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To sweat or not to sweat...

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To sweat or not to sweat...

Old 12-30-14, 09:58 PM
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To sweat or not to sweat...

So when I'm riding in the warmer time (late spring - early fall) it's a tee shirt and bermuda shorts ( maybe spandex under wear) I sweat but it works to keep me cool
Colder temps sweat pants over boxer briefs, (maybe wool base layer) and long sleeve t under a flannel shirt, (maybe a wicking t also) BUT I still sweat like a pig, if I ride without stopping, or no wind it's fine.... I get home and peal off WET cloths t's are wet from long sleeve cuf to neck to hem, and bottoms are, well we shall say as wet as a diaper. Suggestions?

By the way this is riding an upright 3-5 speed for 20+ miles at 10-12 mph.
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Old 12-30-14, 10:08 PM
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You can try to under dress slightly so you feel cool -- not cold. IME I'd dressed correctly if I'm cold for the first 10 minutes or so, until I warm up then it's fine. OTOH - if I'm not cold starting out, I'm just about assured of over heating.

BUT- even if dressed perfectly and not feeling hot, you'll still sweat. Unfortunately all those layers mean less air flow, so slower evaporation. It's rare that I get anywhere dry in the winter. MY goal is to not be soaking wet to the point that I chill from evaporation on descents.
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Old 12-30-14, 10:11 PM
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I'm not aware of a good solution. Try to work it where you're "comfortably cool" while riding. The problem is, you'll ride down the hill and be fine, then ride up a hill and be sweaty. Or into the wind is fine, with the wind is sweaty.
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Old 12-30-14, 10:12 PM
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Couple suggestions. You may be overdressing. The first 5-10 minutes should feel chilly. You warm up after that and should be marginally comfortable.

The other is wear wicking material next to your body and something thinner per that to capture moisture and allow it to quickly evaporate. Flannel shirts and sweatpants act like sponges and just hold moisture
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Old 12-31-14, 03:06 AM
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Year-round on the bike, you dress to keep cool. No matter what time of year, if you're sweating through your layers, you're wearing too much.

Commuting home last night, it was 23F. I wore a wicking long-sleeve t-shirt under my Endura Gridlock cycling jacket, and my regular bike shorts under my Pearl Izumi AmFib winter tights. Double gloved, 'tween seasons weight cycling skullcap, and my Lake winter cycling boots rounded out the ensemble. Had conditions been right for the road bike, I might have been just a wee bit underdressed--I might have had to add armwarmers. As it was pushing the studded snow tires, I was just fine. 59:08 at 13.65 mph.

Once outside of relatively warm temperatures on the bike, you need to forget everything your mom ever told you about bundling up for the cold. She wasn't a four-seasons cyclist. And you need to ditch all that cotton--although I understand it's some sort of law in the PNW that you must at all times wear some article of flannel. Maybe the fashion police will let you off if you carry a flannel hankie or something.

Dress lightly, dress in wicking clothing, and you'll be fine. If you get too cold, just pedal harder. You'll warm right up.

Last edited by tsl; 12-31-14 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 12-31-14, 06:36 AM
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^^^, what he said, tsl in the leading cycling sartorial expert for cold weather riding. Listen to what that man tells you.

One clothing article to recommend, the Under Armor "Coldgear" base layers, I wear the compression, mock turtle, long sleeve shirt when its cold out. This wicks sweat away from me and I don't get chilled from the wetness. The wind jacket I have has arm pit vents that allow me to control how much air gets in to keep things flowing, or to close the body off for warmth. You have to channel any sweat off of your skin if you are a free sweating person, along with proper layering and choosing the right materials for your kit's fabric.

The head cover and gloves will play a big part in making the rest of your body feel comfortable enough, I have both a skull cap (Specialized) and a balaclava (Under Armor) for this purpose.

As said above, you should start off a bot chilly since your body will warm up from the physical exertion, layering lets you moderate the temps inside your clothing. It doesn't need to be expensive or flashy, just practical, see the closest REI for some ideas, too.

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Old 12-31-14, 09:26 AM
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You might want to think about getting some top layers with zippers or buttons. Adjust those to get a tiny bit of air flowing through the top layers to (a) keep you from getting so warm, and (b) allowing air flow to dry the inner layers.
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Old 12-31-14, 09:42 AM
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Also, you're wearing cotton. Never wear cotton, no matter what the temperature. Synthetic garments, particularly built for cycling or other athletic activities, don't absorb moisture. They wick it away to the surface where it evaporates. Thus you always need to have a way for it to evaporate, i.e. no complete barrier layers that hold sweat in. Standing outside by your bike, you should feel chilly enough that you start to shiver.
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Old 12-31-14, 09:46 AM
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I think that it's harder to modulate when you're keeping a low effort level. Warm enough when you're not generating much excess heat is too much when the effort rises even a little. If it was me, I'd try to keep the limbs warmer and torso cooler, since in that situation it's my main body that begins to sweat. Going a bit harder, my arms and legs aren't as much cooler than torso.
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Old 12-31-14, 10:02 AM
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Invest in some wicking baselayers, wear a cycling jersey and shorts/tights. You can get baggy mtb shorts if you want and still use tights or legwarmers underneath. I also use a Windstopper vest with a mesh back when it's not too cold.

If you're raising your heartrate you're going to sweat, the key is managing all that moisture. Cotton kills.
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Old 12-31-14, 10:49 AM
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bike shorts are for moisture management, give them a try. I've got a fleece shirt that is awesome and you don't hear ppl mention them often. with a wicking synthetic base layer and that fleece shirt, my upper body stays dry. of course I wash everything immediately after a ride.
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Old 12-31-14, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for the responses. The first shirt with buttons I had as a baby was a flannel Soon to be 58 and most of life I've worked outdoors. SO, yes I understand about being comfortable/venting heat when working/riding in the cold. Today it was 33F at the start of my 20 mile loop and 34F (windchill was 27F) after 2 hours. Cold hands, nose and ears to start, 20 minutes in all were warm enough. When riding I "Zen out" and don't seem to notice until I'm wet already. Need to ride more to research this I guess Tim
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Old 12-31-14, 07:12 PM
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I tend to over dress also.But i purchased a jacket with "pit zips" that is zippers under the arms to let heat out and that helps alot.
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Old 01-01-15, 08:58 AM
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Agree with much of the above. You can't stop sweating completely, but you can control it. Layers and zippers are your friends. FB is right, start out in gear that is comfortably cool, even slightly chilly, but not so much that you shiver. Then as you warm up, remove layers or open zippers as needed to keep you comfortably cool and reduce sweating to a minimum. Wool and tech synthetics are better choices than cotton. From the innermost layer outwards think 4 W's: Wicking, Warm, Wind and Water-resistant. My winter bike has a rack with a stuff sack on it so that I can remove or add layers as needed.
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Old 01-01-15, 11:41 AM
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That you're sweating isn't the issue. It seems you are not managing the perspiration. Lot's of good suggestions above concerning proper clothing to manage the perspiration.

I'll add a variation on a well known phrase. You don't sweat less, you just go faster..
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Old 01-01-15, 11:47 AM
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I think you may be way overdressed. I'm normally cold for the first twenty minutes. If you start to sweat, unzip and vent immediately -- don't wait until you are wet.
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Old 01-01-15, 05:35 PM
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Down here in Florida, warm weather cycling is the rule not the exception. I wear wickable everything. Or as much as possible. padded liners are always kind of soggy, but the shorts and jerseys are those wickable polyester variants. Hot means sweaty and there's no way around it. Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going on a hot day is knowing I'm going to jummp in the pool the minute I get home.
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Old 01-01-15, 11:50 PM
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I only ride when it is warm or hot. I sweat, and when the ride is done, I take a shower. If I cant ride in a t-shirt and shorts, I dont like to ride.
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Old 01-02-15, 05:59 AM
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While cotton, imo, feels great against the skin it is a very poor moisture, sweat, management material. It absorbs but holds moisture...sweat, often leaving you feeling damp and clammy and worse, cold, when the temps drop.

Whether working, hiking, snow shoeing or riding outdoors I prefer moisture moving material on my skin as the base layer.
Try an inexpensive top, long or short sleeve beneath your favorite, even cotton, top layer...wind and temp may draw off moisture from the cotton top.

Same for bottoms...surprised you haven't had irritation, rash, etc. problems...once you get a rash or worse on your nethers you'll be looking for a better way.
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Old 01-02-15, 09:57 AM
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My distances are shorter and My speed is lower, when I'm riding in the clothes, I work in . T shirts .sweatshirts Sweat pants..
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