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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Posts
    21

    What Not to Wear

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    Just went on my first fall ride - temp was about 44 degrees when we started. I was pretty sure I needed layers, but I wasn't sure what kinds of fabric work best. And, I was really not sure what kind of jacket I should put on top. We are going to ride again early October, which will probably be in the mid 30s when we start. Any suggestions on how I should build my riding wardrobe for year-round riding? What are good investment pieces?
    2012 Fuji Cross 3.0 Cyclocross & 2016 Specialized Dolce

    Choose the road you always wanted.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    I mostly wear wool when it's cool or cold. It doesn't get cold and clammy like cotton or synthetic fibers. I have several Smartwool pieces, from lightweight to heavy weight, but I'd note that you don't need to wear cycling specific wool. An old wool sweater from Goodwill can work just as well. I have two jackets: A Pearl Izumi lightweight windbreaker and a more heavy duty Gore Windstopper jacket with removeable sleeves. Arm warmers are pretty handy and versatile, too, for changeable weather.

    For my bottoms, I have everything from legwarmers to knickers (Shebeest Pedal Pushers to be exact) to tights (Sugoi Miz and Sub Zeros). For cool weather, I prefer the knickers, as I don't mind if my lower body gets a tad toasty by the end of the ride. I just find them more comfortable than legwarmers.

    I'd add in wool socks, toe or shoe covers, head band and/or hat, a balaclava or buff, windproof gloves and glove liners. My feet and hands are my biggest limiters.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Everyone is different. I asked this question in an email to members of my cycling club last year and received all sorts of answers. The common theme was "layers." I would also add that you will need a bike bag (handlebar bag, trunk rack, etc.) large enough to carry the layers if you decided to remove them or you want to pack them at ride start in case you want them later.

    I keep a log for rides in cool weather. I note the weather conditions, time of day, what I was wearing and whether or not I was comfortable.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I keep a log for rides in cool weather. I note the weather conditions, time of day, what I was wearing and whether or not I was comfortable.
    This is an exceedingly smart thing to do. Otherwise, it feels like you have to relearn it every year.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    Tights (I prefer chamois-free)
    Jackets--one light (I like the Pearl Izumi Convertible Barrier--you get a windbreaker, a vest and a bolero in one!) and one heavier
    Wool base layer(s)--I have a long-sleeve and a sleeveless one; an old light sweater works fine, but I have super sensitive skin, so it had to be merino.
    Arm warmers
    Leg warmers
    Full-fingered gloves
    Wool socks

    Shoe covers or toe covers are also good things to look at, depending on your shoes.
    Everyone is different, so some experimentation is needed.
    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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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066
    Thin layers are good, as noted. I would add that what you need depends a bit on what kind of rides you do. The most challenging isn't really suiting up for a short cold ride, it's starting in cool and maybe wet weather and ending in warm weather, without being loaded down with extra clothing. For rides like that, typically longish rides spring and autumn, stuff like arm and leg warmers and removable toe covers are great. My dh calls it "the modular look"

    For shorter cold rides I find regular long-sleeved and "long-legged" clothing more comfortable, but less versatile. In cool weather you need thinner layers than you might expect, but to cover more then you might expect. Feet, hands and head get cold fast, especially feet if you have snug shoes.
    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
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Posts
    21
    Thank you - great information!
    2012 Fuji Cross 3.0 Cyclocross & 2016 Specialized Dolce

    Choose the road you always wanted.

 

 

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