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  1. #1
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    Rain and cold weather gear?

    Could you folks recommend some rain and cold weather gear? I see that there are many varieties but wondered if you have a favorite brand or those yellow jackets I see people wear in early morning rides. Not sure if these are wind breakers or rain jackets or both, and also whether they are support to be heavy or light with extra layers below. Same applies to gloves. Thanks a bunch.

  2. #2
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Most of those yellow (or bright green) jackets are probably water-resistant windbreakers. Some could be waterproof/breathable. Lots of variation in the marketplace. Windbreakers/light jackets work well over appropriate layers depending on the temp, wind, etc.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

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    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    under armor "cold weather gear" is some nice stuff but alittle pricey. I found some knockoff insulated shirts on ebay for half the price that kick butt. just search coldweathergear

    for pants I have a few pairs of nashbar mansfield insulated bibs w/chamios. Not all of nashbar branded clothes are awesome but these are.
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...54_-1___202357

    I also have a nashbar wind breaker style jacket that was less than $30. mine is blue but it does come in yellow.
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
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  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Main thing with winter clothing is to stay warm and dry. The lightweight waterproof shells do the job to an extent by keeping the rain and wind out but they do not breath. You get wet and then cold from the inside unless you have bought a quality item. But you do need some form of top coat in the cold or wet to keep the body warm and dryish.

    Main thing for warmth is layering. That is several layers to keep the warmth in. If you get too warm then you can then take a layer off.

    The best investments I have made are a warm base layer that breathes (A Vest made of the right material) and a multitude of top coats to suit the weather. Having been into cycling for 20 years I have those top coats and they range from cheap water and windproofs right up to a Goretex jacket that is possibly the ultimate in waterproofs.

    Main problem I have is in the extremities. Feet- hands and head. The feet and hands and if you can keep them dry they stay warmer so several years ago I invested in "Sealskinz" socks and gloves. Water and windproof and a certain amount of warmth. For the head I use a ski mask and often find that this is too warm.

    Quality top coats can be expensive and the ones that work even more so. I know when I started out- I could not afford the good stuff and even cycling specific was often beyond my reach. I still have a water/windproof that I bought from an outdoor sports shop that does what it says but has the added bonus of zips under the arms and shoulders to allow out moisture. Just a pity the fit is not good for cycling but it was cheap and works.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    M outer shell for cold/rain is a Marmot PreCip jacket...six years with no issues.

    http://marmot.com/products/precip_ja...168&ft=222-168
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

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    This is all very useful. So, a warm breathable base layer, plus some layers for warmth, topped with a waterproof windbreaker. That Marmot jacked looks nice!! A few more questions if you don't mind:

    - Since there are further layers above the base layer, wouldn't sweat be trapped inside of them? so the purpose is defeated? how would sweat escape all those layers?

    - For gloves, are these cycling gloves or just for warmth? that is, do they have the necessary padding as well?

    - What about pants? do you suggest buying a waterproof long pants for the rainy days, or just long tights?

    - Incidentally, where does wool factor into all this, if at all? is it not recommended, as much as cotton isn't?

    Thanks a bunch.

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    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Are we talking "intentionally" going out on a miserable cold and rainy day? Or do you take long unsupported trips where you have to be prepared.

    I ride year-round to the train station, but it's not fun in the super cold or heavy snow (-25F, 8-10 inches are my current records for "crappy"). Waterproof windbreaker and total skin coverage is the key for me. Thermal under clothing is personal preference.

    I treat cold weather biking with limits similar to cold weather golf. I prefer: above 40F if it's sunny, above 50F if it's cloudy, above 60F if it's raining, but I've certainly had to make exceptions if I'm on a long trip and the weather goes bad.

    And the first essential for rain is fenders, IMO. I spent a cold day in heavy rain last summer without a front fender. The water off the front tire was nicely distributed directly onto my shoes -NON-STOP. Couldn't have had more water in those shoes if I had stepped into a lake. Fenders.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention my best friend on super cold days: Lobster Gloves.
    lobstergloves.jpg
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

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    Great points there David. I resumed biking after long time of inactivity. I am trying to be consistent and bike very short times everyday, so even if it rains a bit I hope to go, unless this is not a good idea. I only do it for exercise, no commuting. I will definitely consider adding fenders.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    cycling specific gear. one exception for was my Dad bought me expensive EMS gortex rain pants for hiking etc so I used them. I added reflective tape so I could bike commute through the winter. when things got really cold i switched to the ski pants my wife got me and I added reflective tape to those too. nowadays I avoid rain but in the colder months I use Novara Headwind pants and they are terrific!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Cotton is generally a "No-No" as it retains moisture and then gets cold. Exception is on hot days when the sweat would evaporate away from the material and possibly keep you a bit cooler. Cycling specific jerseys are made with a wicking material that takes moisture away from the skin and it evaporates with heat or wind. Can be made of various materials and can come in various warmth's. The base layer and I have two. A Warm long sleeve for winter use and a lightweight "Aertex" type that has no warmth. Both do the same job of wicking moisture away from the skin and into the next layer that if of the right material- will wick away moisture to the open air. In cool weather I would have a base layer and a long sleeve jersey and outer top coat. Cold weather it will be base-short sleeve- long sleeve and outer. Even colder and it will be as many layers as I can put on and put up with the dampness that I will not feel till I stop. The lightweight base layer I mainly use in Summer as the wicking properties are very good.

    Gloves and the "Sealskinz" I mentioned are cycle specific with padding but the Lobster gloves that dbg uses are just as good----As are a pair of trek mittens I have and various others.

    Other things to think about are the knees. This Joint can suffer in the cold and various ways of keeping them warm. Longer shorts called "KNickers" that come to below the knees- Leg warmers that are just sleeves to put over the joint or the leg or cycling tights that cover the whole leg. I use KNickers or tights and that works for me down to about 20F--Below that it will be Knickers and tights and find a cafe every 20 miles or so to warm up
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    Thank you for a very thorough presentation. Much appreciated.

  13. #13
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    I just started cycling so I don't have a lot experience with it. But, I my experience so far has shown that fenders make a huge difference in the rain. Without them, I got a rooster tail all the way to the top of my head but, with them I don't get anymore wet than I would simply standing in the rain.

    So, I added a Gore-Tex jacket and that kept my torso dry and, when I pull the hood up over my helmet, my head stays dry too. But, I still have to work on my thighs and feet... My only problem: my best Gore-Tex jacket from North Face is a tad "too-long" for cycling because the bottom hem hooks on to the rear of the saddle when I dismount. The cheaper one from Lands-End is shorter and doesn't do that. But both keep me dry.

    My experience from riding a motorcycle in the cold taught me the BIG thing is to keep the wind out and some layers underneath.

    So, in the cooler weather this fall I have been wearing an old moth-eaten wool shirt under a Gore-Tex jacket. The wool shirt is warm and wicks the moisture away and, since it's old, I simply throw it in the washing machine with the rest of my riding clothes after each ride (with cold water on extra-gentle). I also have a trunk on the back where I carry extra layers to use if needed.

    All that is working pretty well from the waist up. I have to work on from the waist down... I have an old but never used pair of Gore-Tex ski pants laying around somewhere -- I may have to give them a second chance... And, I may invest in a pair of Gore-Tex shoes (I don't use clips or clip-less).
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    Very useful information George. I will check out Lands-End site, do you happen to have the exact item number? I will also check out the knee warmers etc. suggested by Stapfam.

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    I came across Aero Tech cycling gear. Did any of you try it? is it any good? here is the web site:

    http://www.aerotechdesigns.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deego65 View Post
    Very useful information George. I will check out Lands-End site, do you happen to have the exact item number? I will also check out the knee warmers etc. suggested by Stapfam.
    I bought the Lands-End Gore-Tex jacket 5 or 6 years ago (maybe more) for $100. So, no, I don't have any item numbers. But, Lands-End does have a number of nice jackets at reasonable (but not cheap) costs... It may be worth a look because as soon as you walk into a speicialty store, prices go up.

    Conversely, my North Face Gore-Tex jacket (which I got at a high-end outdoors store) has more features (like a zip-out fleece lining and pit-zips) and it is also of far higher quality than the Lands-End. But it cost over $350 instead of $100.

    But both keep me dry...
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deego65 View Post
    I came across Aero Tech cycling gear. Did any of you try it? is it any good? here is the web site:

    http://www.aerotechdesigns.com
    Clothing- and in particular wet/wind proof clothing- is dependant on the material it is made of. First priority is that is has to do the intended job and that normally depends on the material. Goretex is one of the top end items of clothing and it can be made by Goretex or it can be made of Goretex material. There are other materials that are as good but others may be able to advise you on these. But even in Goretex there are several grades. I have a jacket made of 3 layer material and it is completely waterproof and feels like a thin canvass. I bought my jacket in a sale about 15 years ago and it still works and looks like new. It is also a cycling specific jacket so the fit is good. There is also a 2 layer material that is lighter- is still waterproof andbreathes. Downside is that it is not as strong but My mate has a 2 layer jacket that was bought around the same time -still works but does have a couple of small tears in it.

    However I also have a "Berghaus" jacket that is lightweight and is not a cycle specific design. Works just as good as the Goretex but as it does not have the cycling cut- I find water seeping in at the bottom of the jacket. Takes a while for this to happen but ideal for short trips into town over normal clothes.

    But Goretex is expensive. My jacket was over $300 new but the sale price was about $150. For most rides I could get away with a lighter jacket that is just waterproof and possibly dubious breathing quality's but if it is raining and looks set in- then this is the jacket to wear.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  18. #18
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deego65 View Post
    I came across Aero Tech cycling gear. Did any of you try it? is it any good? here is the web site:

    http://www.aerotechdesigns.com
    If their cool/cold/foul-weather stuff is anything like their shorts, then they're just fine. I love their $39 Pro cycling shorts. It's like I ain't wearin' nuttin'. I'll be trying out their cool/cold/foul-weather stuff when my current stuff wears out.

    Meanwhile, all my outerwear is from Endura. All very well made, durable, and relatively inexpensive. Also available in many bike shops, so it's easy to get a feel for it and try it on. My favorite tights are Endura ThermoLite Pro bib-tights. I'm starting my fourth winter (!) commuting with my Endura Gridlock jacket. I use their gloves, booties, and warmers as well. They just don't wear out, so it'll be a long time before I get to try any AeroTech things.
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    That looks like good looking stuff. Combined with the enduring quality you experienced, and it seems like a good buy. Will check them out in their local dealer. Many thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    If their cool/cold/foul-weather stuff is anything like their shorts, then they're just fine. I love their $39 Pro cycling shorts. It's like I ain't wearin' nuttin'. I'll be trying out their cool/cold/foul-weather stuff when my current stuff wears out.

    Meanwhile, all my outerwear is from Endura. All very well made, durable, and relatively inexpensive. Also available in many bike shops, so it's easy to get a feel for it and try it on. My favorite tights are Endura ThermoLite Pro bib-tights. I'm starting my fourth winter (!) commuting with my Endura Gridlock jacket. I use their gloves, booties, and warmers as well. They just don't wear out, so it'll be a long time before I get to try any AeroTech things.

  20. #20
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    for gloves I have a pair of gorebikewear
    e7625053-3b4f-41af-93a8-956ef3adc49c.jpg
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
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  21. #21
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    Here on the southwest coast of Washington winter weather can be 36-53 F and high humidity (it's 97% and 53 F right now). If it is not raining it is usually in the low 40's or high 30's and I wear a light pile pullover under a pearl izumi jacket, full fingered mechanics gloves, long legged tights and a skull cap under the helmet. Also thicker socks. If it is raining (and usually warmer) I wear a Novara rain jacket over say a long sleeve T and if I'm out for less than 2-3 hours I usually don't wear rain paints and my tights and socks just get wet. I'm always sweating due to humidity and never stop for longer than a few minutes to avoid getting chilled. Out all day means total rainwear, foot covers, helmet cover.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    REI makes some decent cycling rain wear under their Novara label. Showers Pass also makes durable rain wear for cyclists. I am on the same pair of REI rain pants that I bought 5-6 years ago. They have been used for commuting, touring, and recreational riding. On a bike trip last summer we had 35 days of rain. They saw a lot of use. I prefer the breathable fabric garments. Cycling rain gear is not cheap, but to some extent you get what you pay for.

    One of those 35 days of rain- taking a break under a bridge. REI pants and a Showers Pass Rain Jacket. Helmet covers are great if you often ride in the rain.

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    Looking good there Doug I will check out REI and Showers Pass as well. Thanks a bunch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    REI makes some decent cycling rain wear under their Novara label. Showers Pass also makes durable rain wear for cyclists. I am on the same pair of REI rain pants that I bought 5-6 years ago. They have been used for commuting, touring, and recreational riding. On a bike trip last summer we had 35 days of rain. They saw a lot of use. I prefer the breathable fabric garments. Cycling rain gear is not cheap, but to some extent you get what you pay for.

    One of those 35 days of rain- taking a break under a bridge. REI pants and a Showers Pass Rain Jacket. Helmet covers are great if you often ride in the rain.

  24. #24
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catonec View Post
    under armor "cold weather gear" is some nice stuff but alittle pricey.
    FWIW I have found Under Armor gear at TJ Maxx pretty cheap. Just bought a black long sleeve jersey for $18. Winter weight btw.

  25. #25
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    This is one of those,"ya get what ya pay for" areas. I guess my foul weather gear is about 13 or 14 years old, and I don't expect it will ever wear out. My outer wear is Louie Garneau, not the most expensive brand out there, but I certainly was not economizing when I purchased it. I don't think it's Goretex, but the material has similar properties. All I know is it's kept me warm and dry over many winter miles. I'm glad I didn't cheap out when I bought it.
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