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Old 01-07-10, 06:12 AM   #1
antokelly
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how to keep warm (help)

what do you folk's reckon is the best way to keep warm this winter.
i find with the merino base layer ,it's great for keeping warm but as soon as i stop cycling i can feel the cold setting in ,so as a base layer i don't thinkit's much good.
what do you folks find is the best base layer/mid layer/and jacket what works for you.
cheers
antokelly
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Old 01-07-10, 06:31 AM   #2
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I find I use the same clothing that I use to Nordic ski, which is a medium weight merino wool base layer zip-t (I use Ibex - ibexwear.com since they are here in Vermont) and a soft shell jacket. I find this combo lets out the moisture best and keeps me dry. Most likely the reason you are feeling cool on stopping is because you are getting wet from sweat while riding, you need to vent and allow your body to rid itself of moisture.
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Old 01-07-10, 06:33 AM   #3
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I haven't had much success trying to find clothing that would be comfortable during both riding and extended stops in winter. It's the same as with any winter exercise, you should feel a bit chilly at first until you warm up. If you're warm to begin with, you'll be uncomfortably warm soon.

I too wear a wool base layer and very breathable but windproof shell. I wear essentially same kind of clothing when xc skiing. For longer breaks I have a warm fleece jacket in pannier or backpack.

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Old 01-07-10, 07:02 AM   #4
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My standard for below freezing weather is an Under Armor base with neck collar, 1 light thermal, 1 medium thermal, and a nylon shelled, fleece lined jacket with neck collar. As my core warms and releases blood flow to my extremities, I regulate by unzipping the jacket and shedding the watch cap/gloves as necessary. Also wear a thermal base under either jeans or running pants and heavy wool socks. This works well down to about 22 degrees, which is the lowest I've ridden in.

On tour, I'd take two each of the base layers and pack all the spare clothes, including the jacket, into the rear panniers.

BTW, I'd trade my Under Armor for your merino wool base if it has a neck collar.
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Old 01-07-10, 07:31 AM   #5
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The ability to ventilate a windproof layer by adjusting zippers and so on is a plus, but it is pretty tough to dress for hard exercise and stops. Around home, when it is cold, I just run instead of riding for exercise. On tour the few times it was really cold, I just tried to not get too sweaty when riding and tried not to stop unless I was ready to put on another layer or go inside.

If it is just hard training rides, it is easy. Dress to be OK while working hard and go inside as soon as you stop. With that approach it does suck if you have a mechanical problem and are stuck fixing it by the side of the road.
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Old 01-07-10, 08:13 AM   #6
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What temperatures are you riding in? That makes a huge difference and any advice you get is not very meaningful unless you know that.

I live in NC, where the winters are relatively mild, although this winter has been colder than usual. This week, temperatures have been in the upper teens during my morning commute, and I have been very comfortable wearing a Pearl Izumi Gavia softshell jacket over a Craft Pro Zero long-sleeve base. I wore a PI vest over the jacket on the two coldest mornings (17 F) but probably didn't need it. On my legs, I wear unpadded PI Amfib tights over regular bib shorts. The Amfib tights are incredible on cold days, but too warm if temps get higher than 50 F.

I know I am dressed right when I am comfortable but don't sweat much, and I've hit it just right this week. When I overdress, I get sweaty and that makes me even colder.
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Old 01-07-10, 10:13 AM   #7
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Hey I have tried bringing a big puffy(down or poly fill) coat with me. When I stop for extended periods I put on the puffy. Doesn't help the feet or hands, though. Legs are seldom a problem. I use this method when rock climbing. You come down from a climb all hot and sweaty, on goes the coat. Size and weight are important but nowadays they have some really warm down parkas that weigh almost nothing and pack small. Check out backpackinglight.com There is a gear swap forum where the weight weenies sell stuff for cheap.
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Old 01-07-10, 11:07 AM   #8
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I have no trouble at all keeping my torso warm. That's easy and many different things work--just make sure you don't overdress here. If you're not cold for the first few miles, you're overdressed.

It's the fingers, toes, ears and face that are the focus of all of my attention.
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Old 01-07-10, 11:11 AM   #9
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my many years of wearing wool (and softshells) as much as possible now, after being seduced by the first versions of HH polypro and Patagonia Capilene (and goretex stormshells mentality of the 1980s') is the exact opposite of atonkelly:

wool is the ONLY base layer that keeps you warm once once you've stopped and does the best at avoiding the sudden convective chill out so common in wetted out synthetic base layers.

as to the outer layer: less waterproof, more breathable in the outer layer. windshell for riding not a rain jacket shell.

Experience for me time and time again, on ski patrols on Mount Rainier and mountain rescues across the pacific northwest, (and winter season bike tours, of course) was that WOOL kept me warm once stopped in stop and go exertion activities in extreme cold. My fellow patrollers, once stopped, would suffer tremendously from the chilling effects of wetted out synthetic base layers. its very tough to get a saturated base layer in wool unless you fall into a river.

pack a synthetic puffy vest, and wool vest ( I use a cashmere one from a thrift store) and silicone nylon vest. these are very valuable in the layering strategy. as an outer shell, a MEC supermicrofit cycling jacket is pretty much ideal for cold weather touring on the bike.

off the bike, a big, primaloft jacket, and puffy booties. small foam 'sit' pads to sit on and stand on and an extra foam pad to sleep on.

Last edited by Bekologist; 01-07-10 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 01-07-10, 12:00 PM   #10
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My all time best purchase for cold is something I picked up a couple bucks at a thrift store. find an old merino wool sweater 2 or 3 sizes too big for you at a thrift store, then throw it in the washer with lots of soap and hot water. It will shrink down into a thick felt - perfect for winter cycling! Because the fibers are now so tightly woven, it is a great windbreak. Because it is wool, it breathes. PERFECT!! (Be aware that the sleeves may very well shrink to the point of un-usability. If that happens, just cut the sleeves off and use it as a vest.)
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Old 01-07-10, 12:03 PM   #11
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MY best base layer is still a cheap Odlo synthetic I bought 12 years ago. It feels better than HH polypro and overpriced Capilene and doesn't get as wet and dries a lot faster than merino.
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Old 01-07-10, 01:17 PM   #12
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well the weather here in ireland is seriously bad lots of snow and ice,we are not used to those extreams of weather.anyway i tryed a different approach today on the layering system,next to skin i wore my assos base layer, over that just an ordanery t shirt cotton and your run of the mill jersey, topped off with fleec lined nylon jacket, it worked great now i wasen't cycling i was walking. for cycling .im going to try the assos base layer then the merino long sleeve base layer plus a cycling jersey, outer will be my rain jacket.really what i want is to stay comfy until i can change into normal cloth's.as i said the merino is great but not next to skin .thanks for all the advice folks much appreaciated.
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Old 01-07-10, 01:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
what do you folk's reckon is the best way to keep warm this winter.
i find with the merino base layer ,it's great for keeping warm but as soon as i stop cycling i can feel the cold setting in ,so as a base layer i don't thinkit's much good.
what do you folks find is the best base layer/mid layer/and jacket what works for you.
cheers
antokelly
Easy on-off layers can be very helpful. You can shed layers as needed (exertion, warmer temps), and add them as needed -- with very little time or trouble. Having them in an easily accessible place helps, and making it easy to store them also helps (if you can just slip them under a bungee, for example, it makes it very easy to take them off and store them).

Another feature that has worked well is full front zippers. Other zippers can also help. It makes temperature regulation a lot easier.

One or more snug, warm turtleneck layers are great for the cold. With a full zip, it's easy to vent.

Vapor barrier layers are also very useful. My favorite is a snug high-neck shell that pulls everything underneath together. Having the layers close to your body is more heat conserving than having them be loose.

Layers, full zips all the way, plus easy on-off, good insulation, snug -- all are good in my experience.

To mitigate the chill when you stop, don another layer early on. Vapor barrier layers are good for this.

Another principle that can help is alternating the insulation layers, like wool and fleece, with vapor barrier layers, like coated nylon.

It can help to anticipate, too -- remove layers ahead of time, well before you overheat; and add layers well before you feel the chill. It helps to get the timing right.

Last edited by Niles H.; 01-07-10 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 01-07-10, 05:34 PM   #14
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When I cycled in the winter, I used a coolmax sleeveless jersey, with a long-sleeved polypro on top of that, with merino wool on top of that, and then often fleece on top of that, and a fairly heavy jacket on top of that.

Because your part of the world is likely quite humid, I'd suggest trying a double wool layer ... the smooth, light merino as a base, and a heavy regular wool sweater on top, with a windbreaker overtop that.

But you can find a lot of this information in the Winter Cycling Forum:
http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...Winter-Cycling
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Old 01-07-10, 07:41 PM   #15
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Here are a few things I've learned biking in the cold:

1. Wool is your friend. Big-time. Wool socks, wool glove liners, wool base layer. Wool is the only fabric that can keep you warm after it gets wet. I don't know how much you sweat, but I sweat even when it's cold, so my base layers will get wet. When it's below freezing, I pretty much have to put on a wool base layer.

2. If you want to keep your hands and feet warm, don't skimp on keeping your arms and legs warm. If you get too warm, vent your core - open your front jacket zipper or remove layers from your head. Don't cool off your arms or legs. You want to keep the blood flowing into your hands and feet as warm as possible.

3. You are going to get cold if you stop. Your body is generating the heat equivalent of a handful of light bulbs when you're cycling. That heat generation stops for the most part when you stop cycling. So, if you're comfortable while cycling, you'll be cold when still. If you want to be comfortable while still, you're going to cook yourself when cycling.
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Old 01-07-10, 08:38 PM   #16
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In cold weather I use merino wool as the base layer. Add wind blocking/insulating layers as needed or remove as needed. I do carry a down vest to add as a quick body core protection layer when I stop riding. If your hands and feet are cold, make sure your head is covered! I am amazed to hear people complain about how cold they are and they have NOTHING on their heads.

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Old 01-10-10, 11:12 PM   #17
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Well as you know, over England at the moment we are having freezing temps. I have been using just one of them mountain hardwear long sleeve vests with a heavy duty yellow coat on top...you know the ones that road workers and such use. I have to say I get sweaty in it but I am allergic to wool...it itches like hell. Also I find no matter what type of gloves I wear, my hands are always cold in fact fingers white and numb..I may consider arctic mittens sometime...that is why this one does his tours in the summertime
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Old 01-11-10, 07:21 AM   #18
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well trial and error is the way to go. i have found so far the best method for keeping warm on and off the bike.assos short sleeve base layer next to skin on top of that merino long sleeve base layer then cycling jersey and last my waterproof cycling jacket ,none of these items are bulky (im the bulky one) so far they work im not cold when i stop..as i said the big problem i had was when i stopped i found the merino base layer very cold next to skin .i just bought a nice helly hanson long sleeve base layer this morning from chainreaction cycles looks great hope it does what it supposed to do.
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