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  1. #1
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Cold Weather clothing for someone who is hot all the time.

    This fall I discovered that after 32 years of asthma, I can ride in temps below 60 degrees. I have been continually riding in colder and colder temps. I used to have a major asthma attack doing any exercise in "cold" temps. I don't know what has changed, but since I can do this so far, I am going to keep riding until I can no longer breathe, then I will resort to the rollers.

    I have a few questions:

    1) I am a person who is always hot, I usually never wear a coat, maybe a jacket if it gets to 20 degrees or below. I cannot wear sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece or any flannel indoors, or I will sweat to death. What type of jacket or coat is best for someone like me? I just bought a Performance Century Jacket, although it looks very thin, it is supposed to be windproof. Is this a jacket that will keep me warm into the 20's?

    2) I have read other advice and most of it seems to be layering. Do other people who are hot all the time do this too?

    3) So far I have been getting by with the following:

    Short Sleeve Jersey
    Pearl I. Thermal Fleece Arm & Leg Warmers
    I line my sports bra with a piece of fleece I had left over from a blanket I made.
    Regular half finger cycling gloves, with thinsulate gloves over them.
    Regular socks and sidi shoes.

    With the above list, I got really cold on the parts that did not have fleece on them, but I survived. The coldest so far was riding with the above set-up in about 40 degrees and very windy in the dark.

    4) I just purchased the following: (all from Performance)

    Descente Element booties (neoprene & kevlar)
    Performance Century Jacket
    Neoprene gloves
    Performance Thermal Grid Jersey
    Performance Century Jersey (to use as base layer?)

    So do I need more? Should I send the jacket back for something more substantial? (maybe someone has one of these and could tell me if they really do a good job.) Could I be comfortable with just the 2 jerseys, or just 1 of the jersey's and a jacket? Like I said, I am very hot person (my DH calls me his little furnace), and I have really never rode in cold before, until the last 3 weeks. Maybe there are other "overly warm" people out there who can help.

  2. #2
    Walkafire
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    I find I am pretty warm most times also...

    If I keep the TOES, FINGERS, EARS nice and toasty, then the rest will stay WARM.

    I do layer my Core. This morning was amost 10 degrees (F) I wore
    short sleeved Jersey
    Moisturewick Sweatshirt
    Lightweight Ski shell
    Performance High Visable Yellow windbreaker (to be seen)

    Performance T*****x BIB Tights w/ Underarmour compression shorts underneath
    Wool Socks
    Lake 301 Winter Boot

    GORE Bike Wear Stream WINDSTOPPER Gloves (not worth chit in below freezing weather~!)

    Pearl Izumi Microsensor Balaclava (Very good in the COLD)

    Bell Metro Helmet (with all the Winter gear)

  3. #3
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    I have a similar very light windproof jacket that I wore last winter. It kept me warm with only a light weight inexpensive fleece under it down to 20 degrees. However the jacket I have did not breath very well so I would build up moisture inside the jacket. I would wear two layers of tights and wool socks with a bootie on my feet. For my hands a thin windproof lobster claw with glove liner for my hands. For my head I was wearing a wool cap but I think a windproof fleece beenie will fit better under my helmet. I'm also going to try a neck gaiter to protect my neck and face a little better from the wind.
    I'm like you as far as temperature goes. I wear a tshirt inside all winter despite keeping our house at 62F. I consider sweaters and sweatshirts outerwear. However my feet and hands do get cold rather easily in cold weather so I wear wool socks and light gloves once the commuting temperature is in the lower 50's.
    Craig

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed

    1) I am a person who is always hot, I usually never wear a coat, maybe a jacket if it gets to 20 degrees or below. I cannot wear sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece or any flannel indoors, or I will sweat to death. What type of jacket or coat is best for someone like me? I just bought a Performance Century Jacket, although it looks very thin, it is supposed to be windproof. Is this a jacket that will keep me warm into the 20's?
    I have basically the same jacket made by Pearl Izumi. I don't wear it in temps below 32 F. It is too light for me. I am a lot like you. I am usually the only person at Christmas wearing short sleeves, when it is 10 degrees outside. I also hate sweaters, etc. Never wear them.

    The only way to find out if the jacket is good enought for you is to try. For me it isn't. I wear a Gore Tex jacket by Performance on days colder than freezing. Under that, I wear a winter cycling jersey. It is basically just like a long underwear shirt that is synthetic and wicks away moisture. It is also made by Performance.

    When it gets down around 20, like it was this morning, i add a lightweight, unlined vest. IT is just another extra wind layer that really helps.

    2) I have read other advice and most of it seems to be layering. Do other people who are hot all the time do this too?
    While, i "layer", i only do it with lighweight stuff. I can't handle anything midweight on my torso at all. See how i dressed today. Hardly any insulating material at all on the torso, with the exception of the winter cycling jersey. Again, it is basically the thickness of a lightweight long underwear shirt.


    Descente Element booties (neoprene & kevlar)
    Performance Century Jacket
    Neoprene gloves
    Performance Thermal Grid Jersey
    Performance Century Jersey (to use as base layer?)

    So do I need more? Should I send the jacket back for something more substantial? (maybe someone has one of these and could tell me if they really do a good job.) Could I be comfortable with just the 2 jerseys, or just 1 of the jersey's and a jacket? Like I said, I am very hot person (my DH calls me his little furnace), and I have really never rode in cold before, until the last 3 weeks. Maybe there are other "overly warm" people out there who can help.
    This all depends on the temps you will be in. You didn't mention your head. How will you keep it warm? Ears? Face?

    Neoprene gloves are only going to be good down to a certain temp. Mittens are the way to go when it gets really cold. I wear a thin pair of fleece gloves, under heavier Thinsulate convertible mittens.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lone Prairie's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I run hot also and find wool sweaters/socks/hats/etc. to be my best bet. Wool wicks and seems to insulate me just as much as I need. Thick cotton layers overheat me and keep the sweat close to my skin and I try to avoid synthetics as much as I can. All that said, my one use of those two fabrics is my outer layer: a 1970's Sears mechanics jacket with a cotton/poly shell and a cotton flannel lining.

    Best,
    e.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    I really appreciate everyones' advice. I am going to ride tomorrow night, it should be around 30 degrees. I will test what I have and freeze accordingly.

    Based on that, I will then probably end up purchasing a heavier weight jacket as mentioned above. The Perfomance jacket that I have just seems so thin, I can't imagine that it is really warm. Plus I would like to buy some of those wrap around ear muffs. Any brand suggestions on those? I saw some in a Lands End catalog and they wanted 30 bucks for them. I thought the price was outrageous, but maybe they are worth it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    As far as the head goes, I have thought about a balaclava. I still haven't really figured this out either. The funny thing is, I used to complain about having to put all the summer cycling gear on. Now that will seem like nothing compared to what I have to do now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    As far as the head goes, I have thought about a balaclava. I still haven't really figured this out either. The funny thing is, I used to complain about having to put all the summer cycling gear on. Now that will seem like nothing compared to what I have to do now.
    Just wait. You think you are tired of it now? By February, I am sooooooooooo sick and tired of putting all of that stuff on that I sometimes stare at it for awhile before i get dressed. NOt sure what I am thinking but assure you that it isn't good.

    Honestly, the need for so much prep before a ride is really the only negative that i consider in terms of winter cycling. It literally takes me an extra 10 minutes every day. Doesn't seem like much but when you ride everyday before work, and are on a schedule, it really adds up.

    It always feels soooo good to get that first Spring ride with just shorts and jersey. It is like riding nekkid.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed

    I am a person who is always hot, I usually never wear a coat,
    ~ ~ ~ Green With Envy ~ ~ ~

  10. #10
    been ridin? shaq-d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    Based on that, I will then probably end up purchasing a heavier weight jacket as mentioned above. The
    i wouldn't get a heavier jacket. i'd suggest a thin and light waterproof windproof jacket, unlined, with pit zips and reflective strips. when it gets colder than what you've got with a jersey and the century jacket, just put on the water&windproof jacket on top of it. or mix & match: short sleeved jersey, century jersey, and water&windproof jacket.

    a heavier weight jacket is just the equivalent of another layer, so i wouldn't bother with that. on the other hand, a thin and light waterproof/windproof jacket is invaluable, imho.

    sd

  11. #11
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    The purpose of an outer layer is to deflect the wind and if neccessary the rain to protect your insulating layer. It doesnt need to have any insulating properties, you can use mid-layer to provide comfortable level of insulation.
    When it comes to outer layers, some are more windproof than others. I have an ultralight one for summer which is too permeable for cold winter air. You may prefer a summer-weight one if you run hot.
    Waterproofs are not a good idea unless it is raining. There is no way a "breathable" waterproof is a comfortable as a windproof. Anything with a membrane will be less permeable than a tightly woven cloth.
    Whilst pit zips and back vents are useful, they can let in cold draughts. With a more permeable windproof, you can have a transfer of air and moisture without getting chilled.

  12. #12
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    This morning the temp were in the low 20's so I got a chance to try out some new winter gear. My WindPro gloves worked great despite being very thin. My T*****x tights were also very effective. And I got to try out a softshell jacket. I picked up the jacket from Lands End Overstocks for $15 (list $80). The jacket was comfortable with only a Coolmax tshirt under it. And I stayed dryer than I do if I wear my very light windproof jacket.
    I'm really liking the softshell jackets now. I think one of the jackets designed for cross country skiing would probably work great for winter cycling if I could justify the $150+ price tag. For now I am content with my $15 softshell.
    Craig

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    Whats the difference between a softshell and a windproof?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    Whats the difference between a softshell and a windproof?
    I thought a softshell was a taco?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    Whats the difference between a softshell and a windproof?
    The windproof jacket I refered to was a light weight uninsulated nylon shell. A softshell jacket is a jacket made of a material with a wind and water resistant outer layer and a fleece inner layer. A lot of softshell materials are laminated together but some are woven together. The advantage of a softshell is that they are windproof and very breathable. Multiple layer "hardshell" jackets or water proof shells often do not provide the same amount of breathability.
    I'm still learning about softshell jackets and have very limited experience with them so I may have some points wrong. But so far I am quite pleased with my bargain softshell.
    Craig

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    So do I need more? Should I send the jacket back for something more substantial? (maybe someone has one of these and could tell me if they really do a good job.) Could I be comfortable with just the 2 jerseys, or just 1 of the jersey's and a jacket? Like I said, I am very hot person (my DH calls me his little furnace), and I have really never rode in cold before, until the last 3 weeks. Maybe there are other "overly warm" people out there who can help.
    what I wear may seem weird but I get hot easy and it works well. I use a cheap poly base layer. it does nto really matter what brand I can get them for about 8.00 long sleeve.
    then I like a cotton tee (long sleeve over that) the cotton really seems to regulate the temp well and the wicking undershirt keeps it from getting wet. this works for me from about 55 (though that is a bit warm for the combo) down to about 35 degrees if there is not a lot of wind or really high humidity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBBaron
    The windproof jacket I refered to was a light weight uninsulated nylon shell. A softshell jacket is a jacket made of a material with a wind and water resistant outer layer and a fleece inner layer. A lot of softshell materials are laminated together but some are woven together. The advantage of a softshell is that they are windproof and very breathable. Multiple layer "hardshell" jackets or water proof shells often do not provide the same amount of breathability.
    I'm still learning about softshell jackets and have very limited experience with them so I may have some points wrong. But so far I am quite pleased with my bargain softshell.
    Craig
    From what I gather, softshell is pretty similar to a windproof. Neither are waterproof but can handle a light shower. I have used the original softshell, a Buffalo pile and pertex for winter riding. I have an old polycotton smock that I have used in all dry conditions and an ultralight polyester windproof for summer use. In cooler months I use Paramo which is a close relative of softshell, but deals effectively with heavy rain. I guess over the years you just accumulate clothing.

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    I also run hot. The only cycling jacket I have is a Pearl Izumi Zephrr jacket that is at least 4 years old, and is wind resistant and water resistant. I layer underneath with different weight of jerseys and base layers dpending on how cold it is. I range from short sleeve jerseys under it to the Pearl Kodiak Jersey. It has to be at least in the 20s before I go to the full Kodiak jersey.

    I like the shell since it allows me to layer underneath and I can decide before I start to ride if I need to shed or add a layer, plus it breathes really well. Having asthma, I found that I started having trouble when the layers didn't breathe since I would get really cold when I had to stop for some reason (wait for others, traffic light), from the wetness inside the jacket. I ride both road and MTB in temps as low as 15 degrees, even with wind, using layers.

    For my hands I have 3 weights of full finger gloves, and half finger gloves. It has to be really cold for me to use the heavy winter pearl gloves, and my hands sweat in them no matter what the temp. The feet were the only problem that took me a couple of years to figure out. Booties don't work for me, especially when I need to step in the snow when MTBing. I have a pair of Lakes MXZ300 shoes that are great for cold weather. If it is not real cold, I use a pair of smartwool socks. When it is really cold, I use a pair of the Seirus Hyperlite StormSock. The only problem with the MXZ300s is that they are not real wide, so I had to order a size up for my EE feet, and I should have probably gone one more size.

    Hope this helps.

    John B.

  19. #19
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    So.. where is a good (cheap) place to buy good quality riding clothes?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosra451
    So.. where is a good (cheap) place to buy good quality riding clothes?
    I like Performance, I got the team membership (20 bucks) and I have earned $33.00 dollars so far towards a purchase. At the rate I am buying, I will have paid for it 10 times over.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosra451
    So.. where is a good (cheap) place to buy good quality riding clothes?
    Spend your money on a jacket and pants. The rest you can go inexpensive with.

  22. #22
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    Most of my cycling apparell comes from TARGET or Sports authority. I generate a lot of heat and it has to go away, so multiple layers of spandex or dry fit do the trick for me.
    Giving Haircuts Over The Phone

  23. #23
    Tossed some weight Redrom's Avatar
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    A winter cyclist who complains of being too hot. Great, all we need now is a road cyclist who complains that the cars give him too much room.

    D'oh... it's out there!

  24. #24
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    A winter cyclist who complains of being too hot. Great, all we need now is a road cyclist who complains that the cars give him too much room.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redrom
    D'oh... it's out there!
    Sorry- I worry about people
    Quitting in an adverse situation leaves no alternative except death

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    This fall I discovered that after 32 years of asthma, I can ride in temps below 60 degrees. I have been continually riding in colder and colder temps. I used to have a major asthma attack doing any exercise in "cold" temps. I don't know what has changed, but since I can do this so far, I am going to keep riding until I can no longer breathe, then I will resort to the rollers.

    I have a few questions:

    1) I am a person who is always hot, I usually never wear a coat, maybe a jacket if it gets to 20 degrees or below. I cannot wear sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece or any flannel indoors, or I will sweat to death. What type of jacket or coat is best for someone like me? I just bought a Performance Century Jacket, although it looks very thin, it is supposed to be windproof. Is this a jacket that will keep me warm into the 20's?
    I am fairly warm most of the time, but not to your extent. However I have a rather high tolerance for cold. This winter the temperatures have not been much below -8C, yet. This is my commuting gear, that often leaves ready to sweat if I ride aggresively.

    Shoes: Sandals and thick fleece hiking socks.
    Shorts: Generic hiking shorts because my commute right now is not long enough to warrant my biking shorts. Knees do seem to suffer a bit though so have been thinking about knee warmers.
    Base Shirt: A medium to lightweight Patagonia longsleeved thermal shirt. I use this hiking, too. Fairly thin.
    Another shirt: Usually a T shirt.
    Sweatshirt: Some form of synthetic fleece or sweatshirt. While touring I use a windproof jacket over a jersey.
    On Head: Aside from helmet, occasionally a synthetic fleece neck warmer for the neck or ears. This is for about -4C or below, though not strictly necessary.
    Hands: Thick snow gloves. I play classical guitar and do not like cold induced stiffness.
    Riding glasses: My eyes get tremendously watery if I do not ride with my glasses and when it snows it is hard to see without the glasses. Makes riding in cold more enjoyable.

    My current route is straight. If I was riding more aggressively I would surely get rid of the extra T shirt, or use a light windproof jacket.

    2) I have read other advice and most of it seems to be layering. Do other people who are hot all the time do this too?
    I layer because I do not have a fancy jacket. However down to about 5C I am usually fine in just a flannel shirt. I have found that relying on one larger jacket makes me too warm. I think you have the right idea though with a light windproof shell and just a basic base layer. Wind is what gets me cold more than anything.

    3) So far I have been getting by with the following:

    Short Sleeve Jersey
    Pearl I. Thermal Fleece Arm & Leg Warmers
    I line my sports bra with a piece of fleece I had left over from a blanket I made.
    Regular half finger cycling gloves, with thinsulate gloves over them.
    Regular socks and sidi shoes.

    With the above list, I got really cold on the parts that did not have fleece on them, but I survived. The coldest so far was riding with the above set-up in about 40 degrees and very windy in the dark.
    Usually staying warm is about keeping in total heat rather than specific areas. I learned this quick after a few barefoot backpacking sessions. Try thick synthetic fleece socks. You should notice a considerable difference, and it will keep you generally a bit warmer.

    Here is a general guideline I try to go by. Dress so that standing around you are slightly cold. After a few minutes of aggressive riding you will warm right up. If you are comfortable standing around in what you are wearing, you probably will be too warm on the bike.

    Finally, another observation. I find that covering my entire torso, most of my neck, and arms with at least SOMETHING makes a ride in freezing temperatures possible without discomfort. Check into a longsleeved shirt as a baselayer and see if you notice a difference.

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