Hi, I just started cycling about 5 weeks ago, so I'm totally inexperienced when it comes to cool/cold weather riding equipment. I'm planning a 70ish mile ride for this coming Sunday in the Adirondacks, and it looks like the temps will be between about 38 and 48 with cloudy skies when we're riding. What type of layering would you reccommend for conditons like this? Here's what I was thinking.
Head: Either wind-resistant cycling hat or lightweight wool ski hat under the helmet, clear glasses
Upper Body is where I have a dilemma:
I have a Craft S3(windproof chest) baselayer that I plan to wear, but should I wear it with a Patagonia Capilene Silkweight shirt, Under Armour Cold Gear, or a Polartec PowerStretch top? Any combo would have a shortsleeve jersey over it for the pockets.
Normal Bib shorts with leg wamers(don't have tights yet), and lightweight cycling socks and neoprene booties over the shoes, since my feet tend to run a bit cold.
Basically I'm only confused about upper body layering, since I don't want to freeze nor do I want to sweat like a pig. I'm thinking that the S3 Under Armour Cold Gear combo might be best, but this will be first ride in sub 55-60 degree weather, and that ride was sunny as well. Thanks for any input.
My understanding is that everyone is different.
You can do what I am trying. Basically, I guess and then add or subtract layers as needed. I also keep a spreadsheet with what I wore in what temps with the results in a seperate column.
Today it was 40F.
I wore the following:
-light REI lifeline cycling gloves
-normal tennis shoes and regular socks
-long sleeved shirt and a windbreaker
I am still collecting my gear. The plan is to replace the long shirt with a wicking jersey or another wicking item. Then replace the windbreaker with a breathable cycling shell jacket. When it gets colder I plan on putting either a wool shirt or wool sweater as a middle layer (if need be). Denver weather tends to be a bit mild.
You may also take a look at the sticky thread in this forum. And a search or two.
Bump, Anyone else care to chime in?
DataJunkie is right. Everyone is different. You have to keep a spreadsheet of what works for you.
Key data to gather:
1. wind chill temperature
2. what you wore: I like a column for each iem and then just put a 1 in the column for wearing item
3. start of ride experience: hands && feet: hot-ok-cold
4. start of ride experience: body: hot-ok-cold
5. end of ride experience: hands && feet: hot-ok-cold
6. end of ride expereince: body: hot-ok-cold
It's hard to comment on what you plan on wearing as I don't understand what you are wearing for core base. It is all short sleeve or not? Is there a wind breaker?
I would ditch the hat, and wear gloves. Windbreaker is required. Bibs could be ok, or too warm. shoe covers are a good idea. You should have a head cover for rain showers.
For upper body I like a windbreaker I can close or zip with pitzips and would carry an inbetween layer if get cold. I'd be generating a lot of heat for a long ride like that. So all I'ld need at those temps are: windbreaker, long sleeve shirt. With backup fleece in case I got cold. If you have bibs, Idon't think you'ld need the fleece.
Have a fun ride.
Too many variables like humidity, wind, and personal tolerance to make a prediction. The general rule of thumb is that you should feel slightly cold standing around before you start riding. You want to wear synthetc moisture transporting fabrics, which you seem to be doing. Dress in layers, which you also are doing. If you have an opportunity to do a short ride in similar temps, go try out your selection. Otherwise, make sure to take an additional layer in case you guess too low or get stuck standing around somewhere.
And full finger gloves might be helpful.
It was 52F here in upstate NY with 5-10 mph wind. I felt a bit on the warm side but I am just recovering from a stomach bug that had me bed ridden for a couple days so I didn't want to take any chances.
Canari Roubaix Jersey with Under Armour Cold Gear Mock Longsleeve
Cannondale Basic Tights with Under Armour Cold Gear Leggings
Mountain Bike Shoes with Acorn Polartec Socks
I prefer polartec socks which I find to provide more breathability and wind resistance than wool socks. I have worn this combo into the mid-40's without any booties or jacket.
The Adirondacks is simply beautiful this time of the year. Get out there!!!
The LS jersey i have is just about the same weight as a traditional long underwear shirt. HOwever it is cycling specific and contains no cotton. The vest is simply a nylone unlined jogging vest with a long "neck" that zips up to the chin.
If it were 38 F (which it will be in the morning if not colder) I would replace the vest with a lightweight Pearl Izumi Zepyhr jacket. I will still wear the LS winter jersey. I wear this combo down to freezing. At freezing i replace jacket with a Gore TEx jacket and possibly add underlayers depending on temps.
38 F: I wear lightweight winter cycling tights over the cycling shorts.
If i had to dress for both temps like you i would error on the side of the leg warmers. I hate being too hot.
Couple things to remember:
Biggest challenge is getting rid of heat not trapping it. Learn to trap just enough that you are comfortable. You can adjust this on the fly with zippers. Pit zips are very handy in heavier jackets like the gore tex, that helps exhaust heat. MOst people overdress when they begin.
Start out being a bit chilly. YOu will warm up after the first 2 miles if your cadence is high or if you climb a hill.
EDIT----> You don't mention the things that are most apt to get cold. 1. hands 2. feet.
If you get down in the 30's you better insulate those two parts as they will cause you far bigger trouble than anything else you mention. The body is very easy to take care of.
at 38 F for me:
Feet: Oversized cycling shoes, lightweight cycling socks, midweight wool cycling socks over top.
Hands: MidweightThinsulate Gloves
At 48 F:
Feet: Oversized shoes, midweight socks.
Hands: MIdweight Thinsulate Gloves
My experience with fall / winter rides with temps in the 30s and below is that it's better to layer more than less. For two reasons: 1) it will shorten your warm-up time, nothing worse than being at miles 30 and still cold 2) plan for the unplanned, i.e. puncture or break-down, worse: crash during which you will need to put back these layers. You will keep warm enough while riding but feel real weakened after being stranded in the cold only 15 minutes.
If riding alone, let someone know of your whereabouts and carry a cell phone.
(I broke a wheel last winter in 20F temp and was glad I could call someone to rescue me :o )
Choice of material abound, but I found that best is to have upper layers light enough you can fold easily to fit in your remaining jersey or jacket back pockets once taken off. Arm and leg warmers are better than longs because they give you more flexibility and again fold tight in your back pockets.
Upper body is more sensitive because less movement, if you are not sure you will be protected enough, fold a newspaper sheet and carry it in your back pocket, slip it under your first layer right on your chest, a life saver in head winded coled descentes ;) .
Under your helmet, use a small fleeced cap you can take off and replace with a bandana or regular protector. Don't neglect your feet either.
I don't think you will be too cold at those temps. I would wear the underarmour and not the wool hat. I find my feet and hands get colder than my body, so I would bring along a pair of wind blocking fleece gloves (I have some Decente "Coldout" gloves that I love and are plenty warm). I think some heavy socks, rather than booties would probably be fine. The wild care here is rain or a break down - if possible I would pack another layer in case the weather degrades or you end up stopped by the road for a repair. Should be a good time - good luck and enjoy the ride.
OK, here is the potential rundown of what I might wear, it looks like it will be cloudy, not too windy and showery with temps between 34 and 40, if its raining hard, the ride is off or will be replaced with a shorter one, but I'm hoping the weather will be acceptable, it should be a beautiful ride with some great climbs, looooong descents and smooth pavement. :D
With lightweight socks so my feet can have room to move in my shoes, my feet run cold, so I think booties and light socks are smarter than heavier socks and no booties.
The Craft S3 is a shirt with a midweight body and a windproof membrane on the chest, it is a cycling baselayer designed for cool weather, turtleneck too, cuz having your neck be cold is miserable, at least for me.
One Upper Body Choice with the Craft Shirt
Another Upper Body Option (lighter than the Cloudveil one)
With These Gloves
I might start with heavy gloves or at least have them with me, although I doubt I'll need them much after the start, so I'll get some cheap hardware store ones I can discard at a gas station should I need to.
I'm thinking that I'll start the ride with the ski-type hat under my helmet and keep the lighter weight cycling hat in my jersey pocket so I can swap them if and when it warms up.
I rode last Sunday and the temp was around 50 at the start time, this is what I wore:
Shoes with duct tape over all the vents and lightweight socks
Bib Shorts with Knee warmers
Under Armour Cold Gear top with a shortsleeve jersey over it
wind-resistant cycling hat.
I was chilly at the start, but warmed up pretty quickly, by the time I finished it was 65ish, and I was still comfy, although I got a bit warm on the climbs.
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