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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    105

    fall/winter cycle clothing

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    I was busy all spring and summer riding 80-100 miles a week. I even did a couple bicycle trips then I had an accident. I was off my bike for about a month during that time the seasons changed. I'm not sure about dressing for the cold rainy fall and even less sure about how to dress for the winter. I basically don't want to drop a lot of money into cold weather gear because I don't have the money and I'm not sure I'll stick with riding when it gets too challenging with the weather. My question is what should I buy to keep me riding at least into November. I'm guessing that In November there will be high temps in the low to mid 40s F.
    _________
    1996 Kona Kula-14
    2011 Surly LHT-46

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Winter riding is about layering. There is some trial and error involved, as you need to figure out what works for your riding style, your area, and your individual comfort level.

    Here's what's in my closet:
    Long-sleeve jerseys of a couple weights (normal long-sleeve, heavy weight, thermal)
    Smartwool baselayers (long-sleeve and sleeveless; these things were the best investment I've ever made in bike gear)
    Leg and arm warmers
    Thermal tights (I like Sugoi Midzero Zaps--they're actually running tights, so no chamois, but that means I don't have to wash them after every ride.)
    Gloves (mine are PI Cyclone; they're more a fall glove, but I'd get more use out of them if I used them with a liner.)
    Good socks
    A jacket
    I really should get a set of toe covers or booties too.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    If you're riding in cold weather and on a budget, layers are the way to go. Plenty of other fitness tops, jackets, etc. will work just fine for cycling. A lot of my hiking and skiing stuff gets pressed into service. I do like Owlie does and use unpadded tights with shorts or bibs underneath, so I can ride multiple days without needing multiple pairs of tights.

    If you decide that you're into cold weather riding or you're really cold-blooded, a dedicated winter cycling jacket makes sense. It's so much easier to get dressed, and I feel less like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man. (BTW, I have a nice winter jacket for sale in the "For Sale" forum!) Same thing with winter cycling boots- they just make the whole process easier.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    I just bought a pair of fleece lined leggings at TJ Max that I totally plan to wear over my bike shorts this fall.
    Yesterday It was 50 degrees, I had on shorts, tights then my duck cotton knickers that end just below the knee. Wool socks, thin t-shirt under my wool long sleeve jersey, rain/wind jacket. thin headband and long fingered gloves. So totally a mix of biking and "non biking" attire. Of course, I could care less about how I look as long as I am comfortable
    Sky King
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    ditto on the TJ Maxx and who cares if you are wearing actual biking clothes Layers are best and there is also the individual preference for cold/hot.....I would rather freeze than be dripping with sweat (:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,302
    Today it was in the mid 30s with light snow. I rode 10 miles wearing:

    PI elite tights. These have no chamois and I didn't bother with shorts for such a short ride. They are wind blocking in the front.
    Wool knee socks.
    Gore base layer with a wind blocking front (I debated wool but was glad I went with the wind block since I wore no jacket)
    Some no name company thick top layer, all synthetic
    Thin wool hat under my Bern helmet
    Wool buff, pulled up my neck and covering my nose and mouth until I warmed up
    Ski gloves

    Worked out well. As usual, my eyes dripped but it was warm enough that they quit dripping after a bit. The buff was a nice addition. The ski gloves have to go but I don't anticipate many cold weather rides. Ditching the jacket made me sweat a lot less, or the sweat dissipated better.

    I still hate the cold and can't wait to go south, which is going to be later this year than usual.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    I'll second the notion that if you're on a budget, you can use general fitness gear in place of biking duds. A cycling-specific jacket was a must for me because I'm tall enough that in my riding position, a normal jacket isn't long enough. Almost everything else, though... I've worn lined track pants on the bike in winter with the right leg tucked into my sock.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Longmont, Colorado
    Posts
    23
    I have only one cycling specific article of clothing so far, so here's my regular-clothes list of stuff. It's very short or repetitive.

    50 degrees seems to be one demarcation line for me, and 32 degrees or freezing is the other one. Basically, you just add gloves, longer sleeves, extra socks, and a scarf as the temperature gets colder. All my stuff besides shirts and jeans cost very little- my leather gloves were $6 at Walmart, stockings about that for a 3-pack. Boots were $3 at Goodwill. For a budget I highly recommend spending a few hours in there.

    >50: light jacket (currently mine is leather, but somehow that counts as light. the surface of the leather transfers a little bit of outside temperatures so wind is blocked, but I'm not really hot as I pedal along. Any other regular jacket or hoodie has me sweating to death even at 7 degrees. Last year I had a Faded Glory shell windbreaker, so see what works for you),
    probably more comfortable with short-sleeved shirt
    can go with pants or skirt,
    any shoes with any socks.

    50<32:
    jacket
    short or long-sleeved shirt
    one-size-fits-all kid gloves
    regular stockings/tights underneath pants
    must have socks
    shoes without a lot of ventilation

    <32
    scarf (wraps around head and neck, covering ears and chin. mine is thin and cashmere-like soft).
    kid gloves and oversize leather gloves to fit over those (need a good solution here too. I didn't get frostbite, but I was darned uncomfortable in the 20 range and lower. maybe mittens?)
    jacket
    long-sleeved shirt
    stockings and pants (I'll need something windblocking for the 20s temps and below- last year after I stopped my 3 mile trips my legs would be painful to touch and red until they thawed out a little)
    wool socks (I have only one very fat pair) or doubled socks
    consider snow boots even without snow due to insulative properties (or traction. ice sucks). loose sneakers also work (to fit the extra socks, they suck very badly on ice)


    Probably unneeded but: Beware of slippery ice if the temperature is anywhere near freezing. It's rideable on slick skinny hybrid tires like mine if you are extremely careful, but falling still sucks. Carry the stuff you have for winter even if you don't need it in a saddlebag or crate or whatever. You might not be cold enough to use it, but you don't want to not have that stuff when you do need it. Try not to get too hot. If you do and sweat a bunch, you'll just be super cold (or wet) after you arrive at your destination or if you get a flat tire or something. And of course, lights and reflective stuff is awesome for the shorter days and yuckier weather.

    Riding in snow is tons of fun!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    105
    These are great ideas! Thanks!! I found that in the low 50s upper 40s I mostly need wind stoppage and have been having luck with Target yoga shirt and a long sleeve T then my wind breaker as long as I have my gloves on I stay warm. I splurged on a wind proof glove from the LBS. They are Specialized I believe. I wore my bike shorts with lined windbreaker material pants and my regular socks and bike shoes. My feet were cold! I think I'll layer over the current layers a thin fleece and see if that works. Oh and I'll have to check out TJ Maxx for more or other options on the lower half. Thanks again!
    How much better are wool socks for keeping your feet warm?
    _________
    1996 Kona Kula-14
    2011 Surly LHT-46

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
    Posts
    104
    Thanks for starting this thread! I am also looking for tips on dressing warmer for the winter rides - here it doesn't get too cold without snow, but it's the wind that will get to me. I would like to continue with the cycling shorts I have now, get some knee/shin warmers and wear a pair of athletic pants over them. Do you think that will give an adequate first line of defense against the wind or would a pair of tights over the shorts be a better investment? Time to shop...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,957
    Quote Originally Posted by gocard View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread! I am also looking for tips on dressing warmer for the winter rides - here it doesn't get too cold without snow, but it's the wind that will get to me. I would like to continue with the cycling shorts I have now, get some knee/shin warmers and wear a pair of athletic pants over them. Do you think that will give an adequate first line of defense against the wind or would a pair of tights over the shorts be a better investment? Time to shop...
    A pair of windblocking tights such as PI Amfibs would be a good investment. They aren't too tight across the knees as some tights are, and the wind-blocking fabric, especially over your knees, works nicely. I have the version without chamois and typically just wear them over a thin chamois liner or, if it is really cold, a pair of regular shorts. They also come with a chamois (I think) which would prevent the need for another layer but then it makes it harder to use them for something like hiking (under jeans)... This is much better than regular warmers, at least for me it is.
    Last edited by Catrin; 11-03-2012 at 10:40 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Sunny CA
    Posts
    104
    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    A pair of windblocking tights such as PI Amfibs would be a good investment. They aren't too tight across the knees as some tights are, and the wind-blocking fabric, especially over your knees, works nicely. I have the version without chamois and typically just wear them over a thin chamois liner or, if it is really cold, a pair of regular shorts. They also come with a chamois (I think) which would prevent the need for another layer but then it makes it harder to use them for something like hiking (under jeans)... This is much better than regular warmers, at least for me it is.
    Thanks Catrin. I just got myself a pair of Gore tights without the chamois. It was a nice closeout deal and was in my size - perfect! Like you mentioned, I figured it would be equally useful in other outdoor activities during the winter. I should be all set to start experimenting with layers for the winter season.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    333
    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmame View Post
    These are great ideas! Thanks!! I found that in the low 50s upper 40s I mostly need wind stoppage and have been having luck with Target yoga shirt and a long sleeve T then my wind breaker as long as I have my gloves on I stay warm. I splurged on a wind proof glove from the LBS. They are Specialized I believe. I wore my bike shorts with lined windbreaker material pants and my regular socks and bike shoes. My feet were cold! I think I'll layer over the current layers a thin fleece and see if that works. Oh and I'll have to check out TJ Maxx for more or other options on the lower half. Thanks again!
    How much better are wool socks for keeping your feet warm?
    wool is WAY better and retains insulating properties even when damp (from sweat or rain or snow...) Sample size of the scouts I backpacked with over 12 years- the kids with wool socks never had cold feet......there is a winter camping mantra "cotton kills". Some of the new synthetic blends are well loved by some folks, but I have camped in 0 degrees with warm feet and swear by my wool. TJ Maxx sometimes has 100% wool socks (not many!) at the start of winter.....

    I switch to wool socks for biking at about 40 degrees.....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    Quote Originally Posted by tealtreak View Post
    wool is WAY better and retains insulating properties even when damp (from sweat or rain or snow...) Sample size of the scouts I backpacked with over 12 years- the kids with wool socks never had cold feet......there is a winter camping mantra "cotton kills". Some of the new synthetic blends are well loved by some folks, but I have camped in 0 degrees with warm feet and swear by my wool. TJ Maxx sometimes has 100% wool socks (not many!) at the start of winter.....

    I switch to wool socks for biking at about 40 degrees.....
    Me too. Wool layers and socks are the best investment I've ever made. (It helps that they get worn off the bike quite frequently too.)
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva


    Saving for the next one...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    Ibex arm and leg warmers, Sugoi booties, standard winter cycling gloves (but I'm on the SE coast, so you may need Gore winter, Ibex, or some such), Pearl Izumi Gavia Jacket, Gore Phantom Jacket with removable sleeves and wind-stopper material, Bellwether non chamois tights over regular shorts, a thermal skullcap that covers the ears. Many pairs of Smartwool PHD socks. Smartwool non-cycling specific tops. Pockets aren't necessary under jackets, I use the pockets in the jackets.

    A pair of winter cycling shoes could be a good investment for some. Also a breathable windbreaker that converts into a vest. Works for rain or as an extra layer over a jacket.

    Things I need to round out the winter wardrobe: better quality long sleeve jersey's when a jacket if too much. Better short sleeve jersey's for the same reason.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

 

 

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