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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    philadelphia
    Posts
    8

    recommended cold weather gear ?

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    greetings...this is the first winter i'm going to try braving the philadelphia winter and stay training outside.

    does anyone have any favourite warm weather gear they'd recommend? i would prefer to avoid wool, being vegan.

    as an aside: i'm having a hard time believing i can stay warm in spandex outside in the winter, being that i get cold if it's under 70 degrees...but i have determination, regardless !

    i appreciate any / all suggestions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    Quote Originally Posted by violet View Post
    as an aside: i'm having a hard time believing i can stay warm in spandex outside in the winter, being that i get cold if it's under 70 degrees...but i have determination, regardless !
    You're right, spandex alone will not keep you warm. That's why fleece was invented. Fleece takes over where spandex leaves off. Look at fleece tights/tops that you can wear over shorts and base layers, and outer shells made of materials like Gore-Tex or eVent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    156

    Great question - was about to ask this myself!

    I just started biking last March, so I am only a bit ahead of you on this. I found it tricky even in the spring, because you sweat quite a bit, but then you cool down on the downhills.

    Shoe covers (Neoprene or some other synthetic stuff) made a big difference - I'm sure there are non wool warm sox. I just got an excellent pair of lined biking gloves.

    For the in between weather last year I work bike tights without a chamois over bike shorts, which worked pretty well. I just got arm warmers and leg warmers (Decente) to help with the transition season this year.

    For the top last spring I layered a synthetic running turtle neck with a fleece top and then a biking wind/rain jacket. I just bought a warmer winter bike jacket on end of season sale.

    I think a pair of cold weather tights with a chamois will be needed - would like to hear the suggestions on those.

    Also, I got a poly skull cap for under the helmet which covered my ears, but I suspect there are better head gear options out there.

    Looking forwar to the usual TE helpful advice on this one -- thanks for asking the question

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Violet, if you do a search in these forums for "cold weather gear", etc, you will find many many useful threads discussing gazillions of cold weather clothings items.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    1,145
    I just did a ride in Yellowstone National Park and wore this jacket. It is a men's jacket, but I am sure that the Team Estrogen Ladies could help you find a comparable womens jacket;

    I was so impressed. I stayed completely warm and dry despite riding in 8 miles of continuous downpour. The temps were in the mid/high 40's and I had a sleeveless tank on under the jacket.

    http://www.gorebikewear.com/1164920285784.html

    Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    This might not work for training proper i.e. higher speeds, less stops and more wind, but this works for me for commuting down to about -10 deg C. (14F), up to 1 hour rides.

    regular bike shoes, though I've bought winter shoes for this winter
    wool socks
    neoprene shoe covers
    regular bike shorts
    PI AmFib winter tights (w/room for a thin wicking base layer under but I don't think I've ever used it)
    sports bra
    thin wicking base layer top, turtleneck+long-sleeved
    sometimes an extra sleeveless thin wicking layer, wool or synthetic
    Gore Phantom jacket (LOVE this jacket, it's warm and it doesn't get clammy)
    Buff or face mask over my neck and nose
    Gore windproof skull cap (very handy)
    big fat PI lobster mitts (not too thrilled about these, they're lumpy)

    Remove layers as needed

    I don't usually wear goggles or glasses, but I'll use some water-free skin cream or Vaseline in my face before going out.

    And eating well in advance and being warm before you leave the house really makes a difference. It's very hard to warm up fingers and toes if you're cold inside to begin with.

    (Ok, I re-read your post and maybe you weren't really asking about below freezing is-it-still-possible-to-bike gear. I like biking in winter, I get carried away )
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    176

    Love PI

    I too wear the amfib tights. I like underarmour cold gear, adidas climawarm then a pi gavia jacket. I LOVE my panoptix glasses(sierra trading post), keep out the wind and cold, BUT not good when raining, HELLO FOG! Wear a thick face and neck mask, pi gloves, neoprene covers over the sidis and a pair of thick thorlos. Also cover the helmet with a reflective waterproof cover. It's dark when I leave and dark when I come home, so the bike's geared with mini newts and a cheap rear light. I ride in PA and we get lots of wet weather year round and this combo lets me ride whenever the wind is below 30mph and less than a couple inches of snow. GOOD LUCK!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    63
    I wear pants that have wind blocking properties in the front only. Nice akle zippers. They have articulated knees, too. Over cycling shorts or cycling under shorts which are thinner.
    I also wear a bright yellow jacket that has pit zips, is waterproof, breathable and can be cinched at the waist or bottom, which are great for regulating heat, you wouldn't believe how great that is so you don't build up a sweat.

    Under that I just wear a long sleeve cycling or polypro shirt that wicks really well. Depending whether it has fleece or not, I may wear a thin sleeveless silk or polypro shirt under that. Zippers that go up and down to regulate are also important.

    Lobster claw gloves and shoe covers. Sometimes I even put those little warming packets in my shoes--like skiiers. Headband that covers ears or skull cap, thin. Yes, lots of lip balm. But I'm talking below freezing riding. Which by the way is nice when the sun is out, but harder when it is cloudy.

    I also recommend good glasses that cut the glare for winter riding because the angles of light make it harder to see (esp. pot holes which proliferate where I live in the winter), and blinking head and tail lights because it is harder to see you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    3,099
    The only other thing I would add is find things that are reflective or REALLY LOUD COLOURS!!!! Most motorists aren't expecting someone to be riding when it's cold so they aren't paying attention - ok...so they're paying even Less attention then they do in the spring/summer/fall.

    I have Illumnite tights, leg warmers, arm warmers and jacket for my winter riding. I also discovered what you wear depends on how far you're going and what type of riding ie: I bike commute. In the mornings my 6 mile ride is all downhill with the last 1-2 miles in a headwind. So dressing cold in the beginning means I'll be even colder at the end. In the evening I have to climb that hill usually with a tail/cross wind so I wear things I can vent easily. I know I'll get warm while I"m climbing but the sun is setting and if I had to wait on traffic - it could get chilly.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,150
    Layers

    Wool and I do ***not*** get along. Coldest I've ridden in was 2 below... but I only have a 7 mile commute. Big thick socks and Lands End "Squall shoes" take care of my feet; two pairs of gloves on my hands. I also carry hadn warmers in case something happens and I have to fix something 'cause if I stop moving, numbness will happen at that temp.
    What makes a big difference when it is truly cold is to warm up before I walk out the door. Two or three minutes of some kind of exercise means I get to skip that "window of numb" between when I leave the sort-of-warm house and when my internal furnace sends enough blood out to keep the hands warm. (After 10 minutes, my hands will be warm again.)
    long undies, tights, looser long undies and sweats work downstairs; long undies, long-sleeve T-shirt, sweatshirt, and two jackets work upstairs.
    balaclava over the delicate ears
    SKi goggles if it's single digits (non fogging).


    Oh, and yea, that outer jacket is Bright Yellow Gore-Tex. And I've got strings of Christmas lights.

    I sold my car at the end of May. Last year I drove five times in the winter... but there is a bus system if I wimp out :-)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Quote Originally Posted by Geonz View Post
    Layers
    ....balaclava over the delicate ears....
    Yes, layers work well. I have TWO thin balaclavas that i have been known to double up on in really cold (below 30 F) rides.

    I plan to try a new method this winter....the "Princess Leia Plan B" that I have invented myself:
    Take two baclavas and warm them in the oven.
    Insert them INSIDE your balaclava, one over each ear.
    Ride in warm gooey comfort.
    EAT the baclavas at the end of your ride.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,372
    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa S.H. View Post
    I plan to try a new method this winter....the "Princess Leia Plan B" that I have invented myself:
    Take two baclavas and warm them in the oven.
    Insert them INSIDE your balaclava, one over each ear.
    Ride in warm gooey comfort.
    EAT the baclavas at the end of your ride.
    I love it
    And, if you have a dog, they can lick your ears once home to complete the warm gooey feeling and free yourself of the sticky.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,372
    Quote Originally Posted by invsblwmn View Post
    I too wear the amfib tights. GOOD LUCK!
    I just did a web search on amfib tights - they look awesome, if a bit pricey. Have you guy's found women's specific, or do you wear the mens?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    820

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    philadelphia
    Posts
    8
    thanks everyone...this definitely helps. i'll do a search as well (didn't mean to come off as lazy! i just hadn't immediately seen anything and i'm into instant gratification...hahha..)

    anyway, my commute is 30 miles round trip along a river (wind!) - and i usually ride about 120 miles or so on the weekends. layering definitely seems like the way to go since i'm sure i'll warm up a bit as i go.

 

 

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