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Winter ride and gear report

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Winter ride and gear report

Old 10-26-14, 09:39 PM
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Winter ride and gear report

This has probably been done before, but I find it instructive to see what people wear in colder conditions. So I'm doing it again.

Temp: 1 (33F)
Time: 1 hr

Gear
Wool socks
Regular shoes
BBB ArcticDuty overshoes (can't recommend these enough--see here)
UnderArmour Coldgear tights
Regular bib shorts
Arm warmers (wife's long socks)
UnderArmour Coldgear long-sleeved shirt
Regular short-sleeved jersey
Wicking long-sleeved shirt
Slightly thick wind resistant racing jacket (so what we have is three fairly thin layers and a jacket)
Thin gloves for moderately cool conditions
Regular fingerless cycling gloves
Claw-style mitts (fingers in 2+2 formation)
Toque (that's Canadian, i.e. winter cap)
Helmet

At the half-hour mark I started to feel a chill in my quads and shins, but that settled down into a standard and very bearable sense of "being out in the cold." The rest of me was more than warm enough. I was most gratified with the lack of chill in my hands and feet. Seems like if you get that covered, you're good to go. I used to buy those chemical toe warmers for cold days, but that was before I discovered wool socks and the BBB ArcticDuty overshoes (I have no relationship with the company, but I'm shilling hard for them--they're awesome).

Last edited by rousseau; 10-26-14 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Inadvertently hit Enter key too soon
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Old 10-26-14, 11:25 PM
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You're right ... it has been done before. In the Winter Cycling forum:

Winter Cycling


In fact, there are two Stickies of exactly this topic.
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Old 10-26-14, 11:55 PM
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Well, being a rider of a road bike, and this being the road forum, it's of particular interest to hear what gear roadies are using on their road bikes. This being the road forum and all.

One, two or several hours on a road bike is obviously a different animal from mountain biking, commuting or touring. Thus my post.
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Old 10-27-14, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rousseau
Well, being a rider of a road bike, and this being the road forum, it's of particular interest to hear what gear roadies are using on their road bikes. This being the road forum and all.

One, two or several hours on a road bike is obviously a different animal from mountain biking, commuting or touring. Thus my post.
The Winter Cycling forum is for all sorts of winter cycling ... road, mountain, long, short, utility, fun ... whatever sort of cycling a person might do in the winter.
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Old 10-27-14, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
The Winter Cycling forum is for all sorts of winter cycling ... road, mountain, long, short, utility, fun ... whatever sort of cycling a person might do in the winter.
And the road forum is for road cyclists. Seems to me that if a person riding a road bike wanted to know specifically about something pertaining to road riding, it might make more sense to post or search in the road forum.

You can see the logic at work here.

In any case, back to the topic at hand.
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Old 10-27-14, 01:01 AM
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Temp: cold
Time: 2hrs
Gear: singlespeed
Was cold, rode faster, got warm, rode slower

I was riding a road bike on the road that I have ridden many times, it was a nice ride
I felt like a roadie

Am I posting in the correct forum?
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Old 10-27-14, 05:10 PM
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It felt a bit wintry last night, but we've still got a month or more until winter really starts. It will be interesting to try out a few rides below zero. I tend to lose interest once it hits freezing, but this year I'm going to give it a go.
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Old 10-27-14, 05:19 PM
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There are basically three areas that I worry about when I ride in temps approaching freezing: ears, fingers, and toes. A thin cap/earwarmer band under the helmet works well with the ears. Mittens work better than gloves, always have. I discovered this years ago running in -25C winter weather. As for toes, I just ordered BBB shoe covers. Anything that covers the feet on the outside to keep the wind out will help the toes.

The rest of the body doesn't get too cold. I don't intend to ride in weather colder than freezing. But who knows, if zero is bearable, maybe -2 is okay too.
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Old 10-27-14, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau
This has probably been done before, but I find it instructive to see what people wear in colder conditions. So I'm doing it again.

Temp: 1 (33F)
Time: 1 hr

Gear
Wool socks
Regular shoes
BBB ArcticDuty overshoes (can't recommend these enough--see here)
UnderArmour Coldgear tights
Regular bib shorts
Arm warmers (wife's long socks)
UnderArmour Coldgear long-sleeved shirt
Regular short-sleeved jersey
Wicking long-sleeved shirt
Slightly thick wind resistant racing jacket (so what we have is three fairly thin layers and a jacket)
Thin gloves for moderately cool conditions
Regular fingerless cycling gloves
Claw-style mitts (fingers in 2+2 formation)
Toque (that's Canadian, i.e. winter cap)
Helmet

At the half-hour mark I started to feel a chill in my quads and shins, but that settled down into a standard and very bearable sense of "being out in the cold." The rest of me was more than warm enough. I was most gratified with the lack of chill in my hands and feet. Seems like if you get that covered, you're good to go. I used to buy those chemical toe warmers for cold days, but that was before I discovered wool socks and the BBB ArcticDuty overshoes (I have no relationship with the company, but I'm shilling hard for them--they're awesome).
I did training rides and races on some of the coldest days last year, and I think I might have gotten that bundled up when it was 16F/-9C. I found basic DeFeet wool gloves to be surprisingly effective - comfy from mid 50s F down to freezing temps. A wool sweater under a shell of a jacket goes a long way, too. Craft toe covers were sufficient over warm-weather shoes through the whole winter - maybe wore two pair of socks on the coldest days.
Layers - thin or not so thin - is the key, I have to agree, but I can't imagine having three layers on my hands.... Don't the two others provide enough padding and protection that you could skip the fingerless gloves?
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Old 10-27-14, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by kbarch
I did training rides and races on some of the coldest days last year, and I think I might have gotten that bundled up when it was 16F/-9C. I found basic DeFeet wool gloves to be surprisingly effective - comfy from mid 50s F down to freezing temps. A wool sweater under a shell of a jacket goes a long way, too. Craft toe covers were sufficient over warm-weather shoes through the whole winter - maybe wore two pair of socks on the coldest days.
Layers - thin or not so thin - is the key, I have to agree, but I can't imagine having three layers on my hands.... Don't the two others provide enough padding and protection that you could skip the fingerless gloves?
Well, New York's actually slightly warmer than southern Ontario/Toronto, so I'm guessing that you can get away with a little bit less gear for a lot of days. Or maybe you're just braver than I am?

Those DeFeet Gloves basically look like the thin gloves I'm wearing, but they don't give any wind resistance, I don't think. That's what the claw-style/lobster-style gloves are for. I could actually go without the fingerless cycling gloves, but somehow I like wearing them. My hands don't feel constrained or anything.

Those upper body layers are thin. One of them is a summer-weight jersey. Which, when you think about it, is actually pretty useless as a winter layer, right? I think I put it on out of habit.

But why bother with winter-shoes and extra pairs of socks when you can stick with your regular summer shoes and socks and just get something like the BBB ArcticDuty (shill alert!) overshoes? These are the best overshoes I've ever had, and I'm now on my third pair. The material is different, and they're a bit thicker than regular overshoes. The keep me warm enough that the chemical toe warmers aren't necessary.

Check out what the diehards are wearing on a Donut Ride in Toronto in December when it was -5 out (23F):


I still find it amazing to see riders in their regular summer kit finishing on mountaintops in the Giro where temps are 0 degrees or lower. Ryder Hesjedal had one in 2012 where it was -1. I'm in awe.

Last edited by rousseau; 10-27-14 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 10-28-14, 03:59 AM
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I love winter cycling. For me it means 2 months of wearing knee warmers, a long sleeve base layer, and maybe a windshell over my normal kit. Toe covers also come in handy on the brutally cold mornings.
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Old 10-28-14, 06:32 AM
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Old 10-28-14, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht
I love winter cycling. For me it means 2 months of wearing knee warmers, a long sleeve base layer, and maybe a windshell over my normal kit. Toe covers also come in handy on the brutally cold mornings.
Down here, winter is just about over ... although we do get the occasional reminder during spring. Like today for example ... wind, rain, snow on the mountain top and a freezing cold high for the day of about 12C.

We opted not to ride today ... but I did wear a rain jacket during my usual daily walks.
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Old 10-28-14, 07:26 AM
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It doesn't get much colder than freezing where I live. For these temperatures, I wear basic thermal tights over cycling shorts, long sleeved base layer and a short sleeved jersey under a basic windproof shell, windproof overshoes, long fingered cycling or ski gloves and a winter cap under the helmet. The problem area is my forehead/sinuses that get super sensitive to wind. I'm thinking about getting something like ski goggles for this, but I need some that will work with a cycling helmet and are usable at night.
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Old 10-28-14, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht
I love winter cycling. For me it means 2 months of wearing knee warmers, a long sleeve base layer, and maybe a windshell over my normal kit. Toe covers also come in handy on the brutally cold mornings.
It has to be hovering around 0 degrees (30F) for January and February for it to be winter. You don't have a real winter, yours is just pretend. It's like you're playing at winter. I'd be embarrassed to call "wearing knee warmers" a sign of winter if I were you, mate.
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Old 10-28-14, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rousseau
It has to be hovering around 0 degrees (30F) for January and February for it to be winter. You don't have a real winter, yours is just pretend. It's like you're playing at winter. I'd be embarrassed to call "wearing knee warmers" a sign of winter if I were you, mate.
Obviously you have never lived in the desert. In December and January it regularly gets to freezing temps just before dawn, and my morning commute is often quite chilly. Toe covers and knee warmers are great because by 10am it gets up into the 60s, and it's easy to remove them & stow in a jersey pocket. My comments about winter riding were simply rubbing in the fact that your weather sucks.

Btw I'll be sure to let you know when I first need to use the knee warmers.
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Old 10-28-14, 11:57 AM
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May I put in a good word for my Gore Phantom winter jacket. It's wind resistant, it breathes remarkably well, and I can zip off the sleeves and end up with a short-sleeved jersey if it warms up during the day. I wear a wool singlet, a lightweight wool long-sleeved jersey and the jacket, and I'm good to freezing.

Below that I rarely ride.
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Old 10-28-14, 12:01 PM
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Layers, appropriate for the conditions and the rider.

It takes some experimentation to figure out what's appropriate.
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Old 10-28-14, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Layers, appropriate for the conditions and the rider.

It takes some experimentation to figure out what's appropriate.
Yeah, experimentation - like today, it was low 50s and I figured I'd try out the cool weather jacket that just arrived - (last year's model Giordana formared carbon (what a silly name!) at great discount!). It didn't seem too winter-y, but I figured it would be fairly warm, so I wore it with a flimsy nylon base layer - at least to keep the jacket fresh, you know. Fairly warm? I was burning up!
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Old 11-25-14, 10:52 PM
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I'm feeling warm enough with the kit in the original post above, save for my legs. By the end of my hour-long ride in freezing temps my quads and calves are cold to the point of being uncomfortable.

I'm guessing that UnderArmour Coldgear tights are probably supposed to be an internal layer, and not be exposed the way I'm using them. Would anybody happen to have any recommendations for tights and/or leg warms that you swear by for freezing temps?
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Old 11-25-14, 11:12 PM
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I wear PI Elite Thermal Barrier tights in those temps when it's dry and down to about 40° in the rain. For colder temps, I wear Performance T.r.i.f.l.e.x tights.
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Old 11-26-14, 12:24 AM
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Thin toe covers, midweight Capiline under tights, Ultimax wool blend socks, midweight Capiline top next to skin, long sleeve P-I jersey next, Gore cycling jacket over that. Giro gloves. If things get grim a PI skullcap.

The Gore jacket is pretty excellent. It has a broad usable range of temps and conditions. I like:

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...er-anyone.html
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Old 11-26-14, 05:45 PM
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I'm thinking I'll definitely need to double up the layers on my legs when it gets below zero. The freezing mark really does seem to be the rubicon for me.
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Old 11-26-14, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau
I'm thinking I'll definitely need to double up the layers on my legs when it gets below zero. The freezing mark really does seem to be the rubicon for me.
I keep thinking about using my arm warmers, but have been able to hold off by riding after 9am when the sun warms the air up to 60F.
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Old 11-26-14, 08:18 PM
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I had to take my knee warmers and toe covers off today because it was too warm.
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