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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 11-14-10, 07:49 PM   #1
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2 Winter Questions (ITT: A Snotty Nose and cold legs)

Hey all,

I survived some (read: very little) riding last winter wearing mostly street clothes - cheap henleys and T-shirts, a C9 jacket from Target (bought at the end of the season for $12), and jeans.

This year, I want to try riding more. So far, I've been ok, but I know Chicago is going to get chilly.

My biggest cold problem is my feet/legs. I'm thinking about picking up some leg warmers to go under my jeans, something like the cheap Nashbar branded ones. Are they going to be good enough to keep me warm? Even if my jeans are rolled up? Also, what socks do you all wear to keep your feet/toes warm? I'm going to be wearing street shoes.

The only other cold weather problem I have is a snotty nose. After 5 minutes, I basically can't use my nose. Any good way for combating this?
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Old 11-14-10, 09:08 PM   #2
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You want wool. Get some merino wool tights from somewhere like Sierra Trading Post and a few pairs of good, tall wool socks (Smartwool or similar). Double up on the socks and you'll generally be fine. I'd also pick up a wool baselayer and a cheap fleece. Wearing cotton next to your skin just doesn't work.

The real problem is going to be the jeans and street shoes, which aren't really very good to wear in precipitation. A quick trip to the Army/Navy can get you sorted, though.

Last edited by dr. spectrum; 11-14-10 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 11-14-10, 09:13 PM   #3
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Dr spectrum is right, wool is pretty awesome. Wool socks + wool tights + wool sweater + whatever else wool you can get as a base layer.

Though it depends how long you ride. Cotton is fine, until it gets wet, and then it's like wearing ice. So eventually you'll sweat enough that the cotton will cool rather than insulate.

Also if you're going to be riding in rain/wet get a set of rain pants+rain jacket, they are super cheap. Get them a little big so they can fit over the rest of your clothes.

Last edited by bijan; 11-14-10 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 11-15-10, 08:38 AM   #4
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As far as the nose goes, "snot rockets"! Let em fly, my friend. Little technique for ya: Left side, aim to the right. Right side, aim to the left.

I love noodles.
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Old 11-15-10, 08:48 AM   #5
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The nashbar leg warmers work pretty good, the wool works even better i cant wear wool i wish i could. My usual list of clothing is if really cold, less than 15f ill you a synthetic base under a simple pair of windbreakers (if dry) if its wet either snow or rain i still run the syn. base, but under shorts then just my rain pants over(they dont breath very well so i compensate with the shorts) The winter i went through in laramie wy was another story there was quite a few days of -10f and below i resorted to wear two base layers under jeans with a full snow suit on top, i know it gets pretty cold in chicago so try the wool with some sort of wind/water shell as the top layer and you should be fine. Sorry i rambled that on
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