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What is your sorta-cold weather jacket/top?

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What is your sorta-cold weather jacket/top?

Old 12-01-16, 11:33 AM
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amplificus
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What is your sorta-cold weather jacket/top?

So, I'll admit it. I'm a bit of a pansy living in southern cali, so I don't know how to deal with "cold" weather very well. I say that before everyone from ANY other part of the country (except maybe hawaii or PR) tells me about how cold it gets there yadda yadda...

Anyway, I am new to commuting to work every day and I leave at about 5:30am, so the recent mornings has been in the high 30's (I know right!). My current jacket/hoodie is great starting out, but I am soon sweating profusely around the torso while having painfully cold, numb hands.

So my question is: should I just deal with it or are there other performance/light jacket options? What do you wear while riding your commute?
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Old 12-01-16, 12:03 PM
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Look at some soft shell cycling jackets. They typically strike a good/important balance of warmth and breathability. Do you have any bigger bike shops close by? That's where I would start.
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Old 12-01-16, 12:05 PM
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60-99 shorts and ss jersey (maybe arm warmers)
50-60 shorts, ss jersey, *arm warmers
45-55 shorts, *knee warmers, *medium base layer, ss jersey, *long finger gloves
40-50 *polar knickers, short sleeve jersey, *jacket, *warmer long finger gloves
35-45 *polar knickers, *long sleeve jersey, *jacket, *warmer long finger gloves
30-40 *polar tights, *thin base layer, *long sleeve jersey, jacket, winter gloves, thin wool socks, mb boots or shoe covers, hat


The challenge is when it's going to be 35 now and 65 later. I'd suggest a full zip jersey and a full zip cycling jacket. Both can be unzipped and allowed to blow free when it warms up. If you're still cold in the mornings, you can add a $15 base layer from Marshalls. You can usually find a used Hincapie polar fleece jacket (local teams selling old kit) for under $20 on ebay.

If you find one on ebay but can't tell if it's a good one, shoot me a PM and I'll take a look.


For gloves, I use a poly liner under a long finger cycling glove. My hands still go numb at anything under 45 deg. I have ordered battery heated glove liners, and will advise on effectiveness after using them for a few weeks.
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Old 12-01-16, 12:06 PM
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Layers.

Start with a good base layer and work up from there. Craft, Castelli or any generic Merino short or long sleeve base layer is going to be your best starting point. These will wick perspiration away from your skin and keep you dry. Under Armour Cold Gear works well too. Whatever you get, staying dry at the next-to-skin layer should be the first concern. Cotton kills.

Your second (and possibly third) layer should insulate and have some wicking properties to continue to move all that moisture away. A cheap fleece will work or a more technical cycling specific thermal jersey if wanted.

The third layer can be a heavier jacket or a light shell or gilet depending on conditions. This will block the wind and possibly rain. I like gilets which block wind in the front but have light fabric on the back to vent moisture and heat. Morvelo Hemisphere works well but any decent gilet will do.

Second and third layer zippers allow you to quickly adjust ventilation - lower the zipper while climbing to let off some steam and close it while descending or stopped at a red light.

Cold hands are solved by getting appropriate gloves, that's all.

-Tim-
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Old 12-01-16, 02:26 PM
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I'm in Northern California (outside of Sacramento), but I'm an admitted cold-weather wimp . According to the Garmin, this morning's commute (started at 5:42 am) was mid- to high-30s, then dropped down to low 30s by the middle of the commute before warming up to just above freezing. I was wearing Lake winter boots over Woolie Boolie socks, PI Amfib bib tights, a mid-weight Merino wool long-sleeve, base layer, long-sleeve Castelli "ugly Christmas sweater" jersey ('tis the season), a PI soft-shell jacket, and an Ice Breaker Merino wool balaclava. I wasn't "warm" at any point, but then I wasn't as cold as some earlier rides this year when it was colder, and I wasn't dressing as warmly.


The biggest improvement this year - Bar Mitts (extreme) , which allow me to use a thin liner under my regular long-finger cycling gloves rather than winter gloves or lobster mitts, both of which limit dexterity to the point it's not comfortable. Again, with the Bar Mitts my hands don't feel "warm", until I take one out to wipe my nose or get my water bottle, then the difference is hugely noticeable. I've been debating whether to use a handwarmer packet in each one when it gets colder . . . .
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Old 12-01-16, 02:30 PM
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In addition to the above, a good pair of gloves will solve your numb hands problem. I use a pair of pretty light 180s gloves that I got on the cheap at Ross or some other discount store -- they wouldn't do much in a real winter, but they're good for LA cold.
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Old 12-01-16, 03:22 PM
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Thanks for all the input, I really wasnt sure if I needed more of a wind-stopping layer, or just a lighter jacket overall (the light fleece like the Hincapie fleece kit). I am using just a pair of mechanix gloves that I didn't realize had a pretty breathable mesh back, so switching to a more insulating glove might solve a lot of the problem.

I have a bike shop pretty close to me, but I won't be giving them any business after they sent me away for wanting to buy a spoke wrench with the advice "needle-nose pliers will work just fine"
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Old 12-01-16, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by amplificus View Post
Thanks for all the input, I really wasnt sure if I needed more of a wind-stopping layer, or just a lighter jacket overall (the light fleece like the Hincapie fleece kit). I am using just a pair of mechanix gloves that I didn't realize had a pretty breathable mesh back, so switching to a more insulating glove might solve a lot of the problem.

I have a bike shop pretty close to me, but I won't be giving them any business after they sent me away for wanting to buy a spoke wrench with the advice "needle-nose pliers will work just fine"
That sucks about the local bike shop.

Once again it's paramount to have a balance of warmth and breathability. Otherwise you just collect sweat, which then becomes cold. You want to start the ride off feeling pretty cold in what you've chosen to wear. You'll warm up after a few miles and that's the comfort level you want to plan for.
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Old 12-01-16, 04:10 PM
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Team jackets are thin, wind stopping, water shedding (but not water proof) and breathable. They are intended to be the outer layer in all weather. The Hincapie ones have high collars, and some have back pockets and some don't. I always get back pockets so I can get to things without monkeying around with the layers.

The idea is that you have a short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, and vest. Those get you down under 50. Then when it's too cold for SS jersey, warmers and vest, you add the jacket on top. At some point you start adding base layers under the ss jersey, and maybe eventually a mid layer over or instead of it. But the team jacket is always on top (so the team looks like a team).
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Old 12-01-16, 04:31 PM
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Marmot Dri Clime stuff makes for a nice over layer without too much fuss. It's basically fleece inside and windproof outside. You can throw it over a t shirt and ride in the conditions you are describing. You can find them onsale a lot. I bought one years ago for a non-cycling related trip but it had a zip pocket across the entire lower back and was a little longer in the back and it lent itself to cycling. Haven't seen one like this in awhile but a regular one will work fine. I ride in it alot from 55 degrees down to the 30s with something thicker under it.

I generally hate fleece (not breathable, not very packable and bulky) but as a light inside liner material it works really well.


I also have a Chrome merino hoody that is sort of urban cycling specific and while it's a nice piece you need another layer for wind.

If you want to spend some coin check out the Search and State Cycling Jacket. I've been eyeing one of these for awhile.

https://searchandstate.com/products/...ant=1065555569
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Old 12-01-16, 04:59 PM
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You need to dress in layers so you can adjust your warmth depending on ambient temperature and effort. For temperatures in the 30s, I wear wool tights and a long-sleeve wool jersey and a nylon windbreaker vest. I don't like sleeves on the windbreaker until it gets considerably colder, as my arms get sweaty. Full-finger knit gloves on my hands with nylon wind-proof mittens over them. My arms and legs start out chilly, but feel fine after a couple miles. If I start to overheat, I can remove the vest and/or mittens.
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Old 12-01-16, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
You need to dress in layers so you can adjust your warmth depending on ambient temperature and effort.
People can recommend specific products but at the end of the day, comfort on the bike rests on this truth.


-Tim-
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Old 12-01-16, 08:53 PM
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I also commute daily and the temps are similar here hovering around freezing + or - a few degrees. There's always going to be an acclimation period, either starting out cold then warming up, or starting out warm then sweating.
That's why I say +1 for layers so you can adjust. and another +1 for stuff that wicks away sweat. A decent windbreaker and sweater are usually sufficient. I like my windbreaker because it's thin can can be folded up and stuffed into my pocket or bag, easy enough to put on or take off without having to stop. If it's really cold maybe a light vest underneath. For legs I'm good with just shorts.
The most important thing for me is decent gloves though, numb hands are the worst. invest in a decent pair, waterproof/windproof, etc. when the freezing rain comes, or snow you'll be glad you have them.
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Old 12-01-16, 09:02 PM
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I didn't read everyone else's response but my feeling is that cycling jackets suck. Most of them are water resistant which is like riding in a Hefty bag - after just a few minutes you're sweating like a pig. The temperature between 45 and 55 is the worst for finding the right clothes. Below that I have a heavier LG jacket and leg warmers and above that it's just arm warmers. I just bought a Performance lightweight jacket but it's water resistant and still sweat like a pig. What I want to do is cut the back out and sew in some kind of mesh for exhaust.
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Old 12-01-16, 09:32 PM
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I've had this for years, and although it's a bit pricey it works great and has held up really well:

https://marmot.com/products/details/rom-jacket-new

In cold weather I pair it with a (Uniqlo) light down vest, which is breathable around the armholes and zippers and provides just the right amount of insulation without being suffocating. I wear this combo, along with a thin base layer or two, for temperatures down into the low 20s on a 40 minute commute with no problem.*

The key is accepting that if you want the majority of your ride to be pleasant you'll have to be chilly/cold for the first few minutes. There's really no way around that, as anything that feels comfortable when you first walk outside will have you sweating by the time your body has warmed up enough to have otherwise felt good without your top layer (which you can't take off now, because you're sweating and would freeze).

*Fingers and toes are another matter. F*ck.
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Old 12-01-16, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
I didn't read everyone else's response but my feeling is that cycling jackets suck. Most of them are water resistant which is like riding in a Hefty bag - after just a few minutes you're sweating like a pig. The temperature between 45 and 55 is the worst for finding the right clothes. Below that I have a heavier LG jacket and leg warmers and above that it's just arm warmers. I just bought a Performance lightweight jacket but it's water resistant and still sweat like a pig. What I want to do is cut the back out and sew in some kind of mesh for exhaust.
What you want is a wind vest, not a jacket. many have mesh backs.
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Old 12-01-16, 10:09 PM
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Removable sleeve "convertible" jacket

My Pearl Izumi convertible jacket works in a wide range of temperatures. I was wearing the vest without the sleeves a few days ago, right at 50-52F, with a long sleeve jersey and a medium breathable base layer. Just right.

The great ventilation really makes this jacket work well. In cold weather, hill climbs are hot, and the following downhills are very cold.


From a Sept 2016 jacket thread I'll repeat my post:

I ride in a wide range of temperatures with my Pearl Izumi convertible jacket. It's the older model 11131108, I haven't tried the newer version.

The sleeves are attached to a yoke across the shoulders. There's a large mesh panel under the yoke, so with the jacket partly unzipped, it has a huge air flow through. And the vent keeps the jacket from ballooning out too much. (I didn't size it to be form fitting, I wanted to fit extra layers and also have some room for air flow.)

The sleeve assembly stows in the vest's back pocket. Or roll up the vest and sleeves separately, and they fill up two jersey pockets when the day warms up.

It's only marginally waterproof. The fabric breathes enough to keep my arms from getting soggy with sweat.

It's fine with various layers down to 40F (where I keep it zipped up to my neck if I'm not climbing a hill), and I've ridden a couple of times down to 30F. If the day will stay over 55F, I'll skip the jacket and just use base layers and a jersey. It's probably not too warm with sleeves and a thin base layer up to about 55F or so, and the vest isn't too hot if partly unzipped up to the mid 60F range.

For days with temperatures with 50F lowest temperatures, I'd probably leave the sleeves at home, and just take the vest, rolling it up when the day warms up.

I really like the flexibility of the removable sleeves for spring and fall rides where the ride starts or ends in colder temperatures. (It does take at least a minute to remove the jacket, unzip the sleeves, stash the sleeves and put on the vest. Maybe 2 minutes to add the sleeves. Most group rides don't like to wait that long!)

Glove liners
I have two different glove liners from REI.

A mid-weight one that's great under a windproof oversized shell glove for days in the 40s.

A very thin pair, made from material similar to a cycling jersey. These are really great for 50-60F days, worn under a pair of fingerless gloves. I wear these a lot in the spring and fall.
They are really small rolled up in my pocket if the day warms up. And I use them as a base layer under some wind blocking fleece gloves when it's in the upper 40s to mid 50s. I had these as a 3rd layer on the annual New Year's ride, at 28-30F, but that was pretty cold.

Last edited by rm -rf; 12-01-16 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 12-01-16, 10:14 PM
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Layering is ¡muy importante!

For jacket I just picked up the Gore Windstopper Hoody and that is my new favorite. I wear it all the time, now. I also have a Arc'teryx A2B Commuter Jacket but I have a wee bit of a frontal aero pouch and the jacket has gotten a touch tighter around said aero pouch so I might retire for the season till I can flatten back out again.

However for some stuff a good Windstopper baselayer and a long sleeve jersey is just fine especially when it is on the edge of maybe a light jacket.
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Old 12-01-16, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
What I want to do is cut the back out and sew in some kind of mesh for exhaust.
Many gilets come with mesh or highly breathable fabric on the back and windblock on the front.

I own two Morvelo Hemisphere gilets and an Arc'teryx jacket with wind block front/breathable back. They work excellent.

The Castelli Perfetto is another vest with open back. I'm really insterested in the 7Mesh Synergy Jersey which is the same. Both are cost prohibitive right now.

But yeah, I would never wear a full windblock gilet or jacket.


-Tim-
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Old 12-01-16, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Removable sleeve "convertible" jacket

Do you add/remove the sleeves on the PI jacket during rides or just before you head out? How long does it take?

Every convertible jacket I have ever tried was a Rube Goldberg mess. The last one I tried in REI took over 10 minutes just to get the sleeves back on. I would seriously consider one if I thought I wouldn't freeze to death on the side of the road trying to put the sleeves on.


-Tim-
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Old 12-02-16, 09:56 AM
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Gilet (vest) plus Arm Warmers = Convertible jacket.

The only difference is that the former is for people who have ridden enough in varying conditions to know what they're doing, and the latter is for.........

Said vest and warmers can be used over a base layer. I get down to about 40ish before I have to break out the jacket. The decision between jacket and vest+warmers really has to do with expected temp rise during ride. If it's coming up from 40 towards 50, then it's warmers and vest. If it's staying 40, I'll wear the jacket.
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Old 12-02-16, 11:24 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
What you want is a wind vest, not a jacket. many have mesh backs.
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Many gilets come with mesh or highly breathable fabric on the back and windblock on the front.

I own two Morvelo Hemisphere gilets and an Arc'teryx jacket with wind block front/breathable back. They work excellent.

The Castelli Perfetto is another vest with open back. I'm really insterested in the 7Mesh Synergy Jersey which is the same. Both are cost prohibitive right now.

But yeah, I would never wear a full windblock gilet or jacket.


-Tim-
Thanks for the info. I do have a vest with mesh back but was looking for the extra warmth of long sleeves - that's why I was thinking of combining the 2 and sewing the mesh onto the jacket.

I had never heard the word "gilet" in my life. Who says you don't learn anything on BF.
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Old 12-02-16, 07:20 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Do you add/remove the sleeves on the PI jacket during rides or just before you head out? How long does it take?

Every convertible jacket I have ever tried was a Rube Goldberg mess. The last one I tried in REI took over 10 minutes just to get the sleeves back on. I would seriously consider one if I thought I wouldn't freeze to death on the side of the road trying to put the sleeves on.


-Tim-
It's kind of slow to attach the sleeves. I roughly timed it at about 2 minutes once. It's quicker with the jacket laying on a table instead of doing it while straddling the bike. The central velcro tab under the collar gets everything oriented, so it's quite easy.

Timing
I had just worn the vest last time, and I like to store it with the sleeves attached. So I timed it.

Remove gloves. Remove jacket. unzip the pouch, get the sleeves out. Attach the two zippers. The 2nd zipper jammed a little, I had to unzip partway and get a fold unstuck. Attach the velcro tabs. Zip the pocket. Put on the jacket. 1:44. Another timing of just the jacket and sleeves in two separate smushed up balls of fabric took 1:03, but the zippers went smoothly that time.

~~~~

Removing the jacket, unzipping each sleeve's zipper, then ripping the half dozen velcro patches, putting on the vest, and stuffing the back pocket takes about a minute.

Timed again: remove gloves, remove jacket, unzip the sleeves, put the vest back on, stuff the back pocket with the sleeves, zip it up. 0:58. But that seems like a very long time if a group is waiting for me (or not waiting)!

Last edited by rm -rf; 12-02-16 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 12-02-16, 08:48 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
It's kind of slow to attach the sleeves. I roughly timed it at about 2 minutes once. It's quicker with the jacket laying on a table instead of doing it while straddling the bike. The central velcro tab under the collar gets everything oriented, so it's quite easy.

Timing
I had just worn the vest last time, and I like to store it with the sleeves attached. So I timed it.

Remove gloves. Remove jacket. unzip the pouch, get the sleeves out. Attach the two zippers. The 2nd zipper jammed a little, I had to unzip partway and get a fold unstuck. Attach the velcro tabs. Zip the pocket. Put on the jacket. 1:44. Another timing of just the jacket and sleeves in two separate smushed up balls of fabric took 1:03, but the zippers went smoothly that time.

~~~~

Removing the jacket, unzipping each sleeve's zipper, then ripping the half dozen velcro patches, putting on the vest, and stuffing the back pocket takes about a minute.

Timed again: remove gloves, remove jacket, unzip the sleeves, put the vest back on, stuff the back pocket with the sleeves, zip it up. 0:58. But that seems like a very long time if a group is waiting for me (or not waiting)!

Thanks for this!

Reading those steps makes my eyes glass over. I just ordered a Castelli Alpha Wind Jersey .
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Old 12-02-16, 09:10 PM
  #25  
CliffordK
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I'm not real picky.

I like a fleece shirt/sweater. Then a cycling jacket on top. I usually start out zipped, then start unzipping and increasing ventilation as I ride. Cycling jackets should have pretty good ventilation.

Ski gloves work for me.

Slicker pants if I expect rain. Or, sometimes slicker pants just as a wind breaker.

Winter Shimano MW series shoes (MW-02 now, upgrading shortly).
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