Cold Weather Wear

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by dbackmtg, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. dbackmtg

    dbackmtg New Member

    Oct 9, 2005
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    I need to buy some cold weather gear, pants, top, hood, shoe covers, gloves etc. I live in central Pa. where the temps will range from 10 to 30 degrees during the winter. I like to be warm. Any help will be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Lucy_Aspenwind

    Lucy_Aspenwind New Member

    Sep 27, 2006
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    There are probably some threads out there covering this stuff so try looking those up for more insight.

    I get cold very, very easy so finding this has been a bit of trail and error.

    As for me, I find layers with lots of zippers to be the key. So I tend to just stock up in a way that looks like this:

    s/s jersey
    s/s jersey + arm warmers
    s/s jersey + arm warmers + base layer (w/zips for venting)
    s/s jersey + arm warmers + base layer + lightweight wind/waterproof jacket

    fingerless gloves
    fingerless gloves w/liner gloves under
    full-finger 3 season gloves
    liner gloves w/lobster claw-style gloves (PI AmFib)

    bike shorts
    bike shorts + knee warmers
    bike shorts + knee warmers + wind/waterproof tights (shebeest pro tights)

    bike helmet
    bike helmet + helmet cover
    bike helmet + helmet cover + cap
    bike helmet + balaclava

    If you are curious about a brand - PI has some good stuff in their AmFib line.

    You can do low-tech the very same way for less money with some creativity.
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2005
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    I haven't done Winter riding in a couple of seasons, but the MOST IMPORTANT things for cold weather comfort were ankle high neoprene booties (over-boots) + a winter-weight balaclava ... the booties can seem/be expensive (so, shop around!), but they are worth it, IMO.

    BTW. If you are going to use the booties over MTB shoes, they probably have to be at least 2-or-3-sizes larger ... if you wear a 45, you would probably need a bootie that fits a 48. Of course, for road shoes, go with the suggested sizes.

    A wind-proof 60/40-type shell is a good idea ... XC skiing gear works well, EITHER racing OR backcountry, depending on how aero you feel you need to be ...

    Goggles are/(can be) a real benefit ...

    I found that knit gloves over my cycling gloves were sufficient ... you need to allow SOME (that is, a lot) of the heat to dissipate ... so, unless you are caught in a wet, snow storm (which can happen, of course), stuff that breathes/vents is a real benefit. If you opt for knit gloves, the cheapest pair with a contact-surface on the palm-side will do OR even a pair of cotton gardening gloves!

    Over-pants with windproof fronts are a REAL PLUS ... others had them, but I only had a pair of long chamois-less cycling pants which I layered on before a pair of "regular" cycling shorts ... a pair of double-knit warm-up pants probably would work on colder days (sub-20ºF) instead-of-or-in-addition-to the long pants depending on your cold tolerance & the wind.

    BTW2. The "hood" on a jacket/shell is generally not practical when you are actually riding because of loss of peripheral visibility AND diminished traffic noise ... so a "helmet" mirror is probably a must if you are planning to ride with the hood up ... but, a hood is great to have when you have stopped.
  4. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Jun 6, 2006
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    I use a face mask with a heat exchanger in it. I think it works better than breathing through a wool scarf. This is for when it's closer to 10 than 30.

    As for boots, when it's really cold I don't try to rig my clipless shoes to work, I just put platforms on the bike and wear winter boots. It's easier to cope with black ice that way.

    P.S. road salt will eat aluminum almost as fast as steel so wash your bike often and in the spring wash the frame out.

    Goggles are great for when it's windy but then you don't get much peripheral vision and have to limit your maneuvering to compensate.
  5. nomotornozen

    nomotornozen New Member

    Apr 1, 2006
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    I used wicking long underwear with a generic fleece and maybe a warmup jacket for the top and long johns and sweatpants over that last winter in Chicago and they worked pretty well. I used some old ski gloves and a thin stocking hat too and stayed pretty warm, and wore the same cotton socks I used during the summer in the same shoes. I was just starting to exercise on the bicycle then, and just used what I had around the house - I've got more specialized stuff for warmer weather now that I'll probably ad as layers as the temperature gets colder. Check out for more on the subject, these guys don't stop for the cold!!!
  6. rule62

    rule62 New Member

    Aug 16, 2004
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    Check out the commuting section. Plenty of good information there from guys who ride in the cold by choice. They have long since figured a lot of this stuff out.

    For my part, the Pearl Izumi gear has worked great for me over the last three seasons of training rides and commutes, and it is really easy to find on sale. I have used their Barrier gear and their fleece leg warmers for temps down to about 50 degrees, and go to their fleece tights down to about 40. The Amphib Bibs are great when the temps drop down below that. Using Amphibs and the Barrier gear in layers over a wool or silk base layer I have ridden down into the single digits with no issues. Their stuff wind blocks to the front and everything breathes and wicks really well. A fleece cap that comes down to cover my ears works great until temps get down into the twenties, then I add a balaclava to cover up more of my face. DeFeet Inferno socks are as good as anything that I have found to keep my feet warm. I layer them over a thin undersock and/or add shoe covers for longer training rides when the temps go down into the 20's. I wear PI full finger Gel Lite gloves once the temps get down aound 50 and into the 40's, and PI Amphib full finger gloves when the temps drop below freezing. For wet, I use the Showers Pass gear which works better than anything else that I have found, especially when you add their hood and shoe covers. I commuted all last winter through the cold and wet and got to work drier than some of my co-workers who drove.

    Hope this helps. ;)