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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 12-21-04, 03:33 PM   #1
Jessica
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too warm, or is it too cold?? sweaty...

It is cold enough that I do not want to wear only tshirts and jeans or even bike shorts, but I am sweating enough in my light jacket that I feel damp and cold to the touch. About 30 degrees, say...

So I am thinking I need different gear. I have bike gloves, and shell gloves, so my hands are okay. I have shell pants to go over whatever I wear on bottom when it is too cold, or too wet. I have headbands and/or a lite balaclava to wear for my ears. I have wool blend socks for my toes, and a selection of boots for different weather conditions, so my toes are okay. But just a jersey or long sleeve shirt is too little (brrr...) and shirt plus jacket is too much...

I suppose I need to say, I commute, and I am not interested in spending huge amounts of money.
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Old 12-21-04, 05:08 PM   #2
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Had the same problem. Picked up a couple of cycling undershirts. Look for fabric blends designed to wick away moisture. Most cycling apparel web sites carry these garments. You could also inquire at your LBS. If winter conditions prevail in your area and your LBS sells apparel, surely they would carry foundation garments in the winter. If not, ask them to order them for you.
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Old 12-21-04, 05:34 PM   #3
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The key is wicking. You want your base layer to be relatively tight to you so it is able to wick the moisture away from your body so that exact problem doesnt happen.
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Old 12-21-04, 06:02 PM   #4
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Check out your closet. Perhaps a simple polar tech fleece shirt would work. If not, you may need buy the wicking base layers as suggested.
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Old 12-21-04, 06:56 PM   #5
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A windproof vest with a high collar over your long sleeve jersey. Your arms and arm-pits are bare for great comfort, and if you get cold you can zip the collar up around your neck, which will make you very warm.

It has to be VERY cold before I can comfortable wear my jacket.
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Old 12-21-04, 07:03 PM   #6
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I have had great sucess with a wool base layer and a breathable windbreaker.

Nice thing about wool is that you can wear it several times before washing. It also provides wicking and still functions when wet.

I use the long sleeve merino wool base layer from Ibex.
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Old 12-21-04, 07:27 PM   #7
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Try using the SEARCH function. You will find lots of helpful info on this forum.

If you are interested in how a fellow Californian stays warm in the winter, here are some of my guidelines:

Stay away from cotton! It keeps you warm, but holds moisture, which eventually makes you feel damp and cold.

Cover as much exposed skin as possible.

Get a simple windbreaker (no lining). The idea is keep the wind out, not to keep heat in. As you ride, your body will make all the heat you need.

When it's 35 F here, I wear an earband, leg warmers and long fingered gloves. On my torso I wear a cycling undershirt, cycling jersey and windbreaker. That's all! People at work always say to me, "Wow, is that all you wear? Are you warm enough?"

If you have arm warmers, you may want to add them at around 30 F or below.

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Old 12-21-04, 08:01 PM   #8
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You may also unzip your jacket halfway and roll up your sleeves to cool down. Once it's cool enough, zip back up, and maybe leave your sleeves up. If it's still too cold, roll the sleeves down. Repeat.
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Old 12-22-04, 12:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by way124
You may also unzip your jacket halfway and roll up your sleeves to cool down. Once it's cool enough, zip back up, and maybe leave your sleeves up. If it's still too cold, roll the sleeves down. Repeat.
Good point. I usually unzip my windbreaker a little when going up hills and zip it up when going down. There is a vent in the back, but it's not enough to let all the "steam" out when climbing. I once had a windbreaker that you could unzip from either the top or the bottom. That gives you more options, especially if it's not vented.
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Old 12-22-04, 07:53 AM   #10
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A light jacket or overcoat that has buttons in addition to a zipprt is very helpful. There is a slight airflow even when all buttons are fastened. You can unbotton some or all of them to increase the cooling action, or go to buttons plus zipper for cold conditions. The LL Bean "Stowaway" works well for me.

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Old 12-22-04, 08:21 AM   #11
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Define shell gloves please.
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Old 12-23-04, 08:27 AM   #12
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I have a couple of hi-tech polyester and silver base layer shirts, X-Static is the trade name. They're just ok. I arrive home after a ride fairly wet.

Just acquired a Woolistic Extreme Base Layer, and it really works. Made from a highly stretchable merino wool, it hugs the body and is loosely knit to allow both warmth and the escape of perspiration. It does not have the slightly cool and clammy feel of synthetics, stays comfortable under a jersey from 40 and below, and is nearly dry at the end of the ride.

Acquired the Woolistic base layer as I have a Survivor Merino wool jersey that I have been practically living in, not for cycling, this winter. Lightweight, warm, never smells, does not pick up lint and hairs as does fleece, and is smooth and non-irritating against the skin. The merino jersey can go weeks without washing, and even longer if you wear it with an undershirt that is changed daily.

Just ordered one of the long sleeve Cinzano merino wool jerseys from Vintagevelos.com. We'll see how that works out. Merino is wonderful.
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Old 12-23-04, 09:14 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I bought a wicking thermal shirt to try, and I also tried pushing up my jacket sleeves... way more helpful than I realized!!
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Old 12-23-04, 09:20 AM   #14
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Oh, about the gloves. they are wind proof, water resistant but not intended to keep the hands warm by insulation. I had some great ones by Hard Mountain, but I have lost two pair in less than a month, so I do not know if i am willing to spend another $30 to $45 to replace them *again*. (stolen...)
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