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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 11-05-06, 08:21 PM   #1
rousseau
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Cold glutes at 10 degrees (50 F)

Finally got a more normative double-digit November day today, it was 10 C, so I went out for a ride. I think I've got my top half covered the way it needs to be for this weather, but for the bottom half I wore my lycra shorts with leggings, and, well...

My glutes froze. Seriously, they didn't thaw out until about 15 minutes into my post-ride shower. They were freakin' cold.

Above 10 degrees I'm alright, but between 5 and 10 I get cold glutes. Could anyone suggest what I might wear to keep things a bit warmer on the big muscles? (I won't be riding below 5 degrees, so it's really just between 5 and 10 or so where I seem to have the problem).

Thanks!
R
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Old 11-05-06, 08:32 PM   #2
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What do you mean by leggings. Leg warmers or full coverage tights. I think you just need a thicker and warmer winter weight tight over your shorts. 50 F should not be too hard to stay warm in and not require too much in the way of leg layers.
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Old 11-05-06, 08:38 PM   #3
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The coldest I've biked in so far is about 38F (occasionally wind chills of lower), but all I've used on my lower half is regular leggings. I must not tend towards being cold in that area, or maybe your wind chills are much worse. When it gets down further to 20-30F, I'm sure I'll use two layers.

I've seen a lot of people mention wearing various systems with boths shorts and leggings/tights...what's the purpose/benefit of this? Is it for warmth, or padding, or...?
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Old 11-05-06, 08:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rousseau
My glutes froze. Seriously, they didn't thaw out until about 15 minutes into my post-ride shower. They were freakin' cold.

Above 10 degrees I'm alright, but between 5 and 10 I get cold glutes. Could anyone suggest what I might wear to keep things a bit warmer on the big muscles? (I won't be riding below 5 degrees, so it's really just between 5 and 10 or so where I seem to have the problem).

Thanks!
R
Fortunately you won't actually freeze until temps drop below 0C .... you may get quite cold, but you'll be fine.

However, to make yourself a bit more comfortable, buy an inexpensive pair of surfer shorts or fleece shorts ... just regular shorts that you'd wear around the backyard or beach in July ... and wear them over your cycling shorts.

Or, you could go the full tights method if you think you'll be doing a lot of riding in those conditions.
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Old 11-05-06, 08:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mscommuter
The coldest I've biked in so far is about 38F (occasionally wind chills of lower), but all I've used on my lower half is regular leggings. I must not tend towards being cold in that area, or maybe your wind chills are much worse. When it gets down further to 20-30F, I'm sure I'll use two layers.

I've seen a lot of people mention wearing various systems with boths shorts and leggings/tights...what's the purpose/benefit of this? Is it for warmth, or padding, or...?

Leggings are also known as leg warmers. You'd want to wear a pair of shorts with them for decency's sake because they go from about mid-thigh down to the ankles.

Tights are full bottoms, like a pair of women's tights which she would wear under a dress, which go from the waist down to the ankles.

I wear shorts and leg warmers when the temperatures are warmer, or have the potential of becoming warmer (so I can roll them down if I get too hot).

I wear shorts with tights over them when the temperatures are cooler, the double layer provides extra warmth, and the shorts provide the padding.

And then I pile on the layers over that when the temps get really cold. I've even worn shorts, with tights over them, with leg warmers over them!!
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Old 11-05-06, 08:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscommuter
The coldest I've biked in so far is about 38F (occasionally wind chills of lower), but all I've used on my lower half is regular leggings. I must not tend towards being cold in that area, or maybe your wind chills are much worse. When it gets down further to 20-30F, I'm sure I'll use two layers.

I've seen a lot of people mention wearing various systems with boths shorts and leggings/tights...what's the purpose/benefit of this? Is it for warmth, or padding, or...?
It's probably the combination of layers, or just having what is handy for temperature adjustments.

I know when it's about 0C or slightly above, I like Leggings and Shorts for if I get too hot I can take my leggings off and pack them in my jersey pocket.

For colder temps I generally like to have 2 layers, the first one to wick away perspiration, the 2nd one as a barrier to the outside elements.
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Old 11-05-06, 09:12 PM   #7
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I go with my regular baggie shorts down to 50F. From 50F to 20-25F I wear wind pant (lined nylon). Below 20-25F I add polypro longjohns. The only part of my lower extremities that get cold are my toes somewhere at 10F or below.
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Old 11-05-06, 10:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Machka
I wear shorts with tights over them when the temperatures are cooler, the double layer provides extra warmth, and the shorts provide the padding.
So perhaps a pair of tights to go over the cycling shorts, then? Does your average sports store (SportChek, etc.) have this type of thing?
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Old 11-06-06, 12:06 AM   #9
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So perhaps a pair of tights to go over the cycling shorts, then? Does your average sports store (SportChek, etc.) have this type of thing?
I'm not sure if the average sports stores carry them, I've never looked. I get mine on sale at Nashbar or MEC. However, running tights are basically the same thing, so if a store caters to runners or triathletes, it would likely have what you are looking for.

You could even use the tights found in the women's sporting good section of your local department store. I haven't found them to be as warm as I would like on their own, but I have used them as an additional layer over my tights which are over my shorts.
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Old 11-06-06, 05:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
Leggings are also known as leg warmers. You'd want to wear a pair of shorts with them for decency's sake because they go from about mid-thigh down to the ankles.

Tights are full bottoms, like a pair of women's tights which she would wear under a dress, which go from the waist down to the ankles.
Ah! So that's the source of my confusion, here in the U.S. we call what you're describing as tights: leggings, and tights are those slightly-thicker-than-pantyhose-but-thinner-than-leggings things for regular dress (although, of course, what you call tights and I call leggings are also in style under tunics and dresses at the moment). Clear as mud? :-) At least, that's the lingo in the non-biking world here and I'm relatively new to that, so thanks for explaining - I just haven't learned all of the terms! I haven't even seen what you're describing as leg warmers/leggings, but again, definitely not educated on all the gear yet!

Once it gets seriously cold, I'm sure I'll wear whatever keeps me warm, but my silly vanity will probably keep me with the smooth line of tights/leggings for awhile. :-)
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Old 11-06-06, 10:51 AM   #11
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Performance triflex tights. So far this winter it has only gotten to 34F, but my legs were very comfortable. At no point were they cold. The fabric breathes as well, so they aren't hot either. I have worn them at 50F as well, and they feel very good during the ride. But if I stop for an extended period, I start to get hot.
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Old 11-06-06, 06:13 PM   #12
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rousseau,

Bike tights over your cycling shorts will work the best but any polyester sport tight can be made to work. The thing about the bike tights is that they are made of more abrasion resistant materials than ones made for running and regular exercise and will last longer and are more wind resistant.

Also, I'm thinking that the leggings you wore must have been for something other than cycling. THe cycling specific ones are designed to block more wind and be warmer since there is greater need when moving faster through the air. Some exercise leggings won't be warm enough for cycling because they let too much air pass. Which may be what you were wearing.

Also, with the addition of a little thicker tight you can easily ride in temperatures down to 40 F. If you are going to ride on a regular basis it pays to have two or three pair in different thicknesses for differing temps.

The Performance Triflex tights which slowandsteady mentioned might be good for you and they are a reasonable price.

A regular mid weight tight over your shorts should keep you warm. If not you might need to pedal a little harder because you must be riding too causually to stay warm.

REI has a good selection of bike specific tights but most small sporting good stores won't have the bike type. You have to get them at a bike shop (a little more expensive) or the big internet bike sellers. However, it would be best to pay a little extra the first time so you can go somewhere where you can try them on to get the right size.

Last edited by Hezz; 11-06-06 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 11-06-06, 06:22 PM   #13
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mscommuter,

As far as I know cyclist's and dancers are the only sports in which leg warmers are used. But because they are different than tights we have to have a distinction so we know what we are talking about.

Here is a picture of some leg warmers. They are used for when it's both cool and hot on the same ride because they can be easily removed.

However, when it's quite cold, full tights over shorts work the best.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg windstopper_leg_warmers_150.jpg (7.7 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by Hezz; 11-06-06 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 11-06-06, 06:48 PM   #14
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Ya, when the temps get really cold, my thighs get cold too - top and bottom.

Do you wear long underwear? Try that with wind-resistant pants. That will help.
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Old 11-07-06, 09:08 PM   #15
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Try some DeFeet Kneekers. Around $20 to $25. I wore these at 35 to 40 degree temperatures and they kept me plenty warm by themselves. Get high ratings for staying in place also.
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Old 11-21-06, 03:51 PM   #16
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Louis Garneau OSLO tights, warm warm warm.
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Old 11-21-06, 04:20 PM   #17
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I'm good with knee warmers down to about 48F/9C. For some reason, my shins don't seem to get too cold. Colder than that and I'll wear tights over my shorts. I get the unpadded ones because I use them for running and skiing too.
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