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  1. #1
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    legs warmers vs tights/winter apparel in general

    Hello all,

    I am trying to get my winter gear in order for commuting while taking advantage of summer prices I live in nashville TN with average lows in january of 25 F ranging to a low of 66 F in july. I am strictly looking for road cycling gear( so blue jeans, allergic to wool etc are out).

    Firstly will leg warmers be adequate in 25 degree weather?

    Secondly what do you think of my lineup
    1) base layer: underarmour(heat gear and cold gear). 2 or three pairs. Should I try craft instead?
    2) Jerseys: i just have short sleeve. I add arm warmers when <60 F.
    3) Wind/ rain breaker: cannondale..has removable sleeves for vest
    4)Outerwear: Suggestions??? looking for something to put over my base layer and jersey from ~20 F -~50F.
    5) Bib shorts and legwarmers or bib shorts and tights or do I need all three??
    6) accesories: gloves, shoe covers, hat(and helmet), etc

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    to the top
    anyone?

  3. #3
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Leg warmers are not adequate enough in 25 degree weather. For 25 degrees (and no snow), I put on wind proof leg warmers and tights over my bibs, 2 pairs of wool socks, neoprene booties, long and short sleeved base layers, long sleeved jersey, and thermal jacket (windproof). On the head is a warm cycling cap and possibly taped helmet vents; on the hands are thick winter windproof gloves. Make sure you wear eye protection. It's also a good idea to put on vaseline or something on your face to prevent windburn at those temps.

    If you have all that, anything warmer will be easy. Here are some ideas:
    http://harperride.net/stories/general/temp_guide.htm
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  4. #4
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post
    Leg warmers are not adequate enough in 25 degree weather. For 25 degrees (and no snow), I put on wind proof leg warmers and tights over my bibs, 2 pairs of wool socks, neoprene booties, long and short sleeved base layers, long sleeved jersey, and thermal jacket (windproof). On the head is a warm cycling cap and possibly taped helmet vents; on the hands are thick winter windproof gloves. Make sure you wear eye protection. It's also a good idea to put on vaseline or something on your face to prevent windburn at those temps.

    If you have all that, anything warmer will be easy. Here are some ideas:
    http://harperride.net/stories/general/temp_guide.htm
    Thanks a bunch JPradun! Exactly what i was looking for

  5. #5
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    Here is what worked for me this past Winter. I'll post my responsed after your statements

    1) base layer: underarmour(heat gear and cold gear). 2 or three pairs. Should I try craft instead?

    I wear just a breathable T shirt. I have bought most of mine for around $20 at Dicks Sporting Goods, but found some descent ones at Target for around $13. Just don't use Cotton! This is my main body layer.

    2) Jerseys: i just have short sleeve. I add arm warmers when <60 F.

    I just aquired 1 long sleeve Jersey to help with the cool morning, when I don't want to deal with a coat because I know the day will warm up. If it is cool (as low as 34F this week, but mostly 40F to 65F) I'll just wear the T shirt and then put the Jersey over top. When it warms up I can shed the Long Sleeve jerseay.

    3) Wind/ rain breaker: cannondale..has removable sleeves for vest

    I had a Quest wind breaker and it does work, except that it just doesn't breath much. I'd wear a fleece pull-over and then the wind breaker. From a temperature perspective it worked OK till about 18F, but I'd arrive at work with the inside of the Windbreaker complete soaked with sweat. It just was not very comfortable. I did recently aquire a Performance Illuminite vest. I use this in conjustion with the Long Sleeve Jersey to handle the cold spring mornings (35F to 50F), but most afternoons it gets into the 60's. This gives me some options to mix and match to get the right amount of body protection without feeling like I am in a sauna of hot sweat.

    4)Outerwear: Suggestions??? looking for something to put over my base layer and jersey from ~20 F -~50F.

    During the Winter I bought a E-Vap coat from www.foxwear.net. This thing is amazing. I can wear it from15F till about 15F with only a T shirt underneath. Unlike the windbreaker, this coat is very wind resistant, but lets ALL the sweat escape. I had mine made with the thin side pannels, so that I got maxium sweat extraction. When the temps dropped into the single digits I would put the Wind Break on over top to help keep more of the body heat in. I would end up with wet sleeves on the inside of the Wind Breaker, but I'd never feel it as the moisture was moved well away from my skin. That worked down to 2F with a wind chill of -26F (that was my coldest day this winter).

    5) Bib shorts and legwarmers or bib shorts and tights or do I need all three??

    For tights I got a set of Illuminite Tights from Nashbar. These have a slightly loose fitting. These are not Lycra-body hugging tights. I actually like that they are a little loose. The are not loose in the way sweat pants are, but they are soft and comfy like sweats. I have been amazed at how wind resistant they are. At first I rode with just the tights, but at temps well below freezing my privates were getting WAY to cold. I then just started wearing my J&G rain pants as a wind breaker layer for my legs. For longer rides I wear my riding shorts, for my 5 mile commute to work, normal underwear is fine.

    6) accesories: gloves, shoe covers, hat(and helmet), etc

    - For winter shoes I just wear a pair of comfy Merril Winter boots. I was not going to spend hundreds for cycling boots when I only commute 10 miles round trip.
    - For gloves I use a pair of old Gortex Ski gloves. These gloves work well when the temps are well below freezing, but they don't let enough heat/sweat escape when the temps get above 30F. This fall I have to get some gloves that are a little lighter, but really shed the sweat well.
    - For my head I wear a Turtle Fur beenie type cap that fits nicely under a helmet.
    - I also have a PSolar mask to protect my face and lungs when the temps start to drop into the wingle digits. I don't want to get frost bite on my ski, and 2F air is hard on the lungs when you are breathing deeply. I do notice a little resistance with the mask, but breathing in pre-warmed air makes riding in these temps very workable.
    - I only used a ski mask twice, and that was in temps below 5F, I didn't want my contacts to act up, and I was also covering every square inch of exposed skin to avoid frost bit. With 2F with -26 Windchill it doesn't take long to freeze skin.

    So to recap:
    For temps below 32F:
    Body - T shirt and E-Vap coat
    Legs - Tights and Rain pants

    For temps around 30-50F
    Body - T shirt and E-Vap coat
    Legs - Tights

    For temps around 50-65
    Body - T-shirt and Long sleeve Jersey + Vest as needed.
    Legs - Tights.

    For temps over 70F
    Body T-shirt
    Legs - Swim trunk Shorts for short rides to work on the hybrid, Riding Shorts for the road bike or any ride much over 7 miles on the hybrid commuter bike.

    There was a discussion going on a few months ago in one of the Forums where it was mentioned that the USA Olympic Cycling coach will NOT let their rides go out without covering their legs. Apparently the knees get relatively little blood supply and at temps well below 70F you are putting much more strain on your knees if you don't keep them protected with some fort of tights.

    You don't need to spend a fortune to get through Winter.

    Happy riding,
    André

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Please note my correction below:

    "During the Winter I bought a E-Vap coat from www.foxwear.net. This thing is amazing. I can wear it from 15F till about 50F with only a T shirt underneath."

    Happy riding,
    André

  7. #7
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    thanks André! greatly appreciated. Looks like i need to get some knee warmers asap. My wife will be pleased to hear the budget on these items now to finalize everything. thanks again

  8. #8
    Senior Member Falchoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPradun View Post

    If you have all that, anything warmer will be easy. Here are some ideas:
    http://harperride.net/stories/general/temp_guide.htm
    I found that guide a little full on with the amount and type of clothing it suggests to wear. I don't go to the extent listed in the 0-5 deg C until the temps hit the minus range. I guess it depends on how hard you ride too. I tend to be training hard and or doing hill repeats on my road bike. If you were just commuting to work at a slower pace you would be colder and probably find the extra clothing necessary.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.

  9. #9
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
    I found that guide a little full on with the amount and type of clothing it suggests to wear. I don't go to the extent listed in the 0-5 deg C until the temps hit the minus range. I guess it depends on how hard you ride too. I tend to be training hard and or doing hill repeats on my road bike. If you were just commuting to work at a slower pace you would be colder and probably find the extra clothing necessary.
    +1

    There is a great deal of variability in, distance, humidity, precipitation, exertion, personal tolerance.
    Any and all of these can change drastically the amount and type of clothing desired/recommended.

    All you can do is read what others use and compare their situation to yours, and make educated guesses.
    I have a fairly high tolerance for cold, but I see riders on my Winter commute wearing much less at times.
    They don't seem to be suffering. I have also seen others with much more, and sometimes they seem in trouble.
    A good range of clothing types is a good idea, particularly in my neck of the woods, where the weather can
    cover the equivalent of 3 seasons in one ride, never mind one day!

    My own recommendation is for layers, and a good breathable Windbreaker layer, and covering exposed skin.
    I find goggles a must.

  10. #10
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
    Please note my correction below:

    "During the Winter I bought a E-Vap coat from www.foxwear.net. This thing is amazing. I can wear it from 15F till about 50F with only a T shirt underneath."

    Happy riding,
    André
    Whats the spec on your coat Andre? They can change just about anything on those. What fabric and thickness was
    used for the linings?

  11. #11
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    My advice: layer, layer, layer! Leg warmers in 25 degree weather sounds like a very bad idea. Usually, your lower body doesn't overheat the way that your upper body does, so you're better off overdressing your legs. Good trick if you don't want to buy long sleeve jerseys: baselayer underneath, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers over the sleeves of your base layer. When you dress to leave in the house, don't only think about how you're going to feel after the first half hour of your ride. Also think about if you'll be able to stay warm if you get stranded or have to fix a flat. That probably sounds like strange advice, but I have learned this the hard way

  12. #12
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    25-40 F

    Polypro long sleeve base tee
    Merino wool sweater
    J&G wind jacket
    bibs
    leg warmers or polypro tights
    J&G patrol pants
    Smartwool socks (thick winter weight)
    Answer boots
    Windstopper gloves
    fleece or wool cap
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Thanks again guys! looks great

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
    Whats the spec on your coat Andre? They can change just about anything on those. What fabric and thickness was
    used for the linings?
    I wanted the body to be Yellow so I was limmited to Powder Shield Midweight (2mm). For the sides I went with Powder Streach Light weight (1mm). The Powder Shield is VERY wind resistant. If you put you mounth up to it and try to blow or suck through the fabric is it near impossible. This is supposed to be 98% wind resistant and I'll believe it. The Powder Streach on the other hand is very breathable. I did this on purpose as I tend to sweat plenty. What is nice is that you stay warm, yet are able to shed all that moisture away from your body. No more sweaty back and arms. I am amazed at how something this thing can keep me so comfortable while riding at temps as low at 15F without any other layer other than a T-shirt underneath. If you stop for a while you will get a bit chilly, but that is the point, this is a RIDING coat and prevents me from overheating while riding. Since you can shed so much heat I continued to use it through the March and into early April as the mornings were still well below freezing, but the afternoons could hit as high as 50F This coat worked nicely for all. Around 45 F it starts to get to be a bit on the warm side, but when you have severe temperature swings in the early Spring I'll put up with a few afternoons of being just a little on the warm side.

    Next fall I am definitely getting a pair of the Winter pants. Those should work very nicely as well.

    I am very much enjoying the mild temperatures we are finally experiencing. I don't mind Winter riding, but Spring riding is SO nice.

    Happy riding,
    André

  15. #15
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrelam View Post
    I wanted the body to be Yellow so I was limmited to Powder Shield Midweight (2mm). For the sides I went with Powder Streach Light weight (1mm). The Powder Shield is VERY wind resistant. If you put you mounth up to it and try to blow or suck through the fabric is it near impossible. This is supposed to be 98% wind resistant and I'll believe it. The Powder Streach on the other hand is very breathable. I did this on purpose as I tend to sweat plenty. What is nice is that you stay warm, yet are able to shed all that moisture away from your body. No more sweaty back and arms. I am amazed at how something this thing can keep me so comfortable while riding at temps as low at 15F without any other layer other than a T-shirt underneath. If you stop for a while you will get a bit chilly, but that is the point, this is a RIDING coat and prevents me from overheating while riding. Since you can shed so much heat I continued to use it through the March and into early April as the mornings were still well below freezing, but the afternoons could hit as high as 50F This coat worked nicely for all. Around 45 F it starts to get to be a bit on the warm side, but when you have severe temperature swings in the early Spring I'll put up with a few afternoons of being just a little on the warm side.

    Next fall I am definitely getting a pair of the Winter pants. Those should work very nicely as well.

    I am very much enjoying the mild temperatures we are finally experiencing. I don't mind Winter riding, but Spring riding is SO nice.

    Happy riding,
    André
    André
    Thanks for the update. This jacket looks like just the thing i am looking for!

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