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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 10-08-06, 09:22 AM   #1
feethanddooth
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proposed winter 'uniform'

this will be my first year riding in the cold season. tell me what you think...(some of my descriptions may suck

lower body;
-regular road shoes with lg booties over them. wool 'winter' socks underneath.
-my regular lg shorts with under armour cold gear full leggings. in extreme cold, i will add leg warmers(not picked out yet, opinions?)
additional waterproof layer will have to be purchased as well. opinions?

upper body;
-EMS long sleeve tech wick shirt for base layer.
-under armour wicking spandex
-add underarmour cold gear in extreme cold.
-EMS winter micro fleece
-add EMS water/rain proof outter layer in extreme cold/rain/snow.

head; (i have a couple different items for different conditions)
-lg Balaclava
-whatever thin winter hat i can find thats not so expensive and wool or neoprene
-a gore tex helmet cover in extreme cold/wind/rain/snow
-one of those neoprene face masks that are like a hannible lector thing (what are they called?)
-an additional head band for ears on extreme weather days
-ski goggles when things get crazy!




did i forget anything? a jock strap maybe?
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Old 10-08-06, 09:42 AM   #2
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lower body;
-regular road shoes with lg booties over them. wool 'winter' socks underneath.
-my regular lg shorts with under armour cold gear full leggings. in extreme cold, i will add leg warmers(not picked out yet, opinions?)
additional waterproof layer will have to be purchased as well. opinions?
Raingear will suffice. Granted it will take a beating so make sure you use something rugged. I wear the non-breathable raingear from bicycleclothing.com

Quote:
upper body;
-EMS long sleeve tech wick shirt for base layer.
-under armour wicking spandex
-add underarmour cold gear in extreme cold.
-EMS winter micro fleece
-add EMS water/rain proof outter layer in extreme cold/rain/snow.
geesh, this stuff costs more than my commuter bike
sounds warm though

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head; (i have a couple different items for different conditions)
-lg Balaclava
-whatever thin winter hat i can find thats not so expensive and wool or neoprene
-a gore tex helmet cover in extreme cold/wind/rain/snow
this sounds good
Quote:
-one of those neoprene face masks that are like a hannible lector thing (what are they called?)
yeah, they're called "facemasks"
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-an additional head band for ears on extreme weather days
-ski goggles when things get crazy!




did i forget anything? a jock strap maybe?
sounds like you got it all set, maybe even a little overkill for the under layers
add a windproof/waterproof shell and you have the makings of quite a cold gear setup
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Old 10-08-06, 10:04 AM   #3
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No matter what you do it's going to be cold. Trial and error will allow you to make the adjustments to be able to ride it. Walking into the building sweating like your in a sauna, after riding 10 miles in single digit temperatures, is kind of different.
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Old 10-08-06, 10:54 AM   #4
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Underarmour cold gear is not very good. It holds moisture against your skin instead of wicking it away. For the same price you can get twice as many items that work better or get smartwool or ibex wool items.

Helmet cover is a great item. Turns your whole helmet into a giant styrofoam beer cooler, which keeps your head nice and toasty.

Toes and fingers may be your most difficult to keep warm.
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Old 10-09-06, 03:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jarery
Underarmour cold gear is not very good. It holds moisture against your skin instead of wicking it away. For the same price you can get twice as many items that work better or get smartwool or ibex wool items.
Helmet cover is a great item. Turns your whole helmet into a giant styrofoam beer cooler, which keeps your head nice and toasty.
Toes and fingers may be your most difficult to keep warm.
I got an underarmour cold gear top as a gift I used quite a bit last year. It a nice base layer, but is not great. I think Polartec PowerDry or PowerStretch makes a better base layer. I'm sure that Smartwool or Ibex would also be excellent. Your lower half sounds a little light compared to your upper half. I guess you would be OK with a windproof outer layer but so far I have not liked wearing the ones I've had. I perfer something like Performance Triflex tights or Polartec Power Stretch tights. I add a light weight second layer if necessary. As for shoes get shoes a size or two larger than you normally wear. I find I needed a light weight sock under a heavy weight hiking sock even with a bootie for cold weather.
My biggest problem was finding something to keep my face protected but still allow me to breath. The balaclava I used tried to suffocate me on any kind of hill but when I exposed my mouth then my cheeks got the full effect of the wind. I didn't feel I needed much covering my face just a little something to keep the wind off. I may try a facemask but they don't seem to cover my neck and the full balaclava with the breathing vents seems much to heavy and warm for the few days we have below 15F where I want something.
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Old 10-09-06, 07:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jarery
Underarmour cold gear is not very good. It holds moisture against your skin instead of wicking it away. For the same price you can get twice as many items that work better or get smartwool or ibex wool items.
I've had the same experience. The Underarmour sweat stays on the shirt and the faster you go the more chill you feel. After several hours of riding (with no place to warm up), I decided that "cold gear" doesn't cut it.

DuoFold and Veritech work way better and over a broader range of temperatures. I wear these shirts (with nothing under) in temps between 65-47. Colder than that, they make good base layers.
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Old 10-09-06, 07:59 PM   #7
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I think you'll be too hot on 99 % of the days in Jersey. I like a wicking T-shirt next to my skin, then a cotton jersey over that, and a light wool sweater (or poly fleece if it's colder) over that. The cotton absorbs and holds all the sweat--after a ride my cotton jersey is soaking wet. But the wicking Tshirt and the wool/fleece are both dry. Most important, my skin is dry and warm too. My top layer is usually just a light (unlined) nylon shell. This all keeps me warm down to about 20 F, as long as I keep moving. Colder than that and I get out the heavier stuff.

What is Underarmour? When I look at it in the store it looks the same as a Target stretchy long sleeve "athletic" undershirt, sale price 6.99. What if anything makes UA better at 3 times the cost?
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Old 10-09-06, 10:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Roody
I think you'll be too hot on 99 % of the days in Jersey. I like a wicking T-shirt next to my skin, then a cotton jersey over that, and a light wool sweater (or poly fleece if it's colder) over that. The cotton absorbs and holds all the sweat--after a ride my cotton jersey is soaking wet. But the wicking Tshirt and the wool/fleece are both dry. Most important, my skin is dry and warm too. My top layer is usually just a light (unlined) nylon shell. This all keeps me warm down to about 20 F, as long as I keep moving. Colder than that and I get out the heavier stuff.

What is Underarmour? When I look at it in the store it looks the same as a Target stretchy long sleeve "athletic" undershirt, sale price 6.99. What if anything makes UA better at 3 times the cost?
It's suppose to wick sweat better. Well it wicked OK in hot weather for about the first 40 rides. Now it doesn't wick as well (washing with regular dry detergent and air dry). My skin is mostly dry...but the shirt is sopping wet. The shirts DOES dry quickly though.
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Old 10-10-06, 01:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Roody
I think you'll be too hot on 99 % of the days in Jersey. I like a wicking T-shirt next to my skin, then a cotton jersey over that, and a light wool sweater (or poly fleece if it's colder) over that. The cotton absorbs and holds all the sweat--after a ride my cotton jersey is soaking wet. But the wicking Tshirt and the wool/fleece are both dry. Most important, my skin is dry and warm too. My top layer is usually just a light (unlined) nylon shell. This all keeps me warm down to about 20 F, as long as I keep moving. Colder than that and I get out the heavier stuff.

What is Underarmour? When I look at it in the store it looks the same as a Target stretchy long sleeve "athletic" undershirt, sale price 6.99. What if anything makes UA better at 3 times the cost?
I have similar temperature tolerances. Below 20 deg F, and I start ditching the bike gear, and pull out the skiing gear. I prefer waterproof ski mittens, with cotton glove inserts (bought as 1 unit) to keep the hands toasty.
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Old 10-10-06, 08:16 PM   #10
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I have similar temperature tolerances. Below 20 deg F, and I start ditching the bike gear, and pull out the skiing gear. I prefer waterproof ski mittens, with cotton glove inserts (bought as 1 unit) to keep the hands toasty.
Those sound nice, you could probably wear only the inserts on warm days or while you're changing a tube on the side of the road. I don't buy much winter gear at the LBS either. I've had better luck at ski stores and hunting/camping stores.

I bought a pair of fleece gloves at Gander Mountain today--50 % clearance price of $15. They're marketed for "winter running and aerobic sports" so they should work fine on the bike. I was comfortable wearing them today at 50 deg F so they must be pretty breathable. The hunting gloves they had were nice too, if you don't mind camo. Bow hunting gloves are light fleece, water-repellent, very dextrous and stretchy--only $10. Gander mountain also had a better selection of face masks and balaclavas than I've ever seen at a LBS or even ski shop.

I buy a lot of wicking clothes at Target and KMart. I snap up wool sweaters at thrift stores--especially lightweight soft ones for base layer. I bought a soft merino wool sport shirt yesterday for $1.75. It's washable too, a big plus. I'll wear it as a base layer when in super cold temps, or second layer when it's warm out. I have big tubs of winter gear that I've accumulated over the years on the cheap. I can make layers for any kind of weather that will ever come up. Some of it even looks cool too. It's good to have duplicates because you might get wet 2 or 3 times in the same day and it takes longer to dry stuff out in the winter.
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