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Advice on Winter cycling gear in the Bay Area?

Old 11-10-20, 07:27 PM
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DreamRider85
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Advice on Winter cycling gear in the Bay Area?

Iím in the San Mateo area. A lot of the time I think it will be in the 50s and 60s. I donít plan to ride in the rain much though. But Iíll ride on colder days. I donít like leg warmers though because they fall off. I got some bike pants instead of shorts. Do you think pants are better for winter?

and for layering do you recommend a long shirt over a t shirt and also a wind resistant jacket? Or do you think more is needed?
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Old 11-10-20, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
Iím in the San Mateo area. A lot of the time I think it will be in the 50s and 60s. I donít plan to ride in the rain much though. But Iíll ride on colder days. I donít like leg warmers though because they fall off. I got some bike pants instead of shorts. Do you think pants are better for winter?

and for layering do you recommend a long shirt over a t shirt and also a wind resistant jacket? Or do you think more is needed?
Should be more than enough. Probably doesn't get that cold where you live. I always dress light during cold weather rides because I warm up fast.
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Old 11-10-20, 09:23 PM
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When it dips down into the 60's or below I layer up. Base layer depends on how cold it is, thermal long sleeve jersey above that. Thermal bib tights, and if it's much below 60 long finger gloves and a wind vest. That keeps me pretty comfortable for most conditions.
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Old 11-12-20, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Should be more than enough. Probably doesn't get that cold where you live. I always dress light during cold weather rides because I warm up fast.
Yeah, I'd rather be cold for 15 minutes than carry jackets and be overdressed for 3 hours.

OP, if your knee/leg warmers are falling off, then you're doing it wrong . There are plenty of makers whose leg/knee warmers will fit better and won't slide. I prefer the ones with a double sided gripper band, one for your leg, the other side for the shorts over them. In the Bay Area it doesn't really often get cold enough for a heavier jacket, something very light and packable should suffice. Of course everyone runs different, but in general it doesn't seem to get cold enough here often enough to bundle up too much, and again, it's more of a pain to carry all that stuff once you warm up. Those first 15 minutes on a cold day can suck, but once you warm up, you'll be glad you aren't lugging extra gear around for your entire ride.
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Old 11-12-20, 12:57 PM
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The biggest problem I've run into is changing temps over a ride. For longer rides, especially with elevation changes, this can be substantial. For example, two weekends ago I rode from my house in San Mateo to Woodside, then up Kings Mountain. It was just barely cool enough to merit a vest down at the lower elevations, but by the time I got to the top of Kings Mountain it was 50 degrees, and honestly the vest was really not enough, especially on the descent from Skegg's Point on 35. Once I got to Skylonda, it was fine, and by the time I was back down to Portola, I doffed the vest again.

The next weekend, spooked by how cold it had been at the top of KM, I put on a vest at the top of OLH, and started descending West OLH. As soon as I was out of the redwoods, I had to stop and take it off again. Ended up just carrying it with me the whole ride.

If you're doing a long ride, starting early in the day when it's coldest, but going on for, say 4 hours and covering a lot of elevation change, you'll have to think about how much you want to carry with you the whole time, and whether you can stand a mile or too of being too cold so you don't have to figure out where to put a jacket.

EDIT: If your leg warmers are falling down, are you putting the tops UNDER the cuff of your shorts? That'll keep them up. A lot of them don't have much elastic at the top because they're supposed to be held in place by the shorts.
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Old 11-12-20, 08:59 PM
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I wear a thin merino wool base layer and either one or two merino wool jerseys over it, depending on how cold it's going to be. All short sleeve. And then I run arm warmers, which in my experience are always warmer than the sleeves on a long sleeved jersey. This also give me flexibility for the day getting warmer. All the wool also keep you significantly warmer than anything else if you get caught out in the rain without a jacket.

I wear bib shorts with either leg warmers or, more often, wool tights (snug, but no sausage-casing tight). Tip: use clip-on suspenders with the tights.

If it's pretty chilly out, I wear some medium thick wool hiking socks. I haven't used toe warmers yet, but I run pretty warm.

I always wear a cycling cap under my helmet. In the winter, I add a cheapo fleece ear-warmer/headband. Another way to go is a helmet rain cover (aka a "helmet condom"). I have one but don't use it very often - no particular reason.

This offers me adequate warmth (it never gets stupid cold in the Bay Area during the day) and pretty good flexibility for days that start out cold and warm up.

YMMV
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Old 11-13-20, 02:30 PM
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41 degrees going along Crystal Springs through Hillsborough this morning! 45 at home when I set out, 48 when I got back.

Starting at the top, I had a thermal skull cap with ear flaps under my helmet, a long-sleeved jersey, a jacket, bib shorts with light tights over them, wool socks, and toe booties. Full finger gloves, but not insulated. I was a bit chilly when I set out, but plenty warm enough for most of the trip, and of course when I got back my jersey was soaked with sweat.

Much colder than this, and I'll go with wind-front tights and full booties, and maybe a balaclava instead of the skullcap, and thermal gloves. Colder than that, I'd double upon the tights, add a second jersey under the jacket.

Colder than that, I'll stay the hell home!
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Old 11-13-20, 05:42 PM
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And in view of what's falling out of the sky over San Mateo right now, get a rain cape.
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Old 11-13-20, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
I wear a thin merino wool base layer V
where you been hiding BS?
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Old 11-13-20, 07:41 PM
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layers
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Old 11-14-20, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
where you been hiding BS?
In plain sight. I'm too big to do anything else.

I took a break from BF, for a while, but I'm back, still riding, still slow generally, still really slow on climbs (you don't want to know how ridiculously long it take me to get up DiabloScott's Mountain). And getting ready to layer up for chilly weather..
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Old 11-16-20, 12:20 PM
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Yesterday, temps starting in the low 50s,ending up around 60 - long sleeve jersey, vest to start, bib shorts and knee warmers, wool socks and toe booties. Full finger, but uninsulated gloves.
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Old 11-17-20, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
I’m in the San Mateo area. A lot of the time I think it will be in the 50s and 60s. I don’t plan to ride in the rain much though. But I’ll ride on colder days. I don’t like leg warmers though because they fall off. I got some bike pants instead of shorts. Do you think pants are better for winter?

and for layering do you recommend a long shirt over a t shirt and also a wind resistant jacket? Or do you think more is needed?
It really depends on you, so experiment! Start with plenty of layers and see when and how much you get overheated. Bring something to carry the extra clothes in. You'll figure out pretty fast what works and what doesn't. No matter where on the coast you are, humidity is a factor; it makes heat hotter, and cold bitier.

Wool is awesome stuff, so if you can afford it, add some to your wardrobe. I've discovered that my fingers don't appreciate a cold headwind, so some decent full-finger gloves will be useful; I have a pair of lovely, windproof downhill skiing gloves for the real cold. Let us know what works for you.
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Old 11-18-20, 04:16 PM
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Doing most of my rides early in the morning lately, for 60-90 minutes. Knee-warmers tucked under shorts-legs, long sleeved base layer with short sleeve jersey (or vice versa). I would go with arm-warmers if I was going to be riding past 10/11am. Light gloves last Saturday for the first time this year. I have overshoes that I've owned since the 90s (when I lived in Ireland) and I will pull them out for a period of about a month or 2 in the deepest "winter", as much because I like the colour as anything.
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Old 11-18-20, 04:39 PM
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It is california, so a thicker pair of shorts is all that is required. HTFU.
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Old 11-18-20, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
It is california, so a thicker pair of shorts is all that is required. HTFU.
What kind of wimp buys thicker shorts?
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Old 11-18-20, 09:52 PM
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I use the "Get fatter in the winter" strategy, but it isn't sufficient for the colder days.
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Old 11-22-20, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Doing most of my rides early in the morning lately, for 60-90 minutes. Knee-warmers tucked under shorts-legs, long sleeved base layer with short sleeve jersey (or vice versa). I would go with arm-warmers if I was going to be riding past 10/11am. Light gloves last Saturday for the first time this year. I have overshoes that I've owned since the 90s (when I lived in Ireland) and I will pull them out for a period of about a month or 2 in the deepest "winter", as much because I like the colour as anything.
After yesterday morningís ride, the overshoe period of this year starts with my next ride.
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Old 12-10-20, 12:54 PM
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I love my Marmot Gore-Tex pants along with a heavy Proviz jacket. This usually keeps my core warm enough to where I don't need super heavy gloves to keep my extremities warm. Wool socks too
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Old 12-12-20, 11:03 PM
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Where do you put all these layers when you are too hot? I am on call about once a month for 7 days at time and can't ride during the day and now it get dark at 5pm. Do you guys have a nice small aero bicycle back pack?

I am still trying to figure how to stay warm at midnight while being semi aero and not over heating and sweating. I have some clothes that feel great for an hour. Nice and toasty warm but then I am all sweaty now all of sudden I am freezing even though they is zero wind touching my body I am all bundled up. So like going up Montebello. Toasty warm, get all sweaty. then take the gravel side down now I am freezing.
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Old 12-18-20, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
Where do you put all these layers when you are too hot? I am on call about once a month for 7 days at time and can't ride during the day and now it get dark at 5pm. Do you guys have a nice small aero bicycle back pack?

I am still trying to figure how to stay warm at midnight while being semi aero and not over heating and sweating. I have some clothes that feel great for an hour. Nice and toasty warm but then I am all sweaty now all of sudden I am freezing even though they is zero wind touching my body I am all bundled up. So like going up Montebello. Toasty warm, get all sweaty. then take the gravel side down now I am freezing.
I did, at one stage, have a gallon zip lock bag that I would stuff all my extra layers into; arm-warmers, leg-warmers, gloves, jacket could all fit inside, and then stuff that in my middle jersey pocket. It means you have a big sausage sticking out for the rest of the ride, but it's not the worst.

The key is being able to roll them up as tight as possible and squeeze all the air out of the zip lock. Just like rolling spare tubes up tight.

For a less than 2-hour ride, you probably don't need the 2nd water bottle, so maybe work out a way to contain stuff in the 2nd cage.
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Old 12-18-20, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by sean.hwy View Post
Where do you put all these layers when you are too hot? I am on call about once a month for 7 days at time and can't ride during the day and now it get dark at 5pm. Do you guys have a nice small aero bicycle back pack?

I am still trying to figure how to stay warm at midnight while being semi aero and not over heating and sweating. I have some clothes that feel great for an hour. Nice and toasty warm but then I am all sweaty now all of sudden I am freezing even though they is zero wind touching my body I am all bundled up. So like going up Montebello. Toasty warm, get all sweaty. then take the gravel side down now I am freezing.
Years ago - 21 years ago, really - I rode up Mt. Hamilton on New Years, it being the Millennium and all that. Climbing, I was fine, if not slightly too warm. I got to the top all sweaty of course. While I huddled in a heated hallway with a bunch of other crazy cyclists who'd done the same climb for the same reason, the cold fog which had only closed in the last mile expanded down hill quite a bit, so when I rode back down, I was chilled and never really managed to dry out, even at descending speed. Got back to the car cold and wet. Happy ****ing New Year.
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Old 12-20-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
What kind of wimp buys thicker shorts?
Today, in troll-area:

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Old 12-28-20, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
.... when I rode back down, I was chilled and never really managed to dry out, even at descending speed. Got back to the car cold and wet. Happy ****ing New Year.
I was told by a repeat rider of that on New Years day that suffering was the whole point, "the year *HAS* to get better from this!"
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