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Old 12-09-12, 04:43 PM   #1
TexLex100
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Rethinking my cycling gear

I went out this morning for my daily hourly ride. It was raining constantly but I really didn't want to miss my daily routine. I got completely soaked! I guess I need to rethink my cycling gear for those rainy days. I would appreciate some pointers as to what to buy.

I wear biking shorts under an UA cold gear tights, merino wool socks, and regular running sneakers. I use polartec gloves, and had a merino wool layer under a PI wind breaker. I had a skull cap on.

The results: my gloves, socks, and skull cap were completely soaked; and my fingers, toes, and head were cold. My torso was actually dry.

By the way, I have the NiteRider lights mounted to my helmet, so I guess a helmet cover would be out?

Thanks.
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Old 12-09-12, 04:56 PM   #2
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I got a pair of Merrell Gore-Tex hiking shoes. They keep out the wet and the wind both so my toes stay warmer and drier than they do in tennis shoes. The only down side is they have a slightly stiffer (vibram) sole and don't 'stick' to the platform pedals quite as well. At first it was a little disconcerting, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

I also use a pair of Bontrager wind-proof gloves. They aren't advertised as water proof -- but today in a light rain they kept my hands dry too.
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Old 12-09-12, 06:31 PM   #3
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How about this?

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Old 12-09-12, 06:43 PM   #4
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How about this?

Does it have a heater and air conditioning?
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Old 12-09-12, 07:39 PM   #5
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Does it have a heater and air conditioning?
Yes




Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-09-12 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 12-09-12, 08:11 PM   #6
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I think the formula is:

insulation+
wind block+
sufficient blood flow

Are the running shoes ventilated, allowing wind in? Are they restricting blood flow with thick wool socks? I suffered cold feet cycling despite wool socks and neoprene covers, until I switched to (believe it or not) sandals. In cold weather I start with a layer of polyester, then a plastic bag, then a wool sock. If it's below 30 I add a chemical warmer above the toes. I have not tried this below 0 yet.

I use a balaclava for my head, and have never had problems with my head being cold. I don't recommend a plastic bag over the head, although it might work short-term.

My warmest gloves have been Hot Fingers, which have a layer of plastic that completely blocks airflow. Bar Mits look interesting.
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Old 12-09-12, 08:16 PM   #7
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I switched to (believe it or not) sandals.
That is what I use, although I don't ride as cold as you. Contrary to logic, they can be warm.
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Old 12-09-12, 08:20 PM   #8
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What kind of temps. are you dealing with?
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Old 12-09-12, 08:50 PM   #9
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The cold wasn't the problem. The temperature was a cool 45 or so, but it was the wet weather that made the ride miserable. For example, those polatec gloves have not dried out after hanging them for 12 hours!!


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What kind of temps. are you dealing with?
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Old 12-09-12, 08:51 PM   #10
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My running shoes I wear biking have an upper mesh so it allowed a ton of water inside the socks which became quite a soggy mess :-(

Quote:
Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
I think the formula is:

insulation+
wind block+
sufficient blood flow

Are the running shoes ventilated, allowing wind in? Are they restricting blood flow with thick wool socks? I suffered cold feet cycling despite wool socks and neoprene covers, until I switched to (believe it or not) sandals. In cold weather I start with a layer of polyester, then a plastic bag, then a wool sock. If it's below 30 I add a chemical warmer above the toes. I have not tried this below 0 yet.

I use a balaclava for my head, and have never had problems with my head being cold. I don't recommend a plastic bag over the head, although it might work short-term.

My warmest gloves have been Hot Fingers, which have a layer of plastic that completely blocks airflow. Bar Mits look interesting.
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Old 12-09-12, 08:55 PM   #11
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but the issue I have today was primarily the rain, not so much the cold.

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That is what I use, although I don't ride as cold as you. Contrary to logic, they can be warm.
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Old 12-09-12, 10:31 PM   #12
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Helmet cover, good rain jacket, and rain pants. I don't worry about wet feet unless it is cold, then I use shoe covers. REI and Showers Pass make good cycling rain gear.


Taking a break from the rain by hanging out under a bridge for a few minutes.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:47 AM   #13
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Gloves and socks from SealSkinz. Waterproof and they come in a winter version aswell if it is cold. Cycling cap under the helmet and although it does get wet- it keeps the skull a bit warmer. Legs and I wear cycling tights just to stop the sting of cold rain hitting them. They get wet but water runs out of them so they never get heavy with the rain.
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Old 12-10-12, 01:29 AM   #14
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In cold, wet weather, I wear four wheels, steel body and a canvas roof - brand name, MG and, having been designed for British conditions, it's cold and I still get wet
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Old 12-10-12, 02:24 AM   #15
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I've found no better wet weather gear than Taiga, and I've tried most of the major brands including Showerspass. Taiga gear is both extremely well designed and extremely well made. It's not cheap, but it's made in Canada and should last many, many, years.

They have the CYCLOPATH jacket on sale now for CAD 180, which is a hell of a deal.

https://www.taigaworks.ca/cart.php?m...t_detail&p=633
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Old 12-10-12, 05:21 AM   #16
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they sell goretex running shoes. I use goretex sock when I ride in the cold...great wind protection. In the rain.....I use the treadmill.
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Old 12-10-12, 07:17 AM   #17
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For both cold weather and rain, I use a trainer. Although we don't have that many days that are really cold, we do have a lot of rainy days which I avoid riding in unless the rain catches me while already on the road. Being a weather woos, I usually find cover and wait out the rain when that happens.
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Old 12-10-12, 07:52 AM   #18
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Doug64's photo shows my favorite wet weather gear--fenders. Would you consider them? Most have a love-hate relationship with fenders, and they're not for everyone and don't even fit on many bikes. They're beautiful things in the rain and make a night/day difference in staying dry in light rain.

My strategy in heavy, all-day rain has evolved from staying dry to staying wet and warm. I no longer use Goretex, since I'm retired and on essentially no income. Bread bags over the socks and under the shoes (bagtex), a cheap non-breathable rain shell, appropriate hat, gloves, overmitts, and insulation layer(s) for the temperature, even sometimes newspapers covering the torso on descents, a plastic bag in my touring pack to store the dry stuff when I'm climbing. As important as clothing on all-day rides is nutrition and hydration, enough to keep moving to generate heat internally. I'll do squats in the saddle on long descents to help keep my hands warm, for instance, and that takes energy. Sweat control and ventilation become a matter of layer management and experience. It doesn't have to cost a lot.
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Old 12-10-12, 08:40 AM   #19
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thanks Andrew. Interesting suggestions. As for fender, I don't have any issues against them. They should fit on my bike since it has enough clearance. But I suspect that would still not resolve the issue of wet toes, fingers, and head.

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Doug64's photo shows my favorite wet weather gear--fenders. Would you consider them? Most have a love-hate relationship with fenders, and they're not for everyone and don't even fit on many bikes. They're beautiful things in the rain and make a night/day difference in staying dry in light rain.

My strategy in heavy, all-day rain has evolved from staying dry to staying wet and warm. I no longer use Goretex, since I'm retired and on essentially no income. Bread bags over the socks and under the shoes (bagtex), a cheap non-breathable rain shell, appropriate hat, gloves, overmitts, and insulation layer(s) for the temperature, even sometimes newspapers covering the torso on descents, a plastic bag in my touring pack to store the dry stuff when I'm climbing. As important as clothing on all-day rides is nutrition and hydration, enough to keep moving to generate heat internally. I'll do squats in the saddle on long descents to help keep my hands warm, for instance, and that takes energy. Sweat control and ventilation become a matter of layer management and experience. It doesn't have to cost a lot.
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Old 12-10-12, 10:10 AM   #20
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In my experience, anything that keeps me dry from rain will soak me in sweat. I wear a jacket with a windblocking water resistant front but expect to get wet and wear enough technical layers (merino is a technical sheep) to keep from getting hypothermia.
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Old 12-10-12, 11:45 AM   #21
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I've been using Sealskin socks also, not for waterproof qualities, but for warmth, for which they work fine.
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Old 12-10-12, 12:16 PM   #22
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But do they pass as waterproof socks as well? or are there other brands to consider?

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I've been using Sealskin socks also, not for waterproof qualities, but for warmth, for which they work fine.
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Old 12-10-12, 01:19 PM   #23
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Thanks, I will check those out when I go to the LBS to have my tire fixed. I wonder, though, whether this option would mean that I will no longer be able to use the pedal clip/strap (or whatever it is called) since the shoes cover would be too bulky.

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Tex,
This is a bit different in thought, Doug64 and Downtube both mentioned these in his reply, but have you looked at the cycling shoe covers for wet/cold weather? I would think they would go over your running shoes, maybe a size or two larger but this might be the answer. I am looking at getting some right now at my LBS for the wet we have here. Just a wild idea, maybe it'll work, maybe it won't work. Hope it does help a bit.
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Old 12-10-12, 02:08 PM   #24
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The cold wasn't the problem. The temperature was a cool 45 or so, but it was the wet weather that made the ride miserable. For example, those polatec gloves have not dried out after hanging them for 12 hours!!
The best way to dry gloves is to just place them on top of your hot water tank. This assumes you are not using one of the new Euro tankless water heaters.

45 degrees is not that cold. Here in the Pac NW, we've been riding in about 33-40 deg F (1 to 5 deg C) rain for the past few days. This is what works (I used this setup for a 3-hour ride in cold rain yesterday (about 2 deg C)):

Fenders with mudflaps, especially a FRONT mudfap that will keep much of the water off your feet.
Booties over the shoes. Even if the socks get wet, the booties help keep your feet warm. You don't want to have just running or cycling shoes in the rain - there's no insulation so your feet get cold right away.
Shorts & tights (your legs will get wet, but that won't be uncomfortable, especially at 45 deg F). Rain pants are just too bulky and will just get you too hot. Stretch the bottoms of the tights OVER the overshoes so the water doesn't bleed inside to your socks.
T-shirt, long-sleeve jersey, wool jersey, Showers Pass rain jacket (in 45 deg weather, you can get away with a short sleeve jersey under the wool jersey). Showers Pass jackets seal out water extremely well.
Neoprene gloves. Take a second pair of thick warm gloves (they don't need to be neoprene as neoprene tends to be very bulky and hard to fit in a jersey pocket) and change gloves when your hands are soaked.
Cycling cap under the helmet. Take the pads out of your helmet.

I'm still experimenting with gloves, since my hands tend to get cold. I've heard snowmobile gloves work really well. If it's not raining, I wear downhill ski gloves at temps below 3 deg C.

Luis
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Old 12-10-12, 03:18 PM   #25
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I've never figured out how to keep my feet dry in the rain. You can wear rain pants, and you can wear a rain hood *under* your helmet. Or you can go full velomobile (first 20 seconds):

[video]http://s38.beta.photobucket.com/user/blazingpedals/media/Bike%20Rides/Dalmac%202012/day3LeavingBoardmanChurch.mp4.html[/video]
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