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Old 09-04-08, 12:04 PM   #1
hotwired
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tights or knee warmers

This is my first year of serious recreational cycling and fall's colder weather is almost here. Drawing on the near infinite wisdom of this prestigious group what are the benefits of knee warmers over tights? Thanks Hotwired in Milwaukee
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Old 09-04-08, 01:08 PM   #2
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My only cold weather solutions are denial and migration.
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Old 09-04-08, 01:45 PM   #3
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Knee warmers are fine if the day starts out Cool and is going to warm up. So how cold do you want to ride in?

Down to about freezing and it is dry- I use the Knickers- Knee length bib shorts as I don't have a great problem with the calf muscles staying cold after about 5 miles. Much below freezing and on will go the tights. Non padded and they go over the Knickers or shorts- so they can come off if it warms up but that has only happened once.

But cold weather and rain and on go the leggings- and the Ski mask. Cold rain hitting exposed skin on a cold day hurts.
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Old 09-04-08, 01:48 PM   #4
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I like those armwarmers and legwarmers hat you just peel off once it warms up!
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Old 09-04-08, 01:49 PM   #5
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Tights.
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Old 09-04-08, 01:58 PM   #6
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Leg warmers and arm warmers if you think it may warm up enough not to need them later in the day. Tights and long-sleeve jersey if you know it will be cold enough to need them all day long.

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Old 09-04-08, 02:03 PM   #7
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Well, this morning I wore a pair of nylon warm-up pants at 42F for an hour of casual riding on the MUPS in the dark.

Otherwise, tights. I don't own leg warmers, but they might be a good idea.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:05 PM   #8
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I never cared much for tights. Used knee warmers but felt they upped the dorque-factor of cycling clothing in general. Now use full length leg warmers. I don't think they look as funny and give you versatility.
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Old 09-04-08, 02:14 PM   #9
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I used leg warmers for the commute this morning as it was in the 40's. It will be in the 70's when I ride home this afternoon, so I will just wear my shorts. As others have said, leg warmers are great if you think you won't need them for the entire ride. I prefer tights if I think it will stay cold enough to need them.
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Old 09-04-08, 03:02 PM   #10
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Tights for me. Easy enough to peel off if need be.
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Old 09-04-08, 03:16 PM   #11
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Since I have to deal w/ temps from the upper 30s to 80ish in the same day commuting or on a long road ride this time of year, I vote for knee warmers. They work fine down to freezing for me, and don't take up much room in my already crowded bag for the evening ride home. When you're carrying slacks, a dress shirt, tie, undies, socks, soap, shampoo, lunch, and pretty much everything else needed for a day at the office, all in a 10liter bag, compactness becomes a much appreciated virtue. And if it's a long training ride, they're easier to take off and stuff in the jersey pocket than tights are.

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...where it was 42f this morning, and the forecast is for 76f this afternoon.
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Old 09-04-08, 06:23 PM   #12
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Knickers, then tights when it gets cold for most people. Not too may people go from 30's to 80's - yikes! I've got knee warmers and leg warmers to wear with shorts, and I've found that knickers really do the trick here in NJ. I've worn knickers down to 30's with adequate upper body protection. You can always strip off upper garments to keep cool. Protect your knees!

Arm warmers are great too.
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Old 09-04-08, 06:28 PM   #13
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Don't know if I had bad knee warmers, but the kept slipping down during the ride.

So, I prefer tights.
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Old 09-04-08, 06:35 PM   #14
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Neither one cost much money. Buy both and decide for yourself.
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Old 09-04-08, 08:19 PM   #15
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For me the question isn't one or the other, but rather, at what temperature does one need both.

I've ridden as low as 4(F). At that point it's baselayer, shorts, kneewarmers and tights.
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Old 09-04-08, 10:21 PM   #16
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I own both, but I rarely use the knee warmers. It seems logical that they would be perfect for rides that start out cool when you expect it to warm up...but I just never seem to grab them. If it's really cool, I wear tights, and even if it warms up they don't really get that hot.

So - tights if you need to choose one or the other.
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Old 09-05-08, 09:35 AM   #17
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I have, from cool to cold, bib tights, padded bib knickers, padded fleece lined bib shorts, fleece knee warmers, fleece leg warmers, and padded fleece lined waterproof and windproff bib tights (PI Gavia).

I really like the padded bib knickers for cooler weather.

For colder weather the fleece lined shorts can be coupled with either leg or knee warmers for maximum flexibility on a long ride. You can take off the leg warmer and put on the knee warmers. They both fit in the jersey.

For really cold weather I wear the Gavia stuff.

I ride when its cold and
I ride when its hot.
I ride when its wet and
I ride when its not.
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Old 09-05-08, 11:28 AM   #18
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I wear leg warmers for temps from 40F to 65F, then add nylon pants for 25F to 40F. I haven't wanted to ride when it drops below 25F, especially if it's windy.
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Old 09-05-08, 11:31 AM   #19
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I use tights. I've yet to find a pair of knee warmers that will stay in place for the entire ride.
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Old 09-05-08, 05:26 PM   #20
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Nothing goes right when your knee warmers aren't tight . . . (to borrow a line . . .)

I swear by mine . . . and at them, occasionally . . .
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Old 09-05-08, 05:46 PM   #21
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I use tights when it gets colder then I use a base layer under the tights down to about 35F.
I use arm warmers but neither nickers or knee warmers.
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Old 09-06-08, 04:55 PM   #22
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After reading everyone's response, I am going to first try tights. Thanks and keep cycling. Hotwired in Milwaukee
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