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Cold Weather Commuting Clothing While At Work

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Cold Weather Commuting Clothing While At Work

Old 02-08-09, 08:57 PM
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navionflyer
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Cold Weather Commuting Clothing While At Work

I am going to start commuting to work about 19 miles each way and have not been able to find an answer to this question. What do you do to dry out sweaty cold weather riding clothes during the work day for the trip home? I have a locker room at work with showers, but I just don't have the place to hang my sweaty clothes out to dry like I can at home. I have thought about buying another set of cold weather gear, but that's a pretty expensive solution. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 02-08-09, 09:17 PM
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How sweaty does your stuff get? Everybody's body is different, and it also depends on how much effort you put into your commute, but maybe you are overdressing.

When I ride in cold weather, I usually pack an extra base layer in case the temperatures drop. That would also work well if your clothes are still wet from the ride in.
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Old 02-08-09, 09:33 PM
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Layers! One of the delights of winter riding is that you don't sweat and can arrive cool and collected at your office. Just peel them off as you get warm. The only thing that should get sweaty is your bottom layer jersey or shirt.
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Old 02-08-09, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Wind View Post
How sweaty does your stuff get? Everybody's body is different, and it also depends on how much effort you put into your commute, but maybe you are overdressing.

When I ride in cold weather, I usually pack an extra base layer in case the temperatures drop. That would also work well if your clothes are still wet from the ride in.
Thanks for your reply Ken. I tend to sweat quite a bit (weight loss is part of the reason to commute). As an example I went out for a ride today. It was 40*F and I was sweating and cold. I will admit that I was not wearing my balaclava and the booties that I ordered do not fit so my head and feet were cold, but my torso was cold as well with the cold weather jersey and wind breaker on. I will not be commuting until I get myself properly used to cold weather riding, but I am still trying to work out the details.

Artkansas, the shirt should be ok, but the tights and shorts are more of an issue.


Thanks,
Tim
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Old 02-08-09, 09:49 PM
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Keeping my hands, feet, and head warm is the most important and most difficult part of cold weather commuting for me. I like wool as a next-to-skin layer and midlayer. It insulates well, even when it is wet. A windproof soft shell jacket or a hard shell jacket works well as the outside layer. I recommend something that is cheap with lots of vents, or something that is expensive but very breathable (like eVent). I don't usually have a long way to go (generally less than 10 miles at a time), so I wear jeans when I commute. Depending on the temperature I will wear nothing underneath or one to two pairs of tights. In the past I used Ibex wool tights that worked well, but I recently got a two pairs of Patagonia Capilene 3 tights, and those are also good.

It really is all about effective layering. You will get better at layering as you learn what works well for certain things and what doesn't, and your perspiration will probably decrease as you lose weight and become more conditioned. You have my admiration and respect for commuting such a distance. Don't get burnt out, and don't give up!

Last edited by Ken Wind; 02-08-09 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 02-08-09, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Wind View Post
...It really is all about effective layering. You will get better at layering as you learn what works well for certain things and what doesn't, and your perspiration will probably decrease as you lose weight and become more conditioned. You have my admiration and respect for commuting such a distance. Don't get burnt out, and don't give up!
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm sure in the next few weeks the things I have been reading will start to make more sense. Finding the combination of clothing that will keep me warm enough without too much sweat will be the key.

I definitely do not want to burn out. I really want this to be a lifestyle change. The nice thing is that if I really want to, I can drive to work, but at some point, it would be great to have the mindset of "Drive to work? Really? Why?"

Thanks,
Tim
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Old 02-08-09, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by navionflyer View Post
I can drive to work, but at some point, it would be great to have the mindset of "Drive to work? Really? Why?"
Heh... a couple weeks ago it was snowing as we were getting ready to leave the office... a coworker said something about it being too bad that my bike wouldn't fit in their car. I'm totally baffled as to why I'd want a ride.... and look at her incredulously and ask "You do realize I'm going to beat you home, right?" and point out the window at bumper to bumper traffic that's going about 5 mph on the freeway right outside the window.

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Old 02-09-09, 07:57 AM
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You'll need a bar that comes off the wall for hanging... If you don't have one, find a suitable solution. If you have a cube, Office Depot or the like will have cube options. If you have an office, got an over-the-door hanging option.

Bring an extra polo or dress shirt. Get a hanger with the spring clips on the cross bar.

Hang your undies/base layer and socks on the spring clips
Hang your shirt on a hanger.
Hang the polo or dress shirt loosely in front as camouflage so people don't get grossed out.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:05 AM
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I don't have a private office, so smelly cycling clothes can be an issue. I found an old surplus double-doored metal cabinet and put it in one corner of my office, it's tall enough that I can hang my sweaty or rain-soaked gear. There's usually enough air in the cabinet to allow things to dry.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:36 AM
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Do you have a door on your office? You can get over-the-door hooks and hang your clothes behind the door. If you are worried about odor, keep a can of febreeze in your desk.

People tend to overdress in the winter and sweat too much. Wear a good wool or wool/poly blend base, additional LIGHT-TO-MID weight layers as needed, and make sure that your wind breaker has plenty of ventilation options like pit zips, adjustable cuffs, rear vent flaps, etc. Then don't push too hard riding into work, save your 'workout' for the ride home.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:41 AM
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I've plugged this before, but it really works in a small space:

https://www.target.com/Febreze-White-...e%20air&page=1

The non-night-light version is $15 in store.
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Old 02-09-09, 09:23 AM
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A small, quiet desk fan really helps dry your clothes in your office. Also, if you have a CRT-style monitor, the warm top is a great place to dry gloves, caps, and balaclavas. I work in a cube and have corner mostly hidden from view where I can hang my riding clothes.

Tip: a short section of mailing tube inserted into your gloves greatly aids in drying.
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Old 02-09-09, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Map tester View Post
A small, quiet desk fan really helps dry your clothes in your office. Also, if you have a CRT-style monitor, the warm top is a great place to dry gloves, caps, and balaclavas.
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+1
I can usually just hang my sweaty under layers over a chair and they're dry in a couple of hours. Don't forget to take deodorant!
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Old 02-09-09, 09:41 AM
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I live in a cube at work, and I hang my sweaty clothes on flattened cardboard boxes that I lean up against the wall under my desk. They're not visible from the outside, and I like the fact that no one knows they're there.
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Old 02-09-09, 10:23 AM
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Unless they're really wet, I just stuff them in my backpack and leave the main compartment open, so they can breath. If they are moderately wet I'll hang them on clothes hangers from a hook on my cube's wall. If they're really wet, they go into a storage room where I can lay them out and aim a fan at them. Although I sweat even on the coldest days, it's more of a problem in the summer. Nobody has complained in the 6 years I've been doing this.
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Old 02-09-09, 10:25 AM
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I'll be pretty damp by the time I get to work - luckily, I have a closet...
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Old 02-09-09, 10:37 AM
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If you have a desktop computer at work, just drape your clothes over the vents and the clothes will dry in no time.
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Old 02-09-09, 03:01 PM
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I work in a cubicle about 12'x12' configured for 4 people.

I have a little over-the-partition 2-hook hanger and a whiteboard with a tray at the bottom. Coat hangers are hung on them with bike clothes turned inside out. Underwear won't be reused so it stays in a plastic bag. I turn all the clothes inside out. The guys I work with seem understanding and our cubicle is not in a high-traffic area / no VIPs around.

If we don't have all 4 people at work, I use their chairs too as clothes trees. If my clothes are really wet, I have a small fan that I point at them. On warm mornings, I rinse out the bike shorts and the shirt in the restroom sink. The shirts I wear in the summer are very simple thin mesh T's that have no pockets & dry quickly.

The fan isn't needed so much in the winter as our office air is dry.
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Old 02-09-09, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by navionflyer View Post
I am going to start commuting to work about 19 miles each way and have not been able to find an answer to this question. What do you do to dry out sweaty cold weather riding clothes during the work day for the trip home? I have a locker room at work with showers, but I just don't have the place to hang my sweaty clothes out to dry like I can at home. I have thought about buying another set of cold weather gear, but that's a pretty expensive solution. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Tim
I haven't tried arm or leg warmers yet, but they're supposed to help you sweat less as you warm up. Does anyone use them to commute?
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Old 02-09-09, 03:31 PM
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I have a 5x5 cube with a "guest" chair. Everything gets draped over that chair and I push it in under my desk so its not available for use. If someone swings by they use the next cube's guest chair.
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Old 02-09-09, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by annc View Post
If you have a desktop computer at work, just drape your clothes over the vents and the clothes will dry in no time.
Uhh... don't do this unless you don't mind killing your [works] computer. The vents are there for a reason, and it's not a clothes dryer.
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Old 02-09-09, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bhop View Post
Uhh... don't do this unless you don't mind killing your [works] computer. The vents are there for a reason, and it's not a clothes dryer.
True, water + electronics = >>>>>>>>>>...... but if you're careful and your clothes aren't dripping, leave a little room for venting and you should be fine.
But don't blame me if it does kill your monitor...
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Old 02-09-09, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I haven't tried arm or leg warmers yet, but they're supposed to help you sweat less as you warm up. Does anyone use them to commute?
I only like arm and knee warmers for the in-between temperatures when it is chilly but not cold. They are nice because they can be easily removed or added, but the coverage isn't complete, which makes them insufficient for colder weather.
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Old 02-09-09, 04:20 PM
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thermal tights under jeans, 2-3 layers of wool socks, under-armor base layer up top, wool riding jersey, wool sweater, wool scarf or smartwool neck warmer, then the coat or jacket that best first the conditions of the day. Plenty of layers is def your friend, if you sweat or have clothing on that doesn't retain it's insulating properties when wet (wool does for example) then you will get cold.
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Old 02-09-09, 05:26 PM
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I'm an engineer, so I have a whiteboard in my office (OK, I have 3 whiteboards). I brought in hangers and hang my clothes off the chalk tray all day. I try to remember to turn them around at lunch. I also have glove driers that I put into my gloves so they get nice and dry (and toasty!) while I'm here.

They may smell, but nobody's complained.
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