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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dannydyn's Avatar
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    How would you dress for low 50s (road biking)

    Excuse the newbe question….

    With winter finally showing signs of dying, it looks like we’ll be getting a low-50s weather (9-10mph wind) here in the northeast this coming weekend. This will be me my first ride in temps like this, as I’m a novice biker who started road biking late last year for the first time in my life.

    What would be your choice of dress for these kinds of temps? Would long tights and long-sleeve jersey suffice for you? Or would you put something on top of the jersey? We’re expecting sunny conditions (if that matter al all).

    I understand it's a subjective matter of preference, but I'm just trying to gauge some general opinion.

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member mr_pedro's Avatar
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    thin socks
    bike shoes with thermo cover
    leg warmers
    cycle shorts
    wind blocking warm base layer
    thin long sleeved jacket
    glasses
    helmet
    thin gloves under slightly thicker gloves

  3. #3
    absent Ferrous Bueller's Avatar
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    It's really hard to gauge for these temps, and everyone's different. Also depends on the intensity of the ride.
    When the headwind picks up it's frosty, but when the sun comes out, it can feel totally different.
    My choice would be shorts and tights, a wicking upper baselayer, long sleeved jersey, thin hat, gloves, and a thin jacket.
    The jacket, hat and gloves can be stashed in a jersey pocket if and when I get too hot. Flexibility is key.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ka0use's Avatar
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    low 50s? dude, t-shirt and shorts.
    first star on the right and straight on 'til morning
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  5. #5
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    Light pair of thermo tights, thermo shirt/jersey, light gloves (maybe, depending on which way the wind is blowing and whether it's sunny outside you might not need the gloves). For socks and shoes, I'd just wear whatever you normally wear in the summer. At this temperature the cold won't really bother your feet much. If you wear all the stuff Mr Pedro recommends, you'll sweat like an electric pig with all those layers on (in fact his list is almost identical to what I wear in the low 20s, I'd die of heat stroke if I wore all that in low 50s). Low 50s isn't really very cold. Unless you're just coasting along barely working, you should stay plenty warm with what I've recommended. All you really need in low 50s is just enough to keep your skin covered; it doesn't even need to be windproof material at this temperature. If your ears are sensitive or it's particularly windy the day you ride, maybe consider wearing a headband to cover your ears. Again, I don't think you'll need it, but I don't know how sensitive you are to cold. I stop wearing my headband in upper 40s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ka0use View Post
    low 50s? dude, t-shirt and shorts.
    For longer rides where you can really generate some heat I'm totally with you on this; however if it's a short commute of less than 10 miles, I might dress a little warmer. Especially if it's urban where you spend a lot time sitting still at stoplights and such.

  7. #7
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Kneewarmers, armwarmers, possibly a windvest. Thin, full finger gloves.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Kneewarmers, armwarmers, possibly a windvest. Thin, full finger gloves.
    This is a really good recommendation, if you have kneewarmers, armwarmers and a windvest. I don't have any of those things, so I get by with what I recommended above, but if I had this kind of gear, it is exactly what I would wear.

  9. #9
    etw
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    Some links that I have found helpful:

    http://www.bicycling.com/whattowear/

    http://www.bicycling.com/training-nu...g-cold-weather

    I always find that if when I first go out I feel just a bit chilly, then when I am warmed up I will feel fine. If I feel warm when I go out, once I start riding I will be too hot.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    I'm a big believer in 'covered knees below 60 degree'. Therefore tights, knee warmers, or knickers.

    Long sleeved jersey. Medium or heavy weight material.

    Probably a sleeveless wind vest. If there was a chance of rain, I might go with a full jacket.

    Full-fingered gloves or regular gloves with some light inserts.

    Wool socks and/or toe booties if riding my with road bike shoes. My mtb shoes are warmer so no booties needed at that temp.

    I'd probably start out with a light head covering, but hopefully warm up enough to remove it during the ride.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dannydyn's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback guys, really appreciated!

    Quick question: what's the difference between leg/arm warmers, and just full length tights and long-sleeved jersey?
    Custom Build 2011 CAAD10 in ABRT Racing Colors

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    absent Ferrous Bueller's Avatar
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    ^Flexibility. If you get too hot, you can roll the arm warmers down to your wrists. Legwarmers you can stop and take them off. If the forecast says it's on the border between short/long sleeve weather, they're ideal. For me, that temperature is high 50s to low 60s.

  13. #13
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannydyn View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback guys, really appreciated!

    Quick question: what's the difference between leg/arm warmers, and just full length tights and long-sleeved jersey?
    That if you get too warm you can take them off and stick them in a jersey pocket.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dannydyn's Avatar
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    Excellent, thanks much!
    Custom Build 2011 CAAD10 in ABRT Racing Colors

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    Hey OP

    You should look into the Sound Cyclists bicycle club if you interested in riding with others in Fairfield County. The season starts next weekend with rides offered for many different levels. Starting points are at various train stations and commuter lots near I95 and the Merritt Pkwy.

  16. #16
    Bus Stop Ratbag
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    I use my bike shorts (or tights), light wool socks, and windpants for the bottom half. Up top, I use a long sleeve lightweight merino shirt with a windbreaker jacket. I wear some neoprene gloves, and a wool cycling cap with earflaps as well the windjacket and pants can always come off, but with wind I find them necessary in lower 50's temps.

  17. #17
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    I am usually pretty cold but find low 50s to be great biking weather. Long sleeved jersey and wind jacket. I have Novara Headwind Pants, but perhaps leg warmers would be warm enough. Long fingered, no insulation, leather gloves. At these temps, the head is warm enough and no skull cap needed. I have several pair of thin wool hiking socks that I pick up on sale at REI.

    At these temps, I'm not chilly after the first five minutes.

    YMMV.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  18. #18
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    I'll reiterate a point made earlier. If you are comfortable for the first 10 min of a ride when it's chilly outside, you'll be overdressed and sweating very quickly. Either be prepared to drop some layer or learn to start out a bit uncomfortable. In the winter I ride in stupid cold temps and just have to suck it up for the first 10-15 min when it's often -very- chilly. Same thing today. It was 34F and I wore bike shoes with insulated covers, thin polypro long underwear bottoms under my bike shorts, a single thin polyprop long underwear top with a bike jacket over that and some "regular" gloves. I'd suggest keeping a running tab of the days temperature and what you wore and what needed to be corrected. I have a little set list I consult and find it handy as seasons change and I forget exactly what I wore on a cloudy day at 60F...which is different that what I need on the same sunny day. A quick glance at my list and I grab exactly what I need to be comfy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    tights
    long sleeve jersey
    maybe a windbreaker
    full finger gloves

  20. #20
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Long-sleeve heavy jersey or long-sleeve light base layer under a short-sleeve jersey
    Wind breaker
    Beanie under your helmet
    Tights or leg warmers (I just started using windproof runners pants and like them so far)
    Wool socks
    Full finger gloves
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  21. #21
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    For low 50s (1951-1952) i will dress like this

    Last edited by erig007; 04-11-13 at 09:04 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member WestMass's Avatar
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    I agree with some above posters...

    For commuting
    Shorts or thin ttights
    thin full finger gloves
    light smart wool socks (mid calf height)
    Thin jacket over short sleeve jersey

    Hard road ride - same minus jacket, no tights
    regular commuter, adventurer/explorer of backroads and mtb trails
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Notgrownup's Avatar
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    41 degrees here this AM at 7:00 for my 10 mile ride... Sweatshirt, long sleeve tshirt over that, silk glove liners and full finger gloves, base layer tights over my padded shorts and a Balaclava... All ok but the shirts. i need a windbreaker. and maybe some warmer gloves for this temp or colder...Got frostbite as a kid in Canada on my toes and fingers and since then they get cold quicker for some odd reason...Either that or that memory still in stamped in my brain and it tells me to warm up quick...LOL. Hadn't got on the bike for 2 weeks and felt good.,
    BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.....

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Notgrownup View Post
    41 degrees here this AM at 7:00 for my 10 mile ride... Sweatshirt, long sleeve tshirt over that, silk glove liners and full finger gloves, base layer tights over my padded shorts and a Balaclava... All ok but the shirts. i need a windbreaker. and maybe some warmer gloves for this temp or colder...Got frostbite as a kid in Canada on my toes and fingers and since then they get cold quicker for some odd reason...Either that or that memory still in stamped in my brain and it tells me to warm up quick...LOL. Hadn't got on the bike for 2 weeks and felt good.,
    the one thing that concerns me about your outfit
    is that most sweat shirts and t shirts are made from cotton
    which is great in warm weather
    but can be dangerous in cold weather

    if it gets wet
    like from sweat
    it almost entirely looses its ability to insulate
    which is even more likely to happen if you cover the whole ensemble with a wind breaker

    if your clothes are indeed cotton
    go to the store and get some synthetic tops
    even a cheap polyester t shirt is better than a cotton one

    polypropylene is commonly used for performance undergarments for this reason
    and wool is an awesome insulator in almost all conditions

  25. #25
    Senior Member Notgrownup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
    the one thing that concerns me about your outfit
    is that most sweat shirts and t shirts are made from cotton
    which is great in warm weather
    but can be dangerous in cold weather

    if it gets wet
    like from sweat
    it almost entirely looses its ability to insulate
    which is even more likely to happen if you cover the whole ensemble with a wind breaker

    if your clothes are indeed cotton
    go to the store and get some synthetic tops
    even a cheap polyester t shirt is better than a cotton one

    polypropylene is commonly used for performance undergarments for this reason
    and wool is an awesome insulator in almost all conditions
    I made due with wath i had... I am pretty sure a wind breaker will suffice... i might get me a pair of thermal tights but not sure yet...40 in the AM in eastern NC is probably the coldest i will go out this winter so i will get plenty of rides in...Yes it was cotton and it lets the wind in pretty good...I will stop by wal-mart and get a cheap starter windbreaker or something like that...That balaclava and silk liner is what i use for motorcycling in the winter and it works pretty good.

    Brings back the good old New Brunswick ski-doo days of bundling up...
    BE THE PERSON YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE.....

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