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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 08-20-02, 01:08 PM   #1
oceanrider
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S. Florida Winter Wear (No Joke)

Yes, we do have winter in South Florida. It's more like late September for you northerners. Sometimes we wake up to temps in the low to mid 40's and it warms up to the mid to upper 60's peppered with some milder days between fronts.

This being my first cycling season, I'm wondering what I should be looking for in the way of appropriate winter wear for women cyclists. I'll be taking a November tour of North Florida with a climate more like what most of the rest of you are used to in the deep south so I'll need to take that into account.

Man am I looking forward to some cool temps.
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Old 08-22-02, 03:55 PM   #2
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As none of the northerners have responded yet I will take a shot.I suggest you go with layers with your normal cycling clothes as the base and a lightweight windbreaker/shell as the outer layer.Depending on how cold it gets in north Fl in Nov. you may want to consider a long sleeve jersey and/or vest for a middle warmth providing layer and maybe even tights for leg coverage but just remember as you heat up from riding you will want to be able to quickly shed the extra layers.Perhaps a simple synthetic lightweight turtleneck would work well as an economical middle layer.Remember if it gets too cold in No.Fl. during Nov. we can always head to the Keys and you won't have to worry about any of this except maybe the windbreaker lol.
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Old 08-22-02, 05:53 PM   #3
Andy Dreisch
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Well, I can handle the temperature thing, but not the women's clothing thing, but will give you my $0.02 regarding "cold weather" temps.

I live in San Jose and it can get a little chillier than your temps but not much so. For me the multi-layer things is key ... multiple layers of thin, wicking material works for me, along with a jacket.

The extremities get the coldest. Wear good gloves and be aware that your feet can get very cold, too. The gaps between your jacket and gloves may expose part of your arm/wrist. Long sleeves should help here. Also, at below 60 degrees or so you'll probably want knee warmers or long bike pants.

I find the best biking gear in winter is actually running gear. I have those running shirts that extend down beyond the wrist and actually form a mitten of sorts to keep your fingers warm. These work well because there are no gaps exposed.
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Old 08-22-02, 06:34 PM   #4
Michel Gagnon
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I'm in Montréal, but I'll add a few comments anyway.

Spring and Fall (for us) and Winter (for you) are the times of year when we have the most extreme temperatures. In November, will you travel at +40 F or at +60 F? Will you have a day-long rain or only dry weather?

So, add a few layers (thin and medium sweaters, long trousers or "overpants"). When you are cycling at a decent speed, you won't need any heavy clothing, but you'll need more on downhills (I know Florida is flat), more under a headwind...

If there is the likelyhood of long rainy days, a "breathable" rain suit (jacket and trousers) will prove itself most valuable. Add a pair of warm cycling gloves (say for MTB -- with full fingers), and either overbooties or a collection of plastic bags (to put your feet into).

Cycling at +40 F (5 C) on a sunny day is fun; cycling at the same temperature on a rainy day makes the cyclist miserable, unless he/she is well dressed.

Regards,
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Old 08-22-02, 07:04 PM   #5
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I'm looking forward to plenty of sunshine and a crisp snap in the air. Just enough to energize me. That's south Florida in the winter. North is entirely different.

RWTD, I see you're really impressed with the Keys. For me, I live on the ocean and ride on A1A (oceanside) day after day. For a tour/vacation, I'd like to see and experience something way different. It's what will motivate me to pedal those miles. The Keys just isn't worth the ride to me. But that's me.
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Old 08-22-02, 08:40 PM   #6
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What kind of temperatures would you exspect in No.Fl. in Nov?I actually have wool cycling tights,wool long sleeve cycling jersey and lightweight wool/synthetic jacket for cold weather use but was hoping I would not need all that for Florida.Just remember No. Central Fl. will be much more rural with long stretches w/o stores etc.
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Old 09-03-02, 04:39 PM   #7
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40-60F is my normal riding temp. I find that a long sleved jersey and thin leggings work well. I use woollen , not cotton socks, and thin full-length gloves.
On chilly days I use a neckwarmer.
I use a windproof (not waterproof) top with a good seal at the waist and arms, and having a high collar. Since your jersey is under your outer layer, rear pockets are pretty useless so you can use a running/hiking top, but a zip or popered opening neck is really helpfull.
When chosing a windproof, I use the Huff test. Put your mouth against the material and huff. If the air goes through with no resistance, its useless. If it doesnt pass (like a goretex material), it will not be breathable enough. If you can huff air under pressure through the material, then it is about right for cycling.
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Old 09-05-02, 05:16 AM   #8
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I just use the normal summer wear...T-Shirt, Jersey, (arm warmers) and bike shorts. Oh...and socks (2) and shoes (2). Glasses & hemlet are also a must, as are fingerless gloves.

That's basically what I wear until it starts to get frosty. Then I add a rain top, and possibly leg warmers/tights.

When it gets below 10 C is when you have to start to think about things...

have fun, & keep riding!
Tom
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Old 09-05-02, 07:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tom_The_Bikeman
and possibly leg warmers.
Bright pink fluffy Team Telekom Flash Dance leg warmers are great but can get buggered in the rings. Be cautious.

My neck of the woods is probably similar to yours, but without the humidity.

I've never needed more than removable leggings, removable arms and a light upper shell. I've considered buying full fingered gloves.
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