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Cooler weather gear

Old 10-03-11, 06:39 PM
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Cooler weather gear

Okay, so the morning temps are nose-diving below 60. The day-time temps are still in the 80s to near 90s and it wasn't but a few days ago when we were still bumping close to the 100s.

I ride a heck of a lot more now and need to know more about cooler weather gear. What's the run down? What's necessary and what's just taking up space?

I'm down to 281 at 6'6" and bike nearly 400 a month with most miles being on dedicated rides but also with short commutes and errands by bike.
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Old 10-03-11, 09:40 PM
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I really recommend wearing clothes. Indecent exposure arrests are bad. Apart from that, I can't think why a basically room temperature ride would need special clothing.

If you're riding in 40-50F weather, you might want a windbreaker, long sleeve shirt, long pants, or other clothing that one might ordinarily wear when it is a bit chilly. You'll probably take the warm layers off as you warm up. Obviously, match the layering up to what you'd usually wear at the temperature involved. I tend to get cold easily, so I likely have on wool layers. Most people do not get cold as easily as me, and it is perfectly normal to see a guy biking in nothing more than tights and a jersey at 50F.

For 20-40F, you may want gloves, ear warmers or other actual winter clothing. This is the temperature zone I'd regard as tricky, since it is actually cold out, but you can easily soak your clothing with sweat if you work hard and are overdressed. Soaked with sweat leads to hypothermia, and hypothermia is BAD. I've had hypothermia a couple times now, and I can assure you you do not want to imitate me. That is a large chunk of why I'm so sensitive to cold. Get a temperature injury once, and your body will get it again more easily too. Practice lots, and do not be shy about dropping layers if you need to.

Below 20F, I'd definitely check out the advice in the winter biking forum. At that point you're looking at ice or snow cover on the road, and you can't necessarily get by with just dressing sensibly.
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Old 10-04-11, 08:26 AM
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Arm warmers, leg warmers and shoe booties ... I now have all three and they're chilly temps nirvana for me.
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Old 10-04-11, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Kerrvillian
Okay, so the morning temps are nose-diving below 60. The day-time temps are still in the 80s to near 90s and it wasn't but a few days ago when we were still bumping close to the 100s.

I ride a heck of a lot more now and need to know more about cooler weather gear. What's the run down? What's necessary and what's just taking up space?

I'm down to 281 at 6'6" and bike nearly 400 a month with most miles being on dedicated rides but also with short commutes and errands by bike.
Here are my guidelines for cool weather clothes, assuming an early morning ride, sunny, and about a 10 degree temperature rise during the ride.

Temp at start

>60 Shorts and short sleeve jersey
55-60 Add light base-layer under jersey
50-55 Add arm warmers, light gloves to above
45-50 Add long tights over shorts, headband to keep ears warm, plus the above
40-45 Add wool/polypropylene long sleeve base layer + thicker gloves
32-40 Add shoe covers, balaclava
<32 Stay in bed and keep warm

Last edited by hayden52; 10-04-11 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 10-04-11, 08:41 AM
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It's in the 30s-40s here at night now and highs daily in the 60s if we're lucky. I'm still wearing what I wore all summer, only adding arm and leg warmers and maybe a windbreak jacket. When it gets cold, I'll start wearing fleece.
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Old 10-04-11, 08:45 AM
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Everyone is different.

Use layers of clothes. Experiment with what works for you.
My most difficult item is gloves for difference temps without being too warm for the temp.
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Old 10-04-11, 09:22 AM
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Start accumulating cool weather clothes, and experiment until you figure out what works for you. My closet includes arm warmers, leg warmers (down to 45), long-sleeve jerseys, technical tee shirts (under the jersey), 3 weights of tights (>40F, 30-40F, <30F), polypro middle layer, wind/rain shell, long finger gloves (Performance Century are really good ones), polypro ear warmers, skull caps, wool socks, lobster gloves, helmet cover, and a balaclava. Oh, and a couple of plastic grocery bag halfs, trimmed to fit over wool socks and inside the shoes.

All of the above work well, in some combination and temperature range. I'm anomalous, in that I don't get that much out of the warmers -- when it gets below 45, I'll be into tights and a wind shell instead of warmers. YMMV.

But I've only ridden down to 14F. Last winter it got colder, and I hitched a ride to work. ;(
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Old 10-04-11, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Torrilin
I really recommend wearing clothes. Indecent exposure arrests are bad.
Just get your lawyer to ask for it to be thrown out for lack of evidence.
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Old 10-04-11, 03:55 PM
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When I started running last year about this time, I found an awesome tool on Runners World called "What to Wear". It was extremely helpful, but doesn't translate well to bicycling (yes, I made that mistake). Anyone know of something similar for riding?
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Old 10-05-11, 09:44 PM
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For cool temps in the 45-60 degree range, I wear a cotton thermal underwear set (long sleeve and pants) with shorts and a t-shirt over them.
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Old 10-06-11, 02:33 PM
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I bought a Under Armour Cold gear long sleeve compression shirt and topped it with a t-shirt and shorts for a mid-day ride in a breezy mid-60's day in Delaware.
I though it might get a little hot but with the breeze blowing and me pedaling most of the time, it was warm enough to keep me from being chilled and cool enough to not make me sweat too profusely. But once I got home, I had to rip it off...it definitely needed a breeze in those temps.

But thermal shirts and shorts will be the norm until it gets blustery cold...then I have to re-explore my biking wardrobe...
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Old 10-06-11, 06:32 PM
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How many days in a row do you ride? If you can wash often, you can get by with these as layers:

Wool baselayer. Go to https://backcountry.com and search for "merino" for some great examples.
Long-sleeve jersey
Thin wind/rain shell
Tights
Good heavy pair wool socks
Shoe covers. Be careful while wearing shoe covers. If you walk around at all in them, or unclip and put your feet down much, most shoe covers will wear out FAST.
Hat/head covering of some kind
Gloves

In dry weather, I'll go to a l/s jersey at about 60 degrees and start adding layers as it gets colder. Depending on how tolerant you are of cold, what I listed above could easily get you down as far as freezing or even lower.

Arm and leg warmers are good when you're doing long rides that start when it's cold and end when it's a lot warmer, or vice-versa. If temperatues aren't going to change much during a ride to the point you have to remove or add layers, there's not much point to wearing arm or leg warmers instead of a longsleeve jersey or tights.

A few other points:

To keep your hands and feet warm, you need to keep your arms and legs warm.
Wool, wool, wool. There's nothing better. Period.
You may need to add glove liners for colder temps. Again, get wool ones.

FWIW, I've ridden in single-digit temperatures with 30 mph winds, and have routinely done 4-5 hour rides in 35-degree downpours.

Oh, yeah, cotton is HORRIBLE. Get it wet sometime (even just sweaty) when it's 40 degrees out and you'll see....

Last edited by achoo; 10-06-11 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 10-06-11, 07:49 PM
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pricepoint has quality house brand arm,leg, and knee warmers at great prices.
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Old 10-06-11, 07:57 PM
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Bicycle shorts and jersey should be fine.

Then again it could be different in the US visa-a-vis Canada ... ?

Last edited by Seve; 10-06-11 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 10-06-11, 08:45 PM
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I like synthetic wicking material year round. Again, see what works for you.

Remember if you aren't cool/cold the first 20 minutes, you're overdressed
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Old 10-06-11, 09:43 PM
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Guessing California temps may be simlar to Texas. When temps hit the 60's I wear an underlayer (cheapo Target or Wallyworld version), tights, jersey, and a windbreaker. This gets me though just about everything (35-60 degrees). Yes, I wear it when it's 60 because descending a mountain road at 40 mph adds the wind chill factor.

Never really that cold here but this set up does the trick.

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Old 10-06-11, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
Guessing California temps may be simlar to Texas. When temps hit the 60's I wear an underlayer (cheapo Target or Wallyworld version), tights, jersey, and a windbreaker. This gets me though just about everything (35-60 degrees). Yes, I wear it when it's 60 because descending a mountain road at 40 mph adds the wind chill factor.

Never really that cold here but this set up does the trick.

Mr. Beanz

That is a fabulous photo, thanks
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Old 10-06-11, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Seve
That is a fabulous photo, thanks
Nice windbreaker, hunh?
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Old 10-06-11, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz
Nice windbreaker, hunh?
Sure, okay ............... ?/?

Pardon moi ...........
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Old 10-06-11, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Seve
Sure, okay ............... ?/?

Pardon moi ...........

Just messin'....one of my favorite pics.
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