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rekall 10-15-12 08:22 AM

last winter i wore a fleece leg gaiter (these are used to 'fill the gap' between ski boots and pants/socks/etc.) over my head... you can let the slack warm your neck or you can wrap it up over/around your ears for extra warmth. works really well!

digibud 10-15-12 08:13 PM


Originally Posted by BornInThe80s (Post 14822235)
I would like to know your opinions/experiences with ECWCS parkas made of 3-layer nylon material. It's suitable for winter riding? Temperature in winter is about 14 - 32 F (-10 C - 0 C). Will ECWCS parka work well with fleece jacket under it? What pros and cons have ECWCS parkas?

Parkas are typically overkill. The hood won't be useful with a helmet in most cases. Layering is the key. I was riding at 32F just yesterday. I had two thin polypro layers on with a very light biking jersey that I left zipped down and had a very light windproof jacket on..the kind you can compress to the size of your fist. I had bike shorts on with running pants on over them that have windproof front and mesh rear. A few layers of polypro underwear with a windproof front that is very light is all that is needed in your temps. Some insulated boots and gloves are needed and whatever minimal head gear (light balaclava) will top it off. A heavy jacket will leave you sweating in those temps. I'm assuming you are riding "seriously" enough to warm up well. If you are riding slow poke like then you could wear almost any heavy thing....

RobSN 11-28-12 09:01 PM

Yesterday was 16F when I started out in Kansas City at 05:40. I wore Underarmor cold compression tech top with fleece on top and Cannondale hi-vis "breathable" jacket. Pearl Izumi elite thermal tights and Gore shoe covers, and ski gloves. What astounded me was that (unlike the prior day without the fleece) I felt fine: but when I got to work and took my jacket off, it, and the fleece below were in fact soaking wet. I don't know if it was sweat per se, or condensation, but thank goodness, I remained warm on the actual ride. Oh, and I used my old neoprene ski mask and goggles as well. Interesting - my 1st time in really cold conditions for me (and yes, I know it's bikini and speedo's weather for our Canadian friends!)

Bat56 01-18-13 01:18 PM

Forrest74 01-20-13 01:12 PM

@ Bat56.. You wear a winter helmet at 70F? And only a t-shirt/jersey down to 30F?

For what it's worth I wear my summer helmet down to 20F, with a merino buff underneath. 50F is my threshold for short sleeves.

Bat56 01-21-13 10:34 PM


Originally Posted by Forrest74 (Post 15178159)
@ Bat56.. You wear a winter helmet at 70F? And only a t-shirt/jersey down to 30F?

For what it's worth I wear my summer helmet down to 20F, with a merino buff underneath. 50F is my threshold for short sleeves.

That's a regular helmet. The winter helmet goes on at 20F and below. And down to 30F it is short sleeves with arm warmers.

Bekologist 01-22-13 03:43 PM

1 Attachment(s)
prepping up for a ride at five below F or so this morning....

Broke out the fleece backed "Beko" noseguards for the first time this winter. Keeps the shnozz warm.

cyclo83 01-22-13 06:43 PM

I ride as a bike messenger for about 7-9 hours, currently in temps in between 0 and -5C. On my upper body I wear 2 short-sleeve jerseys and 2 long-sleeve jerseys, though sometimes I take one of the LS off. Above that, I wear a jacket that's windproof and has some "fleece" on the inside. The jacket has zippers to take the arms off. I leave those half open for ventilation.

On my legs I wear long, windproof cycling pants and above that "thermo-pants" with some fluffy fleece inside. I don't like arm-or leg warmers because they tend to slip downwards and bunch up around your wrists / ankles, which is really annoying.

On my feet I wear 4 pairs of cotton socks and Neopren shoe-covers. Main problem here is that the metal cleat transfers heat to the outside easily. For that reason the foot I usually set down (my left), becomes notably colder than the other.

If it's above freezing and wet, I use plastic bags around the socks. This will at least prevent freezing water from soaking your socks.

On the hands, I wear thin insulation gloves, covered by larger five finger gloves, supposedly designed for "autumn weather".

For my head I use a thin, windproof balaclava and a normal helmet, as well as clear glasses. I've found that a helmet cap or closed helmet is entirely too hot and will make me sweat like crazy. Goggles narrow the field of vision too much for my tastes.

The climate here is different form most of North America though. Daytime temps rarely drop below -10C (and usually hover around freezing). Our main challenge is very frequent rainfall, so the present below freezing temps actually make the riding more enjoyable I would say. The coldest I've ever ridden in was about -20C, but never for longer than about an hour..

Bekologist 03-06-13 05:16 AM

a late winter update. My go-to pants this winter, riding north of the 45th parallel where the snowbanks reach higher than the streetsigns,

have been cheap, flannel lined cotton khakis picked up for under 20 bucks at the hardware store.

I'm a long-time winter afficionado, and have spent literally years of my life outside in winter conditions, doing mountain rescue, ski patrol, teaching skiing, testing gear, and generally being a extreme outdoor enthusiast.

I almost can't belive it, but cotton flannel lined khakis have been performing like a softshell pant for everyday wear. I'm shocked, as it goes against the traditional winter clothing canon.

I didn't think i'd get such amazing performance, but for riding errands, commuting and around town, cotton lined khakis have been working every bit as good as the softshell pants i used in my years volunteering on ski patrol at Mount Rainier. In flannel lined khakis i found I can go from shovelling snow to riding to work to cross country skiing to sitting around the house after all that in comfort.

I bought two pair, and rotated them as the pants i wore everyday out of the house the entire winter.

The only conditions i'd grab a different pair of pants would be on very wet, heavy snow days, or when the temp dropped below 0f/-18c i'd put a windpant over. and those were by far and away the minority. If i went on a four hour ski trip or combination ski/bike ride i wore tech clothes. a person should wear tech clothes when going into the backcountry or during extended output endurance events in the winter.

If you guys and girls ride where it gets cold, try a pair of flannel lined cotton khakis. Simply amazing performance for winter riding. 03-07-13 05:37 PM

After ten years, I decided to put the apparel I wear up on a website. My rides typically range from 0 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit and 25 to 60 miles in length.

Art Odd 07-12-13 10:10 PM

I trained during winter for the first time last year, and I wasn't entirely satisfied with my choice of jackets. I used a Mammut Brisk, an unorthodox choice, but it was made of 100% Windstopper fabric, had no thermal components, but did have pit zips for ventilation. In moderate temps (40F), I wore it over a L/S jersey, and added a wicking base layer for colder temps. Riding at 20F was comfortable with the jacket over a 200 weight fleece layer. Unfortunately, the pit zips were very contrary when I tried to unzip while riding.

I'm really interested in getting a jacket with zippered chest vents instead, but all models I've found have a varying mix of wind-proof panels and thermal layers, and all would seem to be warmer than the Brisk (Castelli, Giordana, Zero RH+ and Pearl offer this type of jacket, maybe there are others). These jackets are rated for as low as 20F and as high 60F. Are these ratings based on minimal layering underneath? I'm sure the Mammut Brisk wouldn't be rated for 20F, but with the right layers, it's perfect. I want to avoid buying a jacket that would cause me to overheat, so any experiences anyone cares to share would be appreciated.

ChanceG 09-05-13 01:55 PM

Nice chart

ChanceG 09-05-13 01:58 PM

Thermal top, Thermal pants ... regular socks... some $5 cheapo gloves... sunglasses (of course)... skull cap.... I find once I warm up I don't want all that heavy crap on my anyway... light and simple.

Bat56 11-22-13 10:58 AM


Originally Posted by Indiancrazed (Post 16048608)
Got a noob question. With fall approaching.. decided to buy a pair of Gore cycling thermal bibs from nashbar to extend my riding season here in Cleveland. Is it correct to wear my cycling shorts on top of the bibs?

Replying to this very late... no, do not do that. You will be doubling up the butt pad. But maybe you like that. I wouldn't.

haphaeu 01-05-14 03:22 AM

just my late 5c: wool base layers! these are just comfortable and awesome to keep you warm even after you sweat.
Natural merino wool, like these from Devold. They also adapt very well when you move to a warmer place.

badhat 01-06-14 12:22 PM

i have given endura and 45NRTH so much money this year its insane.

but totally worth it. in 15 years of winter training and commuting in chicago and colorado, this has been the most comortable, warmest driest winter for me yet, despite some serious cold spells.

amazinmets73 02-09-14 08:24 PM

Where can I find a good pair of winter cycling gloves?

EdgewaterDude 03-01-14 11:18 PM


Originally Posted by EdgewaterDude (Post 13505472)
Hey guys, I have question.

I've noticed that my core is overheating like a mofo. Even in 24 degree weather, I'm still sweating like nobody's business. My base layer is a short sleeved Champion C9 wicking shirt. My mid layer is a Mission Workshop Bosun Merino wool midweight jacket On the outside, I'm wearing a North Face wind/water resistant "windbreaker", which is lined on the inside but lets ZERO heat/sweat escape.

Is my outer layer the problem? Should I be wearing a thinner windbreaker? If so, how cold could a mesh lined windbreaker plus midweight merino jacket plus polypro base layer take me?

Just thought I would quote myself, over two years later.

I am still having overheating issues, but to a lesser extent. I no longer have the MW Merino jacket, but now instead use wicking short sleeves for my base layer, thrift store merino wool for a mid, and a for my outer layer. Even with the pit zips wide open, I end up sweating like crazy, even in 20 degree weather.

So tonight, I got this Bontrager thermal jersey for half off. My plan is to try my wicking base layer plus a layer (or two, if needed) underneath this thermal jersey. Does anyone else here do something similar with some degree of success? Jan Heine had posted on his blog recently that he very rarely wore shells, but instead used multiple layers of wool or whatever. I'm really hoping this would help.

Also, if this isn't sufficient, would adding a cycling gilet keep the wind off of my core without overheating?

jrickards 03-02-14 10:40 AM

I like the info graphic. However, I challenge the suggestion at 90deg, if you're not going to wear clothes, you need lots of sunscreen.

Sixty Fiver 03-02-14 11:21 AM

Our temps have been flirting with -40C for the past few days... really cannot say how much I like my cotton duck pants and milspec base layer with wool socks and cold rated boots for keeping the bits toasty.

jrickards 03-02-14 11:55 AM

My winter riding has been limited. Note also, that, unlike some of your locations, my winters tend to be relatively dry, nights and morning commutes down to -25C/-13F and afternoons up to -10C/14F.

I start with a windproof loose shell, a relatively thick fleece midlayer and then a thin, long-sleeved merino wool base layer. On my legs, I wear some not-very wind resistant pants that have an inner "t-shirt" layer within them and then I wear wool tights as a base layer. Down to a windchill of -20C/-4F, I generally wear a t-shirt instead of the merino wool LS shirt and no tights but below that (last week, the wind chill was -39C) I need the extra layers, Furthermore, when the windchill requires me to wear the tights, I put an underpant-shaped piece of bubble wrap between my tights and underwear over my underwear region to keep my manly parts from getting too cold (you know the burning feeling when your freezing cold fingers warm up, transfer that down below).

Windchills are calculated using the ambient temperature and a windchill calculator, assuming I'm travelling at 15kmh/10mph.

Down to a windchill of -10C/14F, I'll wear wool gloves but below that, I'll wear mitts (without the inner liner) and below -30C/-22F, I'll put the inner liner in (I still tend to get cold thumbs, I'd like to get pogeys).

My cycling winter boots are relatively lightweight boots but I'll wear a thick pair of wool socks underneath, that seems to do the trick. If I had to deal with more walking in the snow, these boots would not cut it, they would let moisture in the top of the foot. I also wear a pair of gaiters but they aren't thick and insulated, it appears that I don't need the extra insulation: their main purpose is to keep my pants out of the chain.

I tend not to wear a helmet in the winter because I ride on the sidewalks and paths, not the roads (except for the first couple of minor residential streets) and my commuting route is the shortest I can take to work, 4km/2.5mi. I'll wear a hat and I'll wear a balaclava as a neck gaiter, ready to pull it up over my head (and then I replace my hat overtop) but even last week, with a wind chill of -39C, I was fine.

Down to a windchill of -20C/-4F, I'll wear my sunglasses but below that, I'll wear a pair of small ski goggles.

Because I carry my work clothes (socks, shirt, pants) with me, when I go home in the afternoon, if the temperature has increased significantly, I'll forego some of the warmer layers: no midweight fleece, work socks instead of wool, mitts without the liner or switch to the wool gloves, skip the balaclava, sunglasses instead of the goggles. On my way in to work, I'll carry more lunch and less clothes in my pack, on the way home, I'll have no lunch (maybe empty containers) but more clothes: it works out both ways.

Given my winter conditions, I see the use of a wicking baselayer as a negative: if I'm so warm that I'm sweating, that is a problem and I need to shed a layer or unzip my shell. 03-03-14 07:11 AM


Originally Posted by EdgewaterDude (Post 16540207)

I am still having overheating issues.

Try a Polartec Neoshell jacket. Lou at Foxwear dot net can make you one inexpensively. Temp range on mine is 20 to 45 degrees F with great comfort. Check out the video below or icecyclist for more info.

With this jacket you will only need one long sleeve wicking layer underneath. It vents like nothing I have ever used while keeping just enough heat within the jacket to keep you nice and warm. Blocks 99 percent of wind so the windchill is not relevant as a temperature measure for this jacket.

EdgewaterDude 03-03-14 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by (Post 16543337)
Try a Polartec Neoshell jacket. Lou at Foxwear dot net can make you one inexpensively. Temp range on mine is 20 to 45 degrees F with great comfort. Check out the video below or icecyclist for more info.

With this jacket you will only need one long sleeve wicking layer underneath. It vents like nothing I have ever used while keeping just enough heat within the jacket to keep you nice and warm. Blocks 99 percent of wind so the windchill is not relevant as a temperature measure for this jacket.

Thanks for the heads up. I went to the link and watched the video; that looks intriguing.

Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to do some trial and error. It was 13 degrees fahrenheit and I wore my Performance brand winter thermal tights alone - big mistake. Definitely need my Chrome knickers on top. Otherwise, I think I may have solved my overheating on top problem. I started with a basic wicking short sleeve, then a merino wool sweater as a mid layer, and then my new Bontrager thermal jersey on top. I started off cold, but after 10 minutes I was fine, even from the wind. I stood around near the basement door after the ride to watch steam/condensation leave my arms and core..looks like the heat and moisture are wicking away and my solution is breathable. Nice!

korbjonathan 09-13-14 01:44 PM

thanks for all the valuable information

amazinmets73 11-10-14 12:32 AM

Does anyone have experience with Santani jackets? They're heavily discounted on Nashbar at the moment, albeit from an inflated MSRP. I'll probably pick one up

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