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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 10-14-09, 08:59 AM   #1
Jay68442
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Warm winter jacket not shell - recommendations

I have been reading the forums all morning and now I'm lost. I'm looking for a warm, maybe fleece lined jacket for winter riding. I see many people making recommendations for showers pass and other waterproof jackets but none for insulated jackets. Many of the threads I have read this morning all a few years old.

One jacket I came across that looks good is the Gore Tool. Anyone using this jacket? feedback?

Thank you
Jason
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Old 10-14-09, 10:53 AM   #2
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For winter cycling you don't want a lined jacket. It's more important to get the right kind of outer shell material. You have to adjust insulation layers depending on the temperatures and your own metabolism which means that it's better for the shell material to be a separate garment. Cheap polar fleece or wool sweater make good insulation layers. And the system is easier to dry out. Lined jackets don't dry out fast enough for the next days ride.
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Old 10-14-09, 01:14 PM   #3
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The, expensive in my opinion, Shower's Pass Elite 2.0 is pretty good for winter weather.
http://www.showerspass.com/products....duct=Elite+2.0

Their Double Century Jacket is good for spring/summer/fall and perhaps winter if you live in a really mild climate.
http://www.showerspass.com/products....Double+Century

It would help to know what you intend to wear for a base layer.
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Old 10-14-09, 01:16 PM   #4
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Lou at Fox Wear makes nice cold weather gear. It's affordable too. http://www.foxwear.net/
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Old 10-14-09, 02:59 PM   #5
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It would help to know what you intend to wear for a base layer.
I usually wear an Under Armour ColdGear base layer with a long sleeve jersey over it. I was looking at buying a wool jersey to wear over the under armour. Since everyone suggests layering I was thinking under armour, wool jersey and showers pass touring jacket. What do you think?
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Old 10-14-09, 04:51 PM   #6
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I usually wear an Under Armour ColdGear base layer with a long sleeve jersey over it. I was looking at buying a wool jersey to wear over the under armour. Since everyone suggests layering I was thinking under armour, wool jersey and showers pass touring jacket. What do you think?
For what temperature & weather conditions? Hezz is right, read his post again.

For my upperbody I have 3 different shells, and two different insulating layers, and 3 different overpant options that I use in varying combinations for all temperatures and weather conditions from 40 to -20. Personally, I prefer natural fibers (wool, silk and cotton), because they breathe better than man-made (particularly wool and cotton). Your biggest problem in staying warm in the cold of the winter is your own body moisture which gets trapped and then chills your extremities.
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Old 10-14-09, 06:41 PM   #7
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Layers are good. If my core gets cold, I think that makes my fingers and toes get even colder than they would otherwise.

Last winter, at 40F:
poly tshirt
poly longsleeve baselayer. (I have a thin one, like a thin t-shirt, and a heavyweight one with a neck zipper.)
longsleeve jersey.
nylon biking jacket. This jacket lets a bit of air through the fabric, it's not windproof.
Windblocking tights.
Windblocking fabric shoe covers.
Ski gloves -- my fingers get cold easily.
Neck gaiter-- this tube of fleece can be pulled up over my mouth if I get cold. It keeps wind off my neck.
heavyweight skullcap that extends over my ears.

The cheap nylon bike jacket can be worn up to 60F if I just have a short sleeve jersey underneath. But I usually layer a longsleeve jersey and a baselayer instead of the jacket if the temperature will stay in the mid 50s or higher.

I like to bring a folded piece of paper, big enough to cover most of my chest, as an emergency wind vest. It can make a big difference tucked under my jersey if the temperature is colder than expected.
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Old 10-14-09, 07:09 PM   #8
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For what temperature & weather conditions?
I'm looking to ride down to 30F. I really don't see myself riding in temps much lower than that. So cold to 30F, windy and wet.
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Old 10-14-09, 09:10 PM   #9
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IMO at 30F with a base layer, jersey and insulated jacket, you will be boiling hot.
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Old 10-14-09, 09:32 PM   #10
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I usually wear an Under Armour ColdGear base layer with a long sleeve jersey over it. I was looking at buying a wool jersey to wear over the under armour. Since everyone suggests layering I was thinking under armour, wool jersey and showers pass touring jacket. What do you think?
That combination should work pretty good for a start. To save money you do not need to buy a wool cycling jersey if you do not want to. You can use an old wool sweater or heavy wool underwear for the insulation layer. Or a cheap polyester polar fleece jacket. Generally you will need two or three different thickness insulation layers for different temperatures and exertion levels. So you will need to experiment with this. It is generally best to keep the system to three layers (base, insulation, and shell) and to vary the thickness of the insulation layer for different temperatures.

A word about the first layer. Several different kinds are being used successfully. Some swear by the Under Armour. I prefer the inexpensive light duty polypro ski long johns. They are for high exertion activities like cross country skiing. To me they are warmer and they are less expensive.

The cycling jackets come in three basic kinds. Inexpensive wind breaker. Hardshell breathable (Showers Pass touring jacket), and the softshell water resistant/breathable jacket.

The softshell kind can be either very breathable or not very depending on the material and if it has a membrane. The hardshell jacket is a good bet for the first jacket you buy. The hardshell jackets are usually best for wet conditions.

Last edited by Hezz; 10-14-09 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 10-15-09, 12:36 AM   #11
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IMO at 30F with a base layer, jersey and insulated jacket, you will be boiling hot.
+1

Base layer, jersey, and a light shell and you'll be more than toasty.
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Old 10-15-09, 01:00 PM   #12
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That combination should work pretty good for a start.
<SNIP>
The cycling jackets come in three basic kinds. Inexpensive wind breaker. Hardshell breathable (Showers Pass touring jacket), and the softshell water resistant/breathable jacket.

The softshell kind can be either very breathable or not very depending on the material and if it has a membrane. The hardshell jacket is a good bet for the first jacket you buy. The hardshell jackets are usually best for wet conditions.
I totally agree. In my area (Western NY) Winters tend to be dry (aka little rain), but cold and snowy. A soft shell is what I need the vast majority of the time. As an other pointed out Loui at www.foxwear.net is fantastic. He can build your coat to your exact weather needs. The modern wind proof, yet water repellant fleece materials are amazing. Loui makes very nice clothing that looks good, exceedingly good for its function, yet doesn't cost a fortune. You don't get a fancy lable on the outside, but who cares!

I just pulled out my foxwear EVap coat and power shield pants for the 1st time of the season as the temps were hovering right around freezing and the medium tights and pull-over were no longer sufficient to stay warm. I never experience a wet clammy feel. For the few times it rains I'll put on a water proof shell.

Don't buy a lot of gear up front. Experiment a bit. Find out what works for YOU in YOUR climate and then build on it. I don't worry about brand names. Admittedly most of my good base later shirts are Nike, but that is what they had on sale at Dicks sporting goods. I've had a few shirts from Target (Champion). They are not quire as nice as the Nike, but offer excellent value.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 10-15-09, 01:52 PM   #13
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Thank you all for your replies.
Last night I ordered the showers pass touring jacket. I did so much riding in the rain this season that I though having a water proof shell couldn't hurt. I have a few long sleeve jerseys already and will probably add a wool one.
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Old 10-17-09, 03:54 PM   #14
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+1

Base layer, jersey, and a light shell and you'll be more than toasty.
Agreed!!! But I would add a GOOD base layer. I am new to cycling and winter riding and have done 2x40 or under rides so far this year. One with a regular Under Armor base layer (i said I was new) and one with the Craft Long-sleeved base layer and WOW what a difference!!!! I could have probably done the ride with the Craft base layer with just the long sleeve jersey and base layer in 43 degrees. As winter goes on I'm thinking the only thing left i might need are a good set of fogless glasses and maybe a warmer Bacalava....
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Old 10-17-09, 03:58 PM   #15
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Today my showers pass touring jacket arrived. I ordered a size XL because that’s what all of my jerseys are and the thing is way to big. Sending it back for a L.
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Old 10-17-09, 04:33 PM   #16
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Im a different size with every brand. Ive built my winter clothing system up over many years, you have to experiment a bit to find what works for you.
My winter system is a merino T-shirt baselayer (Ive used synthetic for many years but merino are just better), a softshell style jacket and midlayers according to the temp. I dont find synthetic midlayers to be any better than woollen jumpers. I usually carry some spare insulation for breakdowns and extra cold days, usually a sleeveless fleece jacket that was pretty cheap.
I used to use gortex hardshell but its too clammy for dry days. A simple dense-weave windproof is more effective.

A vital part of my system is hand/foot/neck protection. Two layers of woollen socks with sealskins for wet days, a fleece or wool neck buff/headover thing. I havent found a good solution for gloves in many years of winter riding. Im going with some fleece windstopper ones this season. Waterproof gloves just dont seem to work well for me.
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Old 10-18-09, 05:49 PM   #17
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A waterproof shell is most versatile if you can only afford one jacket, and it's good for wet conditions under 70, and dry conditions as a windchill barrier for a wide range of temperatures with different amounts of layers. If you have dry conditions in the 30s-50s, a non-waterproof woven-fabric softshell with a microfleece lining is a nice addition to have in your wardrobe, being more breathable than waterproof laminates, with more wind-blocking than fleece / wool alone.
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Old 10-19-09, 07:01 AM   #18
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lou at fox wear makes nice cold weather gear. It's affordable too. http://www.foxwear.net/
+1
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Old 10-19-09, 02:09 PM   #19
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I have been reading the forums all morning and now I'm lost. I'm looking for a warm, maybe fleece lined jacket for winter riding. I see many people making recommendations for showers pass and other waterproof jackets but none for insulated jackets. Many of the threads I have read this morning all a few years old.

One jacket I came across that looks good is the Gore Tool. Anyone using this jacket? feedback?

Thank you
Jason
I have the Gore Tool Jersey and it's very warm over a single layer. I use a base layer and a long sleeve jersey under a Gore Gilet down to -2c, then I change to a base layer and the Tool jersey down to -6c, and use the other layer down to -10c.

Never needed to use a wool layer under the Tool but imagine it would be very warm.

Tool jersey is much better than a shell (Gore-eVent) in cold conditions. I've used every combination over last 5 years and have settled for Windstopper in cold and Gore in wet weather.

Choccy...
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Old 10-19-09, 09:47 PM   #20
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Im a different size with every brand. Ive built my winter clothing system up over many years, you have to experiment a bit to find what works for you.
My winter system is a merino T-shirt baselayer (Ive used synthetic for many years but merino are just better), a softshell style jacket and midlayers according to the temp. I dont find synthetic midlayers to be any better than woollen jumpers. I usually carry some spare insulation for breakdowns and extra cold days, usually a sleeveless fleece jacket that was pretty cheap.
I used to use gortex hardshell but its too clammy for dry days. A simple dense-weave windproof is more effective.

A vital part of my system is hand/foot/neck protection. Two layers of woollen socks with sealskins for wet days, a fleece or wool neck buff/headover thing. I havent found a good solution for gloves in many years of winter riding. Im going with some fleece windstopper ones this season. Waterproof gloves just dont seem to work well for me.
Try waterproof mitts over your gloves. Or windproof mitts. I tried mitts after reading this forum and have not had cold hands since.

Choccy...
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Old 10-20-09, 09:55 PM   #21
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I have the Gore Tool Jersey and it's very warm over a single layer. I use a base layer and a long sleeve jersey under a Gore Gilet down to -2c, then I change to a base layer and the Tool jersey down to -6c, and use the other layer down to -10c.

Never needed to use a wool layer under the Tool but imagine it would be very warm.

Tool jersey is much better than a shell (Gore-eVent) in cold conditions. I've used every combination over last 5 years and have settled for Windstopper in cold and Gore in wet weather.

Choccy...
Gore doesn't make eVemt. eVent is GE's version of Robert Gore's expired-patent "expanded polytetrafluoroethylene [EPTF]" membrane with a new finishing-treatment. A lot of companies have glommed onto Gore's genius invention, with their own new final-coating tweaks. Some of them are more breathable than Gore-Tex polyurethane anti-fouling treatment, but require more frequent washing to deal with "clogged up" membrane/laminates from sweat oils.
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Old 10-20-09, 10:10 PM   #22
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I've never read anything bad about Lou Fox. To my knowledge he's using non-laminate tightly woven fabric, mostly fleece-insulating. The advantage of a laminate is you get one thin layer that totally blocks wind. With woven fabric, you need more layers, which are bulkier, because no woven fabric is totally wind blocking, unless it has a plastic, pu sealing coating. I like laminates, personally. But it's something you have to try and then decide for yourself. I think non-laminates with more layers may keep you a little dryer.

A tip, mostly for your top: polypro next to your skin, very hydrophobic, then acrylic or wool as your second layer, will help draw water away from your skin, and avoid chilling on longer rides from wet-clamminess. Then, a woven outer layer will help it evaprate fastest, although of note, evaporation per se induces cooling. People who say, "I ride 6 hours around Fairbanks in January and I'm toasty warm," are either riding really slow, really fast, really stoics, really delusional, or really lying.
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Old 10-22-09, 02:12 PM   #23
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Gore doesn't make eVemt. eVent is GE's version of Robert Gore's expired-patent "expanded polytetrafluoroethylene [EPTF]" membrane with a new finishing-treatment. A lot of companies have glommed onto Gore's genius invention, with their own new final-coating tweaks. Some of them are more breathable than Gore-Tex polyurethane anti-fouling treatment, but require more frequent washing to deal with "clogged up" membrane/laminates from sweat oils.
I never said Gore made eVent. What I meant was I have both Gore and eVent jackets as well as windstopper.

I see you know all the details of materials but I prefer real world tests to a controlled scientific tests. People are always saying one material is the best and the other is the worst but I like both for different reasons. eVent takes less care but it is NOT as waterproof as Gore.

Choccy...
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Old 10-22-09, 04:58 PM   #24
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gore tool. this year with pits zips for the win. subfreezing temps only though, it's a warm jacket.


I usually go with a non -laminate softshell like an Ibex wool piece, something Schoeller Dryskin, or the Canadian Mountain Equipment Co-op's iconic SuperMicrofit cycling jacket over a couple of thin layers as needed for better breathability than a PU laminate fleece like the Gore Tool but it's a good jacket for 2010.

For winter gloves its leather gloves with lining or even the classic leather chopper mittens for warmth.

Last edited by Bekologist; 10-22-09 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 10-27-09, 10:40 PM   #25
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For your hands, you might look at http://www.barmitts.com/

I haven't used them - wouldn't work really well with bar-end shifters on drop bars, as far as I can tell -- but for brifters or straight mountainbike bars, could do the trick.
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