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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 10-11-06, 10:08 PM   #1
bryceepoo
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Seattle Winter Jacket?

Well, I'm starting to get prepared for my first cycling winter in Seattle. I'm going to be shopping for a Jacket of some type for both my wife and I. Being that I probably won't see temps anywhere below 32, I've learned here in this forum, thanks to all your information, that I probably want to look for some type of fleece-lined lighter wieght jacket/jersey.

My question is though, if ordering online how can I tell what for sure fits this category. What material will it be made of? Can someone give me some specific examples of what I should shop for... like Brand and Model, or perhaps something offered on Performance or Nashbar to get my barings on this subject?

Thanks in advance. Bryce
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Old 10-11-06, 11:27 PM   #2
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WHy not a fleece jacket such as these:
http://www.backcountry.com/store/gro...e-Jackets.html
under a windbreaker or even a raincoat? It worked for me down to about 25 last winter. I only suggest this as they can be used speerately outside of riding.
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Old 10-11-06, 11:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icedmocha
WHy not a fleece jacket such as these
I see your point... My question to that however would be is there no advantage to the actual "cycling" products over something like a North Face fleece jacket?
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Old 10-12-06, 09:56 AM   #4
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You don't need anything too heavy here. However, the jacket should block winds and be at least water resistant. Marmot makes some nice soft shells that you can layer underneath if necessary. I have the Marmot ATV jacket.

Even if you keep your head warm, your feet will still need that same wind protection.

Last edited by vrkelley; 10-12-06 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:19 AM   #5
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softshell. mmm.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:29 AM   #6
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Over the years, I mostly got by with various weight wool sweaters & rain gear over them when needed. Wool still keeps you warm if its wet & you don't need to wear raingear in fog or light showers. Safety goggles over my glasses ensured eye comfort at speed. There were a few Winters when brief cold snaps into the 12-25F range required a down jacket with wool/cashmere scarf & wool cap under my helmet for a few days. Don

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Old 10-12-06, 10:47 AM   #7
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softshell. mmm.
No doubt about it, Bek. Ya won me over on the softshell jackets and wool I'll try to find last year's reviews on those jackets.
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Old 10-12-06, 10:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bryceepoo
I see your point... My question to that however would be is there no advantage to the actual "cycling" products over something like a North Face fleece jacket?
Well the "cycling" products are usually longer in the back and arms. More coverage!

EDITED: OK here's last year's "COME TO JESUS" thread on jackets. You can just do a search for many other jacket reviews like Gunk and Ibex. Worthwhile sub-$150 winter softshells?

Last edited by vrkelley; 10-12-06 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 10-12-06, 11:12 AM   #9
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I went to grad school at the U of W in Seattle. Basically, there is no winter there; hence, no winter cycling. The last thing you need is fleece. Any insulation is too much insulation. Just get some good rainwear made of Gortex or other high performance fabric. Make sure there are buttons, pit zips, or whatever to help you vent heat.

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Old 10-12-06, 01:48 PM   #10
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I picked up a nice windproof, water resistant Novara jacket at REI that seems to work well. Its not lined so I just wear my long sleeve jersey under it. its been fairly cold here in Portland in the morning and as long as I keep moving I stay warm.
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Old 10-12-06, 04:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryceepoo
I see your point... My question to that however would be is there no advantage to the actual "cycling" products over something like a North Face fleece jacket?
They fit better. Some have reflective material. However you could wear a reflective vest over the jacket or fleece. Currently I have a Marmot softshell that I bought at the end of last season. I don't suspect I'll be using it much untill temps hit the 20's. Whatever you get make sure it has pit zips (as others suggested). Cycling-specific stuff is twice as much as it should be and not versatile enough for the cash imo. I come at this from a strictyl commuter perspective. I can certainly understand why roadies would buy the bike-specific stuff.
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Old 10-12-06, 04:33 PM   #12
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I have been very happy with my Race Face Aquanot jacket that I got about 5 years ago.



Built for offroad incliment weather riding, this jacket is both warm and breathes. It has pit zips, the collar is fleece lined, it has reflective piping and the material will take a crash without ripping. It also comes with reinforced elbow pads. Race Face has a new lineup of jackets. I'm thinking of getting the Shuttle jacket next.



Quote:
· 140 gram 2 Layer Polyester Fabric.
· 20,000mm waterproof/ 12,000mm breathability rating.
· DWR coating on the face, laminated to a water-proof breathable membrane and fully seam sealed to keep the water out.
· Generous cut designed specifically to fit over full body armor.
· Low profile cross over chest pockets to secure wallet and cell phone.
· New MP3 inside chest pocket with internal headphone routing.
· Canadian micro-fleece with DWR treatment for Next 2 Skin comfort.
· Shaped cuff with laminated tabs for better wrist coverage and durability.
· Single hand draw cord for customized fit.
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Old 10-12-06, 05:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
You don't need anything too heavy here. However, the jacket should block winds and be at least water resistant. Marmot makes some nice soft shells that you can layer underneath if necessary. I have the Marmot ATV jacket.

Even if you keep your head warm, your feet will still need that same wind protection.
+1
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Old 10-13-06, 12:57 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the info guys! I was originally looking for something along the lines of a softshell jacket so I think I'll start down that path and start shopping. I'd like something specific to cycling though, and so far I haven't been able to come up with too many options.
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Old 10-13-06, 05:28 AM   #15
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Most softshell jackets are too warm for anything above freezing if you are cycling hard. From my understanding you will see alot of rain. My suggestion would be a good rain jacket and layer underneath. It will only take a layer or two of a silkweight base layer to keep you warm under a windoproof jacket.
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Old 10-13-06, 07:50 AM   #16
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There's lots of great bicycling softshells down at Gregg's Greenlake Cycle for you to check out, Bryce. (shameless plug for local bike shop) Just buy local; you get in in hand that day, as well as support your local and regional economy with every dollar you spend closer to home.

Gore bikewear, Adidas, Giordano, Castelli, and about a half dozen others; pertex windbreaker softshells by Pearl Izumi and about a half dozen other makers. Most have rear pockets, venting options and some reflectivity.

come on down and check them out if you are looking for bike specific softshells.
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Old 10-13-06, 01:10 PM   #17
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Thanks Bekologist... I was planning on making my way back over there. I'm familiar with that shop, in fact we just bought my wife's Bianchi there about 2 months ago!
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Old 10-13-06, 06:31 PM   #18
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I would get something like this:
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...3A%20Outerwear
and layer underneath it with maybe a long-sleeve wool bicycle jersey. You heat up VERY quickly using a softshell. I really think it will be too much. If you start out warm you will be hot at the end of your ride. If you start somehwat cool you will be warm at the end of the ride.
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Old 10-14-06, 10:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icedmocha
You heat up VERY quickly using a softshell. I really think it will be too much. .
The problem with the term softshell is it never was well defined before companies started marketing with it. We now a range of jackets that go from thin and highly beathable, to multilayer with waterproof membranes (non taped so not 100% waterproof). The difference from one end of the spectrum to the other is HUGE.

An ibex climawool lite jacket usually wont be too hot as it breathes great, something made with gore windblocker and you will overheat in all but the coldest temps. Schoeller material from the 'dryskin' range of products is generally regarded as the most breathable of any material made today. Schoeller dynamic is the next level down in breathability.

If you go the softshell route, look for something made with dryskin or dryskin extreme. It breathes as best as you can get. They also make it with a treatment called 3xdry which claims it dries a lot faster, great for commuting and leaving work with dry clothes.
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Old 10-14-06, 04:06 PM   #20
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I use a number of long-sleeve jerseys and windshell jackets successfully. My biggest problem is my face and ears getting too cold from the windchill at high speed.
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Old 10-14-06, 04:14 PM   #21
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I use a number of long-sleeve jerseys and windshell jackets successfully. My biggest problem is my face and ears getting too cold from the windchill at high speed.
One word: headsock. I use the kind made for racecar drivers.



Carry one of these across your back for added effect.





For more cycling-specific balaclavas, Performance has one that seems nice.



If you just need head and ear coverage but not full-face, then you might consider a skull-cap.

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Old 10-14-06, 07:56 PM   #22
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khoun, don't you have problems fogging your glasses on climbs with that headsock? I've found that I always need to pull my balaclava down to at least uncover my nose and usually my mouth too to avoid serious fogging issues while riding slow and hard. I use a Helly Hansen polypropylene balaclava that I bought at a ski shop for all my 25F and below riding. It's thin enough to comfortably go under my helmet and has kept my head warm down into single digit temps (I'm also a very warm person in general though).
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Old 10-14-06, 08:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejack951
khoun, don't you have problems fogging your glasses on climbs with that headsock? I've found that I always need to pull my balaclava down to at least uncover my nose and usually my mouth too to avoid serious fogging issues while riding slow and hard.
Yes. I've had that problem. My sunglasses do have an anti-fog vent and that helps dramatically but I can still fog it up pretty good in certain conditions. I suspect that the Performance balaclava is designed with that in mind. I see some sort of windflap for the nose and mouth area. I may pick one of those up. It's pretty cheap... $15 or so.
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Old 10-14-06, 08:45 PM   #24
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Ok, I was just curious. I thought maybe you knew a trick that I don't know
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Old 10-15-06, 01:37 AM   #25
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I agree with a lot of whats been said here. Stay away from anything with insulation, its just too much. You are much better off with a good cycling specific rain shell (pit zips or and area that breathes is good) and then you can layer. When I raced I would do a couple of 4 hour rides a week all winter and two jerseys, arm warmers, and a rain shell was all I ever needed.
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