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I hate cycling jackets

Old 12-11-19, 01:55 PM
  #1  
epnnf
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I hate cycling jackets

They are windproof; I get that. But after a few miles, I warm up; start to sweat. Then, stop, take off jacket, dry off, continue riding. Uphill, lower zip; downhill, zip up. On flats, bend over fwd, try to get air inside to dry out (of course its cold). etc, etc, etc Once, long time ago, I tried riding without jacket- just base layer & long sleeve jersey. Forgot what happened, just remember never to do it again. Am I missing something? Is there a right way?
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Old 12-11-19, 02:11 PM
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It sounds like you've been using the wrong cycling jackets. The nicer ones are more than just rubbery wind proof shells, they are breathable to keep you from overheating. I've been using a Pearl Izumi AmFib more recently, and a cheap Cutter jacket before that with multiple zippers to allow for ventilation.
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Old 12-11-19, 02:22 PM
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If you go with Perl Izumi, they are good quality, sometimes they run a bit small

there are numerous threads on winter cycling jackets. The following is my approach for 0-32F, which is typical of a lot of winter cyclists.

* Merino Wool base layer
* Perl Izumi - type mid layer
* lightweight rain jacket
* Windbreaker
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Old 12-11-19, 02:34 PM
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you're not alone

I think ventilation is the key. I have a new favorite. it's not cycling specific. it has massive, meaning very long, pit zips. so I can start, all-buttoned up, then unzip the front & unzip the pits, partially or all the way. I can feel the air moving thru the jacket. it's kinda weird to be warm, maybe a little sweaty, but also feel the cool breeze running thru around my torso. then when it seems appropriate I zip the front or the pits as needed. I got it used from a consignment shop

but good layering under it all is equally important. I play with my base layer & the layer between the base & the jacket depending on the temp. meaning change what I'm wearing underneath depending on the day

but first few rides of the late fall for me, involved stopping & disrobing somewhat. I think I've got it now ... famous last words

this is what I like. it's a Marmott Windstopper. got it for $50 (it's fleece lined & warm, I would not call it a "shell")



here's a nice XL on eBay for $20! (I think my pit zips are longer than pictured in that ad, but what a bargain!)

Ooh a nice red one!

last spring I forgot my outer layer & was forced to buy something new. but very happy w/ this Columbia jacket, which IS just an actual "shell" & also features extensive pit zips



I have an old Novara "rain" jacket that is cycling specific. no pit zips but does have a back zippered vent. without the pit zips it's usefulness is limited to rain rides

another thing that I've found useful is a wind vest. this is actually a cycling specific windbreaker jacket w/o the sleeves (over a thick fleece well vented jacket)


Last edited by rumrunn6; 12-11-19 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 12-11-19, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by parkbrav View Post
If you go with Perl Izumi, they are good quality, sometimes they run a bit small

there are numerous threads on winter cycling jackets. The following is my approach for 0-32F, which is typical of a lot of winter cyclists.

* Merino Wool base layer
* Perl Izumi - type mid layer
* lightweight rain jacket
* Windbreaker
This sounds legit.

I went out last weekend with the following set up in 35 degree F temps with wind gusts and cloud cover, and was quite comfortable:

Light Louis Garneau base layer (under bib straps)
Louis Garneau Edge 2 thermal jersey
Pearl Izumi elite barrier jacket

It was a tad chilly for the first ten minutes, but after I warmed up I found it to be perfect. And I was shocked by how little clothing I was wearing, considering my normal down jackets in this type of weather when not exercising. My only issue was my lower body, so I am looking in to some better thermal tights and shoe covers.
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Old 12-11-19, 06:58 PM
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For me, really , the issue is all about precipitation. I am much, much colder after, say, two hours with constant rain and 43F than I am in dry conditions at 36F. So, my dressing algorithm, is first rain/no rain and then, temp/wind. I won't ride in ice or snow.

I stopped wearing a jacket a couple of years ago. I have an expensive one from REI that allegedly breathes, but I always end up hot and I hate being hot. Now, I wear a Proviz vest, which offers some insulation, and fleece kit +/- base layer, depending. I tend to be comfortable pretty much always now. But it almost never gets into the low 20s here, so keep that in mind.

To me, out here in the sort of rain capital, the whole idea of "staying dry" on a three or four-hour ride is just kind of a joke. There will be puddle after puddle and water and dirt everywhere. And then, you'll wake up and do it all over again. Why fight it?
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Old 12-12-19, 03:01 PM
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There is a rule of thumb for runners dressing for a cold weather run: Dress as if it were about 10 to 20 degrees warmer than you would for just going out in whatever temp it is. Of course once exercising it will take a few minutes to warm up. I don't know what the "dress for" temp on the bike would be...because you have more of a windchill factor. And another thing that I always keep in mind is...if it's cold and I'm sweaty and then have to stop for a flat (or other mechanical issue)...that is not a good situation.

That being said, I like my cycling jackets. They're thin, and break the wind very well. So, I just layer unnderneath. If I realize after a few miles that I've overdressed...I can unzip to adjust my body temp.



Dan
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Old 12-12-19, 05:01 PM
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I use a cycling jacket that is only a windbreaker (no insulation) the arms zip off so it becomes a vest. I rely on layering for warmth smart wool works well but layers depend on temp. I always have a way to stash clothes if I get to warm, some type of bag, handlebar, trunk bag, pannier or strap it under the seat.
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Old 12-12-19, 07:17 PM
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I would preface this by saying that I don't ride when roads might be icy and I don't ride in steady rain at temperatures below 40į. So with those caveats, I use a wind jacket a lot, and also a wind vest. They are not waterproof or even particularly water resistant. The problem the OP is describing is a problem with waterproof/breathable jackets. I can't wear them either. I have tried many models and they all have about at 5 mile/15 minute limit before I am just done with them. Similarly, softshell jackets just get soaked. They're neither waterproof nor breathable.

The solution is as I said, wind shells. For many years I've used a Voler Jet Wind Jacket and a Craft Wind Vest with a mesh back. No zip off BS. These items easily fit in a jersey pocket, probably get them both into one pocket. What you do is to simply wear technical poly jerseys and underlayers which wick very rapidly. Absolutely no wool except for socks. Wool doesn't dry. When it's dry, one mostly doesn't need a wind jacket except for warmup, though if it's cold, one can wear highly wind permeable, very breathable garments under a wind shell and do very well. When it's raining, the idea is that the rain goes through the windshell and saturates your garments. The rain provides the cooling! If rain can't get in, you overheat for sure. The trick is to wear garments of sufficient thickness, though still very breathable, that when saturated they provide adequate warmth. This takes a little experimentation because everyone's different, but it works for sure. The interesting thing about this approach is that I carry no extra clothing other than a spare pair of gloves. I don't count my wind jacket and vest as extra because I always carry them around here in winter and even in summer on mountain rides. You're an idiot around here if you don't carry these items into the mountains.

The hardest thing is gloves in cold rain. You need a glove where you can put it on and off totally saturated, which is not a given. And well, warm enough! There's no such thing as dry hands in the rain.

Oh - bottoms. Bottoms are a much smaller problem because legs don't sweat much and have a very wide temperature range. I use all Pearl Izumi on my legs, starting with leg warmers, then 2 pair of tights of differing warmth, the warmer being AmFib. I put on the leg wear I think most likely to be comfortable. Sometimes I get it wrong, but mostly it doesn't matter. I've ridden for hours in sleet and leg warmers and didn't die.
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Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 12-12-19 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 12-13-19, 09:09 AM
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breathable fleece works with the right layer combination

have tried a gortex rain jacket (uninsulated) and always end up sweating no matter the temp (25 -30 degree probably the lowest)

my goal in winter is to not sweat at all
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Old 12-18-19, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
breathable fleece works with the right layer combination

have tried a gortex rain jacket (uninsulated) and always end up sweating no matter the temp (25 -30 degree probably the lowest)

my goal in winter is to not sweat at all
The very first thing they told us as we were training for winter warfare in the army was, "SWEAT KILLS! Try not to sweat".

I find that it helps to have clothing a bit looser in winter than one might in summer.

Cheers
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Old 12-18-19, 07:45 PM
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If you don't mind spending big Assos Bonka jacket is amazing. If you don't mind how you look, but want a supremely functional jacket at an incredible price guy from Lou at Foxwear.net or thefoxwear.net. One of his sites is down at the moment. I had him make me one that was windproof up front, but flows air out the back. It is large enough to layer depending on the weather. He will make you what you want. If you don't ask for it he wont add it. So ask for a rear pocket and a two way zipper. I also asked for Velcro cuffs so that I can open and close them for air flow.
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Old 12-21-19, 02:46 PM
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synthetic tee, cotton tee, synthetic 1/4 zip pullover works pretty good. Can add a layer of wind blocking shirt as 2nd or 3rd layer if needed

combine these with neck buff (range of thicknesses from really thin to fleece), gloves and wool sock with boots. I don't ride with a helmet so paper thin wool to thick wool (range) up top
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Old 12-21-19, 05:37 PM
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I clicked on this thread because my opinion of my cycling jacket is the exact opposite. Every time I'm out riding in the cold I think how much I love this jacket. It's a Gore C5 Windstopper Thermo Jacket. Lately temps have been in the mid 20s to low 30s here in central Pennsylvania, and the only parts of me that get cold when riding are my toes and my fingers. There are times I feel the pressure of the wind, but I haven't once felt the bite of it inside the jacket. And it breathes very well. I won't say my back is completely dry by the end of a ride, but it doesn't get wet enough to make me uncomfortable. I wondered whether the lack of pit vents would matter, but I've learned to just unzip the front about half way on extended climbs, and that has done the trick. I guess everyone is different so it may not be the perfect jacket for everyone, but in my opinion it's the perfect jacket for me.

For reference, here are two other jackets I tried when I first started biking in cold weather. The Columbia Pouration rain shell is made from waterproof/breathable Omni-Tech and has pit vents. It did reasonably well keeping out the wind, but it did not breathe well. That's not a knock on it, since it isn't really designed for intensive activity like biking. It's more of a rain shell. Plus, it has a hood and hoods just get in the way when biking - even folded up. Next I tried a North Face Bionic 2 soft shell. It definitely breathed better than the Columbia, and TNF's Windwall lives up to its claim for sure. But it just wasn't cut to be a biking jacket - the chest buckled out when I leaned over into biking position, and the back needed another inch or two to cover my lower back just above my pants. Moving to a cycling-specific jacket has made all the difference in the world. I absolutely love biking in it; it almost makes me glad it's cold out!

I usually wear a Champion C9 base layer under it, combined with either a thermal cycling jersey or a technical hiking shirt for a mid layer depending on how cold it is. I've only had it for a month, but I suspect that I'll even be able to wear it in early spring with just a short-sleeve shirt under it... up until the point that I just need a thermal jersey with no wind jacket.

If the fleece lining in the thermo jacket is too warm for you, the C3 Windstopper Soft Shell would be a good alternative. Since no local stores sell Gore cycling apparel, I had to order them online. I ordered both of them for comparison, since Gore's website does not really describe the difference very well. They both fit about the same, but the soft shell has no fleece lining - just the windstopper material. They fit about the same. (Oddly, the C3 Thermo Jacket did not fit well - buckled at the chest like the TNF soft shell.) I liked both of them so much that I considered keeping the soft shell also to use in the shoulder seasons, but I changed my mind because I don't think the difference is quite enough to warrant owning both of them. But if you want something warm but not super warm, the soft shell might be worth looking at.

Last edited by AU Tiger; 12-21-19 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 12-21-19, 10:02 PM
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I find pit zips are awesome.

So I got a couple hunting jackets with them and Gore and they work awesome for biking! Problem is they are camo or drab and not high viz..... i do have one blaze orange Gore hunting jacket and Iíll wear that one if conditions are right.

Another good jacket I found when itís not too windy is my heavy wool pullover. It breathes the best while keeping me warm but wonít do well for the heavy winds.
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Old 12-25-19, 01:51 PM
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If you need to be waterproof, some materials (goretex, event) are more breathable.

If you don't need to waterproof, I know from experience the best is windproof-front breathable-back. Unfortunately I've also had trouble finding these like this that also look decent.
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Old 12-27-19, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The hardest thing is gloves in cold rain. You need a glove where you can put it on and off totally saturated, which is not a given. And well, warm enough! There's no such thing as dry hands in the rain.
cold rain? I agree, but my bar mitts help quite a bit. you reminded me of a soaking rain ride last year. I used cotton gloves & because I take my hands out of the bar mitts, they got a little wet. 1/2 thru my ride I changed my gloves, had another pair of simple glove liners. but neither pair ever got "soaked"

because my jacket sleeve is tucked in, water drips down the sleeve into the mitt & pools at the bottom, under my gloved hand but doesn't touch my hand. I can tilt the mitt down to drain it. I suppose if I rode in a lot of rain I'd add a close-able hole for drainage




when you stop they help as a shelter for gloves



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Old 12-27-19, 09:56 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
cold rain? I agree, but my bar mitts help quite a bit. you reminded me of a soaking rain ride last year. I used cotton gloves & because I take my hands out of the bar mitts, they got a little wet. 1/2 thru my ride I changed my gloves, had another pair of simple glove liners. but neither pair ever got "soaked"

because my jacket sleeve is tucked in, water drips down the sleeve into the mitt & pools at the bottom, under my gloved hand but doesn't touch my hand. I can tilt the mitt down to drain it. I suppose if I rode in a lot of rain I'd add a close-able hole for drainage
when you stop they help as a shelter for gloves
Bar mitts don't work on my road bike. I use all the normal hand positions on it, plus I have clip-ons. I don't wear anything cotton on the bike or hiking. I like the eye shield. I see that there's a detachable one on Amazon. I might get one. Might solve the rain on inside of glasses issue.
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Old 12-29-19, 09:05 PM
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Well, ,since we generally don't deal with temps much below, say, 33F most of the time, I am looking hard at the fairly new Velotoze waterproof gloves, which aren't the warmest, but are likely very waterproof--at least by reports. I just ordered a pair of the newly redesigned Vtoze Tall Shoe Covers 2.0. which have been reinforced and redesigned to be more robust. But by all reports, they are big-time waterproof. Will see about those gloves when my bday rolls around in a few weeks. Then I can test 'em out. Plenty of water coming from above this time of year.
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Old 12-30-19, 01:38 AM
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My winter outer biking jacket is a helly Hansen windbreaker semi waterproof uninsulated parka with tightening strings everywhere and 2 way zipper.
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Old 01-01-20, 04:32 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
If you don't need to waterproof, I know from experience the best is windproof-front breathable-back. Unfortunately I've also had trouble finding these like this that also look decent.
One jacket that fits that category is the Endura Windchill. I ordered one to compare with the Gore jackets I was also considering. It has a quilted windproofing on the front and the sleeves, and a more breathable stretch material on the back. Seemed like it would be a good jacket and didn't look funky, but it didn't feel as sturdy as the Gore products - I wouldn't expect it to last more than a few seasons. And it was WAY too small. I was right in the middle of the Large size range, and I could barely squeeze into it. Would need to size up at least one size, maybe two. Unfortunately, Endura doesn't offer free returns like Gore does, and I wasn't willing risk having to pay return shipping twice if the XL wasn't big enough. Ideally, though, if you could find a local store that stocks the Windchill, it might worth checking out.
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