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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 08-14-06, 08:33 AM   #1
feethanddooth
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winter jackets

im new to riding in the winter and want to get myself ready. most of the clothing i need is pretty well defined by the reviews and descriptions from makers. i cant figure out jackets though! is there a place that will list the jackets by tempature rating? like "this jacket is good down to 10 degrees F".

any help is appreciated.
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Old 09-22-06, 08:58 PM   #2
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Do not view the cycling jacket as something having a temperature rating. It's most important purpose for winter riding is to keep out the elements and breath. The better it does both of these things the better it is. For really cold conditions you need very good wind protection. The temperture rating is accomplished by layering insulation under the jacket. This makes the cycling jacket the most versatile garment you can imagine. One Jacket will work for a wide range of conditions. Here are some general guidelines but you will have to experiment to find out what works best for you. This is what I wear under the jacket. This is Gore windstopper Jacket that has high wind resistance. With less wind resistant jackets you will need more insulation.

60 degrees F - one regular light weight short sleeve cycling jersey.
50 degrees F - one medium weight long sleeve cycling jersey.
40 degrees F - One pullover or zip fleece runners jacket. Snug fitting. This is a little heavier fleece than the long sleeve jersey. Or you could wear one heavy weight long sleeve jersey.
30 degrees F - One lightweight wicking ski thermal top ( no cotton) and the runners fleece jacket.
20 degrees F - Expedition weight wicking thermal top and one fleece pull over jacket, snug fitting, heavier fleece.

It should be noted that in the middle of winter when the ground is frozen that more heat is lost from radiation loss to the cold ground then in the spring or fall and so a little more insulation may be required for the same ambient air temperature. Basically, a fourty degree warm day in the middle of January requires a bit more insulation than a fourty degree cool day in october because there is more radiant heat loss to the frozen ground and cold buildings etc.

Last edited by Hezz; 09-22-06 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 09-23-06, 07:45 AM   #3
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The overcoat or jacket should just be a shell that keps the wind out. I wear a thin Gorte hooded overcoat over my normal ofice clothing and it is good to 0 F. It is all about layers, not temperature rating.

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Old 10-06-06, 03:14 AM   #4
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I wear a Loius Garneau jacket for cycling in Canadian winters. Don't worry about temp rating. Thats for those who stand still or have to wait for car to warm up. Dress like a xc-skier, in layers with good base layer, cover extremities from wind and lighter jacket.
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Old 10-06-06, 05:35 AM   #5
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Like the above, my outer layer is mostly wind proofing and/or waterproofing and I use a wicking inner layer and midlayer insulation to suit the conditions and my work rate.
Cycling jerseys are not the best midlayer, all those zipped pockets can stack up uncomfortably.
Winter jackets need to be more generously cut to accept insulation with a high collar. A hood is useful for off-bike use.
I do use a pile and pertex insulated jacket when it gets to near freezing. This is contrary to layering theory but more convenient for nipping in and out of warm buildings.
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Old 10-09-06, 03:41 PM   #6
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Too much variation in users and conditions to have a useful rating system.
Your best bet is to get a light weight, wind and water resistant outer layer and then add base/mid layers as your comfort and temp dictates. I use a softshell jacket and add a light layer or two under to adjust for temps from freezing to 0F. I ride pretty hard so I find getting my core and legs warm is not hard and it is easy to get hot. However I do have some problems keeping my feet and to a lesser extent hands warm.
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Old 10-09-06, 03:56 PM   #7
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Below about +30f down to -20f (coldest I've ridden so far) I run a high quality softshell jacket and vary the layering and head coverings. It breathes a great deal more than Gore-Tex or other breathable hard shell materials and handles 95% of the winter muck. I suggest having a variety of options (always with a spare) but not making your system too complex or rigid.
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Old 10-25-06, 02:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hezz
Do not view the cycling jacket as something having a temperature rating. It's most important purpose for winter riding is to keep out the elements and breath. The better it does both of these things the better it is. For really cold conditions you need very good wind protection. The temperture rating is accomplished by layering insulation under the jacket. This makes the cycling jacket the most versatile garment you can imagine. One Jacket will work for a wide range of conditions. Here are some general guidelines but you will have to experiment to find out what works best for you. This is what I wear under the jacket. This is Gore windstopper Jacket that has high wind resistance. With less wind resistant jackets you will need more insulation.

60 degrees F - one regular light weight short sleeve cycling jersey.
50 degrees F - one medium weight long sleeve cycling jersey.
40 degrees F - One pullover or zip fleece runners jacket. Snug fitting. This is a little heavier fleece than the long sleeve jersey. Or you could wear one heavy weight long sleeve jersey.
30 degrees F - One lightweight wicking ski thermal top ( no cotton) and the runners fleece jacket.
20 degrees F - Expedition weight wicking thermal top and one fleece pull over jacket, snug fitting, heavier fleece.

It should be noted that in the middle of winter when the ground is frozen that more heat is lost from radiation loss to the cold ground then in the spring or fall and so a little more insulation may be required for the same ambient air temperature. Basically, a fourty degree warm day in the middle of January requires a bit more insulation than a fourty degree cool day in october because there is more radiant heat loss to the frozen ground and cold buildings etc.
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Old 10-25-06, 02:54 AM   #9
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Keep away from insulated jackets. Use layers underneath the jacket to keep warm.

The most crucial layer is your underwear.

Avoid cotton (espesially for underwear).

Don't forget your lower half. My biggest problems are usually keeping legs and feet dry and warm.
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Old 10-25-06, 04:42 AM   #10
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Also its important that you have somekind of windstopper cap under you helmet(Löffler gore windstopper is good).
Lake makes nice wintershoe, and there are differentkind of shoe-covers available. Take a look at these beauties!
http://www.urheiluareena.fi/images/8...k%20suojus.jpg
They cost just over 40€, are waterproof and they have fake fur inside. They come in different colors and they are very warm!

Last edited by jaggi; 10-25-06 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 11-30-06, 03:44 PM   #11
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Has anyone tried the Louis Garneau Gemini Jacket? It got great reviews in BICYCLING Magazine but that's the only review I can find, just wonderin'

Thanks,
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Old 11-30-06, 04:10 PM   #12
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For any jacket, make sure that it has plenty of ventilation options, ie. pit zips, rear flap, adjustable sleeves, front zipper (obviously). Wicking moisture through polypro or wool layers does no good if it is cooped up and condenses within your outer shell. You need some of that nice cool air coming in, and going out, to keep your temperature regulated and to minimize moisture build up. Nothing worse than being wet in the cold temps.
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Old 11-30-06, 04:28 PM   #13
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I just wear a bunch of layers that included underarmour type stuff, regular jerseys and wool sweaters. Then on top I wear a thin polar fleece spring jacket or a windbreaker type jacket both of which are not very warm on their own, but cut through the wind. Unless you are going sub 25 degrees I don't think you really need a special jacket.
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Old 12-04-06, 06:38 AM   #14
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Just remember that you should start cold. By cold I mean when you start your ride you should be FREEZING. That is, everything should be freezing except your hands and feet.

Cycling burns a lot of calories and if you start out warm, you will overheat. That will cause you to sweat. The sweat will be a SERIOUS problem any time you have to stop.

On the jacket(s) like others said it's best to have a lightweight shell and layer. The jacket would ideally have lots of options so that you may open vents while ridng to cool yourself. Conversely you should be able cinch the jacket up if you suffer a breakdown.

Note that you should carry a few extra clothing options in case of a breakdown or an injury. At the very least, you should carry an extra hat that will really keep you warm. A packable poncho could add a great extra under-layer in a pinch. And just remember if your gloves get cold, your fingers will freeze promptly after you stop. A second pair of gloves (or a an extra liner) may be a good idea.
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Old 12-04-06, 06:43 AM   #15
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I wear a wind and waterproof outer layer, and add layers of polar fleece underneath as necessary. My commute is only 15-20 minutes though, so I can get away with over-dressing and not end up too sweaty.
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