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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 04-25-07, 10:03 AM   #1
jonnysays420
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Why pay the big bucks for winter wear, it's just really a waste!

To all of the people who can afford to spend $50-100 on 1 pair of socks or several hundred on any type of biking get-up at any time of year, I think it is great that you people have the resources to throw money around and buy anything because a sales rep claimed this or that. I just wanted to post a thread for the rest of us who have to really put some effort into just getting dressed up with the tension of a tight budget.
1. Go to your local second hand clothing store, buy 5 pairs of sweats and 5 pairs of jeans to go over them.
2. Buy 3-5 light to heavy layers for your torso (I find hoodies to be the best, but to each their own)
3. Get a toque that is 4 layers thick (wool is best), cut out the inside 3 layers out like a balaclava, flip it right side in and voila! you will have the best windproof, eyeball saving, head turning facemask this side of the rockies! (see other post)
4. Baffin boots, hey you may look a little dorky riding with these clunkers, but they are good down to -100c, the extra weight of the boots and clothes will only make you that much stronger for the next year, as well as give a more complete cardio workout, as well you dont have to worry about your pantlegs because the boots dont catch your gears.
5. Go to Zellers or Walmart and get any 20.00-30.00 generic ski-dooing glove.
This setup can be used in the MOST EXTREME conditions successfully right down to -132F\-92C windchills, I quote that number as it was the coldest ride I have ever been on, yet still comfortable in this getup.

I hope that some of you can use this if you ever planned to winter ride and were wondering about what to wear and how much it costs. (For everything I have mentioned above, it shouldn't be any more than $80 Cdn) If u spend any more than that, it is just paying for glamour.
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Old 04-25-07, 10:28 AM   #2
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Thanks, jonny. Although I have sometimes tried more expensive stuff, I frankly don't notice much difference between it and the type of gear you mention. I have poor circulation, so after several pairs of more expensive gloves, I have finally concluded that nothing but mittens with liners seems to keep my hands warm enough below freezing, but then almost any mittens will do.

On a hardware note, I used a Huffy 3-speed internal hub for the bad weather days this winter, which I bought at a yard sale for $3 (and paid my bike shop $30 to tune up). Not geared as low for the hills as I'm used to, but as you say, extra workout and strength-building! Also has a good chainguard, although I always wear reflective legbands in the winter anyway, for after dark. I use it primarily to not have to worry about maintenance riding through slush and wet.
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Old 04-25-07, 06:17 PM   #3
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I'm a fairly froogle person myself. But I will spend the money on high dollar items if I deem it necessary.
For instance. I had a jacket made for my by Foxwear. Ran almost $100.00 but was well worth it. Under the jacket all I wore was a $10 moisture wicking shirt and a microfleece pajama shirt.
I also had Foxwear make me a pair of 250wt polartech tights for $40.00 or so.
Wearing this and some cheap wool socks from Sams Club I was able to ride in temps as low as... I believe the coldest it got here was -15*F and was rather comfortable.
My gloves are Kombi, which can be high dollar but I picked them up at TJ-Maxx for $7.
All of this, at less than $200.00 should last me years. And no need for the "bundled up" feeling.

But OP, I agree with you. A person does not have to spend alot of money to ride in the winter. My first winter of commuting was layers of sweat pants and an army jacket. Though uncomfortable, it did the trick. But since I don't drive a car to and from work I can afford the luxuries from time to time.
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Old 04-25-07, 10:38 PM   #4
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We've discussed this before:

Thinking outside the LBS
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Old 04-27-07, 04:11 PM   #5
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Ride 40km in those boots? No thanks.
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Old 04-27-07, 04:14 PM   #6
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Besides, I but all my stuff from locally owned stores. Even at -30c, all you need to do is keep the fingers/toes and face warm. The rest is easy.
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Old 04-28-07, 07:39 AM   #7
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-30 C is no problem, as well as 50k in those boots... I am not saying it is easy, but I smoke cigarettes and I can do that fairly easily. I think that is awesome that you support LOBS tho.
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Old 05-01-07, 10:55 AM   #8
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I wear jeans, long johns, wool socks, mitts, a polartec fleece, one of those wind-proof hats, a bandana, and a windbreaker. It all worked just fine (I think my lowest temp this winter was -28 C or something like that). My ride is pretty short though...

With the exeption of the hat, none of my stuff is special or particularly expensive.
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Old 05-01-07, 11:01 AM   #9
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Wearing denim jeans to ride? No thanks, I won't do that in any weather.
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Old 05-01-07, 03:29 PM   #10
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People spend even more on regular clothes... I don't really see your point, and I doubt most of us wear winter cycling specific clothing because of a sales rep spiel. Good luck if your jeans or joggers get wet.
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Old 05-01-07, 06:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnysays420
-30 C is no problem, as well as 50k in those boots... I am not saying it is easy, but I smoke cigarettes and I can do that fairly easily. I think that is awesome that you support LOBS tho.
IMHO, Smoking is a bigger waste....


I guess we all have our Libations
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Old 05-01-07, 08:34 PM   #12
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I buy lots of winter gear because I can
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Old 05-02-07, 12:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarery
I buy lots of winter gear because I can

True dat

Plus it's kinda fun to collect
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Old 05-03-07, 01:00 PM   #14
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Jeans in winter... ack. If there's the LEAST bit of moisture they suck it up and make you that much colder! Same with cotton sweatpants and hoodies... I'll stick with layered polarfleece (wind resistant kind) and wool, thanks.

Of course, I just realized in Grand Prairie you pretty well don't HAVE any moisture in the air in winter, but I grew up in BC and cotton's a huge no-no.

I like your balaclava idea though.
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Old 05-09-07, 07:51 AM   #15
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lol, usually our winters are pretty dry here, but this last one has just been insane. We had snow on the ground from october 23 last year, right thru to the end of april this year, and many -40 days this winter with high humidity during
quite a bit of it. Ne way tho, I don't see how wearing jeans really affects you guys. I could see it if they were tight like spandex but I meant to say that I usually wear really loose cuts so I can fit sweats underneath, and have never really had a problem with moisture I couldn't remedy by peeling or adding a layer.
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Old 05-09-07, 08:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiznaz
People spend even more on regular clothes... I don't really see your point, and I doubt most of us wear winter cycling specific clothing because of a sales rep spiel. Good luck if your jeans or joggers get wet.
You would be surprised how many people buy something just because someone tells them it will really make them a better cyclist because of such said schlock that they are selling. Lets take clipless pedals and shoes for example. My good friend was buying a new bike, and you should have seen how much crap this store was trying to sell to him, the scary part is that these people are so persistent that he ended up wasting his money on clipless pedals and shoes, and all the other crap to go with it, (I think he ended up spending like $500 just on the accessories he broke down and bought, though if he would have bought everything they told him he "needed" it probably would have been in the same neighborhood as what he spent on the bike itself! So many people want to call themselves experts yet really don't know jack, and there is always someone with the money to buy this crap.
Don't get me wrong though. I believe a guy should have his pump, repair kit and the necessities but I have always been kind of "anti-gimmick" and buy even my regular clothes second hand, but nicer ones than I could afford if I bought new. On $20 I can get like 2 italian dress shirts two pairs of brand name dress pants or jeans and they are like new, so I guess it all boils down to perception.
Some people buy things just because they can, or they think they are getting a deal, whilst people like myself even when Buying something cheap, still feel they could've got it cheaper or have a hard time deciding whether to buy it or not. Either way to each his own, I will just keep using the same getup that has worked for me for the last 10-15 years and I will get that good feeling inside as I ride by someone who has just spent like 200-300 dollars on their winter wear and I can see that they are not nearly as comfortable as I am in my LowBudgetOutfit. That is what makes it all worthwhile.
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Old 05-09-07, 08:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnysays420
I will just keep using the same getup that has worked for me for the last 10-15 years and I will get that good feeling inside as I ride by someone who has just spent like 200-300 dollars on their winter wear and I can see that they are not nearly as comfortable as I am in my LowBudgetOutfit. That is what makes it all worthwhile.
Congratulations. But if that is really what makes it all worthwhile for you, I have to say I feel sorry for you.
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Old 05-09-07, 09:05 AM   #18
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Hi JonnySays420-

I think you think you're more comfortable in your LowBudgetOutfit for riding without having tried the alternative. Obtain a UnderArmour winter compression shirt, full-length BlackBottoms bib tights, an Assos jacket, Salsa lobsterclaw gloves, and neoprene stretch booties over clipless riding shoes and tell me who is more comfortable on a bicycle. The sole exception to the booties would be if one is riding with full-size boots appropriate for Alaska-type conditions coupled with platform pedals.

I can guarantee you it isn't the guy with "loose-fitting denim jeans with cotton sweatpants" underneath. A popular phrase among hardcore outdoor enthusiasts is "cotton kills" when it comes to garments for inclement weather.

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Old 05-09-07, 03:13 PM   #19
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I think a fair number of our pricey-clothing advocates have TRIED riding in cheap stuff. After all, who gets an Assos jacket to go with their first-ever bicycle? I started riding without much riding-specific clothes, and accumulated masses of it over the years. I think it's a marked improvement.

I have to wonder out loud if there is anyone on this board who has purchased and ridden in higher-end gear has GONE BACK to stuff like jeans because of comfort issues.
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Old 05-10-07, 07:27 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=Blue Jays]Hi JonnySays420-

I think you think you're more comfortable in your LowBudgetOutfit for riding without having tried the alternative. Obtain a UnderArmour winter compression shirt, full-length BlackBottoms bib tights, an Assos jacket, Salsa lobsterclaw gloves, and neoprene stretch booties over clipless riding shoes and tell me who is more comfortable on a bicycle. The sole exception to the booties would be if one is riding with full-size boots appropriate for Alaska-type conditions coupled with platform pedals.

I can guarantee you it isn't the guy with "loose-fitting denim jeans with cotton sweatpants" underneath. A popular phrase among hardcore outdoor enthusiasts is "cotton kills" when it comes to garments for inclement weather.

All I know is that I don't see anyone else out here in those conditions with any type of gear, I get by with my LBO and I still will go to my grave disagreeing with clipless pedals for any use. You can get almost the same amount of power on the upstroke if u have the skill, and they are not nearly as dangerous for getting your feet out, because I can think of about 4 times in the last year that I would have been killed if I was going clipless
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Old 05-10-07, 07:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by specq
Congratulations. But if that is really what makes it all worthwhile for you, I have to say I feel sorry for you.
lol I should say that while I do enjoy the fact that I paid 2-300 % less for my *comfortable (comfort is relative, like pain) suit, and that if I did actually go and spend big bucks on the gear, then I could be even faster... I still wont do it, kinda like not taking a pill when you are sick, the more your body can do on its own, the more resilient you will be afterwards. Harder work = more discipline = better results. You know, I ride in steel toed boots on purpose too because I know that when I kick my shoes back on I feel light footed and the next time I ride in shoes I will have that extra little bit. That and all the scenery, people, and challenge is why I like to ride. NOT just because someone paid more or less for an item.
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Old 05-10-07, 07:50 AM   #22
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"I have to wonder out loud if there is anyone on this board who has purchased and ridden in higher-end gear has GONE BACK to stuff like jeans because of comfort issues"

This is by farrrr not my first bike or winter of cold riding son, and I am just amazed by the deficit of people who are in riding just to ride. That wont look outside and say "Its minus 40 out there, I'm not riding if I don't have my *insert race specific gear here* even though there are all the things that they need to go for a winter ride sitting around the house. I should mention that I am really hard on clothing and I havent found any biking clothing that lasts more than a couple seasons anyway, so that is also why I choose to be frugal.
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Old 05-10-07, 08:20 AM   #23
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/\/\ It sounds like you would also enjoy slipping an extra 25-lbs into a backpack to increase the benefit you would receive from riding. It's almost bordering on Luddite-style behavior? Not a flame, it just seems that enhanced technology just ain't your thing...
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Old 05-11-07, 06:25 AM   #24
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I would just say that less is more sometimes... meh
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Old 05-11-07, 01:15 PM   #25
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All I know is that I don't see anyone else out here in those conditions with any type of gear, I get by with my LBO and I still will go to my grave disagreeing with clipless pedals for any use. You can get almost the same amount of power on the upstroke if u have the skill, and they are not nearly as dangerous for getting your feet out, because I can think of about 4 times in the last year that I would have been killed if I was going clipless
Go ahead and ride in your denim jeans with your platform pedals. I did that too when I didn't know better. Once you are used to riding clipless(it aint that hard) you won't feel like you will die. Riding with clipless is so far superior to platforms. It has the be the most important technology in cycling in the last 50 years.

Yes, I can ride in jeans and get bulked up with plenty of long johns and wool sweaters and regular gloves, but I have been to the dark side with cycling specific gear and it is better and it doesn't cost any more than regular clothes.

For example, I can ride with one pair of triflex tights when I would have needed three pairs of pants to get the same level of warmth. I bought a balaclava for no more than the cost of a ski mask and it is much more comfortable than my ski mask. My $50 winter jersey allows me to ride with just a cheap and thin $30 polar fleece jacket. While, I would need three layers of cotton clothes plus a winter jacket to be just as warm but not nearly as comfortable. And, once I get warmed up, I start getting wet with sweat. God forbid I stop....then the shivering starts.

And on top of all this, my cycling gear is of a superior quality. I wear the same triflex tights every day in the winter and they look brand new. The same is true of all of my other cycling gear. My jeans that I wear once a week for the past year, are worn to the point of being threadbare.

You see my friend, you are the one wasting money. Pinch a penny, piss a dollar.
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