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rousseau 01-12-09 05:18 PM

Everything's warm but the quads at -5
I ride right through winter here in Ontario, no problem. Even the days we get below zero/freezing, I'm out there. But I have a complaint: when it gets down to -5 my quads get chilled. I'm good at freezing, I'm good at -1, and I'm good at -3, but when it hits -5 or below my quads get cold.

Here's what I wear on my lower half: a pair of tights, a pair of leg warmers over top, and then my bib shorts. That's it. Basically I've got three thin layers of spandex over them, and once the temps drop to 5 degrees below freezing by quads get chilly. Funny, my knees and everything below them are fine, it's just my quads.

Any suggestions?

Hezz 01-12-09 07:15 PM

Once it gets that cold the leg warmers are inadequate. I would buy a pair of heavyweight winter tights like the Performance Triflex or Sugoi Firewalls. Wear them over your cycling bib shorts and existing tights. Leg warmers are designed to be packable so you can put them in your pocket. Hence they are not thick enough or wind resistant enough for really cold temperatures.

Your quads will thank you and it will be worth the money.

CastIron 01-13-09 09:45 AM

Long underwear? Thermal two-ply or a polar fleece product (like power dry).

andrelam 01-13-09 11:47 AM

Tights come in so many different flavors. I initially had a set of Illuminite tights. I love them for the Fall and Spring, but once temps got to be around freezing they just didn't provide enough protection. I would then wear my rain pants as wind breakers. This worked fine, except that you get the sweat build up in the rain pants and they just are not the nicest thing to wear every day from a comfort level. This year I went to and had Lou make me a pair of the PowerShield tights. Now those are FANTASTIC in the winter. These are made of nearly wind proof PowerShield in the front and more breathable powder streach in the back. These have kept my legs perfectly comfy and warm to 12F (I'll find out more about the low temp range in the next two days). Rather than have to put on layer after layer it is just much more practicle to have two different types of tights- 1. for 65F to 40F and 2. 40F and below. For me, for my 5 miles commute standard underwear works fine as a 1st layer. For longer rides (over 5 miles) cycling shorts are definitely better.

Happy riding,

KLW2 01-14-09 07:23 PM

I got cold glutes (on the windward side) for the first time yesterday @ -18F. I'm going to a little warmer mid layer tight under my wind pants. Maybe light/med wool.

CastIron 01-15-09 09:17 AM

Yeah, my upper legs/hips are getting cold despite roasting the upper half. My last, never failed yet resort:$main-Large$

KLW2 01-15-09 10:17 AM

You are a handsome dude and I like your log house too...

CastIron 01-15-09 12:44 PM

Stop flirting. It's too cold to make good on it.

sumguy 01-15-09 12:45 PM

20-45F LG winter padded tights
0-20F add ltweight wool blend thermal underwear
<0 add ShowerPass rain pants to break the wind and create extra layer of air.
Craft windstopper boxer/briefs on the cold and windy days.
30min commute in -4F/-12F this morning and don't recall being cold at all.

ianjk 01-15-09 01:17 PM

Flannel lined jeans + uninsulated snowpants. Won't win any fashion points with the roadies, but you will be warm.

Oh, and the extra sock.

tsl 01-15-09 06:55 PM

From your post and that you're in Ontario, I'm guessing you mean -5C (23F) instead of -5F (-20C). There's substantial difference between the two. I'm assuming the warmer of the two.

First, reverse your layers. The padded shorts go on the inside, next to your skin.

I have to echo part of Andr's post about different types and weights of tights. This winter I switched to windfront tights as well. This made a world of difference. I have a mid-weight pair of bib tights from Sugoi. (They're a Canadian company, eh?) and a heavier-weight pair of bib tights from Endura.

The Sugois are good to freezing with a pair of shorts underneath. Much below that and both my knees and quads feel it. I could certainly ride colder in them with added stuff underneath, but that's why I have the Enduras.

The Enduras are much too warm for above freezing. They're still too warm, but bearable, slightly below freezing. They're just about right, with a pair of shorts underneath, at -7C (20F) and I'm good like that down to -12C (10F). Below that, like today, I add a pair of kneewarmers under the shorts and tights.

Today was the coldest ride of the season so far, and my legs were perfectly comfy.

Hezz 01-15-09 08:07 PM

I'm going to have to add my vote to what Tsl and Andre have said. When it really comes down to it you need a few different pieces to keep warm and comfortable in the range of temperatures from 5-35 F. In my opinion it's best if you have a really stretchy medium weight winter tight or stretchy wool long john as the first full length layer. Then a kind of medium/heavy tight like the Firewalls and then something really heavy like the Triflex or Enduras that Tsl describes in your closet to wear on the outer layer. By combining any two of the three over bibs or shorts you can comfortably do most any temperature that you will want to ride in.

I agree with Tsl that the Firewalls by themselves are only good to around freezing. But with a light long john or tight under them they are good down to 10 F no problem. They are pretty wind resistant on the front and breath well on the back side.

Also, the Novara Windfront from REI make an excellent outer layer in a dual layer system. They breath really well and slightly loose fitting like Tokyo tights. By themselves they are not too warm but the material makes for an excellent shell.

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