red star yeast jars that my wife saves), you can reuse them several times.










    [/QUOTE]

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    Today for the first time I wore a sleeveless jersey (Champion wear from Target) beneath my mesh jersey-jacket (also Champion from Target). I got warm after a while so I stopped in the ladies room at the park and removed the sleeveless jersey. It made a great base layer to get started until it warmed up. So, I guess a base layer can be a jersey.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodrigaj View Post
    At the age of 58, I would love to be talking to a female employee about silk underwear. What she prefers for the top, the bottom....
    I hesitated to mention in the OP, that she was young, fit, and easy on the eyes as well.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
    I hesitated to mention in the OP, that she was young, fit, and easy on the eyes as well. At the age of 58, I would love to be talking to a female employee about silk underwear. What she prefers for the top, the bottom....
    Silk base layer is not my preference for 30s weather, I require a heavier polypropolene.
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    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Under Armor. Good stuff that, in varying weights for varying temps. But you need to stop the wind on top of it for it to work very well.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

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