This year I've been commuting 4.1 miles to work during the summer and have really been enjoying it. Since Aug 25th, I've rode 27 times to work, while driving to work only 4 times, either due to not feeling good, had something to go pick up with the truck or had not enough time to ride home and make something else. Of those last 2 times I drove, I really missed riding into work.
Anyway, during the cool mornings (upper 40's) I've been wearing a short sleeve cycle jersey, bike shorts, bike shoes and socks, with sweat pants and a jacket with a pair of gloves. I've been pretty decent and I think this setup would be okay maybe down to upper 30's, but that will have to wait and see. With this setup, I've noticed that the wind tends to cut through the jacket and pants at time and feels a bit cool. So far the gloves are working okay.
My plans - I've got some biking long johns that supposedly wick moister away that I'll wear under the sweat pants. Plan on purchasing some wool socks to wear, but thinking I'll need something around the shoes to keep dry - if my feet get cold, I'm cold. I'm going to get a Balaclava to wear on the face.
So really, I'm wondering where and what to get for a wind breaker and maybe even pants - cost is factor since the budget is pretty tight.
Have also used some Pearl Izumi knee warmers under my sweatpants (usually for 20-32F days) but I hope my upgrades this year will negate the need for those. Knee warmers can slip down while riding which gets really annoying.
For me, the two jackets, plus a simple base layer is fine even below 0 F. The wind breaker allows a lot of heat to build up if you ride a decent speed.
I just got this one today for 60 dollars (original was 80). It is yellow, but stylish and has very high visibility on the road which was a huge factor for me. It's a windbreaker, it's a Northface, and it is water repellent. http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/out...800&mv_pc=r126
I like that jacket above so much I am seriously considering getting a second one. I just can't decide on the color for the second one. It is fitted, I normally wear Medium, but I got this one in Large and don't regret it as I can layer under it, and it will still look good and not make me look all tied up like a couple other jackets I have. I can't recommend North Face enough!
Surly CC, Raleigh Team Pro, Specialized Rockhopper
upper 40s.. base layer + insulation + shell
I like those thin silk or merino base layers, a thicker long sleeve jersey (or even a merino sweater or some sort of fleece), and a shell
I recently purchased REI's Novara stowable and a Canari shell. Each were under $40. From my research, you want something that doesn't flap in the wind. I sized down on these. The Canari shell has removable sleeves.