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Old 10-08-12, 10:54 PM   #1
Jude
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Cycling gloves and pants, your experiences?

I'm unfortunately not going to be going on any lengthy tours in the immediate future, but on the plus side that allows me to slowly accumulate needed equipment and make purchases carefully rather than going on a buying binge just before a trip. So last winter the two things I really wished I had were some long pants and some gloves, both for cold/wet weather riding as well as commuting and city riding. I'm looking for people's experiences and recommendations but also thoughts on things such as waterproofness, features to look for or not bother with, and so on.

These things would mainly be needed for winter riding (I live in the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain so winters aren't that big of a deal usually) and wet weather - something to keep me dryish and comfortable in bad conditions, and of course something versatile and sturdy enough to be tour-worthy. I'm thinking for the gloves that full waterproof and insulated might be nice since they'd really be needed for colder conditions only, whereas the pants just need to block wind and insulate even when wet.

So - thoughts and recommendations? I'm an REI member and their current sale would be a nice chance to save on stuff but I'll shop anywhere.
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Old 10-09-12, 02:20 AM   #2
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I've been wearing track suit warmup pants a lot.. fabric is Polyester
slick outside , fleece inside
patagonia has thicker tights for cool weather, I got some from Russell,
at the big box.. lighter weight.. cheaper

for really windy/cold.. I put on the rain pants as a shell..

water proof gloves? seamless rubber is it..
I had been using a Board sailing glove but wetsuit is not dry.

a shell glove, and a separate liner comes apart to dry the liner faster..
but sewing = holes..

I've adopted a rain cape , it drapes over, & covers my hands
and so only then do they stay dry

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-14-12 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 10-09-12, 09:52 AM   #3
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On waterproof gloves for winter, I'd go with long-fingered of any sort eof ordinary cycling glove (I use unpadded Fox ones) and when you need warm-and-waterproof, put on a pair of mittens, either plain or ones that have the index and middle fingers together. That way you are getting two fingers together to warm each other.

I've had waterproof gloves in the past, and none of them have impressed me when it's got cold.

You really need to check that the glove or mitt shells have seam seals on them, and that's often difficult to do if a glove that is intregrated with a liner. It's one of the attractions of mitts for me. Also, the further up the wrist the band is, the better.

For dry cold, I use windproof gloves with a Windstopper of similar fabric in them. They are really impressive, but bulky to carry if touring. In combination with mitts, I can ride in cold wet pretty well all day.

As to pants, on this trip I am using a pair of ordinary Columbia hiking pants when the temperatures drop. They are of a lightweight synthetic fabric that dries easily and is sort of windproof. I firmly believe bagginess is a vital factor in keeping legs warm in cold conditions. They also look presentable for off-bike socialising.

For waterproof, I have a pair of MEC pants, that have high-quality waterproof zippers on the full-length of the outside leg (to help get them on and off easily). They are excellent. I have ridden at a typical slow touring pace virtually all day in them, and haven't been overly worried by sweat build-up on the inside.
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Old 10-09-12, 10:07 AM   #4
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Performance bike's clothes are pretty good, at a pretty good price. I like their Century winter gloves -- I've got some that are closing in on 10 years old, and they're still good down to 40F or so (they were good to 30 when they were new). Similar thing with their tights; for $30 you can't go far wrong. Straight polypro down to 35-40, fleece lined to 25-30 (depending on wind), straight fleece below that down to 15F, at least.
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Old 10-09-12, 11:24 AM   #5
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Ordinary cycling clothing works very well. Padded Lycra shorts, short sleeve jersey, undershirt, arm warmers, leg warmers, short and long finger gloves, wind vest, wind jacket, booties. That outfit will keep you comfortable down to about 50 and raining. Below that, I substitute a warm long sleeve jersey for the short sleeve with arm warmers, and padded tights for the shorts and leg warmers. The idea is to stay warm, not dry. You're not dry on a summer day, are you? Why would you expect to be dry on a winter day? You want enough insulation and wind barriers that you'll hold the water in your inner clothing and warm it, sort of like a wet suit. You just want to slow the ingress of water, not keep the water out. Waterproof clothing is like a sauna. Waterproof gloves are the worst. No wool except for socks, no cotton, just ordinary cycling clothing. You can buy it all at REI.
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Old 10-09-12, 03:12 PM   #6
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My Experience:

If it's breathable, it's highly water resistant. If it's vinyl or similar, it's waterproof. Damp from rain, damp from sweat. Pick one.

Clothing in cold weather is layers top and bottom. Nothing fancy or high tech. Wool watch cap that covers ears, under the helmet. Been meaning to get a balaclava. If the core is well protected, the extremeties will warm up after about 20 min. Down vest/jacket can't be beat, but I don't have one. A buddy just bought one at a Salvation Army store for $6 in perfect condition.
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Old 10-09-12, 04:21 PM   #7
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REI sell a good pair of rain pants under their brand. They also carry Showers Pass rain gear which is also good.
I've used both brands. I am on the same pair of REI rain pants that I bought 6 years ago. I've used them for commuting, recreational riding, and touring. The REi jacket was also good, but UV got to it last year. It had seen hard use. I wore it as a winter wind breaker even when it was not raining, and UV affected it. I know, when does it not rain in Oregon.

This is what I am using now: REI pants and Showers Pass jacket. If you ride much in the rain a helmet cover is handy.

Last edited by Doug64; 10-09-12 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 10-09-12, 05:42 PM   #8
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I find regular wool trousers are good for cycling. I get high quality Italian-made trousers at Costco for $50/pair, which is a good value. I don't have to change when I get off the bike.
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Old 10-09-12, 07:33 PM   #9
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I find regular wool trousers are good for cycling. I get high quality Italian-made trousers at Costco for $50/pair, which is a good value. I don't have to change when I get off the bike.
When I was skinny and touring a LOT I had some Swiss(?) Army surplus wool pants that were great.
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Old 10-09-12, 07:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jude;

So - thoughts and recommendations? I'm an REI member and their current sale would be a nice chance to save on stuff but I'll shop anywhere.
Can't beat plain wool gloves
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Old 10-09-12, 08:06 PM   #11
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I do have a pair of Smartwool gloves which are fine for some situations (like the weather we're having now - raining and in the low 50s) but maybe adding another layer of insulation is still a good idea if it's colder?
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Old 10-14-12, 08:31 AM   #12
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Cheap rag wool gloves have been more satisfying riding in cold rain than cycling specific long fingered gloves. Mitt gloves (wool or windstopper) where a half mitt covers half fingers has been perfect for freezing cold. They're all bulky and get soaked in the rain but it seems that thin long fingered cycling gloves require too much internal heat to stay warm and once the furnace is turned low evaporative cooling takes over.
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