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commuting in single digits and below; pants?

Old 11-16-14, 09:13 AM
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Rerock
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commuting in single digits and below; pants?

Head, face, hands, feet, torso, accounted for.

Above 15 degrees, jeans/chinos under Marmot rain pants is warm enough for my 8 mile ride to work. Single digits, this set up does not cut it after about mile 3.

I have smart wool long johns I can throw on as well, and that would probably be warm enough, but I usually cook sitting in my office wearing them all day. I could go in the bathroom and take them off, but I really don't want to have to change every morning/afternoon if I can avoid it.

Does anyone simply use insulated snowboard pants with their jeans? I suppose Carharts would fall in to this category as well; not my style though... I like the idea of that set up, but would like some feedback before I drop a couple hundred bucks on some nice pants.

I ride 2.1" studded tires with low air pressure, in my office attire (business casual), so I just ride as fast/hard as i can without overexerting and getting sweaty. However, this usually means my legs don't generate as much heat as they could/should.
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Old 11-16-14, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Rerock View Post
Head, face, hands, feet, torso, accounted for.

Above 15 degrees, jeans/chinos under Marmot rain pants is warm enough for my 8 mile ride to work. Single digits, this set up does not cut it after about mile 3.

I have smart wool long johns I can throw on as well, and that would probably be warm enough, but I usually cook sitting in my office wearing them all day. I could go in the bathroom and take them off, but I really don't want to have to change every morning/afternoon if I can avoid it.

Does anyone simply use insulated snowboard pants with their jeans? I suppose Carharts would fall in to this category as well; not my style though... I like the idea of that set up, but would like some feedback before I drop a couple hundred bucks on some nice pants.

I ride 2.1" studded tires with low air pressure, in my office attire (business casual), so I just ride as fast/hard as i can without overexerting and getting sweaty. However, this usually means my legs don't generate as much heat as they could/should.
I don't think there is a solution that exists without some kind of colthing change, at least at these temperatures. Taking a 60 degree swing in temperature is huge.
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Old 11-16-14, 09:35 AM
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I wear basic docker-like pants at work, so for the bike trip I wear OVER them a second pair of pants. Currently I have two choices. One is some over-pants with zippered ankles made especially for wearing over other pants. These were a gift many years ago and came from some sort of military surplus catalog. They are starting to wear out, so my second choice is some baggy fleece pants that are big enough to go over regular pants. These were custom-made and also were a gift. If I had to find something on my own, I probably would try some big sweatpants. If that did not work I might try some docker-like pants, but in a size or two bigger than my regular size so they would fit over the pants I wear at work.

When the temperature hits a certain point, I add leg warmers. If there is snow, I wear gaiters. Below about minus 10 degrees, I have some army surplus wool paratrooper pants with plastic wind screens in the thighs that I wear over regular pants. These also were a gift. My late mother was a savvy shopper.
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Old 11-16-14, 01:03 PM
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To 20's i wear one pair of thermal pants below jeans, teens and below i wear a second pair. I cannot wear both plus jeans inside (very warm) so i put them on last before i head out. Pants ideally are a bit longer than measurements to help with keeping cold air off the ankles. Plus longer seems to be more comfort regardless of when they are worn.

- Andy
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Old 11-16-14, 01:07 PM
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I usually wear long johns and athletic pants but if it's very cold then I wear thermal tights underneath my athletic pants.... I also have a pair of mountaineering pants made from windproof softshell/fleece fabric, those are so warm I only use them on the coldest days or if I doing rides which last a couple of hours.
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Old 11-16-14, 02:52 PM
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Single digits are probably a good time to put on pants.
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Old 11-16-14, 03:40 PM
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1. Moisture wicking layer against skin like long underwear, under armor, etc
2. Warmth layer, - could be whatever pants you want to wear in the office, preferably not cotton
3. Windproof outer layer. Does not need to be thick. Can take off after you get to work.
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Old 11-16-14, 11:22 PM
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I wear shorts until my "purple tan lines" start to worry people. I usually wear a cycling tights under my baggy cammo shorts and layer the top with wickwear, long sleeve and a jacket. This does me well down to about -8C. I am way more comfortable at -10C and dry than I am at 2C and wet.

Plus I am a Chef so I have my crisp "whites" to change into at work everyday after a shower.

Dave
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Old 11-17-14, 12:21 AM
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I have a pair of fairly baggy snow pants that I use for pretty much all purposes when it gets cold enough. They're big enough to pull on over any other clothing. I probably look ridiculous, but I'd replace them with the same if they ever wore out.
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Old 11-17-14, 03:52 AM
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Jeans are almost always the worst pants that you can wear. I have done plenty of riding in them.
I now wear poly-cotton hiking pants for casual riding in most conditions.
In the wet and cold I wear waterproof rain pants on top.
In dry cold, long johns underneath.
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Old 11-17-14, 07:45 AM
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It is in the teens and high single digits here. I am wearing a pair of dockers and a pair of double-layer wind stopping over-pants. I have no idea what they are, I got them at a discount store several years ago.

Really, the only thing getting cold is my nose, if I pull the mask up then my goggles fog. I have another pair of goggles on order; I hope they work better.
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Old 11-17-14, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Jeans are almost always the worst pants that you can wear. I have done plenty of riding in them.
I now wear poly-cotton hiking pants for casual riding in most conditions.
In the wet and cold I wear waterproof rain pants on top.
In dry cold, long johns underneath.
How are they the worst? Pretty decent wind blocking and pretty decent breatheability, i mean, its what i use every winter and i get off the bike and walk around like a normal person not some person in athletic training or something.

(and no "swish swish swish" as i walk wither.... )

- Andy
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Old 11-17-14, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rerock View Post
I have smart wool long johns I can throw on as well, and that would probably be warm enough, but I usually cook sitting in my office wearing them all day. I could go in the bathroom and take them off, but I really don't want to have to change every morning/afternoon if I can avoid it.

Does anyone simply use insulated snowboard pants with their jeans? I suppose Carharts would fall in to this category as well; not my style though... I like the idea of that set up, but would like some feedback before I drop a couple hundred bucks on some nice pants.
I would wear what I have rather than to spend hundreds of dollars needlessly. I don't understand what is so bad about changing clothes once or twice a day.
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Old 11-17-14, 04:36 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone, I appreciate it!

This morning it was 7* outside, with a hefty breeze. I knew I'd be hot at work, but I wore Smartwool long johns under my jeans, and my Spyder ski pants over those. I was a perfectly comfortable riding in, but as I already knew, I've been hot and sweaty at work with the long johns on.


Originally Posted by scroca View Post
I would wear what I have rather than to spend hundreds of dollars needlessly. I don't understand what is so bad about changing clothes once or twice a day.
Our bathroom stall (singular, not plural) is small, kinda gross/ grungy (I don't use it), and has no hooks/ ledges for putting anything. Add the fact that it's in high demand, and you can probably begin to understand why.
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Old 11-17-14, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
How are they the worst? Pretty decent wind blocking and pretty decent breatheability, i mean, its what i use every winter and i get off the bike and walk around like a normal person not some person in athletic training or something.

(and no "swish swish swish" as i walk wither.... )

- Andy
They chafe, and get soaked. YMMV
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Old 11-17-14, 06:12 PM
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In high school our cross country team got these great flannel-lined warm up suits. They were the greatest! After looking forever I finally found a similar pair of Nike warm up pants, and I wear them any time it gets under 20F or so-- they still work great in the teens below zero.
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Old 11-17-14, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
It is in the teens and high single digits here. I am wearing a pair of dockers and a pair of double-layer wind stopping over-pants. I have no idea what they are, I got them at a discount store several years ago.

Really, the only thing getting cold is my nose, if I pull the mask up then my goggles fog. I have another pair of goggles on order; I hope they work better.
If you're really intent on riding outside no matter how cold, try ski goggles.
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Old 11-17-14, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
How are they the worst? Pretty decent wind blocking and pretty decent breatheability, i mean, its what i use every winter and i get off the bike and walk around like a normal person not some person in athletic training or something.

(and no "swish swish swish" as i walk wither.... )

- Andy
Try doing 3 hours in a 35F hard rain in jeans...
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Old 11-17-14, 06:42 PM
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single digits I wear; work pants, Sport Hill XC pants over those. Leg warmers to add an extra layer. That's good for me down to about -5f. Below that I add Snow pants from LL Bean.
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Old 11-17-14, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PennyTheDog View Post
In high school our cross country team got these great flannel-lined warm up suits. They were the greatest! After looking forever I finally found a similar pair of Nike warm up pants, and I wear them any time it gets under 20F or so-- they still work great in the teens below zero.
I'd be worried about durability, especially in the seat area. If they're layered - say, flannel-lined nylon, maybe - I'd think the layers would separate.

How are they holding up?
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Old 11-17-14, 07:03 PM
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I haven't had any problems-- I've had them for eight years and they're still holding together.

Originally Posted by achoo View Post
I'd be worried about durability, especially in the seat area. If they're layered - say, flannel-lined nylon, maybe - I'd think the layers would separate.

How are they holding up?
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Old 11-17-14, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
They chafe, and get soaked. YMMV
I don't mind wet clothes, it's not like i work in an office.

Originally Posted by achoo View Post
Try doing 3 hours in a 35F hard rain in jeans...
I try not to ride at all in cold rain, as it can get me sick from lowered core temperature. If i need to be there i can always walk. Also, i cannot think of anywhere i'd need to go more than 40 minutes one way riding. The bus stop is a 10 minute ride, and the train station the bus passes is a 35 minute ride, 25 if on bus (rack).

- Andy
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Old 11-17-14, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
How are they the worst? Pretty decent wind blocking and pretty decent breatheability, i mean, its what i use every winter
If it works for you then great...When I was involved in wilderness survival training long time ago, we the instructors forbid people to wear jeans and cotton during winter survival trips, since we never carried tents or sleeping bags, dressing properly for the weather was a top priority. One of our rules was, no cotton during winter.... Cotton has a nasty way of freezing solid after it gets wet, it feels like wearing a piece of stiff cardboard, it takes forever to dry, damp cotton will chill your entire body and core temperature really fast, I know that from personal experience...I am not trying to tell you what to do, I am just trying to explain some of the negatives of jeans and cotton during winter. I don't even own jeans anymore, I find them restrictive, heavy, and uncomfortable in any weather, I just don't like them.
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Old 11-17-14, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
I don't mind wet clothes, it's not like i work in an office.

I try not to ride at all in cold rain, as it can get me sick from lowered core temperature.

- Andy
Wearing wet damp cotton will chill your body and lower your core temperature faster then anything else, and then you can get sick from that.
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Old 11-18-14, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Cotton has a nasty way of freezing solid after it gets wet, it feels like wearing a piece of stiff cardboard, it takes forever to dry, damp cotton will chill your entire body and core temperature really fast... I don't even own jeans anymore, I find them restrictive, heavy, and uncomfortable in any weather, I just don't like them.
+1
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