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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 09-14-07, 11:32 AM   #1
Maro
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Winter pants for 0 to 10F?

Hello,
For temperatures at about 15- to 0F (say from -10 to -20C), I tried 2 or 3 pairs of tights, the "triflex" tights (wind stopper in front, and lycra on the back), with underwear (1 or 2 pairs). Still cold.
I think this is because all of them are tight fitting, and they do not trap air, and as I pedal, the layers press to my skin, creating "cold spots". I am not able to find any "loose" pats to be used at these temperaures.
I only have an old and torn huge track pant that does a very good job. I was looking at the rain pants, but I did not tried them (they are designed for rain, that happens at above zero temps!). Ski pants seems too heavy and bulky. Large track pants are VERY large at the bottom.
What pants you use at these temps? They are large or tight fitting? What about breathability?
Any advice will be appreciated.

Thank You.
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Old 09-14-07, 12:33 PM   #2
vtjim
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Long underwear and heavy weight fleece works for me but I'm a bit of a hot-blooded person. I've only tried ski pants in subzero (0 to -10F) temperatures and I got overheated.

For insulation, you need air. Tights probably won't help much. Maybe light windbreaking leg coverings of some sort would help too. It depends on what you can tolerate.

Oh and I tuck my right leg cuff into my sock. Not pretty, but keeps it out of the chain.
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Old 09-14-07, 01:12 PM   #3
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I use LL Bean Gortex rain pants. They are very thin, but do a great job of keeping the heat in. It takes about 15 seconds to put them on or take them off.

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Old 09-14-07, 03:05 PM   #4
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I wear softshell pants (new this year: REI ACME pants) from +60 to -20f with various layers underneath. They look pretty normal, take the slop pretty good, and breathe well enough to keep dry during all but the most strenuous efforts.
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Old 09-14-07, 03:18 PM   #5
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Pair of polypro long-johns under J&G patrol pants works for me.
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Old 09-14-07, 03:24 PM   #6
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long tights with rain pants over them work for me at about 15 degrees (we don't get much colder than that). i also use a reflective ankle strap to secure the body of the leg.

i always thought keeping the torso and legs warm was pretty easy. the hardest thing for me is always feet and toes.
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Old 09-14-07, 06:18 PM   #7
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I use Sugoi Firewalls on the outer layer in a size that is slightly loose instead of tight. When really cold I wear an old pair of cycling shorts then a good stretchy thick insulating cycling tight then the Firewalls. This combo is good for down to 0 degrees for me and still has good leg movement. For 20-30 F I just use long cycling tights under the firewalls.

The big problem is that the colder it gets the more wind resistance you need and this makes the whole system less breathable. Basically the better the outer layer breaths the more cold air it lets in as well as letting the warm air around your legs escape. This is a very touchy balance to get right when it gets quite cold. You actually want the warm moist air around your legs to stay in to some extend to help keep you warm. This is why the following solution works really well to keep you warm but has limited breathing abilities.

One thing that works really well for shorter rides for keeping warm is a cheap pair of thinly insulated snowboarding pants altered at the bottom so they are not baggy. These are the cheap kind with an outer breathable shell and and inner liner with a sandwich of .25 inch thick polyester insulation. These over cycling shorts are really warm but don't breath the best. They are very good for about 90 minute rides. But the shell does not breath well enough so they get soaked unless you are riding really slow for rides much longer than 90 minutes. The upper leg should be a little baggy to allow for easy motion. They are the most comfortable with only shorts underneath since they are really hot with long tights underneath when exercising.

Last edited by Hezz; 09-15-07 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 09-14-07, 07:02 PM   #8
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long tights with rain pants over them work for me at about 15 degrees (we don't get much colder than that). i also use a reflective ankle strap to secure the body of the leg.

i always thought keeping the torso and legs warm was pretty easy. the hardest thing for me is always feet and toes.
Your body is essentially a giant radiator. You need to slightly overheat the core to get it to send the heat out to the far extremities.
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Old 09-15-07, 05:19 PM   #9
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Call Lou at www.Foxwear.net and have him custom make you a pair. I just got a new pair of tights made and it cost me $42 shipped. (Plus he custom made them out of the fabric of my choice and to my exact size.)
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Old 09-15-07, 05:59 PM   #10
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Call Lou at www.Foxwear.net and have him custom make you a pair. I just got a new pair of tights made and it cost me $42 shipped. (Plus he custom made them out of the fabric of my choice and to my exact size.)
Yes, while I haven't tried them I've heard that Lou's Powershield tights work very good as an outer layer. He can also make them a little loose to your exact size which is perfect for cold weather.
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Old 09-16-07, 10:03 AM   #11
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i picked up these PI tights last fall for use in the winter. dont know if they are the best since it was my first winter riding and only pair i used but i felt good down to 8F and who knows what the windchill was. they work pretty well to keep water out too.

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Old 09-16-07, 05:03 PM   #12
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Poltartec fleece pants have worked great for me for many years. When it's above 20 f. you can pull them up to make shorts. If you want them tighter, just buy a size down.
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Old 09-16-07, 05:48 PM   #13
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one word- or is it two? SOFTSHELL.

Marmot, REI, Arcteryx, Cloudveil, North Face, etc. etc. Not tights, wind and weather resistant, allow layering underneath, stretchy.
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