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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 10-10-02, 07:39 AM   #1
killerasp
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A winter biking jacket?

Are there any good winter biking jackets that you would like recommend?
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Old 10-10-02, 07:52 AM   #2
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Which variety of winter do you have ?
Temp range, rain or snow proof ?
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Old 10-10-02, 07:56 AM   #3
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What sort of 'winter' temperatures are you considering riding in? I have a performance XALT ( http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...html?SKU=14041 ) that, over a decent wicking long sleeve jersey, keeps me comfortable down to at least 30 (I haven't had the opportunity - yet - to try it in anything colder, but I doubt it would be enough at temps much below 30 without another layer or two). It lists for $139 on the web site, by my local performance shop seems to have them on sale for $89 fairly often.
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Old 10-10-02, 08:22 AM   #4
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im looking for something that would keep me warm for weather >30F. Windproof, snow proof. I dont plan on biking during the rain.
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Old 10-10-02, 09:40 AM   #5
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Try some products by Gill, they have everything from windbreakers to lined ones. And are made for biking.
Remember to layer, thats one of the most important things to do. Also jackets that are made for skiing or the snow, such as North Face or Columbia are great. I found one on sale in late summer last year for about a hundred bucks, has a zip in polartec, is gortex and it is a shorter fit then most (doesn't have the extra flap on your butt) I love it and wear it mtn biking in the snow and road biking. It hasnt' allowed wind burn yet, but I also wear long johns and several layers.


Hope that helps
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Old 10-10-02, 11:16 AM   #6
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I start with a poly turtleneck, then wind bloc fleece, then a LL Bean unlined Ridge Runner jacket. Both the fleece and the jacket have closeable ventilation, so easy to adjust for temp/workout variations. I have used this combination successfully in the 0-50 F range.
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Old 10-11-02, 03:41 PM   #7
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What do you already have? That would be my first question. I have used old clothes that I already had on hand and then added an other layer that was an old windbreaker anorak over top. I will give you a list of things that I have worn in the winter all of which you may already have or can cheaply get thru a used clothing store/ebay:

Wool sweater
down vest
fleece vest
polypro turtle neck shirt or sweater
arm warmers
winter ski jacket
neck wrap
used gore tex coats

In other words those things that will not absorb water. Top with a hooded wind breaker jacket (except the gore tex because it will stop the wind) that is large enough to cover the maximum number of layers you would ever need. I like the hooded ones to cover the ears and sides of the head.

In my opinion, the problem is not the temperature but the wind. Stop the wind, except as needed for ventilation and you will be warm.

One neat trick I want to try is the bandanna made of fleece. Put it over your face, cowboy style, to keep the cold air from hitting your checks and mouth. It directs the moist air down and away from your glasses.
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Old 10-11-02, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by OldDog
What sort of 'winter' temperatures are you considering riding in? I have a performance XALT ( http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...html?SKU=14041 ) that, over a decent wicking long sleeve jersey, keeps me comfortable down to at least 30 (I haven't had the opportunity - yet - to try it in anything colder, but I doubt it would be enough at temps much below 30 without another layer or two). It lists for $139 on the web site, by my local performance shop seems to have them on sale for $89 fairly often.
I own one of these jackets and have found that it is too warm if the temps are above 40F. I can wear it with a t-shirt when temps are around freezing. I rode many days last winter where the temps were in the teens and the jacket was more than warm enough when worn with a long sleeve wicking t-shirt.
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Old 10-11-02, 10:38 PM   #9
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What do you think about the North Face Sentinel? Its about $140. My LBS will be getting some new Pearl Izumi Kodiak and Escape Jackets. Its about a $50 price difference, which would YOU get?
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Old 10-12-02, 07:02 AM   #10
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Layers.

The problem with dressing for cycling is that people tend to overdress. Unless you're cycling below freezing, get a decent windproof shell. You'll be plenty warm if you wear a midweight jersey and maybe a fleece underneath it. That's all you need.

I have a classic wool cycling jacket that's good down to @ -10C. Even that's overkill, at times.

The ting you have to worry about is not so much ambient air temperature as wind. If you have a windproof shell to keep out the wind, you shouldn't have any trouble keeping warm with a couple of thin layers.
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Old 10-12-02, 07:57 AM   #11
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..and your windproof layer should be highly breathable, but wind-tight, even in the cold. Goretex is breathable for a waterproof, but not for a windproof. If you dont need the rain protection, there are more comfortable materials.

There is one reason for using a padded jacket rather than a carefully tuned layering system, and that is if your riding takes you from cold outdoors to over-heated indoors, eg a shopping trip around town or to college; you can then shed all your insulation in one go. Otherwise, layers work out better and cheaper.
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Old 10-12-02, 08:05 AM   #12
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The LL Bean Ridge Runner (unlined) jacket I got from Beans is intended for cross country skiing. It is made from Epic (Nextec?) which blocks wind and water, yeat allows moisture to escape like Gortex. It also has two zipper vents on the chest area. I agree that as with cross country skiing, people often over dress when bike commuting. You really do not need much other than wind protection and a long sleeve wicking shirt. I rarely wear the fleece unless the temps dip below 30 F.
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Old 10-12-02, 08:18 AM   #13
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Clothes for XC skiing and cycling are very similar, actually, and I know of a lot of guys who wear their XC clothes cycling and vice-versa.

The thing to remember is that you don't want to overheat and get damp. That'll cause problems for sure. My rule of thumb is that I should feel very slightly chilled before a ride. Actually riding heats you up.
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Old 10-12-02, 08:04 PM   #14
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i hit the trails today and used my $8 old navy jacket. To my surpise, that sucker is warm and wind proof. I dont think im gonna spend $80 on a new windbreaker.
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Old 11-30-02, 04:20 AM   #15
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ASSOS Roubaix Airblock jacket---pricey but you only live once
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Old 11-30-02, 07:34 AM   #16
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used my $8 old navy jacket
As has been said, it's best to look around and see what you have. For a windbreaker, I use an old hockey jacket that I hadn't worn much, it's usually good to about freezing, depending on the wind. It's water repellant, too. I have a Gore- Tex jacket that I have found to be too warm for temps between 20 & 30 F, so I just bought a breathable/waterproof cycling jacket with pit zips and ventilation that should work. It's a Louis Garneau Spotlite. So far this fall, all I've worn underneath the jackets is a short sleeve cycling jersey and a long sleeve tee shirt, been toasty warm.
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Old 01-10-03, 10:01 AM   #17
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Here's what I do for winter upper body protection,

from 50-40 degrees I use a longsleeve jersey and a wind break vest.

from 40-30 degrees I use a windproof/waterproof light jacket with pitzips a regular jersey over a capilene base layer.

from 30-10 degrees I use a heavier jacket (that performance XALT is a really nice one btw) a longsleeved jersey and a capilene base layer.

Below 10 degrees is really not that much worse. At that point your time outside is limited anyhow no matter what you wear. I have ridden when it was 20 below and snowy in montana and was only able to last 45 mins before the whole group called it quits and bolted for the hot chocolate. My feet always go long before my upper body gets too chilled.
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Old 01-10-03, 10:45 AM   #18
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I picked up a Race Face Aquanot jacket over the holidays (www.raceface.com). It has pit zippers, rather than chest vents as my other biking jacket. I like the Race Face much more from a temperature management standpoint. I wear a wicking t-neck, polar fleece vest and the Aquanot and have been plenty warm even down in the 2 F (-17 C).
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Old 01-22-03, 06:19 PM   #19
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When I bike to work in the morn the wind is always blowing towards me....always.... it has been very cold here lately so we are having wind chills of at least -32. This hasn't been a problem though, in fact I am always close to overheating even in those temps. I have a simple recipe for clothing:

1. Thin turtleneck followed by:
2. Thin , cheap , windbreaker followed by:
3. Columbia winter jackets ( any winter jacket really). That is plenty.

Goggles are a must as well,plus wear plenty of reflective material on you and you bike.Good luck.
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Old 01-22-03, 07:25 PM   #20
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You Canadians need to look at the jackets MEC has for cyclists.
They have done a great job of design, with lots of reflective material as well, at a reasonable price.
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Old 01-23-03, 05:36 PM   #21
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Good point about MEC Jean. I visit the Ottawa location everytime I am there( once or twice a year). I was given one of their yellow reflective rain jackets for biking for Xmas - the kind that covers the butt. I am looking forward to using it in the spring.
They are a great company to deal with - environmentally conscious(big time) plus great selection and prices.
So glad I found this forum. Its so informative and fun to read. Ron
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