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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 10-11-07, 05:36 PM   #1
aquateen
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Looking for cost-effective winter clothing options...

Every article of cycling clothing is so expensive...how can i be cost-effective and comfortable this winter?
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Old 10-11-07, 05:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by aquateen View Post
Every article of cycling clothing is so expensive...how can i be cost-effective and comfortable this winter?
Some things that will work well for winter cycling can be gotten for very inexpensive at department stores or better yet thrift stores.

The only thing that is really cycling specific that is really nice to have is a helmet cover (10-15 bucks) and some warm winter weight riding tights. However other things can work.

Please look down the page for a thread called Women's winter gear as it has some good suggestions in it.

For top this works well and is inexpensive since you may have some of these things already.

Long sleeve polyester shirt, running shirt or similar snug fitting polyester knit.
Microfiber long sleeve shirt or lightweight snug fitting polar fleece jacket.
Windbreaker worn over the top. This combo works nearly as well as the technical clothing for cold temperatures. For cool temperatures omit the fleece layer.

Synthetic track pants or jogging suit pants altered at bottom so they are not baggy. Wear these over cycling shorts. Or use 100 percent polyester fleece sweat bottoms over cycling shorts or kickers.

Thin balaclava worn under helmet. Any kind will do even a home made one.

Cheap nylon and fleece ski gloves from Wal-mart with the inner membrane removed. The membrane makes them waterproof but non breathable. They work great without the membrane.

Feet are the hardest thing for most to keep warm. Buy cheap over size cycling shoes 2 sizes over and wear thick wool socks and shoe cover over top. Or if not using cycling shoes lightweight insulated snow hikers work very well. Check for deals on Nashbar or other big discounters. Or if you don't want to use shoe covers get some mountain bike hybrid type shoes as they are warmer than regular cycling shoes. Oversize with wool socks they should be pretty warm.

Last edited by Hezz; 10-11-07 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 10-11-07, 05:59 PM   #3
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Try http://bikewinter.org, especially http://bikewinter.org/tipsAndResourc...keclothing.php

I like to make use of clothing I already own. Other than that, check hunter's clothing in sporting goods stores for wicking undergarments, etc.
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Old 10-12-07, 09:45 AM   #4
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foxwear.net has affordable winter clothing. I used my Power Dry long sleeve mock turteleneck shirt for the first time last night with a DeFeet Tank Top Un-D-Shirt base layer. I stayed warm and dry for the first time in conditions that I would have previously been either cold and dry or hot and sweaty with my old clothing.
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Old 10-12-07, 12:12 PM   #5
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Make sure your base layer isnt a cotton Tshirt or else you'll end up freezing once your sweat cools.

3 layers...
Base
Insulating
Shell

For the Base, go with some sort of polyester performance shirt. It wicks moisture away from your body. Im one to believe that all this crap you see being sold for more than $60 is the same thing you can get at say.. Target.

For the insulating...a snug fitting fleece.. hell you can get one from Land's End or LLBean for cheap. Again.. IMO..don't be fooled by Polartec vs. Anti static vs..etc.. Only thing that is really important is the weight that will suit your ride.
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Old 10-12-07, 12:14 PM   #6
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pajama pants are a cheap pants solution. As long as you have a water proof outer layer
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Old 10-12-07, 02:02 PM   #7
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My winter gear is actually less expensive than my summer cycling gear. Why? Because I can wear whatever I want to wear under my jacket and sweatpants or splash pants.

A few tips:

#1 - Check the sales at places like Nashbar and Sierra Trading Post. Any cycling specific winter gear I've purchased has been purchased at those two places ... on sale. I've got my cycling tights, long-sleeved jerseys, and cycling jackets there. Oh, I did get one cycling jacket (a rain jacket) at MEC ... and my helmet cover and my current booties. I think that's pretty much all the cycling-specific stuff I have for winter. I get all my polypro from Sierra Trading Post ... two of the tops were $5 each, and one really big thick one was about $12. When I wear that, I can ride on freezing cold days and feel like I'm in the comfort of my own living room. I simply do not feel the cold in it.

#2 - Browse your local thrift shops. I have a whole collection of merino wool tops acquired at Value Village for about $5 each.

#3 - Go to your local department stores. Department stores often carry a wide range of great winter cycling products ... if you know where to look. First, go to the hunting department. Hunters are outside for hours and hours in cool - cold conditions of the fall and early winter. They've got some good gear! You can get great wool socks, wool flip-top glove, neoprene gloves, those little chemical warmer things ... all sorts of stuf. Second, go to the underwear department (both men's and women's). I took a cruise through the men's underwear section of a department store today, and noticed that they had base layer tops (antibacterial, wicking, etc. etc. polyester/spandex) for $10. I have one already, and love it, but I might pick up another one later. The men's departments also have the Kodiak socks ... the really heavy wool ones that come to your knee. Those are THE BEST socks!! I wear them while cycling, and in general all winter long. They run about $4 - 5 a pair, but they are worth it!! The women's section has the light wool socks which I wear at this time of year. They are a little less expensive (maybe $2-3 a pair) but are quite warm too. I'm wearing a $2 pair of cashmere socks today, which I got from Walmart ... very nice! Then head over to the sportswear department. You don't want 100% cotton stuff, but sportswear departments in department stores are often stocking stuff with wicking properties etc. now. I have a collection of "sweats" or "exercise pants" and that sort of thing which I wear over my cycling tights for a bit of added protection. That's also where I find my sports bras.

#4 - Visit your local Dollar stores. That's where I get all my winter accessories like my headbands, toques, mitts, gloves, neck gaiters, etc. They are each $1 so I stock up. You can get mitts and gloves from your local department store too, and those are generally a little better quality (and might run you $5 each). I use the Dollar store mitts and gloves as liners usually. The Dollar stores also have wool socks, so I've stocked up on a few of those as well. The quality isn't as good as what you'll find in a Department store, but they can be decent extra layers.

You can put together a good winter cycling wardrobe without breaking the bank ... you've just got to think outside the LBS. Be creative!
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Old 10-12-07, 11:24 PM   #8
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For hiking in Colorado, I found a couple of genuine wool sweaters at Goodwill for about $7 each. And I have had an old hoodie forever now that is 100% acrylic, ie, not cotton. But I haven't seen any others in a long time like that- most of them are 50% cotton.
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