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A little winter game

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A little winter game

Old 01-26-21, 03:07 PM
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Bikewolf
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A little winter game

Commuting in winter.
Do you always get it 100% right in terms of layering, clothing (whatever stuff you wear, whatever budget)? Maybe you donít care, or maybe you look at it as a fun challenge every year ...
Any fails you want to share? Or lessons?

I myself am getting better at this little game. But, now and then I do get it wrong still, e.g. dressing a tad too warm.

Love the Batman technique: unzipping your jacket and let it float, flutter in the air.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:04 PM
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Iíve found that sometimes clothing articles specifically designed for cycling (cold or warm temps) donít perform well at all in the conditions theyíre designed for. And, that articles NOT specifically designed for cycling...sometimes not intended for cycling at all...perform perfectly for cycling.

Edited to add a few examples:
Iíve always felt that mittens work better than gloves. But it seems mittens are taboo for cycling. Years ago I got a pair of Pearl Izumi ďlobster gloves.Ē Theyíre better than gloves IMO. But still in temps below 35įF my fingers would still get cold in about an hour. Finally a couple years ago I picked up a pair of long cuff windproof mittens for $10 at the local close out store. They are so much better. I can ride 2-3 hours in temps in the 20sF, and I have no issues with controlling the brakes and shifters.

Iíve had brand name cycling winter pants. Have liked how they fit. But Iíve found that my wifeís old yoga pants work great! When they get too stretched out and fit her too loosely...they fit me just fine and keep my lowers nice and warm.

Best cold weather (below freezing) jacket is one I had left over from back when I would ski occasionally. I just throw a long sleeve cycling jersey over it and Iím good.

Dan

Last edited by _ForceD_; 01-26-21 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 01-26-21, 08:42 PM
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Iím mostly set for every 5F range from 105F to -10F except the boots. Getting by with Press & Seal on oversize shoes on the wet and/or below 25F days.

One great bit is this Bontrager convertible shell. Useless with the sleeves on when itís above 30F unless Iím taking a snailís pace.

Every now and then I try to layer up my wool collection to see how cold I can go without using that stupid Bont. A few weeks back it dipped down to 15 and I wore 1) PI AmFib Escape bibs 2) Craft windproof overpants 3) thin Specialized merino jersey 4) Icebreaker heavy merino base 5) Surly medium merino jacket 6) Woolrich heavy wool jacke 7) other stuff

Seven miles in, while I could still feel the icy air flowing through, I was basting. Drenched in sweat. Ready to pull over and take a nap. Gloves off, gaiter off, hat off, goggles off. Woolrich fully Batmaníd, The other three unzipped halfway down my chest. ďUgh, and I gotta wear all this back home, too?!Ē
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Old 02-04-21, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by hsuBM View Post
Seven miles in, while I could still feel the icy air flowing through, I was basting. Drenched in sweat. Ready to pull over and take a nap. Gloves off, gaiter off, hat off, goggles off. Woolrich fully Batmaníd, The other three unzipped halfway down my chest. ďUgh, and I gotta wear all this back home, too?!Ē
Thatís how we all learn ;-)

Insulation layer is key. Thatís the layer you have to figure out, play with. Itís amazing how much one thin wool layer can do, yes!

Layering is smart, removing layers thatís something else.
A lightweight vest / body warmer may be useful: full zip = easy to vent; no sleeves = no bulk and (!) easier to remove --> wear it on top or underneath your shell jacket.
Often you donít need much. But do take special care of your extremities.
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Old 02-06-21, 10:01 AM
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I started cycling a lot this winter and I think I am getting it down pretty good. I am a bit unsure at when I need a balaclava and goggles vs a skull cap, neck gaiter and yellow tint sunglasses. I tend to error on not using a balaclava cause I hate it but it does work a lot better. I usually just have a spring windproof jacket, fleece layer and then either a t-shirt or a long sleeve insulated shirt. I then wear hiking pants and sometimes long underwear. All works pretty good to about 10F. I find feet and hands always still get cold. I just bought a massive pair of boots to cycle in that are one size larger. This with toe warmers and wool socks seems to have done the trick. I use mitten liners and over mitts. I always end up still pulling my thumb into a fist to try to warm things up. My core is never an issue - always warm and I don't feel a lot of cold in my legs. My head at the start of the ride is cold but that always gets better mid ride.

I am kind of worried that as temps go higher though I will cook myself..... Or not hit the right temp to drop the ridiculous sized boots. Boots just slide on - so easy. Cycling shoe covers with multiple socks is a pain. So long to get ready.
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Old 02-13-21, 05:22 PM
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It depneds on the temperature, wind, sun, etc, but you have to be flexible. Hands are easy- I frequently take 3 or even 4 pair of gloves- liner(s), insulated, shell. Feet- I stop, take shoes off & let shoes/socks dry midride (my feet sweat, making socks damp). Upper body- finally there is apparel that is windproof in the front only. Full length zippers in winter, for outer lalyer, is a must.
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Old 02-20-21, 04:49 AM
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My Achilles heel (so to speak) is my hands...I have electric hand warmers which I only need below -20įC, but I don't always have them charged.
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Old 03-22-21, 04:34 PM
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I usually overdress and end up sweaty. I understand layering from many years of outdoor work and recreation but can't seem to make the transition to biking. I always carry extra stuff - buff, merino stocking cap, windbreaker jacket and vest, glove liners, chemical hand warmers. So far haven't rode below 20F and have never used any of that extra stuff. But have stopped and removed layers. Much depends on the wind where I live.
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Old 03-26-21, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Inusuit View Post
I usually overdress and end up sweaty. I understand layering from many years of outdoor work and recreation but can't seem to make the transition to biking. I always carry extra stuff - buff, merino stocking cap, windbreaker jacket and vest, glove liners, chemical hand warmers. So far haven't rode below 20F and have never used any of that extra stuff. But have stopped and removed layers. Much depends on the wind where I live.
In recent years, I've learned to keep the layers thin and to take notes on what works, documenting the conditions and how I felt. Another trick is that I should feel slightly cold when I set out because cycling will add heat. Another tip I learned this year is that being willing to peel and apply layers in the middle of the ride makes a huge difference. It's annoying to stop but my new willingness to do it pays off. So knowing that I might miscalculate when I'll need, I bring extra layers. An extra hat, gloves, and gaiter don't take up much space and can make a lot of difference in comfort. It's no big deal if I don't end up using them. Sometimes I'll bring an extra sweater or windbreaker.

A winter coat on the bike does not work for me unless I'm going a short distance and riding slowly. It will make me too hot. So I have to look as if I'm underdressed. Thin layers are the trick.

And merino wool as my base layer is comfortable and allows for lots of miscalculation because it doesn't easily get too hot or cold. Plus it doesn't need frequent washing. A t-shirt can cost $60 but is worth every penny when you see how much use you can get out of it. I only have to wash it every week or two of daily use.
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Old 03-26-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
In recent years, I've learned to keep the layers thin and to take notes on what works, documenting the conditions and how I felt. Another trick is that I should feel slightly cold when I set out because cycling will add heat. Another tip I learned this year is that being willing to peel and apply layers in the middle of the ride makes a huge difference. It's annoying to stop but my new willingness to do it pays off. So knowing that I might miscalculate when I'll need, I bring extra layers. An extra hat, gloves, and gaiter don't take up much space and can make a lot of difference in comfort. It's no big deal if I don't end up using them. Sometimes I'll bring an extra sweater or windbreaker.

A winter coat on the bike does not work for me unless I'm going a short distance and riding slowly. It will make me too hot. So I have to look as if I'm underdressed. Thin layers are the trick.

And merino wool as my base layer is comfortable and allows for lots of miscalculation because it doesn't easily get too hot or cold. Plus it doesn't need frequent washing. A t-shirt can cost $60 but is worth every penny when you see how much use you can get out of it. I only have to wash it every week or two of daily use.

noglider, I agree with everything you say. I have merino tee shirt, hoodie, stocking cap, gaiter, and bandanna. All thin and layered. I should know from hiking and working that it's best to start out cold as activity will warm one up quickly. Another thing I like about merino is that it still retains some heat even when damp from sweat. Yes, it's worth what it costs.
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