It seems that compared to nearly all the other bike riders on the planet, I must be some sort of reptile. I see folks riding around in shorts while I'm bundled up in all sorts of cold weather gear. For example, the temperature at the rides I've been attending lately have generally been in the 40s. Will spring ever come? Anyway, for temperatures in the mid to upper 40s, I wear a long-sleeve skinsuit to get an upper base layer and padded shorts without having an extra waistband or shoulder straps. I'll put on a pair of spandex running tights, then my pair of Assos Airblock bib tights, which are fully fleece lined (not very thick fleece mind you), and with airblock panels on the knees and thighs. On top, I'll wear a light fleece pullover, and then a windblocking cycling jacket. With wool socks, windproof shoe covers, a headband to cover my ears, and fleece lined windblocking gloves, I'm pretty good. However, if the temperature goes down too much, like into the low 40s (which is common here after dark), I'll start to get cold fingers, very cold feet, and cold inner thighs and crotch.
If the temperature is starting out in the low to mid 40s, or looks like it will drop to the 30s, I'll keep the skinsuit, go with the running tights or the Assos bib tights if it's cooler, then some fleece pants and nylon wind/warm up pants. On top I may still be ok with the light fleece top, but I might also take it up a notch and wear my thicker fleece jersey under my jacket. Glove liners and maybe a light balaclava need to be added as well, and neoprene shoe covers over the windproof shoe covers are a must at this point.
With temperatures well down into the 30s, I need thicker gloves, more face coverage, and chemical toe warmers. I may also bring out my pair of cheap ski bibs/snow pants instead of the spandex/fleece/wind pant layering. The problem is that while those two solutions to keeping my legs warm work fairly well, they're extremely bulky and not very comfortable. If I can't keep my legs warm, then my feet start to freeze even worse, and I'm not having any more fun at that point. I'm sure a lot of you could wear the Assos bib tights alone in temperatures down into the 20s or teens, but I just don't have the circulation (or whatever it is). I'm still pretty heavy at 250 lbs, and I've actually felt warmer on rides now than when I weighed 270, so I suspect that I just don't have the blood flow to warm up all my "bulk."
Considering this, I've had a really hard time finding good advice here or anywhere, because nobody else seems to be as cold-blooded as I am, so the advice given to most other people is not nearly sufficient for what I need. I love my Assos bib tights, but even with an extra spandex layer underneath, they just don't cut it for temperatures below 45° for me. What I really need is a pair of tights that has a healthy lining of fleece, as well as air blocking panels across the whole front. Most of the tights I've seen out there do not have fleece where there's wind blocking panels, and that won't cut it. I don't mind using something that's not cycling specific, since I have the chamois and other base layer type stuff taken care of already. Bibs would be much preferred though, especially if I already have another pair of tights with a waistband on underneath. I looked at the tights they have at IceBikes, but they don't seem to have a lot of wind blocking performance. The Pearl Izumi and Performance tights just don't fit me right either, unfortunately. I've looked into some hiking gear, like Mountain Hardwear, etc., but it's all so expensive, and I have no idea how to pick something out. They also seem somewhat big/flappy, which is one reason I don't like using the wind pants. Have any of you found a good pair of very warm winter tights, or some other layering system that isn't too bulky and uncomfortable?
Thanks for any suggestions, sorry for rambling on so long.