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Balacava recommendations for winter riding

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Balacava recommendations for winter riding

Old 09-20-11, 05:57 PM
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Easy Peasy
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Balacava recommendations for winter riding

I'll be riding in Pennsylvania winters. Thanks.
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Old 09-20-11, 06:09 PM
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nashcommguy
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https://www.campmor.com
https://www.sierratradingpost.com

They've always got them on some sort of discount or closeout deal. Or for real hardcore days try one of these: https://www.exmask.com/psolarhx.php They're worth it from everything I've been able to find out. Allows ease of breathing w/o soaking the material w/saliva.

My own choice is a 'Terrasilk' from Campmor. Of course the weather in this part of the country is more mild than PA.
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Old 09-20-11, 07:09 PM
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I picked up an Under Armor one at Dicks on clearance a few months back (thinking ahead for once). I hope it turns out OK.
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Old 09-20-11, 07:22 PM
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I'm up in Colorado, not front range, but the mountains. I wear a gore shell, zipped up fully (it should come to your nose), goggles, and a headband (not fashionable, but my ears get cold, my head doesn't). Shell has a hood, just in case, but I never use it. This works for me till about 0 degrees.
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Old 09-20-11, 07:47 PM
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Good point, my Northface shell zips up high, so I might give that a try with a headband. But keep the suggestions coming.
Anyone have a Pearl Izumi balaclava?
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Old 09-20-11, 08:06 PM
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A lycra skullcap is enough on all but the coldest of days, and on those days I use an Outdoor Research Ninjaclava.

https://www.outdoorresearch.com/en/or...injaclava.html
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Old 09-21-11, 07:05 AM
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Under Armour, it's light, so you hardly even feel it, but seals your head up real good. Fabric is so tightly woven that you even have a little trouble breathing through the part that you can put over your mouth.
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Old 09-21-11, 08:35 AM
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I wear a knit cap all winter, since my winter helmet is sized big so I need the bulk.

I have one similar that I wear with ski googles on days where it's at 5 F or below.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VWJVA0

This one when it's a bit warmer (5-20):
https://www.amazon.com/Seirus-Innovat...=2AVA6ICSTO2IZ

And finally this one above 20:

https://www.amazon.com/Schampa-Techni...=2AVA6ICSTO2IZ
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Old 09-21-11, 08:35 AM
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Don't forget to troll through the great resources in the winter biking forum.
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Old 09-21-11, 09:26 AM
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for me, the OR lightweight balaclava is my primary underlayer for my head, but I don't even start wearing it until near freezing temps.
I can't handle any thickness on top of my head (helmet gets too tight), but I do wear a polar fleece headband and neck gator on the coldest days, which are moderate - 0F -10F, and that keeps me toasty.

Here's how it fits into the mix:

Above 50F: Helmet only
40F-50F: thin Pearl Izumi headband/ear cover. Windstopper lycra - super thin.
30F-40F: OR thin balaclava, Pearl Izumi thin headband
20F-30F: OR thin balaclava, polar fleece headband, with balaclava tucked into neck of my body's insulating layer (heavy jersey for these temps) When the temp is closer to 30, the headband is too much, and I switch to he lycra head band once I'm warmed up.
10-20F: same as above plus polar fleece neck gaitor and closure of some helmet vents (I wear a Bern)
0F-10F: Same as above with addition of thin pearl Izumi beanie over balaclava and beneath head band

Last edited by canyoneagle; 09-21-11 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 09-21-11, 09:42 AM
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Anyone heard of a Buff?

I own a summer and winter one. The winter one is Merino wool, nice and soft. It keeps me warm and happy. I can also use it as a neck gaiter, cap, or well just check the site.

REI has them.
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Old 09-21-11, 09:52 AM
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A 'clava is too much for me. I use a wool neck gaiter as an open hat, and, if it's cold enough, a second one around my neck. I can pull one down and the other up to have more or less exposure to the cold as needed - start the ride nice and toasty, but let some air in when I warm up.
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Old 09-21-11, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy Peasy View Post
I'll be riding in Pennsylvania winters. Thanks.
Balaclavas are commodities, do not overthink it. Go to any store or online site and buy a couple - one of the lightest you can find, and one that's medium weight. You'll be good to go.
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Old 09-22-11, 10:38 AM
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any good 'large' skullcaps? doesn't get cold enough for me to go full facemask, but the top of my head does get a little chilly. I've tried the 'one size fits all' types and they barely fit the top of my head w/o it feeling like i'm going to squeeze my brains out...
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Old 09-22-11, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Balaclavas are commodities, do not overthink it. Go to any store or online site and buy a couple - one of the lightest you can find, and one that's medium weight. You'll be good to go.
Sounds like good advice. I'm still using the one I bought 5 years ago, and it's all I need most of the time it's cold enough to wear something like that.
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Old 09-22-11, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
Balaclavas are commodities, do not overthink it. Go to any store or online site and buy a couple - one of the lightest you can find, and one that's medium weight. You'll be good to go.
Yes.
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Old 09-22-11, 06:28 PM
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WOOL WOOL WOOL Smartwool skull cap or balaclavas. Your head will sweet you will wash your hat and overtime the manmade materials will stink. Wool does not. Search the internet and you will find the Smartwool headwear at a remarkably low price.

I ride in all four seasons in Maine
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Old 09-22-11, 06:33 PM
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I wear a ski helmet in the winter and it comes with a warm liner. Instead of a balaclava I use a neoprene face mask and it allows me to easily lower it from my face when the temp is milder than pop it back up if the wind starts howling. The mask is brilliant because it's light weight and covers everything from under my eyes to my neck. Add ski goggles and I freak out pedestrians. Bonus!
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Old 09-23-11, 05:00 PM
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Real balaclavas are too heavy, closed off and hot for me. I prefer a merino wool buff in balaclava mode. Sometimes the wool buff does neck gator duty, with an Under Armour skull cap on top.
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Old 09-23-11, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by I_like_cereal View Post
Anyone heard of a Buff?

I own a summer and winter one. The winter one is Merino wool, nice and soft. It keeps me warm and happy. I can also use it as a neck gaiter, cap, or well just check the site.

REI has them.
This looks very interesting. I think I'll go with a UV one for summer and Merino wool for winter.
Thank you!
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Old 09-23-11, 07:43 PM
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A Mountain Hardware cap and Neoprene mask was a must last winter. Held together brilliantly by my helmet.

I have a Free Country brand insulated wind breaker.

I can layer under the windbreaker depending on the temp.

For my legs I use sweatpants with either pajama pants or thermals for an under layer, again depending on temp.

I'm a warm person in general, but this got me through 10-15(or possibly more) below 0 last winter.

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Old 09-24-11, 03:21 AM
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I use an oxford chillout balaclava which is pretty good.
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Old 09-24-11, 06:55 AM
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I like this polartek "Headsock" in hunter's orange. It's versitile,visible and large enough to fit over the helmet if I want.



Marc
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Old 09-24-11, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisENC View Post
I picked up an Under Armor one at Dicks on clearance a few months back (thinking ahead for once). I hope it turns out OK.
^^ This.

I wear mine riding and works well. Breathes and is good protection, fits well under a helmet. What's more, I use the same one under my ski helmet at temps down to -30F and it works great. I ride with mine until it gets to icy here - but ridden with it down to at least 15F or so. Very versatile, very trim and great fit.

I'm in MN and we get cold here like pretty much no where else in the lower 48 and that includes in the mountains.

J.
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Old 09-24-11, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclokitty View Post
...Add ski goggles and I freak out pedestrians. Bonus!
Forgot to mention ski goggles in my previous post. On really cold days they wont fog up as one waits at a traffic light. And they do make pedestrians a little wary...but that's not such a bad thing then is it?
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