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32 deg ? Pffft

Old 10-08-14, 04:11 PM
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intransit1217
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32 deg ? Pffft

I can layer for that.

Assos makes a 21 deg jacket but it's the cost of a new bike. No thanks.

So, what do y'all do when it get serious cold?
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Old 10-08-14, 05:53 PM
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Layer up. A couple of layers of expedition weight poly jerseys, a fleece vest, and a wind layer. Hardest for me are fingers and toes. Below 20F I use booties and mitten shells that I made myself, with fleece socks and homemade undermitts or gloves. I can ride down to 10F with that setup, and none of it cost much--mostly surplus, thrift store and homemade. I commuted all winter in Denver for many years. Some may not think that's serious cold, but it was all I needed except maybe 5 or 10 days a year.
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Old 10-08-14, 06:09 PM
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To me, that kind of weather is not made for touring. I prefer to save my bike trips for the spring, summer, and fall, when the experience in between start and end-points is the highlight.
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Old 10-08-14, 06:12 PM
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I rode all of the last three winters. Actually, I was in Colorado this past winter when things got rough, but I spent January-March in the Northeast. I rode in the sleety-rainy-ice-storms, the blizzards, the dry as a bone frigid days, the windy days, you name it. Snow thunderstorm 2011? I rode.

When the Northeast had that big cold spell this year with back to back days at -15, I rode in a synthetic puffy, a thick fleece, and a raincoat (wind blocker). For my hands, I used expedition-weight synthetic fill mittens, which badly need replacing, but I can't find a suitable replacement (they were basically puffy jackets for hands, no heavy leather reinforcement or waterproofing BS).

It basically went like this:

Midweight Merino Top
Thick Fleece
Synthetic Jacket
Raincoat

That was the worst cold ever. Most "regular" cold above 10, I just wore the fleece and maybe a softshell. Softshell is very good for non-extreme cold as an outermost layer because it breathes without letting the wind in. My Rab Zephyr softshell weighs like 6oz.

For my legs, I wore a wool baselayer and windproof tights underneath a rain shell. I also had knee warmers, but mostly didn't need them.

For feet... tricky. I basically failed, because I got frostnip twice last year when I climbed the local peak (Mt. Greylock). The ride down would freeze my feet well past numbness. At the peak of the season, I was using my summer cycling shoes with neoprene toe caps, light wool liner socks, and gore-tex outer socks, and a warm wool baselayer around my ankles. This year, I'm experimenting with fleece-lined neoprene socks instead of gore-tex socks. If I can't get enough warmth out of my socks and still fit my foot in the shoe, I'm getting overboots. My previous system worked under 10 miles, but my Greylock loop, which I can usually do right up until the end of January unless we get unlucky snow, was like 30 miles.

I picked up a cheap pair of ski goggles from a friend for like 5 bucks. They let me wear a full-face balaclava and still see. A little wicking liner hat kept my sweat from freezing, though I still got beardcicles every ride.

Riding all winter is not just possible, it's a blast.

Here's my winter touring gear list (FIXED!)

Last edited by mdilthey; 10-08-14 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-08-14, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I rode all of the last three winters. Actually, I was in Colorado this past winter when things got rough, but I spent January-March in the Northeast. I rode in the sleety-rainy-ice-storms, the blizzards, the dry as a bone frigid days, the windy days, you name it. Snow thunderstorm 2011? I rode.

When the Northeast had that big cold spell this year with back to back days at -15, I rode in a synthetic puffy, a thick fleece, and a raincoat (wind blocker). For my hands, I used expedition-weight synthetic fill mittens, which badly need replacing, but I can't find a suitable replacement (they were basically puffy jackets for hands, no heavy leather reinforcement or waterproofing BS).

It basically went like this:

Midweight Merino Top
Thick Fleece
Synthetic Jacket
Raincoat

That was the worst cold ever. Most "regular" cold above 10, I just wore the fleece and maybe a softshell. Softshell is very good for non-extreme cold as an outermost layer because it breathes without letting the wind in. My Rab Zephyr softshell weighs like 6oz.

For my legs, I wore a wool baselayer and windproof tights underneath a rain shell. I also had knee warmers, but mostly didn't need them.

For feet... tricky. I basically failed, because I got frostnip twice last year when I climbed the local peak (Mt. Greylock). The ride down would freeze my feet well past numbness. At the peak of the season, I was using my summer cycling shoes with neoprene toe caps, light wool liner socks, and gore-tex outer socks, and a warm wool baselayer around my ankles. This year, I'm experimenting with fleece-lined neoprene socks instead of gore-tex socks. If I can't get enough warmth out of my socks and still fit my foot in the shoe, I'm getting overboots. My previous system worked under 10 miles, but my Greylock loop, which I can usually do right up until the end of January unless we get unlucky snow, was like 30 miles.

I picked up a cheap pair of ski goggles from a friend for like 5 bucks. They let me wear a full-face balaclava and still see. A little wicking liner hat kept my sweat from freezing, though I still got beardcicles every ride.

Riding all winter is not just possible, it's a blast.

Here's my winter touring gear list.
^^^^^^Hardest core dude I've come across to date.
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Old 10-08-14, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by intransit1217 View Post
^^^^^^Hardest core dude I've come across to date.
Thanks. I had the wrong gear list there. I'd be a real badass if I went winter touring with a 45 bag. The real list is now up.
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Old 10-08-14, 08:15 PM
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And that's a hellalist, too !
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Old 10-08-14, 08:18 PM
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Is your s.o. hardcore too?
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Old 10-08-14, 08:49 PM
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All these synthetics are nice, but nothing beats wool. Keeping your head warm is important, so a nice wool hat of some sort is in order. I wear wool socks and wool mits both doubled up if it gets cold, below -20C is cold. First layer for me is always something made from merino wool, then on top of that I can layer heavier woolen sweaters or pants if necessary. An outer layer to keep the wind out is also important, that is where some sort of breathable fabric is usefull - this works for me.
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Old 10-08-14, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by intransit1217 View Post
Is your s.o. hardcore too?
Kelley is getting into touring! We're going camping this weekend. Here's us conquering Mt. Florida by bike (her first overnighter). We go camping about 20x as often as we go touring, just because neither of us will have time for a tour until next summer. But, we get out just about 3x a month, and we bike and explore every weekend.

We just replaced that old fork on her Kona Cinder Cone with a Surly straight-blade steel fork. Tires are next. It's a sweet touring bike- we found it for $200 bucks and the hubs, crankset, derailleurs, etc. are all Shimano XT.




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Old 10-08-14, 09:29 PM
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Well rock and roll, you bike hussies !
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Old 10-08-14, 10:40 PM
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I wouldn't worry about it too much if it doesn't say [Insert Cycling Clothing Company Here] on it. I find cross country ski, downhill ski, and mountaineering clothes clothes work quite well in the winter.

Please keep in mind that there are a tremendous number of factors (physiological, mental, and environmental) that will determine what works for you, and that I am really into pushing myself hard, which is one of the reasons I live where I do.

Roughly, my winter commuting wardrobe -- my range goes pretty far as I used to commute/ride everywhere in Fairbanks (20 some years), although I am now in Anchorage (but still commuting by bike):

Above 30F but too cold for shorts: Patagonia R2 pants, thin hooded wool top, ancient Mountain Hardware Windstopper Fleece, full cycling gloves, wool cycling cap or wool stocking cap, leather Adidas trainers.

30F to 20F (this morning): Cross country ski tights, wool quarter-zip jersey, fleece gloves, insulated Gore Bikewear jacket, wool stocking cap, hiking boots or rubber boots if there is wet snow on the ground.

20F to 10F: Same as above, but add wind shell pants, neck gaiter, and soft-shell gloves

10F to 0F: Same as above but add thick wool socks and mountaineering shell with pit zips open

0F to -10F: Add fleece mittens or wool-lined gloves (work gloves with wool liner), and wool pullover to above

-10 to -20F: Add mitten shells and extra neck gaiter rolled up and worn as ear warmer. I might note that right around here is where one has to think about rebuilding the freehub with Lubriplate 1 grease, or the pawls will stick in the open position and not engage the hub shell... this is really frustrating, and you will be walking).

-20 to -40F: Exchange insulated hiking boots for mukluks, exchange stocking cap for balaclava with windstopper layer, add synthetic insulated vest. Add long underwear bottoms under insulated fleece pants.

Below -40: Stay home if at all possible (even if you have car-type wheels). If one must go out, heavy mittens (we call them buckets) or pogies. Heavy fleece added over all of the above below shell, thick socks in mukluks or surplus army arctic vapor barrier boots, every bit of skin covered, cell phone next to body to keep it warm, well ventilated goggles, balaclava liner under balaclava, neck gaiter, friend you can reliably reach if you have a problem, because you likely aren't going to fix it without hurting yourself. They should also be someone who knows your route, and is smart enough to come look for you if you don't show up or give a call. This becomes especially true as you get near -50F.

Probably a wider range of temperatures than most need, and milage may vary based on one's own tolerance, but hope it gives you a few ideas on what is possible. Whatever you do, don't let moisture build up from perspiration. It is better to start out a bit cold and warm up, than start out warm and overheat. Stop and remove layers if you have to.
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Old 10-09-14, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
To me, that kind of weather is not made for touring. I prefer to save my bike trips for the spring, summer, and fall, when the experience in between start and end-points is the highlight.
I too prefer to not tour in the dead of winter where really cold weather is the norm, but brief spells of sub freezing temperatures are a possibility in Spring, Fall, and even in Summer many places. I have had overnight lows below freezing when at altitude even in the lower 48 in Summer, so I always have clothing that will get me through that kind of weather if I layer it all up. For me that means a windbreaker and a warm shirt along with tights and maybe shell wind pants over my warm weather riding clothes. Add a thin but warm cap and sometimes a down sweater (I added the down sweater recently, but got along fine without it in the past) and I am good to go. It really doesn't take much. I have been comfy enough with a packed clothing weight of 2.5 pounds when it got down into the teens overnight. I did hang around a fire in the morning until the sun was fully up when it was in the mid teens, but rode on while it was still pretty cold.
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Old 10-09-14, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jwarner View Post
I wouldn't worry about it too much if it doesn't say [Insert Cycling Clothing Company Here] on it. I find cross country ski, downhill ski, and mountaineering clothes clothes work quite well in the winter.
This. I have one wool bike jersey and some bike shorts, everything else is ski, backpacking, and running stuff.
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Old 10-09-14, 06:38 AM
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My winter warmth layers are: merino wool top, merino wool pullover, down sweater vest, down sweater. Although a rather pricey accumulation the various combinations make it very useful for any season's touring.
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Old 10-09-14, 07:02 AM
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Thanks jwarner ! I think I'll stop out door riding at 0-F. Switch to indoor training on those days. I have unloaded 1 car at 2 am in -34 weather. That stuff doesn't play. Triple layers couldn't keep it out.
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Old 10-09-14, 09:09 AM
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No winter touring for me, but for "mdilthey" just get some mt bike winter boots, lake, 45 north and a few others make some. I still commute in the winter and mt bike on the weekends, pogies rule. Patagonia merino wool base layers are the best.
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Old 10-09-14, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
No winter touring for me, but for "mdilthey" just get some mt bike winter boots, lake, 45 north and a few others make some. I still commute in the winter and mt bike on the weekends, pogies rule. Patagonia merino wool base layers are the best.
You're right, I just don't have $300 to throw around. $11 neoprene socks are my stopgap measure. Ha!
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Old 10-09-14, 10:27 AM
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Not touring that time of the year thanks to no winter camping equipment. I ride year round as I don't own a car. For the winter months...

Down to 10-15F, depending on how strong the wind is(10-12 mph) down to 10 degrees, much above that wind speed than around 15 degrees I'll add more:
I wear merino wool socks with regular cycling shoes and neoprene booties. My feet get cool to slightly cold on occasion but as long as they are dry I don't mind and I just ignore it. Never had any kind of problems otherwise.
Cycling shorts and wind pants. I used Velcro around the ankles to keep the wind pants from getting caught on frame pump/water bottle holder/chain.
Long sleeve cotton t-shirt and wind jacket(nylon shell for both the pants and jacket, no lining) I typically keep the wind jacket unzipped(read why below).
Pop top wool mittens.
Sweat band and a skiers ear band.
Same helmet I wear during the summer, plenty of ventilation holes.

Below 10 or on real windy days below 15 degrees:
Cycling tights.
Add a fleece up top.
Sometimes I add a neoprene balaclava depending on how windy/cold it is.

This pretty much covers 99% of the winter here in New Hampshire. I'll ride 60-100 miles in a day dressed like this. I'm comfortable all day long and I can stop and be outside for 15-20 minutes without getting cold...HOW, do you ask. Let's look at the science of how the body operates.

First, the body is designed to keep itself at 98.6 degrees F. Below that you start to shiver to warm up or make other movements with the body to warm up. Above that is where the key comes into play. Above 98.6 degrees you start sweating. Sweat is designed to cool the body down, hence the other name for sweat...evaporative cooling. When you start sweating your body is trying to cool itself down, it's not trying to keep itself warm. So the question comes up, why do you want to sweat if you want to stay warm? Pretty stupid isn't it.

Now when you stop, whether it might be to fix a blown tire, a broken chain link, etc., you have all this sweat on your lovely clothing, even smartwool clothing. This sweat is continuously sucking the heat right out of your body. The heat will continue to leave your body as long you have sweat on/next to your body. The manufactures of smartwool and other wool products want to make you think their product is so great because it wicks the sweat away. The problem is as long as you are sweating you are also wicking the heat right away from the body, at a much faster rate than you would be if you remained dry. The secret is to remain dry in the first place. HOW???

By wearing my limited clothing during the winter and keeping the wind jacket unzipped I keep myself warm by keeping myself dry. I let the ventilation keep the area between the shoulder blades(right behind the heart) dry. By keep the head uncovered I let the heat escape and not trap it in like a fool does. This keeps the heat from building up to the point where I start sweating. By not sweating I stay warm because I'm not suck all the body heat right out of myself.

I pretty much never remove any clothing when I ride. If you have to remove clothing when you ride you should have left the clothing at home in the first place. The first 20 minutes or so of the ride you want to be cold. If your not cold right off the start, your day is already over. Your done for and your clothing is going to be wet in no time at all. The wet clothing is going to be sucking the heat right out of your body...FAST. It's not about removing the clothing it's about avoiding sweating in the first place. You avoid the sweating by not putting the clothing on and by giving yourself plenty of ventilation so the heat can escape and not build up to the point of making you sweat.

Now one other real BIG secret is to start riding cold right now. As the temperatures start to drop, keep the clothing off. I was out last night until 9:45PM riding. It was 50 degrees and I had on cycling short and a long sleeve cotton t-shirt. I ride cycling shorts down into the 30s with nothing else on the legs. Let your body get use to riding in the cold. Let you body get used to starting out cold and let the exercise warm you up...not the clothing. The same way RAAM racers head to the desert and the high peaks of Colorado before the start RAAM to acclimate to altitude and heat, you want to do the same thing to acclimate to cold weather riding. The more you let your body get used to riding in the cold the more it adapts to riding in the cold. Don't start putting on the fleece and wool junk now when its 40-60 degrees outside. Leave that stuff at home for when it actually does get cold. Let the body adapt and you'll find you don't need that stuff more than a couple days a winter.

Learn to listen to common sense and not marketing pitches. When you see something in an ad ask yourself what are they trying to sell me and then ask yourself does this make sense. When it comes to the STUPIDwool and all this other crap they market the products to you by fear. Look at the way they market the products. Remember...if they don't sell the products they go out of business...that's how important marketing is to any company. Look at the flashy girls on the car hoods that the car companies use all the time to try to get you to buy their automobiles. Do you need the car...of course not. Do you want the car...no you want the girl. The marketing works. They know how to sell fear to you and it works. Sweat kills simply because it sucks the heat right out of your body. It's not the cold that kills, it's the sweat that kills(at least in the case of cycling). Keep yourself dry in the first place by keeping the clothing off and you'll stay warm. Add the clothing and sweat your butt off and you'll freeze your butt off as well.

Now I'll digress and agree with what others have said. Everyone is different. You do have to find out how little you can safely go with. Don't fret over adding more clothing, just fret over taking clothing off. Take the clothing with you in case you need it. Ask yourself the most important question though as you are riding...Can I keep riding like this all day and still be 'comfortable'. Notice I didn't say toasty warm, like sitting by the fireplace at night, I said 'comfortable'. Again, if conditions remain the way they are right now, can you keep riding like this all day long and still feel 'comfortable'.
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Old 10-09-14, 10:35 AM
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Bikenh, you had me until "STUPIDwool." No fabric is perfect, but I'll go with the one that evolved on a mammal for a few hundred millennia.
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Old 10-09-14, 11:34 AM
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32.. Celsius or Fahrenheit? whatever..
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Old 10-09-14, 02:06 PM
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On the wool thing... I grew up when wool was just about the only good option and spent a lot of years wearing for biking, skiing, hunting, snowshoeing, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing. I was very happy when synthetics largely replaced wool and for most uses much prefer them. Wool is warm when wet, but soaks up a lot of water, dries slowly, and good wool garments are often way over priced.
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Old 10-09-14, 02:23 PM
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& there are wool carpet moths , none that I know of, laying larvae that are feeding off Polyester.
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Old 10-09-14, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
& there are wool carpet moths , none that I know of, laying larvae that are feeding off Polyester.
A cedar box takes care of those little guys.
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Old 10-09-14, 03:04 PM
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Didn't do a thing for my Wool Rug . I can't keep it in a cedar Box ..You hauling your gear in a cedar pannier?
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