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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 01-04-17, 10:09 AM   #1
rumrunn6
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THIN thermal layer for the head

pondering some ideas about head covering(s)

at 33-38 degrees, last weekend, I rode alternating between the hooded sweatshirt, a thin knit hat & nothing except a thin helmet cover. the 2 thermal items were too much & just the helmet cover wasn't quite right. wondering if the thin poly or cotton head-sweats was more in order. but those seem more for fall/spring. was thinking maybe just a cycling headband would have done the trick, but I can't find mine ;-(

anyone got a head cover they use that's just right for when it's cool, but not cold?

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Old 01-04-17, 10:24 AM   #2
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I have one of these and love, love, love it: https://www.rei.com/product/784560/smartwool-balaclava

Paper thin, but warm as toast without being too warm.
I pull it up over nose and mouth when it is really cold.
Other times, I just have it cover head, ears, neck, and chin.
It is very versatile.
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Old 01-04-17, 10:50 AM   #3
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hmmm, thanks. I have stuff like that. I'm sorry, I meant for when something like that is too much in any configuration
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Old 01-04-17, 11:20 AM   #4
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hmmm, thanks. I have stuff like that. I'm sorry, I meant for when something like that is too much in any configuration
I find the Smartwool balaclava to work fine when it is 30-40*, but too thin and light for colder than that. I also have a Louis Garneau skull cap that is very thin and blocks the wind well when I don't want anything on my neck.
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Old 01-04-17, 11:30 AM   #5
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For 30's, I just wear an old Louis Garneau winter cap. Its an old model but is something like this one:

https://garneau.com/us/en/cycling/po...r/black-020-60

Important for me is that it covers the ears. For 20's, I'll use a thin lycra balaklava in addition to the winter cap.
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Old 01-04-17, 12:12 PM   #6
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like something between these 2 things

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Old 01-04-17, 12:13 PM   #7
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This really depends on the person. I like to overdress a bit, I'll always err on a being a bit too warm over a bit too cold. 40-50 I just wear a cycling cap, I have stacks of them. 25-40, I like Smartwool's thin/tight running beanies under the helmet + a wool neck gaiter. Below 25, I go with a balaclava or even a ski helmet (if it's really cold).
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Old 01-04-17, 12:18 PM   #8
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Smartwool's thin/tight running beanies
hmmm yeah ok I'll look at these. the knit hat was just too warm

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Old 01-04-17, 12:28 PM   #9
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Anything like a balaclava is much to warm for me at that temp as well. From the low 30s up I wear a Halo Skull Cap. https://www.rei.com/product/831657/halo-skull-cap?CAWELAID=120217890000871534&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=15877514680&CATCI=aud-129902659960la-118325773720&cm_mmc=PLA_Google|404_9299|8316570001|none|ea579a4b-664d-4b88-8cfd-0a5723b75b3a|aud-129902659960la-118325773720&lsft=cm_mmcLA_Google_LIA|404_9299|8316570001|none|ea579a4b-664d-4b88-8cfd-0a5723b75b3a|aud-129902659960la-118325773720&gclid=CjwKEAiA17LDBRDElqOGq8vR7m8SJAA1AC0_TEVuQmsovgn0ubJ2YmTX3Fhppk96RoYRlQ13RGduURoCT hHw_wcB. Low 30s to around 5F I have an ibex cap that's perfect. Ibex Merino Wool Unisex Woolies 2 Earflap Beanie Hat 5F and lower I put a merino buff around my neck and, depending on temp and wind, pull it up over my chin and put the top up around my head so that it's like a balaclava. I'll wear a balaclava when I'm stationary, but it's too warm for riding.
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Old 01-04-17, 12:29 PM   #10
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Something like a headsweats winter beanie might work. I have two, one headsweat branded, the other generic. Oddly enough, I usually prefer the generic one. I also recently bought a Trek/Bontrager winter cycling hat identical to this one.Bontrager Classique Thermal Cycling Cap | Trek Bikes
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Old 01-04-17, 02:32 PM   #11
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I just got my PI Barrier balaclava and I LOVE IT!! Thin synthetic creates a very nice seal around my face and has windblock membrane around forehead and ears! Using it between 32-50 though. I think below freezing temps you'll want something warmer. I have the CTR Howler waiting to be tested in those freezing conditions!
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Old 01-04-17, 03:40 PM   #12
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The "Buff" brand head covers work great for me between 25F and 50F. They are super thin, easy to clean and the one shown is reversible. I purchased them (I have two) at a runners shop.
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Old 01-04-17, 03:44 PM   #13
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I cut the elastic out of an old clapped out knee warmer. I pull in down around my ears and it's snug enough without the elastic to stay on my head, and thin enough to fit well under a helmet.
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Old 01-04-17, 04:10 PM   #14
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Wear two if you have to: Skull Cap White Coolmax
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Old 01-04-17, 04:11 PM   #15
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I cut the elastic out of an old clapped out knee warmer. I pull in down around my ears and it's snug enough without the elastic to stay on my head, and thin enough to fit well under a helmet.

Wow! Now, that's using your head..!
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Old 01-04-17, 04:56 PM   #16
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Some hats are not warm enough, and some are too warm. I recently got this hat, and I love it. I wear it on and off the bike. It fits under my helmet easily. I wear it in a wide range of temperatures.

Castelli Risvolto
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Old 01-04-17, 06:33 PM   #17
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that's got style
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Old 01-04-17, 07:55 PM   #18
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that's got style
It's even better in person. I also got a Castelli jacket which is fantastic.
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Old 01-05-17, 08:36 AM   #19
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It's even better in person. I also got a Castelli jacket which is fantastic.
matching color?
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Old 01-05-17, 09:54 AM   #20
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The color in real life is different from the web page. I think these pictures capture it better, even though I don't like selfies.















Also, check out the jacket I got from the same vendor. I love it. Yesterday, I commuted in cool weather with very heavy winds. All I wore above my waist were a wool t-shirt and this very thin jacket/jersey/cardigan. Everyone else was heavily bundled up. It's extremely snug (by design) so get a very large size. I got the size Large, spec'd at a 39-1/2" chest, which is my measurement. If I were a tiny bit bigger, it wouldn't fit.

Castelli Men's Costante Jersey FZ


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Old 01-05-17, 10:53 AM   #21
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I don't like selfies
but sometimes a useful sacrifice
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Old 01-05-17, 10:56 AM   #22
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For too hot for headcovering and too cold for bare ears days I wear a full shell "urban" helmet and a earband. The urban helmet has rear vents and air space above the head so it "breathes" that way.

Another way to look at this: you sweat in the summer and have wet hair when riding hard, why are you concerned that you do the same in the winter **IF** you have something that doesn't stop being somewhat insulating when it get hits with sweat?
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Old 01-05-17, 12:04 PM   #23
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For too hot for headcovering and too cold for bare ears days I wear a full shell "urban" helmet and a earband. The urban helmet has rear vents and air space above the head so it "breathes" that way
yeah I guess I was kind of jury rigging something similar when I took off the hat/hood & used the helmet cover. but I still needed my cycling headband which I can't find
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Old 01-05-17, 12:07 PM   #24
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you sweat in the summer and have wet hair when riding hard, why are you concerned that you do the same in the winter **IF** you have something that doesn't stop being somewhat insulating when it get hits with sweat?
I was too hot with the hat or the hood after a while so I took them off to cool off. I was hoping for another covering that wouldn't make me so hot. the thin smartwool running beanie might be just the ticket & less expensive than a new helmet. admittedly tho, my fully vented summer helmet does seem out of place in the winter
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Old 01-05-17, 01:59 PM   #25
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I've worn this thin Castelli hat in various conditions. I didn't expect it to be good for under 35º, but it works for me.

I've worn it without a helmet (while walking and whatever) and under my summer helmet. When it gets cold out, I wear a ski helmet with this hat or something else under it. If you don't have a ski helmet, consider it. It was transformational for me when I got it last year. Some very painful days became no problem at all.
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