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It's time to break down and get some cool weather gear.

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It's time to break down and get some cool weather gear.

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Old 12-21-14, 12:31 PM
  #1  
Wileyrat
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It's time to break down and get some cool weather gear.

As a former avid skier and ski instructor in Washington St, I've always figured since our move to Arizona, I'd be fine cycling in shorts and a jersey, but I've turned into a cold wimp.

I rode my road bike for 25ish miles in the high 50's Friday afternoon wearing a pair of shorts, a jersey, and a long sleeve wicking shirt, and it took me the rest of the night to warm back up. I got up today with the best intentions to get out reasonably early for a decent ride, but here I sit waiting for it to warm up enough to wear my meager warm weather riding gear with diminishing motivation to head out.

It's time to admit I'm beyond HTFU when it comes to the cold, and buy some tights or leg warmers and maybe a light polar fleece vest.

Oh, and toe caps too, and maybe some gloves with fingers.

Maybe a move to a warmer climate would work.
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Old 12-21-14, 01:16 PM
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Ha ha, I'm in the same boat, though not as warm as where you are. When I was a kid in Indiana, I ran a paper route on a bicycle all winter long. Now I live in Tennessee and I'm a cold weather wimp.
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Old 12-21-14, 01:32 PM
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Below 60 degrees i start thinking leg warmers and jacket. Wool socks. full finger gloves. If the temp. goes up you can take of leg warmers and jacket off.
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Old 12-21-14, 03:20 PM
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Az at altitude is cooler than at lower elevation Too. Back up here, its Cloud cover that keeps it warmer, at sealevel.


you could chase summer , traveling between Hemispheres .. a friend I made, visiting in Northern Scotland, towards the Autumn returned to his summer gig

in Ushuaia, Argentina..

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Old 12-21-14, 05:29 PM
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I grew up in St. Louis and when I moved to Southern CA (1995) I was amazed at how bundled up the SoCal natives were dressing in what I thought (then) was reasonably warm weather.

Fast forward 20 years (nearly) and I'm a cool weather wimp too! For today's club ride, as an example, my Garmin says the temperature range was 51 - 66 Deg.f. with an average of 58. Here's the link: Garmin Connect

And I was pretty bundled up! Here is a photo of me at the coffee shop (mid-point of today's ride):

Jersey and bib-shorts, long-sleeve wool base layer, Woolie Boolie socks, wool winter-cap, toe covers, long finger gloves (not shown) plus arm warmers and knee warmers.

The coffee did warm me up a bit!

Rick / OCRR
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Old 12-21-14, 07:40 PM
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Start with a wind jacket.
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Old 12-21-14, 07:52 PM
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Actually its a good time for buying a lot of the winter kit, I have had several email sale bulletins from on-line places with some good prices on the cold weather stuff. I have an Under Armor Coldgear compression base layer top that keeps things pretty well arm, for under the ls jersey and one of the wind jackets helps a lot. The 50+ kit wind jacket has arm pit zippered vents and is a slightly heavier material, very nice and its construction doesn't flap around any. I also have a light weight Pearl Izumi Pro wind jacket for those warmer windy days, both wind jackets easily fold up and fit in a back jersey pocket.

Tights and some bib tights are handy for me when its cool enough, both Nashbar and Cannondale have well made items.

A skull cap, or a balaclava for the cold days, will be a big help, keeping the top of you head is one thing that will make keeping your hands and feet easier.

Wool socks are a must for me, lots of makers out there, someone will detail many of these, probably.

I am not letting the cooler weather stop me, last year I was able to ride after an ice storm without any problems, once the ice on the roads thawed late afternoon. Good luck on your search, I am adding to my kit this evening, I'll let you know if I see any deals.

tsl is the member that can fill you in on how to dress, what to buy and other things about cold gear kit, he should be in shortly.

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Old 12-21-14, 08:00 PM
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I hear some stories (posts) about folks commuting in temps at or below freezing. Maybe a little too hard core for me. South Texas winters bring a lot of upper 30's lower 40's temps - cold but bearable. I was determined this year that "it's too cold" would not be a useable excuse not to get out. I did buy a lot of cold weather gear. Dropped some $$ on some good quality duds, and they really work. With the right gear, I find it very enjoyable doing my nightly run with temps in the 40's.
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Old 12-21-14, 09:44 PM
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Be careful what you buy. I bought a bunch of 100% nylon raingear that neither keeps out the water nor breathes worth a damn.
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Old 12-22-14, 09:39 AM
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We live in Kansas and as of December 22, 2014 the temperatures are running from the mid-twenties to the mid-forties pretty consistently. Our riding gear is very temperature oriented from the 50-70 degree mark we both wear shorts, fingerless gloves, normal bike shoes, she usually wears a cycling jersey of some sort and I’ll wear a brightly colored wife beater with a T-shirt underneath.
40-50 degree weather and I’ll still wear shorts a wife beater and a pull over hoodie that I can get off if I get to hot. She wears ¾ cycling pants full finger gloves and she switches to her Shimano MW-81 bike shoes because her feet and hands get cold.
30-40 degrees and we both wear Specialized Element 1.5 wind blocker tights, she wears a Specialized wind blocker jacket I wear a Gore wind blocker coat and we both wear Shimano MW-81 bike shoes. I wear a pair of Specialized wind blocker gloves she wears the Pearl Izumi cold weather gloves. If the temp drops below 30 we both wear Pearl Izumi full face masks.
We both enjoy riding in the winter and it’s a little expensive to get geared up but it’s worth it.
I’m 5’10” and weigh 230lbs and she is 5’7 and weighs 135lbs. Hope this helps.

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Old 12-22-14, 11:50 AM
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Here's a pic of my wife and sister getting ready for a late morning ride in CA. Can you tell which is from Alaska and which is from CA ? I know it's pretty hard but if you try real hard...
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Old 12-23-14, 05:00 PM
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I'm planning on riding tomorrow after work, and again on Friday. If I go road riding, I'm sure I'll know what I'm going to buy Fri night while I'm trying to warm up. If I go mtn biking, I don't get quite as cold.
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Old 12-23-14, 07:24 PM
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If you need things quickly, see if there is a nearby REI, you can find some suitable stuff there, and its pretty good quality, too. If you have time look around for Castelli, Endura, and others recommended above. Actually I got most of my cold weather stuff at Nashbar (LS jersey, tights and bib tights) and DeMarchi jerseys, from Competitive Cyclist, are good, inexpensive stuff, too.

Gluck,
Bill
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Old 12-23-14, 07:34 PM
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Nashbar is running some great deals on winter stuff right now,although I think the deals expire at midnight tonight (Central time).
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Old 12-24-14, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
As a former avid skier and ski instructor in Washington St, I've always figured since our move to Arizona, I'd be fine cycling in shorts and a jersey, but I've turned into a cold wimp.

I rode my road bike for 25ish miles in the high 50's Friday afternoon wearing a pair of shorts, a jersey, and a long sleeve wicking shirt, and it took me the rest of the night to warm back up. I got up today with the best intentions to get out reasonably early for a decent ride, but here I sit waiting for it to warm up enough to wear my meager warm weather riding gear with diminishing motivation to head out.

It's time to admit I'm beyond HTFU when it comes to the cold, and buy some tights or leg warmers and maybe a light polar fleece vest.

Oh, and toe caps too, and maybe some gloves with fingers.

Maybe a move to a warmer climate would work.
Since moving to west central Florida 2 years ago I too have become acclimated. Seems most locals don't ride unless the temps are 60F+. I've ventured out when it was 50+ but was bundled up. Felt like it did in Atlanta when riding in 30+ temps.
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Old 12-24-14, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
Start with a wind jacket.
I agree, and some long-sleeved technical wear for layers. You can go all out with cold weather cycling stuff, and I'm sure be set forever, but I can't help thinking that it's sometimes overkill.
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Old 12-24-14, 06:48 PM
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In fifty degree weather I wear some kind of tight, usually just a long pair of lycra or whatever. a jacket and maybe a long sleeve jersey, depending. full finger gloves. those cheap brown cotton jersey gloves you see in convienience stores. get the insulated ones. and I'll add a pair of socks to the feet in the sandals. fifty degree weather is just starting to get things cool. Time to break out the fall riding gear.
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Old 12-24-14, 07:03 PM
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I bough a Under Armor long sleeve jersey, and a Canari wind breaker, that and full finger gloves with bike shorts gets me ok, but I am 260ish and very hairy.
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Old 12-24-14, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rick458 View Post
I bough a Under Armor long sleeve jersey, and a Canari wind breaker, that and full finger gloves with bike shorts gets me ok, but I am 260ish and very hairy.
+=1

I have under armor for a base layer and like it.
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Old 12-24-14, 07:49 PM
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Based upon my fifty-plus years of winter cycling experience, copenhagenize gets it right, as usual:
Copenhagenize.com - Bicycle Culture by Design: Overcomplicating Winter Cycling - Why It's Bad
Just do it. Easier and less hassle than winter driving.
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Old 12-24-14, 08:18 PM
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+2 on the Under Armor themal top
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Old 12-24-14, 08:26 PM
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+3, the UA Coldgear®, mock turtleneck, compression top, is my favorite base layer. Watch for sales at the sporting goods specialty stores and at the UA on line store.

Bill
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Old 12-24-14, 08:36 PM
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First off....Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all!!!!!

I went on the same mup in the same clothes, at a faster pace than Friday....But, it was seven degrees warmer so it was muy bueno today.

I like the idea of a thermal base layer, something similar to the wicking thermal zip up turtlenecks I used to wear as a ski instructor , it's not like I live in a frigid environment, and that may be good enough for a high fifties day. I also think a polar fleece vest or a wind jacket along with leg warmers or pull over tights should do me fine here.

Thanks all for your input, now all I have to do is make the decisions. If I ponder it for a couple of months, it'll be warm enough that I won't have to ponder it anymore.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:24 AM
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I'm not a supporter at all to the HTFU concept...pretty silly and perhaps harmful.

It's all about proper layering and wind proofing. A "lite weight" and "mid weight" long sleeved base layers may be all you need for warmth and sweat transfer. Add to it some sort of wind proof shell...I prefer a wind proof front and sleeves allowing heat and sweat to bleed out the back...to block wind and provide additional warmth/comfort.

A lite weight pair of tights will work well for the legs...or leg warmers, etc.

We all have our favorite, tried and true methods and it does depend on your tolerance level, climate in your area, etc.

I wear a lite base layer with a wind proof front covered by a very old style long sleeve semi thermal jacket, bought in Belgium a very long time ago. I wear a pair of Castelli bib tights, lite head shell and thin, wind proof, long fingered gloves. I wear a pair of thin socks, as liners, with a lite pair of wool socks in my Sidi shoes sometimes with toe covers. This set up works great in the fifties for me. I'm comfortable and dry.

If too warm I can always unzip, or even take off a layer, which I've done, if needed. If I'm cold there is nothing I can do except get home as fast as I can.

I too really like UnderArmor but it is costly. My lite weight base layers are by Terramar. They make great kit and are very reasonable in cost. My heavier weight layer is a mock turtle neck with zipper by UA...costly but wow what a nice piece of kit.

I use most of my riding kit for all outdoor activities. I hike and snow shoe a lot and use most of my riding clothing for these activities. The base layers, some gloves, some head pieces and the socks are all clothing that can be used for all outdoor activities. I use most of them when shoveling and using the snow thrower...Living in Northern NY there can be a lot of that.

None of my riding kit is wasted. I can find other uses for nearly all of it so the value is there. It also lasts nearly forever. I have layers, etc. that are well over twenty years old and are still in near perfect condition and will last for many more years.
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Old 12-29-14, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
Based upon my fifty-plus years of winter cycling experience, copenhagenize gets it right, as usual:
Copenhagenize.com - Bicycle Culture by Design: Overcomplicating Winter Cycling - Why It's Bad
Just do it. Easier and less hassle than winter driving.
Whoever wrote this article is out to lunch. The suggestion is that cycling specific clothes are not necessary.

I don't know what kind of riding the author does, but my street clothes would never work for the cycling I do. And vise versa, and especially for colder weather.

Having said that, I've found that a cold weather base layer that I bought for cycling works very well for daily non-cycling use. It's typically referred to as "warm compression". Trust me on this one. It's usually made of polyester or other synthetic fabric, with a special weave that traps a thin layer of air next to the skin and serves as both insulation and a moisture wick. I just bought some more of these and I wear them daily in the cold climate in which I live.

They can be expensive. The UA brand that others have mentioned is not cheap. But I've found some made by other manufacturers for ~$20 each, that fit well, look good, and perform as expected. I got some Champion brand at Target for <$20 each, but they can be hard to find. If you go here you will see a few different options at different price points. Suit yourself, but I prefer the mock turtle neck style, and I've never overheated while wearing one. Remember, these are breathable and moisture wicking.

For cold weather cycling and everyday use, I think this is a great solution for warmth and comfort.
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