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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-06-12, 09:55 AM   #1
striknein
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Cold weather gear -- what do you do?

So now it's September. Our friends in the Pacific Northwest have enjoyed their 3 weeks of warm, dry weather, and soon it's going to turn from sunny skies to grey clouds and wind-driven rain. Shortly after, the Midwest is going to freeze into a hard pucker. Canada laughs, as Canadians do. With the weather soon to turn crappy, I thought now might be a good time to discuss how everyone tries to stay toasty...

My solution: Layers of wool, wool, and more wool. I skip the bulky outer layer in favor of several thinner layers.

Baselayer

Shirt: I use RedRam's Merino Thermal. It's wool, so it doesn't chill you to the bone when you start to sweat. It's thin, so moisture will wick to your mid-layer quickly. And it's cut REALLY long, so I can tuck it into my pants and my ass-crack doesn't get cold.

Socks: Can't go wrong with SmartWool. Ever. Buy a bunch of different styles for different conditions.

Tights: I use a cheapo set of Champion running tights from Target. They wear out, so I replace them every year.

Undies: Plain cotton boxer brief whatevers. Gotta keep it classy.

I also carry a pair of arm warmers, and will trade the tights for legwarmers depending on what I'll be doing when I get off the bike. It's no fun sitting in a climate-controlled office when you're dressed for frigid temps.



Mid

Sweater: Easy access/removal is the name of the game here. I purchased a Triple Aught Design Praetorian Merino hoodie. It's cut slim, but long, and it has a drop hem (all about crack protection). The collar is also very generous, and will completely cover your neck whether the hood is up or down.

Various long-sleeve tees made of synthetic textiles. I don't worry too much about the rest of my clothing, as it's not doing much besides making me look like an actual human. Denim does well enough to keep the wind out, though I would like to find a set of rain pants that doesn't make me look like a complete dork.

Outer

Gloves: I have a pair of Fox full-finger BMX gloves that I bought years ago. They're good for temps down to the 30s. Anything below that and I move on to a thicker pair of winter mitts.

Softshell: I have a Columbia Supah Butta II jacket. It's water-resistant and has a drawstring hem, as well as velcro cuffs to keep the wind out. The fit is generous, so there's plenty of room for all the crap I'm wearing underneath.

Rain Shell: Sierra Trading Post will often carry these rubbery plastic rain jackets that pack down really small and fit in a tiny pouch. I keep it in the bottom of my pack and cover up when it's pissing down rain. They're really inexpensive and super lightweight, so no need to worry about it getting destroyed.

Headgear: My Bern Brentwood has a removable winter liner, which I'm looking forward to using. I also have a nice Merino beanie that I purchased from L.L. Bean last season which fits very well.

What's everyone else doing to stay warm?

Last edited by striknein; 09-06-12 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 09-06-12, 09:57 AM   #2
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I agree with that one hundred percent. That is what you should do.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:05 AM   #3
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The best thing about winter is that there is an entire subforum dedicated to it.

Quote:
What's everyone else doing to stay warm?
I do not want to be warm on my bike. I want to be cold.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:09 AM   #4
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I live in California.

Works pretty well.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:10 AM   #5
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Quite right. Mods, please feel free to move or lock as you see fit.

I thought it might be nice to have a discussion about it within the context of the average FGSS rider.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:13 AM   #6
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I put on a sweatshirt and have a California Mod.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:26 AM   #7
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Great post, except for the cotton briefs. Winter is where merino wool boxer-briefs really shine.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:33 AM   #8
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Great post, except for the cotton briefs. Winter is where merino wool boxer-briefs really shine.

You're probably right, but I haven't found a decent, affordable pair yet. I was thinking about going synthetic with some ExOfficio's, but everything out there seems like it's $$$.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:34 AM   #9
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I bought one plane ticket to LA.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:35 AM   #10
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Back home I used to wrap my feet in plastic bags between the sock on the shoe to keep my feet dry (and thus, slightly warmer) on rainy and snowy days.
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Old 09-06-12, 10:48 AM   #11
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You're probably right, but I haven't found a decent, affordable pair yet. I was thinking about going synthetic with some ExOfficio's, but everything out there seems like it's $$$.
I managed to score a pair of the Stoic ones from departmentofgoods last fall for $20-something and I really like how warm they keep that area when damp from sweat or melted snow.

My only regret is that I didn't take care of them properly so they are torn in a couple spots near the waistband, and the "no-smell" properties are gone.
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Old 09-06-12, 11:03 AM   #12
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I have a vest to keep the wind off, and a set of arm and leg warmers. Very flexible and easy to adjust as body and ambient temperatures rise. Just a thin base layer and wind protection works good. In general my core stays warm once at speed as long as I have a breathable layer to block the wind.

Main goal: don't sweat too much - make sure there is some ventilation and cooling ability. That also means the first 5+ minutes of the ride are going to be cold until my body is up to temperature.

(Most fun race: NORBA Iceman challenge, but my water bottle froze half way through the race. Bummer, didn't think of that!)
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Old 09-06-12, 11:47 AM   #13
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I wear a hat under my helmet, and wear long pants
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Old 09-06-12, 11:59 AM   #14
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I'll go down to a hoody/northface, jeans and tall socks, scarf (big one, shemagh) and beanie. Anything more than that, I generally consider it too cold. Public transport it is for me.
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Old 09-06-12, 12:13 PM   #15
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Base: Winter cycling tights. I used Nashbar Mansfield last winter and dug them a lot. Wool socks. T-shirt.
Mid: Wool sweaters purchased at thrift stores or wherever else I can find a deal.
Outer: Jeans if it's cold enough for two full layers, cut-off jeans if it isn't but I need pockets. Cannondale wind/rain layer with a bit of insulation. Not sure of the model, but it's a few years old.
Head: Misskaz made me a wool cap with earflaps and a drawstring to wear under my helmet (one of the best xmas presents ever, I might add)
Hands: Various gloves depending on weather conditions. I'm a fan of Louis Garneau and Pearl Izumi, but Gore has some awesome stuff too.
Shoes: Last year I did it in Adidas Sambas, this year, it will be SIDI Sierras with covers.
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Old 09-06-12, 02:49 PM   #16
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Merino boxers.

http://bit.ly/QpcT27
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Old 09-06-12, 05:00 PM   #17
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Base: Henley from LL Bean.
Mid: Dickies wool button up.
Outer, usually a big hoodie.
Jeans and work boots(non-steel toe) seem to work fine. Long underwear sometimes.(-30C or worse)

Motorcross helmet with ski goggles. Good lobster claw gloves are a must, sometimes with stretchy black gloves underneath.(Again, -30C or worse)
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Old 09-06-12, 06:58 PM   #18
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Here in my town, when winter comes I usually put on some cargo shorts, a dry fit t-shirt, sunglasses and I'm good to go. This place's super hot we get a week of "cold" weather at maximum, summer's getting closer and it's getting real worm here, time to start wearing sunscreen on regular rides, I miss living in Europe and having a real winter with cold weather and snow.
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Old 09-06-12, 07:28 PM   #19
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Want to purchase a Carhart. Apparently it's what people not from LA wear in the winter here. I'm in Kansas City.
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Old 09-06-12, 07:55 PM   #20
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personal low from last year was 29F:

short sleeve jersey, PI thermal padded tights, cargo shorts and two pairs of socks in sneakers. Bellwether jacket, Underarmor balaclava, Bern Macon and midweight ski gloves.

had to unzip the jacket about 1/3 after 20min.

this year i'm trying out Bar Mitts, neoprene facemask, weatherproof/thermal booties.

only real issue has been breathing w/o fogging up my riding glasses. balaclava funneled breath right to the lenses. may have to try small goggles.
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Old 10-15-12, 08:39 PM   #21
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30 or below
Sport riding set up
Sugoi Evolution Shorts
Leg Warmers
Wool Socks (with ziplock liners if its wet or really really cold)
Cheap baselayer from target with a 1/4 zip
Jersey or Polyester shirt
Wind Jacket
Skiing Gloves
UA Balaclava


yeah i'm good usually unless my hands or toes get cold. Then I'm done.

Those little hand warmer things help too. Keep them in the glove back pocket or in a jersey pocket if I don't need them starting out.
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Old 10-15-12, 08:45 PM   #22
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Almost forgot about this thread. Glad it got drug up because all I wanted to say was:

Embro up bro. Rule #5 bro.

Thats all..
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Old 10-15-12, 09:01 PM   #23
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lowest ive done so far is 33F

smartwool long sleeve medium wool shirt
sleeveless jersey
underarmour cold gear compression tights
511s
shemagh
road shoes
mechanix gloves
regular cotton tubesocks up to the knee

toes and fingertips started going numb about 15 mins in, need better gloves, socks and booties
some kind of full zip softshell would be nice for longer rides

if you wear glasses mouth/face coverage will fog up your lenses if you slow down. but thats ok because we all ride fixed gear bieks with no brakes. cantstopdontwantto
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Old 10-15-12, 09:24 PM   #24
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Gloves were the first thing I got to address the cold. Also got a top base layer. The only things that really get me in the cold are my protruding ears and face.

Some weather is just too much of a hassle to ride in. I considered fenders briefly, but then I thought about shoe covers, water proof gear, etc. I ain't trying to prep that much.
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Old 10-15-12, 10:25 PM   #25
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Anything over 40 deg. I'll just layer up with whatever is clean. Under 40 deg and I'm inside on the trainer.
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