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  1. #1
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    Pants over tights?

    Hello everyone!

    I was looking for some recommendations. I have some pearl Izumi amfib tights and they work fantastic down to a certain temperature. But when it gets to be around the ~20-25 out my legs will get cold and turn red in certain spots. I also feel like my legs never get fully warmed up.

    What does everyone do around these temperatures? I was thinking about getting some looser fitting mountain biking pants to put on over the amfibs. I have also tried wearing a base layer under the amfibs but it didn't seem to keep me any warmer.

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

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    Depends on the limit you plan to ride. How low temperature do you plan to ride?
    We often have hard time giving up on summer clothing. Unless you don't really have a winter, winter clothing doesn't equal summer cycling specific clothing + extra layers. Pants are often roomier than cycling clothing so it's easier to layer.
    If you're going the mountain biking pants way why don't you just get rid of your amfibs and get some wool long johns to put under your mountain biking pants instead.
    If you really like your amfibs you could get one just for winter. One that is a size or 2 bigger for layering depending on the temperature you plan to go.

  3. #3
    Ex-Post-RBR Marcus_Ti's Avatar
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    Also depends on weather, and how good your tights are. I have some AeroTech tights that I wear underneath windbreaker pants, because the tights themselves don't do that much windblocking.

    Not feeling warmed up can be lots of things...including never getting properly warmed up before heading into the freezer, or not riding long enough to properly warmup.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I wear some loose fitting athletic pants over my tights, works very well for me and looks normal when I am in public places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    I wear some loose fitting athletic pants over my tights, works very well for me and looks normal when I am in public places.
    +1. I do the same thing, but I prefer to use merino wool long underwear -- warmer and more comfy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    I wear some loose fitting athletic pants over my tights, works very well for me and looks normal when I am in public places.
    Did that. Didn't work for me, there were always some friction between the tights and pants at the upper leg level. Probably because my cycling tights had a water resistant layer on them. Doesn't happen with pants + long johns combo.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    Did that. Didn't work for me, there were always some friction between the tights and pants at the upper leg level. Probably because my cycling tights had a water resistant layer on them. Doesn't happen with pants + long johns combo.
    My tights don't have any special features like waterproof/windproof fabric or padding, they are made from thicker warmer fabric then long johns and have a drawstring waist and leg zippers. It's almost the same as wearing a pair of long johns. No problems with friction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    My tights don't have any special features like waterproof/windproof fabric or padding, they are made from thicker warmer fabric then long johns and have a drawstring waist and leg zippers. It's almost the same as wearing a pair of long johns. No problems with friction.
    I have 2 of the warmest cycling tights on the market from LG and Sugoi which they don't make anymore. So i don't know what you're talking about when you say that your tights are warmer than long johns. Cycling tights cut wind (or should) what long johns don't do but since long johns are an insulation layer and should go under something that cut wind, the advantage of cycling tights just goes away.
    You end up, at least in my case, with something that prevents you from riding properly and offers no advantage over the long johns.
    Plus people wear cycling tights for some reasons, don't know yours, but i can guess it could be for style, aerodynamics or comfort... Once you put some pants over your cycling tights what's left? You can get as much if not better comfort with long johns. The other 2: style and aerodynamics are gone. Maybe you have some good reasons that i would be happy to hear.

    My long johns are expedition style 400g/m2

    Anyway, both solutions start with getting some pants, this we agree on.
    Last edited by erig007; 11-03-14 at 02:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kingston's Avatar
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    I also have the PI amfib tights and use them into the 20's F. Below that I go with regular cycling shorts under patagonia capilene expedition weight long underwear under a pair of gore tex cycling pants.

  10. #10
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Yes I wear pants over tights when it's very cold. I just wear regular pants.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  11. #11
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    I like some running/ windproof pants over tights when cold. They seem to move around well.

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    Pants Over Tights

    You might want to consider a good pair of Wool Pants. (With long underwear.) With this combo I can ride below Zero F and not feel cold. Military Surplus has many good pants with several thickness for not a lot of money.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    When cycling in bitter cold, I wore knee-high thick wool socks, my cycling shorts, a pair of stretchy tights overtop, and then I might also wear a pair of stretchy stirrup pants or sweat pants over that.

    The key for me was that my knees were not constricted in any way. It all had to be baggy over the knees.

  14. #14
    Senior Member scoatw's Avatar
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    Have you tried adding leg warmers for an extra layer. Riding in twenty degree weather. I like to wear a good quality wool hiking sock. The taller the better, to cover as much of the lower leg as I can. Pant wise, I wear Sport Hill XC pants. Windproof and cold proof down to about 25f or so, then I start adding layers.

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    Senior Member GravelMN's Avatar
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    +1 for Sport Hill XC Pants. Though designed for cold weather running or cross-country skiiing, they are excellent cold weather cycling pants. They have wind and water resistant fronts, are close but not tight fitting, and are thick enough to provide a fair amount of warmth. By themselves over cycling liner shorts, I find them good between 32 and 50F even if it is damp and windy. Below freezing I add a base layer underneath. I have three different weight base layers, the heaviest is double layered wool/polypropylene blend and I've ridden with them under the Sport Hill pants to -15F for up to a couple of hours. Even then it was my feet and fingers that got the best of me, my legs were fine.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by erig007 View Post
    Depends on the limit you plan to ride. How low temperature do you plan to ride?
    My goal this winter season is to ride as consistently as possible from 0 and above. Last year when it was in the teens with my current gear it was not pleasant. I don't want to make it seem like it was horrible, my feet, arms, chest and head were good, just not my legs. If I can tackle this last hurdle, I'll be very happy.

    From what I am reading it sounds like there are a few different options I can do based on everyone's recommendations. I may have to try both the wearing a wool baselayer and maybe try some pants on over my current tights and expirement with what works best. I have a sneaking feeling I'll have to do something different between the 0-10 and 10-20 ranges.

    On a unrelated note since quite a few people mentioned merino wool; I went back and looked at what my baslayer was made of and it was basically polyester. This probably explains why I thought it didn't do much in the heat department.

    I haven't really researched merino wool before. Are there any good cycling branded ones out there? I have found the cycling specific gear to be way more "enjoyable" (due to the way stitches are put in the clothing and how it rubs).

    Again thanks everyone for the feedback, it is much appreciated!!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoatw View Post
    Have you tried adding leg warmers for an extra layer. Riding in twenty degree weather. I like to wear a good quality wool hiking sock. The taller the better, to cover as much of the lower leg as I can. Pant wise, I wear Sport Hill XC pants. Windproof and cold proof down to about 25f or so, then I start adding layers.
    Cool yea I will defiantly take a look at those.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuiltyVerdict View Post
    I haven't really researched merino wool before. Are there any good cycling branded ones out there? I have found the cycling specific gear to be way more "enjoyable" (due to the way stitches are put in the clothing and how it rubs).

    Again thanks everyone for the feedback, it is much appreciated!!!

    Some regular brands: minus33, woolx, filson, woolpower, icebreaker, ibex, stanfields, MEC, 66north, smartwool, patagonia, cresta, rambler, cabelas, coldpruf, woop!wear (alpaca), orkney (angora)...

    Most long johns stop at midweight weight, you will need to look for heavyweight. The heavyweight one are available from minus33, woolx, filson, woolpower and stanfields i believe.
    Heavyweight are also way more durable than flimsy lightweight that don't last.

    The one i like is from minus33 there is only one stitch that run through the inner part of the legs and in the middle at the back. With a heavyweight one and a lightweight one you can deal with most temperatures. The lightweight one for warmer temperatures, the heavyweight for cold and both for when it's very cold. Since you already have one that seems to be lightweight (made of polyester) you will probably just need an heavyweight one.
    Last edited by erig007; 11-18-14 at 03:58 PM.

  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Wow, did you just rattle off those brands from your head?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  20. #20
    Senior Member MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
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    Around 30F and below I add a pair of windpants to the logistics. If I'll be commuting in the afternoon with warmer temps, I'll throw them over tights for the morning commute and just go with the tights for the afternoon. If it's a "pleasure ride" or the afternoon commute will be below freezing, I switch out the tights for the appropriate thermal underwear.

  21. #21
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    i had some thick tights made by Lou Binik at Foxwear | Custom Sized Sports Outerwear | Made in Salmon, ID. I've had them for 10 years or so. They are the powerstretch tights in the heavyweight material. Fairly windproof and warm but also inexpensive.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Wow, did you just rattle off those brands from your head?
    When you look for heavyweight wool boxers, you have to, they are nowhere to be found only long johns. Haven't found one yet among all those brands so i cut some long johns to make some boxers. Niche market it is.
    Last edited by erig007; 11-04-14 at 09:24 PM.

  23. #23
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    I tried PI amphibs and couldnt make them work for me either. They didnt seem to regulate temp well and I was always either too cold or way too hot. I ended up with some Craft XC ski pants which work for me down to around 20F and then I can add light or heavier long underwear to go colder.

  24. #24
    High Plains Luddite
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    I saw some Adidas brand "soccer pants" at a sporting goods retailer recently. They were black with three white stripes on the side of each leg and what caught my eye is pants zipped tight to the shins like cycling tights do, but they looked baggy from the waist to below the knees - not so baggy as MC Hammer pants (anyone remember those? ) but they didn't look like they would be "skin-tight".

    I keep thinking I should go back and try a pair on.

    Has anyone tried soccer pants for cycling?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Bat56's Avatar
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    It depends on what gets cold. What body part gets cold? Upper leg, lower leg, front, back, knee, behind the knee.... I have to imagine that it's not all "getting to cold" all at the same time.

    The thing is, a wind-proof panel over your crotch and some knee warmers might add 15 degrees to your tolerance. But if your butt is freezing that's a different story.

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