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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 11-28-07, 07:00 PM   #1
LCiolfi
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Jacket Question

Is the Columbia Whirlibird Parka a good choice?
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Old 11-28-07, 07:35 PM   #2
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It's probably a great coat, but as a rule, I eschew lofting insulation (Thinsulate, Primaloft, down, etc.) while cycling. It simply traps too much heat and moisture. The exception would be if I was moving very slowly and it was well below 0*f. Instead, layer up like an onion.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:20 PM   #3
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^^^ Agreed.

The biggest challenge I have with winter cycling is staying cool enough. Unlike other forms of transportation, it's not like you're sitting there doing nothing. The heat comes naturally from pedaling.

Last season was my first, and it took me nearly until the end of February to get the hang of dressing light enough that I wasn't drenched in sweat at the end of my ride. I found that even in the teens (F) a light fleece and a windbreaker could be too much depending on shirts and how hard I was riding.

This year, my coldest commute to date has been 12.5 miles at 21F. On top I wore a baselayer (fancy talk for long underwear) a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a windbreaker. On bottom bike shorts, kneewarmers and tights. I still was wet from sweat when I got to work. I'm thinking the windbreaker was too much.

I can't imagine wearing a parka.
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Old 11-29-07, 01:40 PM   #4
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Layers with ventilation are what you need. My Louis Garneau Spotlite jacket has pit vents, back vents and adjustable cuffs. With the right stuff underneath (not necessarily a lot of stuff, either) I'm warm to -15C, where I stop riding because my hands and feet get too cold.
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Old 11-29-07, 02:07 PM   #5
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nashbar has a jacket with removable sleeves for it's daily deal today
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Old 11-29-07, 02:22 PM   #6
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^^^ Agreed.

The biggest challenge I have with winter cycling is staying cool enough. Unlike other forms of transportation, it's not like you're sitting there doing nothing. The heat comes naturally from pedaling.

Last season was my first, and it took me nearly until the end of February to get the hang of dressing light enough that I wasn't drenched in sweat at the end of my ride. I found that even in the teens (F) a light fleece and a windbreaker could be too much depending on shirts and how hard I was riding.

This year, my coldest commute to date has been 12.5 miles at 21F. On top I wore a baselayer (fancy talk for long underwear) a long-sleeved t-shirt, and a windbreaker. On bottom bike shorts, kneewarmers and tights. I still was wet from sweat when I got to work. I'm thinking the windbreaker was too much.

I can't imagine wearing a parka.
Amen, brother. All except that I don't commute. I have purchased some technical Pearl Izumi ls jeyseys and Duofold and PowerDry base layers. So I am now able to stay more comfortable across a much broader range of temps without having to take too many clothes off. I was penny pinching too much last year and my cycling comrades have gently nudged me in the right direction.
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