Any recommendations on the best winter gear?



Giosue

New Member
Feb 8, 2013
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I am riding in 34 degrees on the coldest mornings. I live in a hilly area, so there are a lot of climbs and descents during even a short ride (so I go from hot to cold quickly). I am cost conscious, but will pay for quality if it means I will save $ on avoiding repurchases later.

BIB TIGHTS- currently leaning toward the rapha classic winter tights because of the free repairs, the high quality, and to match my other rapha stuff. Would like to try out the castelli nanoflex stuff if it came in tights instead of chamois-included bibs. I prefer the idea of tights that lack a pad so that I can buy only one pair of tights that I can wear all week, while only needing to wash the bibs I wear underneath. Would prefer a level of waterproofing, but will not likely go out in rain if it is less than 45 anyway.

GLOVES- Tried a pair of Craft Siberian gloves last year, and had a bad experience. They were plenty warm, but the windproofing was horrendous so my sweaty fingers froze. Rapha does have a new glove system, but it is pretty costly and I feel like I could do better (or as well) for less $. Would prefer less bulk and more wind protection on the back of the hand, as I feel like extra insulation only makes me sweat and increases the likelihood of my hands actually getting colder.

BASE LAYERS- Rapha actually does well, price wise here, for a merino wool long sleeve at around $80-95. All other merino base layers I see are around that.

JACKETS- the guys at Rapha actually recommend the Pro Team Jacket over everything else they sell. My other option is the Castelli Gabba jacket, which a ton of people wore during the Giro this year. However, my focus is less on water resistance and more on wind resistance/heat retention and I am not sure which is better for those concerns.

Anyone have anything that they love?
 

maydog

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
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For tights, I usually wear 1 or 2 non-padded full leg tights over my cycling shorts. This is a much cheaper option than having a collection of winter-only use cycling bottoms.

Regular poly gloves can go a long way - especially if you use latex or nitrile gloves underneath as a vapor barrier. Your hands will sweat, but as long as the barrier is intact, it does not matter. In really cold, I go with mittens.

I also skip jackets and wear several layers of shirts. Against the skin, I wear something like an underarmor base layer. On top of that a thermal undershirt. I do carry a lightweight jacket to put on if I need to stop for a mechanical.
 

bartsie

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Jun 20, 2011
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Quote: Originally Posted by Giosue .
GLOVES- Tried a pair of Craft Siberian gloves last year, and had a bad experience. They were plenty warm, but the windproofing was horrendous so my sweaty fingers froze. Rapha does have a new glove system, but it is pretty costly and I feel like I could do better (or as well) for less $. Would prefer less bulk and more wind protection on the back of the hand, as I feel like extra insulation only makes me sweat and increases the likelihood of my hands actually getting colder.



I think you might have overdone it - why did the fingers get sweaty to start with?

I have some LG gloves and put wool liners underneath when it's really cold - not sure 34 degrees is cold enough.

Quote:
BASE LAYERS- Rapha actually does well, price wise here, for a merino wool long sleeve at around $80-95. All other merino base layers I see are around that.



You can get two for that amount, e.g. go to wiggle.com and search for 'dhb merino'.

I have a couple of merino base layers... not convinced they're really any better than good synthetic ones. A lot of it is hype it seems. Warm socks and some odd bits (e.g. I have an Ibex neck buff that I really like) - yes, but other than that...
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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It sounds like you're pretty committed to Rapha. I share bartsie's opinion about the cost of Rapha base layers. You can get 2-3 pieces of other brand's base layers for the price you pay for Rapha. I use synthetic base layers and have had no issues with them. In terms of the rest of the kit, I have a mix Giordana and Assos pieces: Giordana long sleeve jerseys, bib tights (with chamois), arm and leg warmers, bib shorts, booties, and microfiber jacket; and Assos bib shorts and bib knickers. Socks are Smartwool ¾ length. Gloves are mix: thin capilene gloves/liners; Pearl Izumi long fingered gloves (not insulated), heavier fleece-ish gloves from Performance, and pair of WP/B ice climbing gloves from Cloudveil. I have thin polypro skullcaps and one that is WP/B. What I'm wearing at any given time is a mix of whatever I deem necessary for the conditions. I've been out in temps down to about 20° and could probably go 5-10° cooler. The key to staying warm and dry while exercising outside in winter is proper layering. It's also generally a good idea to be dressed such that you're a bit cool at the start of the ride. If you start off warm, you're going to likely overheat.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
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" I prefer the idea of tights that lack a pad so that I can buy only one pair of tights that I can wear all week, while only needing to wash the bibs I wear underneath."

Good plan. I do likewise, but more for the added layer of warmth and compression around the thighs. Rapha is good stuff and worth the money if you're going mid to high line stuff.



"I also skip jackets and wear several layers of shirts."

This.

For constant, short climbs and descents I've found nothing that works well for avoiding sweating going up and chilling out coming down. Wind resistance equals poor ventilation in most cases...or...tugging at zippers all the time. Which is impractical in my terrain of constant ups and downs.

I reserve jackets for sub-freezing temps, but everyone feels differently in the cold and react differently to riding in it.