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  1. #1
    Senior Member olliesdad01's Avatar
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    I am OKD and Cold, what works for you?

    Oops, that should have been OLD and Cold. Even here in NC I need some help keeping warm. These will be my first pair of tights and I would appreciate any suggestions you in the colder climates could make. Glove recommendations would also be of assistance.

    Does anyone have any experience with Zyflex Performance Sportswear? Their prices are really great, could be one of those "buy and try" experiments. Their URL is http://www.zyflexsportswear.com/index.html.

    Thanks
    Last edited by olliesdad01; 12-14-09 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Correction

  2. #2
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    I am in my 3rd winter of bike commuting, and last week survived my coldest-ever stretch of Seattle commuting (from 16 degrees up to low 20's all week).

    Honestly, I'm finding about anything works, as long as you wear it in layers. My key is keeping my feet, hand, and head warm, and that means "layers" on them, too.

    Feet: thick socks plus Specialized Defroster boots, or Sidi shoes with booties on the outside. One really cold morning I also wore a thin pair of socks on the inside.

    Head: skullcap under helmet, rain cover on helmet. On really cold days I also wore a balaclava.

    Tights: I have several brands. None are any better than the others; I have some thin "spring/fall" tights for temperatures about 35 to 55; and some fleece-lined "winter" tights for colder weather. On really cold days I wear summer tights as an inner layer and winter tights over the top.

    Top: Showers Pass rain jacket on the outside, and 1 or 2 layers on the inside, depending on the temperature - synthetic base layer + wool jersey, or just a wool jersey.


    Gloves: last winter I got some Ibex wool glove liners, which I love. I wear them under full-finger Specialized riding gloves when it's cold and dry, or under North Face waterproof ski gloves when it's cold and wet. If it gets too warm it's easy to strip off my gloves, pull off the glove liners, and ditch them in my jersey pocket.


    Caution: if you hate cold weather (like me) it's easy to put too much stuff on when you leave the house. On weekends in the winter I put on a big saddlebag so I can strip off layers and stow them away as I go.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 12-14-09 at 02:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    Well I don't have a very long commute. It's about five miles each way, longer on the way home if I have decent weather and the time. I work in a chemical refinery and I'm out in the weather a lot while on the job. I just commute in my work clothes. I never wear cycling specific clothing for commutes.

    My base layer (I add Long Johns when it's below 10F).....



    My footwear.....


    My outer wear, a winter coat (I have a few) topped with this Hi-Vis Rain Coat complete with reflective strips. It acts as a rain coat, a wind breaker and really keeps in the heat (aka, it doesn't breath).


    For my head and hands I use a dew rag, ear band, Helmet rain cover and what ever weight gloves I think I'll need on any given day.....


    I commute in the winter months on this. It's an old rigid Trek 820 equiped with a convenient milk crate for my knap-sack. For rear visibility I have a Vista Blinkie and two Planet Bike Super Flashes and up front a green Vista blinkie and a Blackburn Quad. The 8" bar ends give me plenty of options for hand placement, the fenders donated by an old sixties wreck keep me relatively dry from road spray and the Schwalbe Winter Marathons (studded) get me where I'm going. The Mirrorcycle mirror helps me stay aware of traffic approaching from the rear. Check out all those dorky spoke reflectors!



    I've ridden as much as twenty-five miles at a time on this bike , dressed in these type of clothes in complete comfort. One does not always need bike specific kit for riding.

    I guess my point is....dress for your comfort. If you've over dressed just slow down a bit, winter will cool you down quick enough.

    Last edited by cranky old dude; 12-14-09 at 02:19 AM.

  4. #4
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Performance T*****x tights.
    Spenco "Cold Snap" gloves.
    Layering on top starting with Underarmour "cold gear" mock turtle.
    Smartwool skulcap is thin but effective under helmet for me.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Experience was my best teacher on dressing for the cold. In NE Ohio the weather can get down below freezing for extended periods of time. The way I dress for a ride in the 40's if different from rides in the 30's and 20's. Another consideration taken is the wind and the ride duration. Overdressing on a ride of less than 1 hour is not too much of a hassle, however being overdressed on a three hour ride is bad planning much the same as under dressing.

    As others said "layers" is the way to go, that enables you to control the comfort.

    My winter clothing includes two different tights, wind proof vest, cycling jacket, several different base layers, long sleeve shirts, skull cap and balaclava, thick woolen socks, shoe covers and toe covers, and long finger thermal wind proof gloves.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  6. #6
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by olliesdad01 View Post
    Glove recommendations would also be of assistance.
    As others have said, layers are important. You can layer your gloves too.

    I wear a pair of summer weight long finger cycling gloves inside a pair of Cannondale Windfront gloves. (Sadly, they don't make them any more.) I usually wear large, and the C'dales are XL. The summer weight gloves give both wicking and an nice insulating layer of air next to my hands. The C'dales are windproof, water-resistant and insulated as well. Nice big snot-wiper too.

    Quote Originally Posted by olliesdad01 View Post
    Does anyone have any experience with Zyflex Performance Sportswear?
    No, not with that brand. But in general, when you look at tights, IME anything that's not wind-front is a waste of money. I tried to go cheap with ordinary tights. They *are* warm, up until I start riding. Then they're a little breezy. Multiple pairs only bind and bunch at the knee, making pedaling harder (which I think is how they keep you warm).

    My two different pairs of windfront tights are dearly expensive and have been worth every penny. One set has a contoured knee and the other an articulated knee. Both are like pedaling barelegged. The heavier pair gets me down to the lower teens without layering. Below than I add (articulated) kneewarmers under them.
    Last edited by tsl; 12-14-09 at 07:58 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Gloves and socks and I bought Sealskinz brand a few years ago. They are waterproof but I bought the winter versions with a bit of warm material to them. Head and a Ski mask.

    But legs. I do have tights but they only go on if it is below 20F or if it is raining/ sleeting/ snowing or plenty of cold wet mud about. I find that if I can keep the knees warm- then I am OK so I have winter strength Knickers. Long Bibs that finish just below the knees. Body and it is just layers- but I can gloat over most of you as I have a Long Sleeve "ASSOS jacket that is warm and showerproof. Still needs a topcoat though and I have windproof-showerproof- fully waterproof and a Goretex. I just decide on what will be best and I stay toasty and warm. Once I have braved the elements- kicked the mind into gear and actually get out there.
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  8. #8
    Pat
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    I use layers

    In Central FL, I have had my water bottles freeze (at just below 30 degress). I used to ride in the winter in MI. At about 15 degrees, it was pretty marginal. I found that the wind chill made me back off enough that I was not getting a decent workout. At those temperatures, cross country skiing is better.

    But the thing is to layer and not expose anything if you can help it.

    For the coldest weather, I use

    1) a neoprene face mask. It covers pretty near everything except your eyes and the glasses get those.
    2) a balacava
    3) at really low temps, mittens work better than gloves and they work fine at shifting. A warmer temps (over 35), you can go with gloves.
    4) neoprene boots to cover your feet.
    5) 2 pairs of tights
    6) 2-3 jerseys or a couple of jerseys and a light wind breaker

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I am in my 3rd winter of bike commuting, and last week survived my coldest-ever stretch of Seattle commuting (from 16 degrees up to low 20's all week).
    +1, probably true for most of us bike commuters in the Pacific NW this past week. Wasn't all that bad once I got the trick of going heavy on insulating the hands, head, and feet, and going lighter everywhere else. It meant riding in toe clips in big boots to keep feet warm, but it worked (mostly). Temps dropped amazingly fast; I'd leave Seattle at 7PM amid a relatively balmy 28, hit Bellevue at 22, and Issaquah at 17.

    One nice thing about the cold was hitting some nice frozen singletrack on the mountain bike- fast, clean climbs and descents. Yay!

  10. #10
    Fred J.G. dwilbur3's Avatar
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    Stay far, far away from cotton. It's bad in hot weather, it's dangerous in cold weather.

    And +1 to layers.

  11. #11
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    You'll have to make your own charts. We don't know what temps are issues for you and what you normally wear. Just make your personal charts: at temp XXX , wearing YYY, I feel
    too warm/warm/good/cool/cold/freezing. After taking inventory of what works, then post results, and highlight where there are issues. Then we can provide good input, until then everyone is just smoking you all
    Hi 'o Silver away

  12. #12
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    If you are a bit chilly when standing around before the ride, you won't get overheated too easily.

    My fingers and toes get cold easily.
    LEGS
    50-60F no-chamois tights over shorts( I don't like leg warmers) Wool socks and my shoes are about 1/2 size large, so the socks don't squeeze my foot.
    40-50F Usually my windblocking Performance tights, and windblocking fabric booties.
    30-40F the windblock tights are still good, but I might try a base layer or the plain tights over the windblock next time it's near 30.

    FINGERS
    50-60F Windblocking long finger bike gloves
    40-50F ski gloves -- but they are really too hot. My fingers froze at 40F with the windblocking gloves.
    30-40F ski gloves are great.

    MISC
    30-45F A neck gaiter is a low cost tube of fleece to pull over my head. It keeps cold air out of my collar and I can pull it right up over my nose if there's a cold wind.

    Wraparound glasses keep my eyes from watering excessively.

    EDIT-- Like HiYoSilver, I kept track of rides last year--Temperature range, what layers worked OK, and what were too hot or cold.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 12-14-09 at 12:54 PM.

  13. #13
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    Well I don't have a very long commute. It's about five miles each way, longer on the way home if I have decent weather and the time. I work in a chemical refinery and I'm out in the weather a lot while on the job. I just commute in my work clothes. I never wear cycling specific clothing for commutes.

    My base layer (I add Long Johns when it's below 10F).....



    My footwear.....


    My outer wear, a winter coat (I have a few) topped with this Hi-Vis Rain Coat complete with reflective strips. It acts as a rain coat, a wind breaker and really keeps in the heat (aka, it doesn't breath).


    For my head and hands I use a dew rag, ear band, Helmet rain cover and what ever weight gloves I think I'll need on any given day.....


    I commute in the winter months on this. It's an old rigid Trek 820 equiped with a convenient milk crate for my knap-sack. For rear visibility I have a Vista Blinkie and two Planet Bike Super Flashes and up front a green Vista blinkie and a Blackburn Quad. The 8" bar ends give me plenty of options for hand placement, the fenders donated by an old sixties wreck keep me relatively dry from road spray and the Schwalbe Winter Marathons (studded) get me where I'm going. The Mirrorcycle mirror helps me stay aware of traffic approaching from the rear. Check out all those dorky spoke reflectors!


    I've ridden as much as twenty-five miles at a time on this bike , dressed in these type of clothes in complete comfort. One does not always need bike specific kit for riding.
    Rumor has it that Lance and the RadioShack boys will be doing the mountain stages of the '10 TDF on bikes like yours and dressed like you.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  14. #14
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Multiple layers of wicking poly shirts under a wind/water resistant poly jacket. Wicking poly or thermax knit cycling caps or nylon balaclava. Fleece relaxed-fit cycling tights. Wool cycling socks over thin wicking poly socks. Toe covers over the cycling shoes.Wind/water resistant insulated gloves.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Rumor has it that Lance and the RadioShack boys will be doing the mountain stages of the '10 TDF on bikes like yours and dressed like you.

    Yep, I'm a regular slave to fashion ain't I?

  16. #16
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Wool is the answer. (my answer at least )
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
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    Wool is a sweet answer, too! Just outta my budget. Have a couple, though, given to me by someone who couldn't wear them anymore.

    If you roll longjohns, get polypro, you can even get them at Wally World.

    I have winter-weight tights, under heavy jeans (for work), heavy polypro socks, and 2-3 layers on top under the coat. Three wicking layers under the helmet when it gets to 32F and below. Regular winter gloves. Just bought a set of MTB shoes (SPD) that are quite a bit warmer than my everydays!

  18. #18
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    Just rode home from work in pretty steady rain, 39 degrees. I forgot to mention my "secret" weapon for riding in cold rain: baseball cap under helmet, to keep rain off eyes.

    Also, I'm about 6 weeks into my first pair of Sealskinz socks for riding in heavy rain. Verrrrry nice.

  19. #19
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    HI,
    If its near that 22 deg with the addition of wind chill I will toss a chemical hand warmer in each mitton, and small one in my shoes near the toes,
    I ve nearly had frostbite on a couple longer rides ,and it was a bit painfull in the shower when they thawed out, i usally wear those wool socks and shoe covers but if its
    really cold a little heat helps alot.
    those hunting glove chemical hand warmer are 6 pairs for 1.75 at wallmart and they work if you let them start to warm up 30 mins before the ride.

  20. #20
    Fred J.G. dwilbur3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Just rode home from work in pretty steady rain, 39 degrees. I forgot to mention my "secret" weapon for riding in cold rain: baseball cap under helmet, to keep rain off eyes.

    Also, I'm about 6 weeks into my first pair of Sealskinz socks for riding in heavy rain. Verrrrry nice.
    +1 on the baseball cap. I forgot mine this morning, glad I have one at work!

  21. #21
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Here are three things that I like:

    1. These ear warmers:

    http://www.amazon.com/Gorgonz-Warmer...0918764&sr=8-1

    2. Ski gloves.

    3. Wool knitted arm warmers that extend from above the elbow down to the wrist. Knitted by my wife. They go between my long-sleeved jersey and my jacket.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

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