Hey guys... gals..
I'm looking to get the right winter gear for riding in Chicago... I've been looking for pants / jacket stuff... i've been browsing at probikekit.com they seem to have some good prices.
just looking for some advice on what is the best gear to have for winter / early spring riding.
What works for me is a skull cap that fits under my helmet that covers my head and ears. Gloves that keep my hands warm. I have a Thinsulate undershirt under my long-sleeve cycling shirt and I wear a windbreaker that has removeable sleeves. I wear insulated long bike pants. I wear wool insulated socks with my bike shoes. This arangement is good down to around 32f. As I get warmed up while riding I'll open the zipper on my windbreaker. If it is sunny and I get warmer I'll take off the windbreaker.
I found it's most important to keep my head and hands warm. While riding my body could be sweating but my ears hurt from the cold. The same thing with my hands.
I have different gloves depending on how cold it is. The skull cap is a Thinsulate cap and is very effective in keeping my head warm. Sometimes, though, I think I'd rather have a full face shield to keep the wind off my face. It's weird to feel warm overall except for the oval of my exposed face being frigid-cold.
I'ts important follow this one rule: do not wear cotton against your body. My clothing is polypropylene. Cotton, when you sweat, will absorb water and when that water cools, you start to freeze up. The poly stuff wicks water and allows the vapor to escape, much like the vapor barriers on houses. Same reason I wear the wool-blend socks. I normally dislike wool stuff and prefer cotton. Every layer you wear has to be able to pass vapor.