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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 10-20-08, 05:23 PM   #1
Dheorl
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Cycling clothes

Now I wasn't quite sure if this was the right place for posting this but it seemed as good as any.

Basically what makes cycling clothes what they are?

The reason I ask is because I am a mountaineer and have various windproofs, waterproofs and layers. These are a mix of climbing and hiking clothes.

Is there any reason why I should buy cycling clothes and wear them instead. I'm referring to top half only here, I figure cycling trousers contain various padding and probably aren't as baggy as my mountaineering trousers. But is there any difference on jackets and layers or are they just similar products sold under a different name?
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Old 10-20-08, 05:34 PM   #2
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The one difference I can think of, is that the jerseys and jackets would be longer at the back and have a bit longer sleeves, so you've covered while riding. If you want to buy one thing, I would recommend a windproof cycling jacket(with zippers under arms for ventilation, if available).
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Old 10-20-08, 05:45 PM   #3
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The one difference I can think of, is that the jerseys and jackets would be longer at the back and have a bit longer sleeves, so you've covered while riding. If you want to buy one thing, I would recommend a windproof cycling jacket(with zippers under arms for ventilation, if available).
My climbing jacket has a similar design so if those are the only main properties that define cycling jacking I'll give it a go with what I've got (one of them also has a hood designed for going over helmets which I geuss could be useful).

Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-20-08, 05:50 PM   #4
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The hood may restrict your visibility, but the jacket should work as long as you don't mind possibly getting it dirty with chain grease. ;-)
My windbreaker has elastic straps on the sleeves that I can pull over my thumbs to prevent sleeves from hiking up.
Oh, and the cycling jacket will usually be brightly coloured with reflective tape.

Cheers.
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Old 10-20-08, 06:06 PM   #5
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Yea, admitadly I'd rather not get grease on it, geuss I'll just have to be careful.

I won't have any problem with the sleeves (sleeves that constantly slip definatly would be a major design flaw on a climbing jacket)

Also it's pure black so i geuss out comes the high vis jacket.
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Old 10-20-08, 06:12 PM   #6
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You're good to go then, enjoy.
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Old 10-20-08, 06:14 PM   #7
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Oh, one more thing. When it get colder, I use a little hat designed to go under snowboarding helmet. It has thin polar fleece around the forehead and breathable thin fabric on top. Amazing how much warmer you are when your head is protected.
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Old 10-20-08, 06:37 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tip. I have been looking at a few more accessory type things including hat, gloves and over shoes.

For small stuff like that I'm definatly willing to get stuff designed for the job.
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Old 10-20-08, 07:35 PM   #9
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Another feature of some bike specific cold weather gear is that the front of he jacket is designed to be warm and windproof, while the back is designed to breathe and let moisture out. If you are working hard in cold weather it will keep you from getting soaked when going with the wind and then frozen when going against it.
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Old 10-20-08, 11:39 PM   #10
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For winter cycling, I look for pants which narrow at the ankle so they don't get caught in the chain. Sweats are great for this and they're cheap. There are also cycling-specific pants for rain and snow conditions.

For cold-weather jackets, I don't care if I've got something cycle-specific as long as it keeps me warm. I'd stay away from a parka as the hood will be much too bulky to provide adequate visibility.
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Old 10-20-08, 11:56 PM   #11
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We've been doing a number of winter cycling workshops and one of the points we have made is that you do not need cycling specific clothing for winter cycling...

They key to staying warm and not overheating (this is a bigger problem) is to wear a number of layers consisting of a breathable base layer, and insulating layer, and a windproof waterproof layer... if it gets diabolically cold then more insulation will be required.

Good gloves and boots are essential and again, that breathable base layer is crucial.

You will lose more heat from your head than anywhere else so protecting that is a must and being able to cover your face to prevent frostbite is another key.
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Old 10-21-08, 12:03 AM   #12
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We've been doing a number of winter cycling workshops and one of the points we have made is that you do not need cycling specific clothing for winter cycling...
+1

I like wearing a cycling shell on the outside because it's trimmer than my other jackets / shells (doesn't flap in the wind); has nice pockets on the back; and has a long tail.

But under that I wear a mix of bike stuff, base layers, ski clothes, etc. etc.

For pants I wear bike tights or jogging tights, usually over bike shorts.
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Old 10-21-08, 04:08 AM   #13
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Virtually all my stuff is gore-tex so it will be fine breathability wise.

I figured for trousers something tighter will be needed so will get something specific there.

Fourtunally it seems that climbing stuff and cycling stuff were designed with the same properties in mind. For completely different reasons but meh.
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