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3 degrees with wind chill.... what do you wear for your legs?

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3 degrees with wind chill.... what do you wear for your legs?

Old 01-23-13, 07:30 AM
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chefisaac
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3 degrees with wind chill.... what do you wear for your legs?

Last few days we have been in the 3 degrees F with wind chill weather. Wind has been blowing hard and cold temps as well.

I have my upperbody and face covered pretty well.

What are you doing with your legs? Even though I am pedaling, they still get very cold. I am wearing a windbreaker pants.

Thank you.

p.s. Yesterday morning was my first time riding in the snow that covered the road and with ice. I changed out to the studded tire in the front. With the wind and the studded tire, it was slow going but a he11 of a lot of fun. You can hear the ice crushing under your tire and when your tires go over/in the snow, the sound is really unique (for me that is since there has not been a lot of snow).
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Old 01-23-13, 08:09 AM
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Under Armour 2.0 midweight base-layer with Pearl Izumi Am-Fib tights, and maybe a pair of neoprene shoe covers if its a bit moist.

<EDIT> I'm usually good down to -10F with this pairing as long as I stay dry, and if its raining/snowing I have a pair of Sugoi's Firewall 220 pants (which were a huge step up from my old Showers Pass Storm rain pants) and I haven't found a lower limit for them yet when coupled with the Under Armor/Am-Fib combo.

Last edited by Stealthammer; 01-23-13 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 01-23-13, 08:55 AM
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At those temps, I would wear sweatpants underneath
the wind breaker pants. You can try tights if you already have them.

















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Old 01-23-13, 09:39 AM
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What's the actual temperature? Wind chill doesn't mean as much when you're going to be creating your own wind... sometimes it'll be even colder, sometimes much less.

My typical cold weather clothing is tights with rain pants on top. I've never cycled below 0 F before though. I find the bigger concern is my feet, and rain booties make a huge difference there.
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Old 01-23-13, 09:43 AM
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Was 9 with -10 windchill yesterday. Had basic runners tights, then pearl izuma winter cycling tights, then a rain shell for my bottom layer. Worked like a charm.

Top layer was two tech T's, two layers of arm sleeves, 1 fall/spring bike jersey, winter 'ascent' biking style jacket. Had to stop and take off a top layer of tech T and arm sleeve.

Then, balaclava + beardhead for the face, and ski/board socks + normal shoes for the feet. Toes went a little numb, otherwise was fine. 11 miles each way.
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Old 01-23-13, 10:31 AM
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Pyjamas and slippers in front of a fireplace?
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Old 01-23-13, 10:37 AM
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It's been below zero here with anywhere from a wind chill of -20* to -30* so I wear my Endura thermal tights and a cheap snow pants from Wal-Mart. Works like a charm so far but now I need to figure out what I have to do with my cold toes.
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Old 01-23-13, 10:54 AM
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Last night when I rode home it was 3 degrees F. It didn't seem like there was much in the way of wind. I think any wind was a tailwind most of the way home. The one place where their is a wide open stretch, no protection, I was noticing that it seemed like their was some side wind. It was trying to chill me down but as soon as I got out of that stretch I was climbing the rest of the way and had trees blocking any wind so that is where I managed to warm up nicely. I hadn't planned on getting home as late as I did, spent too much time at the library on the internet.

All I had on was the usual. Duofold Varitherm top with windbreak jacket and cycling shorts with windbreak pants. After about .5 mile or so the nose was getting cold, not surprised. It did warm up nicely before I got home. No, I didn't bring any facial protection with me. Like I said I was planning on being home before sunset and I never got home until 8PM...OOPS The ragged wool mittens were doing half their job. The left hand was fine the whole way home. The right hand fingers got cold for the first part of the trip but by the time I got home(6 miles each way) they were starting to warm up very nicely and weren't even cold anymore. The cycling shorts and windbreak pants were like the wool mittens, they were doing half the job. The left knee was fine but the right knee for the first 1/2 of the trip was quite cold. It also warmed up on its own by the time I got home. When I walked into my house and looked at the thermometer outside the kitchen window and saw it was only 3 degrees F I was a bit surprised. I figured it was actually warmer than that, I was guessing no colder than 6 and probably in the 8-10 range. I know what the legs felt like a couple of weeks ago when I was out at 10 degrees with only the cycling short and windbreak pants so I was figuring it was warmer. I'm not sure if it was the body warmth warming me up or if it actually might have been a bit of a temperature inversion in place. It did seem warmer in Newport than it did at my house. Again that could have been body warmth kicking in to help it seem like it was warmer at my house...which is at a higher elevation than Newport. If the battery on the headlight wouldn't have did a very quick dying trip on me, didn't even last half of the trip home, I could have easily kept riding and felt very comfortable doing so.

As for this morning. It was 0 F when I left my house. I did decided to put on more clothing since the wind was blowing a bit at times. I added the fleece on top and the long johns on the legs and the neoprene face mask. Other than the lips being a bit cold I was fine the whole way into down Sunapee. It's got me seriously thinking abotu going for the January century ride tomorrow. Suppose to be -5 to -10 tonight with highs tomorrow only in the low to mid teens. That would break my personal best set last year of -5 when I left home with highs getting into the upper teens to maybe hitting 20.

I did notice one thing this morning with the ride in. I was only a little over half way(probably 3-3.5 miles into the ride and I was already sweating between the shoulder blades. Once I got to the library I was starting to notice my feet were getting chilled but nothing more than I would normally expect this time of the year.

One question Isaac that will help determine the best plan of action...how far is your commute each day? Also how much consistent riding is it? Is it a straight shot where your not really ever stopping or do you have a lot of stoplights you have to sit at? The more consistent you can make the riding the better. The starting and stopping will help make you cold faster. Constant motion helps keep the body producing body heat which helps to keep you warm. If you have to sit in traffic in kind of length of time, even one minute, ride one minute, wait one minute, ride one minute...that is going to make you cold. The starting and stopping doesn't let the body get the real production of heat started. You may want to even take a look at your options for your route and change your route so you can ride a more consistent pace and keep moving versus starting and stopping. It may be longer but what counts this time of the year isn't about whether it takes longer to get to work but whether or not you stay warm. You need the consistent pace to help keep you warm.
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Old 01-23-13, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sbs z31 View Post
It's been below zero here with anywhere from a wind chill of -20* to -30* so I wear my Endura thermal tights and a cheap snow pants from Wal-Mart. Works like a charm so far but now I need to figure out what I have to do with my cold toes.
As long as your feet stay dry that is the most important thing. Unless they are stone cold put your focus somewhere else and don't focus on the cold feet. I'm now realizing that is what I do and I'm riding in the same conditions you are sbs. Yeah my feet get chilled to cold but I just keep riding and focus on the riding not on the cold feet. There are other parts of me that get cold that are far more important to pay attention to and that I can pretty much always warm up in a short period of time anyways. You can try wiggling you toes to help stimulate blood flow to the toes. I do that with the fingers whenever they get cold. I did that last night when my right hand got cold. Between doing that and just generating the body heat by riding the hands warmed up by the time I got home 25 minutes or so after I left the library.

Generally the time I really notice the feet getting cold anymore is when I get off the bike. While on the bike I don't even notice the cold feet anymore. I tend to think they are cold but my mind is busy paying attention to my riding/traffic/other cold body parts and I don't focus on my cold feet.
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Old 01-23-13, 11:45 AM
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This morning i did 12 miles to work in 10F, my legs had under armour cold gear compression tights under a pair of jeans.
Was fine while i was pedaling but noticed a chill when i was coasting to keep my freewheel from freezing

if i had to be out there any longer or below zero id need more technical pants instead of jeans and id be fine
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Old 01-23-13, 02:27 PM
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Sugoi sub zero winter tights and wool leg warmers on top. Or the tights and some wind proof nylon running pants. Running 2 studded tires is a lot better.
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Old 01-23-13, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Sugoi sub zero winter tights and wool leg warmers on top. Or the tights and some wind proof nylon running pants. Running 2 studded tires is a lot better.
If it was icier out, I would have. I felt good with one studded tire up front.
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Old 01-23-13, 03:49 PM
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To answer some questions:

My ride is 11 miles one way, 22 miles RT. It is a straight shot to work with no stops really because not too many people out at 4 am On the way to work, it is mostly a head wind 90% of the time. On the way back from work to home, more traffic and a few stops at stop lights. Wind is usually to my back or side but a few times the wind will shift and I will have a headwind going home.
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Old 01-23-13, 04:55 PM
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When I've ridden at -14F actual temp with windchill even lower, I've worn synthetic football socks (knee length) under wool/polypropylene blend heavyweight base layer pants, then Merino wool socks, heavy jeans, and 100g Thinsulate 11" snow boots. Your legs are doing a lot of work so can generally get by with less insulation than your core, but windbreaker pants probably aren't going to do it. More important is keeping your feet warm. There is also an old outdoorsman's saying "If you feet are cold get a better hat." It's true that keeping your head adequately warm allows you body to redirect warm blood to other regions.

If you want something cycle specific, there are some winter tights by Specialized that have water and windproof fronts, articulated knees and fleece lining. I've never used them outdoors but just trying them on in the store I could tell they would be plenty warm. After just a couple of minutes indoors with them I was getting uncomfortably toasty.
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Old 01-23-13, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Pyjamas and slippers in front of a fireplace?

almost exactly what I was going to say. Set the trainer up in front of the fireplace and go for it. However, if I lived where it got that cold, I'd probably move.
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Old 01-23-13, 09:46 PM
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I have a pair of Cabela's wind blocker fleece pants that I put over my tights.
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Old 01-23-13, 11:54 PM
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I have done 3 commutes in the past couple of weeks with temps in single digits F. Monday was 4 F. My legs were more than fine every time. I wear these:

baselayer - Minus 33 midweight merino wool leggings:
https://www.minus33.com/catalog/unise...bottoms/6100NC

top layer - UA Mens Bandito woven pant:
https://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/e...nts/pid1232850

The key is the merino wool baselayer (those UA pants are very good for general cycling reasons, but any windbreaker-type track pants would work just as well over the wool). That midweight stuff from Minus 33 is magical. I use a longsleeve zip shirt version for my top base layer, too. I love the stuff, it has become the key to me commuting every day in January cold here in Illinois.
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Old 01-24-13, 06:05 AM
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-15F with wind.
Nike sideline woven trousers with cotton long johns underneath... I'm still waiting for the chance to try out my yoko thermal cycling pants but it hasn't been cold enough yet...
Problem was though is, that I'm still on a guest for warm enough shoes. Hopefully my El Naturalistas will be here soon so that problem will be solved.
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Old 01-24-13, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
Last few days we have been in the 3 degrees F with wind chill weather. Wind has been blowing hard and cold temps as well.

I have my upperbody and face covered pretty well.

What are you doing with your legs? Even though I am pedaling, they still get very cold. I am wearing a windbreaker pants.

Thank you.

p.s. Yesterday morning was my first time riding in the snow that covered the road and with ice. I changed out to the studded tire in the front. With the wind and the studded tire, it was slow going but a he11 of a lot of fun. You can hear the ice crushing under your tire and when your tires go over/in the snow, the sound is really unique (for me that is since there has not been a lot of snow).
I can only tell you what I would have worn and it wasn't wind breaker pants. I have rode a lot in 5-10 F weather. Even colder if you count the wind chill. And i know what works for me. I would have worn:

First layer: An old pair of standard cycling shorts. Since they are covered you can use an old pair that is nearly worn out. Or that cheap back-up pair that you bought that don't really fit that well. Or just your standard shorts.

Second layer: In expensive pair of cycling specific medium weight snug fitting and very stretchy tights without chamois. These are the kind you see for around 35-50 bucks for Specialized or Pearl Izumi. High end brands will be more. Nashbar and Performance brands closer to the lower price point. Very important for this layer to be very soft and stretchy so knee bends well. Don't be temped to use long john's here to save money. Sure, they will be a little warmer at first but once you start sweating they will loose that warmth and the dedicated tights just work better in this situation. Especially on longer rides. Also, long johns usually bind at the knee a lot more and this extra work causes you to sweat more and get tired easier.

Third layer: Winter weight long tights like Sugoi Firewalls or something similar. Most major brands have something in this category. They use a heavier and more wind resistant material. But are still somewhat stretchy. Especially on the back side. The fronts are less stretchy buy block the wind better. Both sides are quite breathable but obviously the back side breaths better. Unfortunately these are not cheap but you can find some like the Performance TriFlex tights for under 100 dollars USD. Expect to pay 70-130 USD for these depending on brand and what you may find on sale. It's best if these are slightly loose fitting but not baggy. Especially at the knee. They trap more warm air if a little loose.

Never gotten cold in any temps with this combination. And you won't overheat too much unless it gets over 35 F or so. Your legs will get damp but they will stay dry enough to stay warm.

Last edited by Hezz; 01-24-13 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 01-25-13, 06:22 AM
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for riding around town yesterday at about 7 F, i wore cotton flannel lined khakis.

If it's windy, i'll add a set of windpants -not waterproof pants - on top.

For longer rides on cold, windy days i'll wear a tech layer like wool tights or Powerstretch 100 under windpants, and a technical wicking short or bike short underneath that if i plan on riding for more than a couple of hours.

If I had windproof tights i'd mix those into the layering system, but have never bought a set of PI Amfibs or similar.

Softshell pants like Marmots winter pants make good winter commuting pants.

I've also been experimenting with Nike insulated golf pants ($20) that are amazingly comfortable for riding, xc skiing, etc, and quite warm.

For a 10 mile commute I'd be riding in softshell pants, or the nike pants on real windy days.

Last edited by Bekologist; 01-25-13 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 01-25-13, 11:38 AM
  #21  
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Similar to what others have posted above.

Any tempature below -5C (23F):
First layer: boxer briefs
Second layer: Medium weight snug fitting cycling pants
Outer layer: cycling/running wind/rain pants

I've ridden in temps down to -20C (-4F) on my 13km (8 miles) commute with this setup.
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Old 01-25-13, 10:33 PM
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I work in a casual office so I wear regular clothes, cotton docker-style pants. I have some cotton overpants that I wear over the regular clothes, and that double layer is enough down to near ten degrees. At that level, I add leg warmers that cover the legs, on top of the inner pants, from the ankle to just over the knee. When we get below zero, I move up a level in the overpants area by wearing, again over my regular pants and the leg warmers, some heavy wool paratrooper pants from the military surplus store. They are really heavy wool with wind screens in the thighs. They are so heavy that if I wear them at temperatures above zero I overheat. I like riding in the winter because it is possible to be quite comfortable and yet everyone seems to think I must be suffering.
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Old 01-27-13, 03:19 PM
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Old 01-28-13, 08:20 AM
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Regular cycling shorts, with Pearl Izumi Amphib bib tights on top...the Amphibs have a fleecey lining and some supposedly wind-proof panels on the front of the legs.

But to be honest, I've worn much less hardy tights in cold weather and been fine. While I'll sometimes come home from a ride and realize that the fronts of my thighs are cold, I've never been on a ride and found cold legs to be reason enough to complain, or worry, or alter my cycling in any way. It's always the fingers or toes or face that get me first!
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Old 01-29-13, 04:49 AM
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That's a common temp for me to cycle in and at that temp I wear a pair of patagonia synthetic lightweight (very) longjohns under Craft cycling pants that have a windbreak on the front and a pretty open weave on the back. Under both of those I have my normal cycling shorts. For shoes at that temp I wear Keen boots and I use PowerGrips on my pedals. That will keep me comfortable indefinitely as long as I am moving. If I'm going out and don't have anyone to call to get me in the event of a breakdown I take overpants and additional clothing to change into in the event I have to fix a flat. Having to take great care in the dark on the snow when doing a repair means tire repair and such is much more time consuming in winter so I take xtra clothing. It's saved my hide in the past, for sure.
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