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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 12-25-03, 05:18 PM   #26
Machka 
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If your "cold" temps are around 45°F, all you'd need are a pair of tights, a long sleeved jersey and a jacket. If your hands tend to get cold even in warmer temps, you might consider a pair of mini-gloves (those one you can buy for $1 at Walmart) under your regular cycling gloves.

If it gets a bit colder than that, you might consider a sweatshirt over your long sleeved jersey, and possibly light nylon toe covers or booties.

When it gets below freezing, that's when you have to start to get serious about what you wear out there.

Last February I rode a century. The ride started out at -32C/-25F and reached a high for the day of -25C/-12F. Here's what I wore:

Head:
- balaclava http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_...D=1065145178773
- headband
- scarf
- helmet (Bell)

Body:
- sports bra
- longsleeved Coolmax jersey (MEC)
- longsleeved fleece jersey (Nashbar)
- sweatshirt
- "fall/spring" vented jacket (a fabulous jacket I got from Nashbar - but I see they don't sell it anymore . . . pity!)

Hands:
- mini-gloves
- windproof mitts or ski gloves (I had to change these every so often to let one pair dry a bit) (Canadian Tire - Where else! )

Lowerbody:
- cycling shorts (Nashbar or MEC)
- tights - fleece lined (Nashbar - very comfortable in cool weather)
- non-cycling knee length shorts
- windpants

Feet:
- "metallic" socks
- wool socks
- Sorel boots

I also used little heat packs in my boots to help keep my feet warm.

On less cold days, I wear my regular cycling shoes with neoprene booties. I did a 200K brevet in November 2002 that started at -12C/10F and peaked at 0C/32F with wool socks, regular shoes, and neoprene booties. I used those heat packs for the first 50K on that ride too.

I don't like to wear anything over my face - even in the cold temps I've mentioned above (and I've commuted to work in temps down to -40 too) - because scarves, masks, etc. cause my glasses to fog up, and I don't think that covering my face is really all that necessary. The skin on your face is pretty tough because it is exposed to the weather all the time. In the really cold temps, if I'm going to be out there for a few hours or more, I will smear my face with Johnson's & Johnson's Daily Protection Cream to prevent frostbite.
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Old 12-25-03, 05:22 PM   #27
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And um . . . for all of you who are wearing baclavas on your head when you ride . . . doesn't that get rather sticky and uncomfortable? How do you manage to do your helmet up? You must mash it down into your hair! Do you use baclava rather than energy bars when you start to get hungry out there? If I were going to take baclava along with me, I'd rather carry it in a plastic baggie in my coat pocket rather than trying to stick it on my head!!
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Old 03-06-04, 12:11 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Machka
And um . . . for all of you who are wearing baclavas on your head when you ride . . . doesn't that get rather sticky and uncomfortable?
I didn't like mine either because I have long hair and it tangles up my hair. Mine had a seam in the back which I stiched on velcro. Now I can simply wrap it around my neck and velcro at the crown.

Later while riding if I want to take the balclava off, I can just slide it down without removing the helmet. Now this is the only head covering that I wear. I plan on doing the samething with an ear band.
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Old 07-31-04, 06:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Machka
And um . . . for all of you who are wearing baclavas on your head when you ride . . . doesn't that get rather sticky and uncomfortable? How do you manage to do your helmet up? You must mash it down into your hair! Do you use baclava rather than energy bars when you start to get hungry out there? If I were going to take baclava along with me, I'd rather carry it in a plastic baggie in my coat pocket rather than trying to stick it on my head!!
Sorry to revive an old thread, but this cracked me up! My boyfriend and I just call them 'pastries', cause we can never get the name right!
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Old 11-12-04, 10:01 PM   #30
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ALL the gear in the world won't keep you warm unless your motors hot.....ride faster.....faster!

You'll stay warm
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Old 11-13-04, 02:35 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Ranger
* I only plan to ride when it is 20 degrees F and above and won't ride in the rain/snow if I can help it.

* Plan to ride approx. 45 minutes per day at a very brisk pedalling pace. (Rarely stop rapid pedalling)

I also don't want to send the family to the poor house in the process. I have already bought a Gore Tex cycling jacket, arm warmers, leg warmers, tights and a wicking type LS jersey. (bought all on ebay so fairly cheap)

I haven't addressed my hands, feet or head yet. I saved these for last because I know they will likely be the most critical. Considering all of the above what would you recommend that I have on hand for the winter? What should I spend money on and what should I not? Thanks...

(moved this to Winter Cycling... prob fits better there.)
hmm. first what you don't have is, in my opinion, the most important. for your feet, neoprene booties are excellent. i use'm with normal cycling shoes and normal socks and the booties keep me warm. the head, you absolutely need a balaclava, thin or thick is up to you. there's too much bruhaha here about balaclavas. there are different thicknesses and chances are the ones people don't liek are the thick ones. the thin ones are great; for what it's worth i have a thin balaclava, and when it gets really cold i wear a toque (thicker winter hat)+thick mouth-nose-ear neoprene wrap. and for hands i use water & windproof skiing gloves (kombi). keeping your feet/head/hands warm really makes the ride nicer.

the tights will you do good until around freezing point, 0C/32F. below freezing, i'd recommend long johns (preferably wicking) and water & wind resistant/proof pants, like the skiing ones. for the upper body, 2 layers will you do good above 0C/32F: like your jacket (goretex rox, since it's the water & wind resistant/proof top) and the LS sleeve jersey. around 0C/32F and below, you definitely need 3 layers, i.e. LS sleeve jersey, fleece sweater/vest, and the jacket.

so only other thing i'd recommend is a long sleeved fleece sweater/jersey to use as a midlayer. the typical rule of thumb, by the way, is 3 layers: one that's close to the body and thin, like the LS jersey, one thicker and looser, like the fleecey thing, and one that stops the wind, the jacket. with these 3 you'll find what best works for you...

sd

edit: one last thing... all of these things have different weights/thicknesses. a medium weight base layer and a medium weight midlayer can be pretty sweaty.. light weight base layer and light weight midlayer too cold.. etc... you just have to get out there with the basics and adjust from there

Last edited by shaq-d; 11-13-04 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 11-13-04, 02:37 AM   #32
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Thanks for all of the input. I think I have developed a game plan sort of. From what I have seen so far, the wind chill will likely be my enemy.

I am most interested in knowing how Baclava wearers get along in the cold. I wear glasses and breath hard when riding. I can't imagine that I won't be blind in the first couple minutes. I was considering just getting a skull cap and/or an earband of some sort. Good idea?
spray rain-x anti-fog, which u get from your local auto/hardware store, on your glasses. it does the trick quite decently.

sd
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Old 11-15-04, 09:34 AM   #33
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sheldon brown uses tape to cover his helmet vent´s... its looks ugly but he says it works... and i really think so....

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/eagle.html
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Old 11-15-04, 10:04 PM   #34
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sheldon brown uses tape to cover his helmet vent´s... its looks ugly but he says it works... and i really think so....

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/eagle.html
Just cover the holes with a dang shower cap. They cost about $2 and if you get a heat wave, toss it in a jersey pocket.
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Old 11-23-04, 05:16 PM   #35
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Today was 45F. I wore less and had a fantastic ride But upon arrival, my mid section was red and cold to the touch (but not uncomfortable). Though my hands were hot, 'red with cold' seems like a danger sign?. What could I have added to protect my mid-section but not sweat it out?

I wore:

thin long sleeve duofold shirt
mid-weight ski glove (shed after 10 miles)
Col'Lizard Power Stretch 100 fleece leggings
helmet a cover and a polar tech liner
microfiber socks (thin)
Diadora Pablano H20 shoes/cleat

-Brought a rain jacket just in case...but didnt' wear it

Last edited by vrkelley; 11-23-04 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 11-23-04, 07:49 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
Today was 45F. I wore less and had a fantastic ride But upon arrival, my mid section was red and cold to the touch (but not uncomfortable). Though my hands were hot, 'red with cold' seems like a danger sign?. What could I have added to protect my mid-section but not sweat it out?

I wore:

thin long sleeve duofold shirt
mid-weight ski glove (shed after 10 miles)
Col'Lizard Power Stretch 100 fleece leggings
helmet a cover and a polar tech liner
microfiber shocks (thin)
Diadora Pablano H20 shoes/cleat

-Brought a rain jacket just in case...but didnt' wear it
wow, 45F and all you wore was a thin long sleeved jersey for a top? i'd wear a fleece sweater too. but if that's too much for you, a fleece vest will do the trick.

sd
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Old 11-23-04, 09:03 PM   #37
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wow, 45F and all you wore was a thin long sleeved jersey for a top? i'd wear a fleece sweater too. but if that's too much for you, a fleece vest will do the trick.

sd
Well I wore so little and arrived less worn out. Thought it might have been a quirk but then the ride home was about the same temp but raining. Same gear but adding a rain jacket. The 13mi ride was unbelieveably easy even in the rain (I think it's because for once I didn't get over heated).

The vest or or RainManP's fleece bib (a swatch of polar tech with a string to sling over the neck-worn under the shirt) would probably work OK!
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Old 11-23-04, 11:23 PM   #38
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I suggest a merino wool baselayer, wool skull cap and socks. Keep the windjacket. I bought all of that from Woolistic. Wool keeps you warm even when wet, synthetics dont. Another HUGE advantage is you are riding daily, so Wool will not hold odor so you can wear a undershirt or wool jersey for several days with no rancid smell. Means you dont waste time washing clothes everyday and putting your family thru that horrible smell when you come home! good luck!
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Old 11-26-04, 02:31 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
Today was 45F... But upon arrival, my mid section was red and cold to the touch (but not uncomfortable). Though my hands were hot, 'red with cold' seems like a danger sign?. What could I have added to protect my mid-section but not sweat it out?
I have experienced this occasionally, during a ride my belly gets cold to the touch. I don't know about the physiology behind this, but it seems to be harmless. It happens easier with wind chill. I've seen some "technical" underwear with supposedly windproof layer in the front, maybe that would help without causing too much sweating.

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Old 11-27-04, 03:10 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
Today was 45F. I wore less and had a fantastic ride But upon arrival, my mid section was red and cold to the touch (but not uncomfortable). Though my hands were hot, 'red with cold' seems like a danger sign?. What could I have added to protect my mid-section but not sweat it out?
I rode 21 miles today it was just over 40F, 15-23 mph winds. I saw your post and checked when I got home, I too had a cool/red mid section, everywhere else was warm or normal. I wore thin synthetic long underwear, top and bottom, SS jersey and lightweight wind gear (breathable/not waterproof) top and bottom. It worked well for me, but as you only one cool/cold spot. I did not notice it while I was riding, not sure why that happens?
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Old 11-28-04, 06:55 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
But upon arrival, my mid section was red and cold to the touch (but not uncomfortable). Though my hands were hot, 'red with cold' seems like a danger sign?. What could I have added to protect my mid-section but not sweat it out?
I used to get the cold stomach to. This year i finally found a solution. I called Lou at Foxwear. He makes custom winter cycling clothing. I found him on the icebike.com site. Lou got my measurements and asked if i wanted them taller around the waist to cover the stomach. Sounded like a good idea to me.

Man am i glad he suggested that. My stomach is now protected. It isnt often you can get taylor made clothing these days. I love my power shield tights.

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Old 11-28-04, 07:20 PM   #42
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This is my first winter commuting (11 mile 1-way). So far the coldest it's been when I've left is 19*F. I'm currently wearing long polypro bottom, running tights, then a cheap pair of fleecy-stuff-lined nylon running pants. Top is Target wicking T-shirt base, a Wal-mart long-sleeve wicking layer, then an off-the-shelf microfiber jacket. Half-finger mesh-backed gloves work for me down to about 30*F (my fingers get hot even then) - below that I plan to get neoprene gloves but am currently wearing some cheap fleece gloves. On my head, I have duct-taped my helmet vents, and wear over-the-ear headphones tuned to NPR (not sure if this last is important :-) ). I'm just wearing old worn-out sneakers in toe clips, with some Wal-mart wool socks from the hunting department, turned inside-out; if it's really cold, some base-layer polypro socks under that. I bought some neoprene shoe covers from Performance last week, but even at 2 sizes too big, they're far too small to wear over sneakers, so I'll probably just hang on to them until I get some proper shoes and pedals.

So far it's been pretty good. Last Wednesday was my last ride before the holiday, and it got pretty slushy. In the last 2 miles several cars totally doused my legs with a wave of heavy slush. I felt the cold of the slush, but it slid right off the nylon pants, and I was fine.
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Old 11-28-04, 07:26 PM   #43
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I used to get the cold stomach to. This year i finally found a solution. I called Lou at Foxwear. He makes custom winter cycling clothing. I found him on the icebike.com site. Lou got my measurements and asked if i wanted them taller around the waist to cover the stomach. Sounded like a good idea to me.

Man am i glad he suggested that. My stomach is now protected. It isnt often you can get taylor made clothing these days. I love my power shield tights.
Ranger,
Didn't see a description for these tights? Are these the ones with a "windshield" on legs? What sort of fabric is this?
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Old 11-28-04, 09:16 PM   #44
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These use powershield. It is a bit more dense than windshield i think. Lou could tell you for sure. The fabric is made by Malden Mills. It goes by the name polar tec i think. Lou can answer your questions better than i and he will send you free samples of fabric, like he did for me. (over 15 different fabrics he sent me)
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Old 12-04-04, 05:54 PM   #45
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Ranger, I am really looking for some winter pants now because it was below 30F on my ride today and shorts just aint warm enough anymore. I am thinking I will give foxwear a go, I am 6'8" so the custom measuring would be a BIG bonus. I am wondering if you still recommend the extended stomach or not. Does it stay up while riding or do you have trouble with it sliding down? And do they seem to be pretty heavy duty?
Muchos Gracias, Paul J.
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Old 12-04-04, 06:04 PM   #46
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Ranger, I am really looking for some winter pants now because it was below 30F on my ride today and shorts just aint warm enough anymore. I am thinking I will give foxwear a go, I am 6'8" so the custom measuring would be a BIG bonus. I am wondering if you still recommend the extended stomach or not. Does it stay up while riding or do you have trouble with it sliding down? And do they seem to be pretty heavy duty?
Muchos Gracias, Paul J.
I highly recommend Foxwear. You can read more about them (acutally him, Lou) at icebike.com. Powershield is a great fabric. I don't know what to compare it to since it is so unique, however i don't have any concerns about it holding up.

Honestly, if you call Lou, he will send you more fabric samples than you can imagine. I am staring at a bunch of them right now, as i have them laying by my computer. I ordered mine in August. If you do get the samples, my tights are made out of light weight power shield. I think heavy weight would be too heavy.

Yes, i still recommend the extended stomach. With the tights up over the stomach and a jacket and jersey over the top of that, my stomach burn, (redness) that i had last winter is gone. No longer do i get back from my rides and find a bright red stomach after I undress. No, i the tights do not ride down. They stay up because they are, well....tight on your stomach. He also put a drawstring in for me since i told him that I used to have a 36" waist and now have a 31" waist. (cycling works!!) Also i had him make them extra long so they don't ride up on my ankles. That is one very minor draw back. There are no grippers at the ankle so it is important to have extra length. (the tights have elastic but not grippers) With the extra length i have no trouble at all.

I think you will be happy with your experience with Foxwear. I certainly am and i plan to purchase more stuff from them as warranted. Right now i am pretty well set and don't need anything, but the Evap Jackets sound pretty good as well. I am using a Gore TEx jacket that can turn into a sauna under heavy exertion.

It is great in cold wind however. Good Luck.
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Old 12-05-04, 09:37 PM   #47
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Wow, that was a quick! Are you sure you are not hired as a sales guy for foxwear?
Thanks for the additional info and quick reply, I will give them a call tomarrow. Later, Paul J.
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Old 01-20-05, 10:15 PM   #48
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Hey everyone, I don't know if anyone is interested but here is an update:

I took Ranger's advice and obtained a pair of powershield pants from Foxwear, they are quite excellent! The coldest i've been out in them was about 20F, I wore a pair of silk longjohns under them and was quite warm. I also think it is wicked cool how water (and just about anything else I spill on them) beads right off the front.

My only minor gripe is that Lou put the knee articulation too low for my knees, apparently he measured up the leg the same amount he does for regular sized people. Anyway, it is no big deal, the topmost articulation flap-thingy is just below my knee so I still get a little benefit from it. He said I could send them back to be fixed if I wanted but it does not bother me enough to warrant that. So, thank you Ranger very much for referring me to them, I couldn't be much happier! Paul J.
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Old 01-21-05, 01:47 PM   #49
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Hey everyone, I don't know if anyone is interested but here is an update:

I took Ranger's advice and obtained a pair of powershield pants from Foxwear, they are quite excellent! The coldest i've been out in them was about 20F, I wore a pair of silk longjohns under them and was quite warm. I also think it is wicked cool how water (and just about anything else I spill on them) beads right off the front.

My only minor gripe is that Lou put the knee articulation too low for my knees, apparently he measured up the leg the same amount he does for regular sized people. Anyway, it is no big deal, the topmost articulation flap-thingy is just below my knee so I still get a little benefit from it. He said I could send them back to be fixed if I wanted but it does not bother me enough to warrant that. So, thank you Ranger very much for referring me to them, I couldn't be much happier! Paul J.
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Old 01-21-05, 02:16 PM   #50
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Make sure your shoes are silver. It makes the commute home much quicker.
Enjoy
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