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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 11-18-13, 12:46 AM   #1
kookaburra1701
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Tights/Rain pants recommendations

I want to go out on longer road rides during the winter this year, which means I'll need some tights and rain pants. However, most of the clothing, even cycling specific stuff, has no chamois! Are you supposed to wear the tights over your normal bike shorts? Also, I'd love to hear your recommendations for good rain/wind pants/booties.
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Old 11-18-13, 01:39 AM   #2
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I use bike shorts and my Sun Mountain golf rain pants. Works very well. If it is really cold I add tights to the mix.
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Old 11-18-13, 10:54 AM   #3
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However, most of the clothing, even cycling specific stuff, has no chamois!
Don't worry, this is a feature, not a bug. Most people have multiple pairs of summer shorts, so no-chamois tights allow you to keep using those shorts and just one pair of tights, rather than buying multiple pairs of padded tights.

Regarding rain paints, I have a nice pair of Showers Pass rain pants that work really well. Honestly though, they don't perform any better than the 1/5-the-price set that I have from Performance. Main difference is fit and finish, but given how little I use them, buying the expense pair was probably a waste of money. Getting a pair of breathable "waterproof" tights might be worth the extra expense, but if you just want the truly waterproof stuff that isn't breathable (basically one step up from wearing a plastic bag), going cheap is probably fine.
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Old 11-18-13, 03:31 PM   #4
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If you ride regularly during the winter, it's a lot easier and cheaper to have one or two pair of tights and wear them over your shorts/bibs when you consider what has to be washed after every ride. I have enough bibs to ride every day and always have a couple of dry pairs ready for the next ride. But I can wear the same tights for several rides before they need to be washed, so I can get by with one or two pair for the winter.

That said, the single most comfortable winter garment I have is my Garneau fleece lined bib knicker. If I had the budget to buy 3 or 4 of them, I would.

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Old 11-18-13, 04:43 PM   #5
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If you ride regularly during the winter, it's a lot easier and cheaper to have one or two pair of tights and wear them over your shorts/bibs when you consider what has to be washed after every ride. I have enough bibs to ride every day and always have a couple of dry pairs ready for the next ride. But I can wear the same tights for several rides before they need to be washed, so I can get by with one or two pair for the winter.

That said, the single most comfortable winter garment I have is my Garneau fleece lined bib knicker. If I had the budget to buy 3 or 4 of them, I would.

BB
Oh man, I would love to get bibs, but women's bibs are always 2-3x more expensive than mens! But I'm really glad that the tights are meant to be worn over knickers/shorts. That's going to save me a lot of money.
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Old 11-18-13, 04:53 PM   #6
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Oh man, I would love to get bibs, but women's bibs are always 2-3x more expensive than mens! But I'm really glad that the tights are meant to be worn over knickers/shorts. That's going to save me a lot of money.
I'm not sure women get the same benefit from bibs that men do, given that your hips do a better job of holding shorts up. Might not be worth the extra $$.
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Old 11-18-13, 04:54 PM   #7
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I'm not sure women get the same benefit from bibs that men do, given that your hips do a better job of holding shorts up. Might not be worth the extra $$.
Trust me, spandex always finds a way to inch down when you're moving your legs.
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Old 11-18-13, 07:21 PM   #8
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Are you supposed to wear the tights over your normal bike shorts?
Yes .. My Irish Tour I had bike shorts fleece tights and rain pants on for months ..

Clip on suspenders FTW,
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Old 11-18-13, 08:02 PM   #9
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Yes .. My Irish Tour I had bike shorts fleece tights and rain pants on for months ..

Clip on suspenders FTW,
oooh, I hadn't thought about suspenders. I'll have to investigate those. I have a pot belly, so bike shorts tend to roll up under my spare tire.
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Old 11-19-13, 07:36 AM   #10
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When it gets really cold, you can increase the effectiveness of any tights by cutting the uppers off an old pair of heavy boot sox and pulling them up over your knees before or after you put the tights on, depending on how tight/loose the sox are. If you pull them on cuffs down, they won't curl up when you pull the tights over them.
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Old 11-21-13, 09:09 AM   #11
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re: cinching down - I use cheap clip-on walmart suspenders
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Old 11-21-13, 10:54 AM   #12
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re: cinching down - I use cheap clip-on walmart suspenders
Have you noticed them damaging the material of the shorts at all? That would be my main concern.
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Old 11-21-13, 01:49 PM   #13
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I use them on my novara headwind pants which I wear over my shorts. I have used them on snow pants and rain pants too. I fold over the area that gets clipped so that the clips don't slip off. I have not noticed wear in those areas. I suppose you could apply some tape in that area before clipping.
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Old 11-27-13, 02:58 PM   #14
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Pearl Izumi Amfibs are the bomb if you want waterproof and warmth! I wear them over my chamois shorts.
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Old 11-27-13, 03:28 PM   #15
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I did not check the current pages for them, but Performance bike has the best tights I have ever used. The front half is wind and waterproof, the back half is breathable to let sweat out. I wear them all winter. I ride once or twice a week in winter. Been using them for maybe 15 years. They do keep me dry in the the rain too. I've owned a few pair. If it's really cold I add typical tights underneath. In the cold, always have a windbreaker material over the top of fleece or whatever you use.

edit: Can't find them, started looking.

OK another edit - found them Triflex with chamois

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...551_1123489_-1

Last edited by 2manybikes; 11-27-13 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-28-13, 09:17 AM   #16
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I did not check the current pages for them, but Performance bike has the best tights I have ever used. The front half is wind and waterproof, the back half is breathable to let sweat out. I wear them all winter. I ride once or twice a week in winter. Been using them for maybe 15 years. They do keep me dry in the the rain too. I've owned a few pair. If it's really cold I add typical tights underneath. In the cold, always have a windbreaker material over the top of fleece or whatever you use.

edit: Can't find them, started looking.

OK another edit - found them Triflex with chamois

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...551_1123489_-1
Thanks for the tip on Performance Bike! They have great selection of women's tights that look like what I need.
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Old 11-28-13, 07:55 PM   #17
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Been wearing novara headwind pants over shorts for cold down to 25F . Got caught in rain the other day at 40F. Pants kept
me dry and warm for my 40 minute 12 mileride home. As long as I'm warm I feel I can deal with anything else.
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Old 12-07-13, 03:16 PM   #18
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Yes, I wear mens unpadded cycling tights over my women's cycling shorts.
The women's tights are cut way too small for me in the lower legs.
The tights don't have to be washed after every ride, they cost less than padded tights, and I get to use a women's chamois/shorts that suit me perfectly.
For "transition" weather (50-60) I use thin running tights. Leg/knee warmers don't fit me well; usually my shins and calves need covering before my knees do. I am waiting on kneesocks to make a comeback.
For colder weather I recently bought some Louis Garneau "stockholm" fuzzy tights. They kept me comfy in a 2-hour 35F ride, albeit in sunshine no wind.
I have some performance TriFlex tights but don't wear them much. The ankle zippers and stiff front panels are less accommodating for short stubby legs since there is less 2-way stretch. They tend to ride down.
Haven't had any luck with bibs. I am a couple of sizes larger on top and haven't found any that fit.
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Old 01-01-14, 04:48 AM   #19
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Pearl Izumi Amfibs are the bomb if you want waterproof and warmth! I wear them over my chamois shorts.
I ended up going with these - holy moly, they are my new favorite legwear. Wow. Such cozy. So warmth! /doge

I got the ones without the chamois, and I've been using them as running tights over long underwear as well. I'm going to be sad when it gets too warm to wear them, as they are so comfy (and make my butt look amazing.)
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Old 01-01-14, 06:08 AM   #20
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Sport Hills XC pants. Supposedly windproof to 35 mph, with water resistant fronts that wrap around far enough to protect your thighs. Tight enough not to flap in the wind, but loose enough for any baselayer you might want.
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Old 01-01-14, 07:57 AM   #21
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Also, I'd love to hear your recommendations for good rain/wind pants/booties.
I use Rainshield O2 rain pants. The black ones. Paper thin and I stay totally dry in the heaviest of rain. I don't really have a wind pant. I usually wear Sport Hill XC pants when its cold. IMO the best winter cycling pant out there. A strong wind doesn't even bother them and they are totally coldproof. When I do wear booties I wear Louis Garneau Stop Tech shoe covers. I wear those with my sandal and sock combo down to the low 30's, upper 20's. Once the aftn temp gets cold I switch to my winter shoe. Which is a LL Bean Snow sneaker. They're good to about 5f.
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Old 01-01-14, 09:27 AM   #22
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I ended up going with these - holy moly, they are my new favorite legwear. Wow. Such cozy. So warmth! /doge

I got the ones without the chamois, and I've been using them as running tights over long underwear as well. I'm going to be sad when it gets too warm to wear them, as they are so comfy (and make my butt look amazing.)
Same here, I wear my chamois shorts underneath the Amfibs as well. I also have a pair of PI Thermal Tights as well for when it is slightly warmer, those are awesome as well.
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