Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Cycling Vest

Old 10-10-11, 06:34 AM
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hyhuu
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Cycling Vest

I have never had nor worn a cycling vest before but have seen plenty of people using it on the road. So how useful is it? What do I miss?
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Old 10-10-11, 06:55 AM
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I was very skeptical about vests at first, and then several years ago, I bought one ... and loved it. When that one was stolen, along with my bicycle and several other things, one of the first things I bought was another vest.

I like my vest for cool temperatures when I don't really want to wear a jacket, but where I know the wind is going to make wearing a jersey just a bit too cool. It's great for evening rides in the spring and autumn when I know the temperature is going to drop a few degrees during the ride ... long sleeved jersey might be fine for the start of the ride, but the vest adds that little bit of extra warmth at the end. The vest is also good for a hilly ride ... I don't usually overheat in the vest going up the hill, but appreciate the wind protection on the descent.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:55 AM
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Temperature regulation, wind stop, water resistance, MORE POCKETS.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
I have never had nor worn a cycling vest before but have seen plenty of people using it on the road. So how useful is it? What do I miss?
extremely.
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Old 10-10-11, 07:11 AM
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Vests rock this time of year. Very useful.

This past weekend's rides started off with temps in the 50's at start and 70's by end.

Start with vest over jersey, as it gets warmer unzip partially....and if it really warms up roll up vest and stash in jersey pocket.

I <3 my vest!
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Old 10-10-11, 07:27 AM
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If your ride spans the 50/60 to 70 degree temp zone, a vest is killer. I'm talking wind vest, just a shell. I've tried the thick vest, have some generic ones, and I'll very rarely use it as a base layer to help protect my torso.

Wear wind vest zipped when it's cooler (50 deg F coming off winter, 60 deg F coming off summer). Unzip above that (flapping vest is motion; motion catches eye before color or shape; car drivers notice you sooner). If too hot (yesterday it was in the 80s but I started with a vest) just tuck in pocket.

When I order a team kit I always get couple shorts/jersey (of course), vest, winter jacket. I usually wear the latter as a street jacket until it gets cold, like under 45-50 deg.

I want to get shoe covers, gloves, caps, but they're usually not available. For 2012 I could get shoe covers and caps so I did (all but shorts/jerseys have already been "released").

Then I focus on one long sleeve jersey and more shorts/jerseys.

If possible I get team kit knickers too, since they're like vests in usefulness. I use knickers in 38+ deg F (racing), 50+ deg F (training). In cooler temps I combine with jacket, then vest/ls jersey/ss jersey/base.

I wear warm booties until about 60 deg. I'm more concerned about my Achilles than my knees. In fact, at 55 deg, I wear booties, shorts, LS jersey, vest, long gloves, head cover.

My favorite temps for racing is 45-60 deg, training is 65-75 deg.
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Old 10-10-11, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Vests rock year round. Very useful.

This past weekend's rides started off with temps in the 50's at start and 70's by end.

Start with vest over jersey, as it gets warmer unzip partially....and if it really warms up roll up vest and stash in jersey pocket.

I <3 my vest!
corrected.
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Old 10-10-11, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
corrected.
If you say so.

I don't use them much in the summertime. Certainly (for my climate) they are most useful in spring and fall. Winter needs more, summer needs less.
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Old 10-10-11, 07:46 AM
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Question to add. I have used rain shells before, the non breathable kind, and they make me overheat. A lot. Would no breathable fabric vest do the same, considering it isn't forming a canapy around my arms as well?
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Old 10-10-11, 07:50 AM
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no.
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Old 10-10-11, 07:50 AM
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An ideal vest has (a) mesh on the back and (b) semi-permeable material in front (i.e. Gore-tex).

If your vest has one or the other, or both, you are set.

If none of the above, you are SWEAT.
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Old 10-10-11, 10:50 AM
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i have three gilets. one is an extra removable layer for coolish days or variable temps(perfect with arm warmers). one is more wind and rain proof, that's for rides where it likely won't come off. last is a polartec one, an extra layer underneath for very cold temps. if i'm wearing that on a ride, it won't be coming off.
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Old 10-10-11, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
An ideal vest has (a) mesh on the back and (b) semi-permeable material in front (i.e. Gore-tex).

If your vest has one or the other, or both, you are set.

If none of the above, you are SWEAT.
+1

I bought a gilet that meets those requirements a month ago: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/gore-bike-we...stopper-gilet/

Conclusion: Most versatile piece together with arm warmers, both of which fit into jersey pockets when not in use. I bring them along when the forecast is below 60. They work well for me till about 45, then I need a base layer.

I'm 5'9, 155lbs and I bought a medium, it fits a little looser than I'd like.
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Old 10-10-11, 11:33 AM
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I dusted off a vest this morning for my ride to work. This time of the year I'm transitioning from the postal envelope to vest.
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Old 10-10-11, 11:35 AM
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I never had a vest until a month ago when my inlaws bought me one as a gift. Had I realized how much I would like it, I would have been using these for years.
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Old 10-10-11, 11:58 AM
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I'm good with a windvest and armwarmers down to 45F, roubaix-fabric vest and longsleeve jersey down to 30F. They're awesome for riding from now until March.
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Old 10-10-11, 01:41 PM
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I was skeptical about vest too. It made no sense; armless jackets, jackets without arms, WTF? But then I did some research and found that vest have been a long standing tradition in men's couture. The clincher was when I found that the EU they are called gilets. If there is a recognized French word for them, they must be legit. Now I have several.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
If there is a recognized French word for them, they must be legit.
Those ninnies think snails are a delicacy. Snails are just slugs that happen to live in shells. Just sayin'...
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Old 10-10-11, 02:23 PM
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I have a semi-insulated gore jacket with zip-off sleeves. This time of year I often wear a LS jersey and the jacket sans sleeves (so basically a vest). It's too bulky to stuff in a pocket though so I only take it when I'm pretty sure I'll need it the whole ride. Unzipped it isn't too bad if I end up getting warm. Personally, I don't see the point of a light shell unless it's just for visibility. Where I live if it's warm enough for just a shell then it's warm enough to not wear one at all. A LS jersey usually covers it. Once that's not enough, my semi-insulated one comes into play. Even colder and put the sleeves back on. Even colder, add layers.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:31 PM
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A thin nylon vest is one of my more important pieces of kit. It easily fits in a jersey pocket when I am climbing or it warms up, yet helps me stay warm on descents or in cool weather. Most riding around here involves variable temperatues, so layering is important. The vest works well with a pair of armwarmers. With that (and jersey and shorts, wise guy) I am ok down to the low 50s.
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Old 10-10-11, 03:19 PM
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Vests are awesome.

Vest + arm warmers + leg warmers over your standard kit, and you can ride from the 40s to the 70 - 80s and above in a single ride. Well, you might want something for your head, too.

Did just that Saturday on my monthly 200k. Ride started out around 47 with a cool breeze and no sunshine (not much at 7 a.m.), topped out around 77 before the day was done.

Strip off parts of your outer layer as you go, and stuff them in pockets or a handlebar bag (if you ride unsupported all-day rides this time of year, you want somewhere to put your stuff). Add them back as the wind and temps shift.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:08 PM
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I bought a cheap Pearl Izumi vest on ebay, definitely works! Around 55F its all I need with some arm warmers, eventually I find myself unzipping it 1/4 to 1/2 the way down. Buy one!
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Old 10-10-11, 04:22 PM
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I have two vests. One is super light, that you can easily scruntch up and place in a rear jersey pocket. The other one is pretty thick and heavy, and does not easily fit into a jersey pocket. I find that I ONLY wear the light one. For colder weather, I'd rather just wear a super light weight jacket, than a heavy vest.
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Old 10-10-11, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by david58 View Post
Temperature regulation, wind stop, water resistance, MORE POCKETS.
Yep, the unsung hero of cycling apparel. Mine gets alot of use.
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Old 10-10-11, 05:40 PM
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I have two vests, both wind vests. They are very effective and really make a difference. The both roll up nicely and I can even keep one in my jersey pocket and put it on if my ride keeps me out after the sun starts to go down and it starts getting cold.
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