last winter i wore a fleece leg gaiter (these are used to 'fill the gap' between ski boots and pants/socks/etc.) over my head... you can let the slack warm your neck or you can wrap it up over/around your ears for extra warmth. works really well!
Yesterday was 16F when I started out in Kansas City at 05:40. I wore Underarmor cold compression tech top with fleece on top and Cannondale hi-vis "breathable" jacket. Pearl Izumi elite thermal tights and Gore shoe covers, and ski gloves. What astounded me was that (unlike the prior day without the fleece) I felt fine: but when I got to work and took my jacket off, it, and the fleece below were in fact soaking wet. I don't know if it was sweat per se, or condensation, but thank goodness, I remained warm on the actual ride. Oh, and I used my old neoprene ski mask and goggles as well. Interesting - my 1st time in really cold conditions for me (and yes, I know it's bikini and speedo's weather for our Canadian friends!)
Last edited by Bat56; 01-18-13 at 08:00 PM.
@ Bat56.. You wear a winter helmet at 70F? And only a t-shirt/jersey down to 30F?
For what it's worth I wear my summer helmet down to 20F, with a merino buff underneath. 50F is my threshold for short sleeves.
Salsa Vaya2 Salsa Beargrease
prepping up for a ride at five below F or so this morning....
Broke out the fleece backed "Beko" noseguards for the first time this winter. Keeps the shnozz warm.
Last edited by Bekologist; 01-24-13 at 02:45 AM.
I ride as a bike messenger for about 7-9 hours, currently in temps in between 0 and -5C. On my upper body I wear 2 short-sleeve jerseys and 2 long-sleeve jerseys, though sometimes I take one of the LS off. Above that, I wear a jacket that's windproof and has some "fleece" on the inside. The jacket has zippers to take the arms off. I leave those half open for ventilation.
On my legs I wear long, windproof cycling pants and above that "thermo-pants" with some fluffy fleece inside. I don't like arm-or leg warmers because they tend to slip downwards and bunch up around your wrists / ankles, which is really annoying.
On my feet I wear 4 pairs of cotton socks and Neopren shoe-covers. Main problem here is that the metal cleat transfers heat to the outside easily. For that reason the foot I usually set down (my left), becomes notably colder than the other.
If it's above freezing and wet, I use plastic bags around the socks. This will at least prevent freezing water from soaking your socks.
On the hands, I wear thin insulation gloves, covered by larger five finger gloves, supposedly designed for "autumn weather".
For my head I use a thin, windproof balaclava and a normal helmet, as well as clear glasses. I've found that a helmet cap or closed helmet is entirely too hot and will make me sweat like crazy. Goggles narrow the field of vision too much for my tastes.
The climate here is different form most of North America though. Daytime temps rarely drop below -10C (and usually hover around freezing). Our main challenge is very frequent rainfall, so the present below freezing temps actually make the riding more enjoyable I would say. The coldest I've ever ridden in was about -20C, but never for longer than about an hour..
Last edited by cyclo83; 01-22-13 at 05:46 PM.
a late winter update. My go-to pants this winter, riding north of the 45th parallel where the snowbanks reach higher than the streetsigns,
have been cheap, flannel lined cotton khakis picked up for under 20 bucks at the hardware store.
I'm a long-time winter afficionado, and have spent literally years of my life outside in winter conditions, doing mountain rescue, ski patrol, teaching skiing, testing gear, and generally being a extreme outdoor enthusiast.
I almost can't belive it, but cotton flannel lined khakis have been performing like a softshell pant for everyday wear. I'm shocked, as it goes against the traditional winter clothing canon.
I didn't think i'd get such amazing performance, but for riding errands, commuting and around town, cotton lined khakis have been working every bit as good as the softshell pants i used in my years volunteering on ski patrol at Mount Rainier. In flannel lined khakis i found I can go from shovelling snow to riding to work to cross country skiing to sitting around the house after all that in comfort.
I bought two pair, and rotated them as the pants i wore everyday out of the house the entire winter.
The only conditions i'd grab a different pair of pants would be on very wet, heavy snow days, or when the temp dropped below 0f/-18c i'd put a windpant over. and those were by far and away the minority. If i went on a four hour ski trip or combination ski/bike ride i wore tech clothes. a person should wear tech clothes when going into the backcountry or during extended output endurance events in the winter.
If you guys and girls ride where it gets cold, try a pair of flannel lined cotton khakis. Simply amazing performance for winter riding.
Last edited by Bekologist; 03-06-13 at 04:21 AM.
I trained during winter for the first time last year, and I wasn't entirely satisfied with my choice of jackets. I used a Mammut Brisk, an unorthodox choice, but it was made of 100% Windstopper fabric, had no thermal components, but did have pit zips for ventilation. In moderate temps (40ºF), I wore it over a L/S jersey, and added a wicking base layer for colder temps. Riding at 20ºF was comfortable with the jacket over a 200 weight fleece layer. Unfortunately, the pit zips were very contrary when I tried to unzip while riding.
I'm really interested in getting a jacket with zippered chest vents instead, but all models I've found have a varying mix of wind-proof panels and thermal layers, and all would seem to be warmer than the Brisk (Castelli, Giordana, Zero RH+ and Pearl offer this type of jacket, maybe there are others). These jackets are rated for as low as 20ºF and as high 60ºF. Are these ratings based on minimal layering underneath? I'm sure the Mammut Brisk wouldn't be rated for 20ºF, but with the right layers, it's perfect. I want to avoid buying a jacket that would cause me to overheat, so any experiences anyone cares to share would be appreciated.
Thermal top, Thermal pants ... regular socks... some $5 cheapo gloves... sunglasses (of course)... skull cap.... I find once I warm up I don't want all that heavy crap on my anyway... light and simple.
just my late 5c: wool base layers! these are just comfortable and awesome to keep you warm even after you sweat.
Natural merino wool, like these from Devold. They also adapt very well when you move to a warmer place.
i have given endura and 45NRTH so much money this year its insane.
but totally worth it. in 15 years of winter training and commuting in chicago and colorado, this has been the most comortable, warmest driest winter for me yet, despite some serious cold spells.
Where can I find a good pair of winter cycling gloves?
I am still having overheating issues, but to a lesser extent. I no longer have the MW Merino jacket, but now instead use wicking short sleeves for my base layer, thrift store merino wool for a mid, and a http://www.rei.com/product/852275/no...ke-jacket-mens for my outer layer. Even with the pit zips wide open, I end up sweating like crazy, even in 20 degree weather.
So tonight, I got this Bontrager thermal jersey http://www.bontrager.com/model/11335 for half off. My plan is to try my wicking base layer plus a layer (or two, if needed) underneath this thermal jersey. Does anyone else here do something similar with some degree of success? Jan Heine had posted on his blog recently that he very rarely wore shells, but instead used multiple layers of wool or whatever. I'm really hoping this would help.
Also, if this isn't sufficient, would adding a cycling gilet keep the wind off of my core without overheating?
I like the info graphic. However, I challenge the suggestion at 90deg, if you're not going to wear clothes, you need lots of sunscreen.
Sorry, kids, the last cheque from my chequing account is going to pay the undertaker and it's going to bounce.
My winter riding has been limited. Note also, that, unlike some of your locations, my winters tend to be relatively dry, nights and morning commutes down to -25C/-13F and afternoons up to -10C/14F.
I start with a windproof loose shell, a relatively thick fleece midlayer and then a thin, long-sleeved merino wool base layer. On my legs, I wear some not-very wind resistant pants that have an inner "t-shirt" layer within them and then I wear wool tights as a base layer. Down to a windchill of -20C/-4F, I generally wear a t-shirt instead of the merino wool LS shirt and no tights but below that (last week, the wind chill was -39C) I need the extra layers, Furthermore, when the windchill requires me to wear the tights, I put an underpant-shaped piece of bubble wrap between my tights and underwear over my underwear region to keep my manly parts from getting too cold (you know the burning feeling when your freezing cold fingers warm up, transfer that down below).
Windchills are calculated using the ambient temperature and a windchill calculator, assuming I'm travelling at 15kmh/10mph.
Down to a windchill of -10C/14F, I'll wear wool gloves but below that, I'll wear mitts (without the inner liner) and below -30C/-22F, I'll put the inner liner in (I still tend to get cold thumbs, I'd like to get pogeys).
My cycling winter boots are relatively lightweight boots but I'll wear a thick pair of wool socks underneath, that seems to do the trick. If I had to deal with more walking in the snow, these boots would not cut it, they would let moisture in the top of the foot. I also wear a pair of gaiters but they aren't thick and insulated, it appears that I don't need the extra insulation: their main purpose is to keep my pants out of the chain.
I tend not to wear a helmet in the winter because I ride on the sidewalks and paths, not the roads (except for the first couple of minor residential streets) and my commuting route is the shortest I can take to work, 4km/2.5mi. I'll wear a hat and I'll wear a balaclava as a neck gaiter, ready to pull it up over my head (and then I replace my hat overtop) but even last week, with a wind chill of -39C, I was fine.
Down to a windchill of -20C/-4F, I'll wear my sunglasses but below that, I'll wear a pair of small ski goggles.
Because I carry my work clothes (socks, shirt, pants) with me, when I go home in the afternoon, if the temperature has increased significantly, I'll forego some of the warmer layers: no midweight fleece, work socks instead of wool, mitts without the liner or switch to the wool gloves, skip the balaclava, sunglasses instead of the goggles. On my way in to work, I'll carry more lunch and less clothes in my pack, on the way home, I'll have no lunch (maybe empty containers) but more clothes: it works out both ways.
Given my winter conditions, I see the use of a wicking baselayer as a negative: if I'm so warm that I'm sweating, that is a problem and I need to shed a layer or unzip my shell.
Sorry, kids, the last cheque from my chequing account is going to pay the undertaker and it's going to bounce.
With this jacket you will only need one long sleeve wicking layer underneath. It vents like nothing I have ever used while keeping just enough heat within the jacket to keep you nice and warm. Blocks 99 percent of wind so the windchill is not relevant as a temperature measure for this jacket.
Last edited by Icecyclist.com; 03-03-14 at 06:16 AM.
Thanks for the heads up. I went to the link and watched the video; that looks intriguing.
Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to do some trial and error. It was 13 degrees fahrenheit and I wore my Performance brand winter thermal tights alone - big mistake. Definitely need my Chrome knickers on top. Otherwise, I think I may have solved my overheating on top problem. I started with a basic wicking short sleeve, then a merino wool sweater as a mid layer, and then my new Bontrager thermal jersey on top. I started off cold, but after 10 minutes I was fine, even from the wind. I stood around near the basement door after the ride to watch steam/condensation leave my arms and core..looks like the heat and moisture are wicking away and my solution is breathable. Nice!