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Cold Weather Clothing (tights)

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Old 01-05-12, 08:41 AM
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Spoke
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Cold Weather Clothing (tights)

Ive got a question for all you that ride more than I do and live in a colder climate than I do. I live in Austin, Texas and ride at best once a week (Saturday) for about 2-4 hours. Only five to ten times a year is it cold enough to wear something on my legs other than my usual bib shorts. If needed, I will pull on a pair of Pearl Izumi tights (without a chamois) over my bib shorts. Well, after several years of service, the tights have started to wear through in the seat area (where I sit on the saddle). The tights may last the rest of this season and I have a pair of leg warmers I can use, if needed. So I am thinking about getting a new pair of tights, but before I do, I wanted to see what yall (its a Texas thing) use.

Here are what I see as my options:
1) tights w/o chamois over my bib shorts,
2) tights w/o chamois under my bib shorts (but you are not suppose to wear anything under your cycling shorts, right?),
3) cycling tights w/ chamois alone,
4) cycling bib tights w/ chamois alone, or
5) something else?

Let me know what you think is best. As always, thanks for the help.

Ride On!
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Old 01-05-12, 08:49 AM
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I generally wear cycling bibs and tights with no chamois in weather down to about 20 F. Lower than that I wear a pair of heavily insulated full legged bibs with wind stopper material over regular bibs.
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Old 01-05-12, 09:01 AM
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The answer would depend (no pun intended) on how warm it gets, and how quickly. Wearing tights w/o chamois over your regular bib shorts gives you the option of removing them before you get too warm.
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Old 01-05-12, 09:20 AM
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Option 1 but it would have to be really cold to get me to use anything but leg warmers in that climate.
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Old 01-05-12, 09:23 AM
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I have 3 different tights all without chamois that I wear over bibs or shorts. One pair is the regular thin tights with no fleece or wind stop materials that I wear when the temps are 45 and up. The 2nd is micro fleece lined that I wear on dry days when the temps are 35 up to 45. The 3rd pair is Pearl Izumi Amfib tights that are fleece lined with a wind and water blocking material on the front side that I wear on days with temps under freezing or when the conditions are wet and cold.

I also have a pair of water proof pants that I might roll up and put in one of my pockets and use if it gets wet or I want some additional wind protection. In the winter I can't remember being too hot on rides but can remember days when I was too cold. If I get too warm I have taken my off my gloves or skull cap in order to vent some heat.
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Old 01-05-12, 09:50 AM
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Your winter temps probably get around the same as here in Florida. I have a pair of Canari riding pants w/chamois that I wear if the temps are going to stay low, but if they are expected to go up (like today), I use leg warmers so that I can pull them off and stick them in my jersey when it warms up. You can also wrap the leg warmers around your seat post and hold them on with a velcro strap if you don't want the bulkiness in your jersey.
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Old 01-05-12, 09:51 AM
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I agree with jdon, get some nice Pearl Izumi leg warmers, that should be perfect for Austin. The big advantage is that if you warm up during the ride you can just slip them off and stow them in a pocket.
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Old 01-05-12, 09:59 AM
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He already has leg warmers so I think that isn't the question.

I have a pair of tights with a chamois and a pair without, that I can wear over shorts or short liners. I prefer the tights with chamois. I just don't like all that stuff around my waist. But maybe I am a princess.
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Old 01-05-12, 10:08 AM
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As temps get cooler, my progression is:
- knee warmers
- leg warmers
- wind front tights with no chamois over bib shorts
- stay inside until it gets warm enough for one of the above to be sufficient
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Old 01-05-12, 10:26 AM
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- stay inside until it gets warm enough for one of the above to be sufficient
Good one!
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Old 01-05-12, 10:45 AM
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This wasn't one of the options but I wear bib shorts with leg warmers when its cold (38 to ~50). If its warmer than high 40s at the start of the ride I wear knee warmers.
The last time I wore tights was when I was bike commuting in 20 and 30 degree morning temperatures. I'm now retired and ride later in the day when its warmer so gave away my tights.
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Old 01-05-12, 10:46 AM
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I'm a bit north of you, in Ft. Worth, so my weather should be similar. I recently bought a pair of Performance's "Radiator" tights. Lycra outside, with a fleece type lining. They were just fine for me on a 40 day, once I warmed up to operating temperature. Only slightly chilly on the way out the door. I bought the ones without the padding and wore a pair of my regular riding shorts under them.
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Old 01-05-12, 11:09 AM
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40 F is my cut off point--

40 down to freezing and it will be Knickers. Long bibs that cover the knees and keep the joints warmer. Unless it is raining then on go the chamois less tights to stop the cold rain from stinging. Below freezing and it is the bibs and the tights.

Only been out once at 0f and I froze so won't do that again but I will go out when it is below freezing and I wrap up warm for the body. The legs never seem to need any extra besides the tights as they soon get warm at the first hill.
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Old 01-05-12, 11:18 AM
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Option 1 - this has worked for me for 30 years (replacing the bib tights w/o chamois when needed). My first one was, I believe, the first lycra ones on the market. They were Specialized - double lycra in front, single back. Probably the simplest and best I've owned.
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Old 01-05-12, 11:18 AM
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OK, whatever, they do make leg warmers in thicker, warmer material. If not these wool tights should keep you toasty in any weather Texas can dish out.
http://www.swobo.com/catalog/product...oducts_id=1176
I have a pair and I bring them out on the coldest days, they are really nice and warm.

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Old 01-05-12, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
As temps get cooler, my progression is:
- knee warmers
- leg warmers
- wind front tights with no chamois over bib shorts
- stay inside until it gets warm enough for one of the above to be sufficient
That's my progression exactly but I suspect I get to #4 earlier than you do.
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Old 01-05-12, 11:22 AM
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After 27 yrs of riding (mostly road; only hybrid for last 4 yrs) I've had (AND STILL HAVE) many pairs of tights (lightweight, medium, heavy) but none with chamois/padding. Never felt like I needed tights w/ padding since I always wear them w/ padded shorts.
ROAD RIDING: I always wore tights under my bib shorts or non-bib shorts. I just always preferred the racer look (shorts w/ logos visible outside of the tights).
HYBRID RIDING: I always wear shorts w/ padding, under tights (no padding), under MTB cargo shorts (no padding) - ALWAYS!
NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER, but then again, I live in Maryland where it gets much colder than Texas. I THINK THAT U HAVE TO FIND THE RIGHT FORMULA THAT WORKS 4 U. Be Safe!
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Old 01-05-12, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
Here are what I see as my options:
1) tights w/o chamois over my bib shorts,
2) tights w/o chamois under my bib shorts (but you are not suppose to wear anything under your cycling shorts, right?),
3) cycling tights w/ chamois alone,
4) cycling bib tights w/ chamois alone, or
5) something else?
1, tights over shorts.

2 is silly, 3 gives you back the squeezing elastic waistband you wanted to get rid of with the bibs in the first place. With 4 it can be a problem finding tights with a chamois you like.
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Old 01-05-12, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
I’ve got a question for all you that ride more than I do and live in a colder climate than I do. I live in Austin, Texas and ride at best once a week (Saturday) for about 2-4 hours. Only five to ten times a year is it cold enough to wear something on my legs other than my usual bib shorts. If needed, I will pull on a pair of Pearl Izumi tights (without a chamois) over my bib shorts. Well, after several years of service, the tights have started to wear through in the seat area (where I sit on the saddle). The tights may last the rest of this season and I have a pair of leg warmers I can use, if needed. So I am thinking about getting a new pair of tights, but before I do, I wanted to see what y’all (it’s a Texas thing) use.

Here are what I see as my options:
1) tights w/o chamois over my bib shorts,
2) tights w/o chamois under my bib shorts (but you are not suppose to wear anything under your cycling shorts, right?),
3) cycling tights w/ chamois alone,
4) cycling bib tights w/ chamois alone, or
5) something else?

Let me know what you think is best. As always, thanks for the help.

Ride On!
Spoke
This is what I wear in the cold.

2 to 3 pair Army Issue Cold Weather Long Johns Bottoms

UA ColdGear Leggins

Then I put the Pearl Izumi shorts on. The Pearl Izumi bike shorts with chamois are on the outside.
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Old 01-05-12, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
I have 3 different tights all without chamois that I wear over bibs or shorts. One pair is the regular thin tights with no fleece or wind stop materials that I wear when the temps are 45 and up. The 2nd is micro fleece lined that I wear on dry days when the temps are 35 up to 45. The 3rd pair is Pearl Izumi Amfib tights that are fleece lined with a wind and water blocking material on the front side that I wear on days with temps under freezing or when the conditions are wet and cold.

I also have a pair of water proof pants that I might roll up and put in one of my pockets and use if it gets wet or I want some additional wind protection. In the winter I can't remember being too hot on rides but can remember days when I was too cold. If I get too warm I have taken my off my gloves or skull cap in order to vent some heat.

I follow this formula also. The Pearl AmFibs are a great product and work from 40f down to 15f or lower if I use another layer underneath.

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Old 01-05-12, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
I'm a bit north of you, in Ft. Worth, so my weather should be similar. I recently bought a pair of Performance's "Radiator" tights. Lycra outside, with a fleece type lining. They were just fine for me on a 40 day, once I warmed up to operating temperature. Only slightly chilly on the way out the door. I bought the ones without the padding and wore a pair of my regular riding shorts under them.
Exactly what I do down to about 25F. Lower than that, I break out the hybrid that has a chain ring guard, hit a nearby flat MUT, and wear ski pants. I'm only riding to get the legs moving at that point. It still beats the exercycle.
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Old 01-05-12, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoke View Post
I’ve got a question for all you that ride more than I do and live in a colder climate than I do. I live in Austin, Texas and ride at best once a week (Saturday) for about 2-4 hours. Only five to ten times a year is it cold enough to wear something on my legs other than my usual bib shorts. If needed, I will pull on a pair of Pearl Izumi tights (without a chamois) over my bib shorts. Well, after several years of service, the tights have started to wear through in the seat area (where I sit on the saddle). The tights may last the rest of this season and I have a pair of leg warmers I can use, if needed. So I am thinking about getting a new pair of tights, but before I do, I wanted to see what y’all (it’s a Texas thing) use.

Here are what I see as my options:
1) tights w/o chamois over my bib shorts,
2) tights w/o chamois under my bib shorts (but you are not suppose to wear anything under your cycling shorts, right?),
3) cycling tights w/ chamois alone,
4) cycling bib tights w/ chamois alone, or
5) something else?

Let me know what you think is best. As always, thanks for the help.

Ride On!
Spoke
Temps above about 15℃(59℉) shorts and jersey, if your cold, your not working out hard enough.
Temps between freezing and 15℃ then I add some wind resistant rain pants and a wind cheater.
Temps below freezing I switch to the trainer, the salt they put on the roads is too hard on the bicycle frame....
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Old 01-05-12, 03:26 PM
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For moderately cold Pacific Northwest coastal weather, always the padded cycling shorts under the unpadded tights.

Here's why you don't want to use padded tights alone: lycra wears out and gets thinner with each washing. As a result, cycling shorts have a limited life before they either start to develop holes where the chamois is sewn, or get to the point where you can see thru the material (yes, it's rather titillating riding along the bikepath behind females who are unaware that their shorts have worn to that point!).

So winter is a good time to get the last bit of use out of your worn-out shorts that still have enough chamois to be comfortable. You wear them underneath the tights so nobody can see the holes, and two layers of lycra, even if both are worn out, are much harder to see thru than one!

Just another cheapskate tip...

L.
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Old 01-05-12, 04:06 PM
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Here in Arizona we have about the same weather as you. Usually it warms up latter in the day and leg warmers work fine for me. I can take them off and put them in my jersey pocket with wind stopper booties that I use if its really cold. (like 25 or so)
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Old 01-05-12, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
As temps get cooler, my progression is:
- knee warmers
- leg warmers
- wind front tights with no chamois over bib shorts
- stay inside until it gets warm enough for one of the above to be sufficient
- I skip the knee warmers and wear leg warmers 50-40F
- Wind front tights w/o chamois over shorts or bibs 40 down to 32.
- Stay inside 32 and below

Knee warmers are just leg warmers missing the lowest 6-8"
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