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Bottom 1/2 reccomendations for sub-freezing? (32F->0F)

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Bottom 1/2 reccomendations for sub-freezing? (32F->0F)

Old 10-27-19, 10:59 AM
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Bottom 1/2 reccomendations for sub-freezing? (32F->0F)

Last year I did layers. Lots of winter layers. And it was cumbersome on the commute, taking 15 minutes to get to the point of getting my jacket and gloves on and out the door....to the point where I was already sweating/baking before getting outside.

I'm wondering about say fleece-lined ski pants or the like outer, with cycling shorts or winter bib tights under? What say ye? Lots of options on Amazon, and would prefer to be cheap--but if I need to spend $$$ I will.
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Old 10-27-19, 04:27 PM
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I really like my PI AmFib tights down to 10 degrees F or so. Not cheap upfront, but they are durable enough for many seasons.
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Old 10-29-19, 07:15 PM
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Ski pants would be cumbersome for riding any distance. A pair thicker tights under a windproof pair of pants, not the ski type, would be sufficient in -17*C. Below that, I might ad a pair of knee warmers under the pants.

The whole rigmarole is a hassle for sure and adds an extra 20-30 minutes, at least, to the time required to do the commute. But I take comfort in knowing that it's only for a few months.
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Old 10-30-19, 09:49 AM
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Some years back I found some house brand tights wandering through REI. These had a water-resistant layer on the front of the thighs that seals off the wind, and reasonably thick pile on the rear and the calf. These are my go-to tights below 20F.

I'm not sure these are the same thing: https://www.rei.com/product/157092/r...ing-pants-mens but it's in the same ballpark, price-wise. Pearl Izumi and/or Sugoi probably have something similar for 2-3X the price.
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Old 10-30-19, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Some years back I found some house brand tights wandering through REI. These had a water-resistant layer on the front of the thighs that seals off the wind, and reasonably thick pile on the rear and the calf. These are my go-to tights below 20F.

I'm not sure these are the same thing: https://www.rei.com/product/157092/r...ing-pants-mens but it's in the same ballpark, price-wise. Pearl Izumi and/or Sugoi probably have something similar for 2-3X the price.
"Water-repellent in light rain" is not much of a claim. I do have a pair of Sugoi pants that are similar with the thicker panel in the front, and it appears to be waterproof or repellent, but they are not. Last week in a heavier consistent rain there were good for about 10 minutes before I felt the cold damp rain on my thighs.
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Old 10-30-19, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I really like my PI AmFib tights down to 10 degrees F or so. Not cheap upfront, but they are durable enough for many seasons.
I've been layering thermal tights...and it still isn't enough to trap heat below 20F. And it takes forever to get out the door. Haven't laid out $$$ for PI AmFibs (using look-a-like thermal-fleece/softshell cycling tights off Amazon), but I doubt they'd be any warmer for costing 4x-5X as much per tight.

Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Ski pants would be cumbersome for riding any distance. A pair thicker tights under a windproof pair of pants, not the ski type, would be sufficient in -17*C. Below that, I might ad a pair of knee warmers under the pants.

The whole rigmarole is a hassle for sure and adds an extra 20-30 minutes, at least, to the time required to do the commute. But I take comfort in knowing that it's only for a few months.
For 20F for 6ish miles, one way...need two layers of thermal tights, and windbreaker pants....still not warm enough when it gets much colder. Hence the thought about ski-pants or the like.
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Old 10-30-19, 12:37 PM
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Second vote for Pearl Izumi AmFib tights, paired with Smart Wool snowboard socks down to ~15*F. And when temps 0 to 15*F, I add knickers and/or rain pants over the top . My PI pants have held up to regular and heavy use for 4-5 years.
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Old 10-30-19, 03:24 PM
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I've been looking at the softshell trousers from Swrve. They are expensive, but might fit the bill. https://swrve.us/collections/trouser...shell-trousers
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Old 10-31-19, 04:29 PM
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I wear Sport Hill XC pants over my workpants. I do that when morning temps are in the 30f 's. When it gets in the 20f 's I'll add a pair of leg warmers for an extra layer. That works below 0f. That's been working for me for the last 12 years,
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Old 10-31-19, 06:39 PM
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I'm personally a fan of rain pants over winter bib tights when it gets cold enough that tights alone no longer do the job. Cycling-specific pants are easier to ride in (and more aerodynamic, if you want to go fast and turn up the wind chill even more!), and waterproof/breathable ones are better for preventing sweaty legs.

That said, I used some cheaper not breathable rain pants (Helly Hansen Voss, to be specific) for a few years. They will trap the heat and cut the wind, if that's what you're after. Tested and approved on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border.

A benefit of rain pants is that they also work for, well, rain, as well as those spring days when getting covered in sludge is unavoidable.
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Old 11-02-19, 10:39 AM
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Another vote for AmFib bibs. Several years ago I scored some unpadded ones for relatively cheap, $60 or so. I was hesitant to order unpadded, but it works out for layering when needed. I wear a padded short du jour underneath for 20-30F. Below 20F and I add in a set of thick PI leg warmers to the shorts, or a full, padded Craft bib under the AmFibs if I am worried about dropping even lower. I also use Lake MZ303 boots for anything below 45, since my feet get cold regardless of temperature. The Lakes are nice, but not perfect. Double socks (Costco’s Smartwool knockoffs are my usual daily sock) with a thin Smartwool base sock. For really cold temps I will remove the insoles and wear a neoprene dive bootie over socks. Above 45 and I wear my usual Shimano touring last shoes and an old Cannondale neoprene cover (well worn and full of shoe goo, I might add).

I try to have the bike fully loaded and ready to go before dressing. Still get hot, but I save upper body clothing and helmet for right at the door or even outside.
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Old 11-03-19, 06:06 PM
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Bottom 1/2 reccomendations for sub-freezing? (32F->0F)
Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Last year I did layers. Lots of winter layers. And it was cumbersome on the commute, taking 15 minutes to get to the point of getting my jacket and gloves on and out the door....to the point where I was already sweating/baking before getting outside.
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I really like my PI AmFib tights down to 10 degrees F or so.

Not cheap upfront, but they are durable enough for many seasons.
Originally Posted by But its me View Post
Another vote for AmFib bibsI try to have the bike fully loaded and ready to go before dressing.

Still get hot, but I save upper body clothing and helmet for right at the door or even outside.
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
The whole rigmarole is a hassle for sure and adds an extra 20-30 minutes, at least, to the time required to do the commute.

But I take comfort in knowing that it's only for a few months.
Just this morning I was looking online at an LBS website, and decided on getting PI Pursuit Thermal Tights…a perfect answer to what do you want for Christmas, and that’s when I’ll be needing them. It seems the AmFib are bib types, which I don’t want.

About dressing for the commute, I recently posted
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Commuting rituals?

Checking the weather and dressing are the essentials of my pre-commute, especially for inclement / winter weather: The finishing touches are precisely timed: to go to the bathroom, and then add the final layer(s) so I won’t be too warm before I descend the stairs from our second floor condo.

Finding a bathroom en route on my 14 mile one-way commute and accessing through a few layers is a hassle, especially because of cold weather diuresis:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I was gratified to read about this phenomenon a few years ago, called “cold diuresis.” A nice explanation is provided in Outside Magazine:
Originally Posted by Outside Magazine
What you’re experiencing is called cold diuresis, a phenomenon that occurs for reasons that are not entirely clear. One theory that remains popular—though it has been contested—explains how it works like this:

When your temperature starts to drop, your body will attempt to reduce heat loss by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the surface of the skin.

When that happens, your blood pressure will rise, because the same volume of blood is flowing through less space in your body. In response, your kidneys will pull out excess fluid to reduce your blood pressure, making you have to pee.

“A full bladder is a place for additional heat loss, so urinating will help conserve heat,” writes Rick Curtis, the director of Princeton University’s Outdoor Action Program…
Here in Massachusetts, there are stories (? urban legends) about scofflaws diuresing in public being tagged as Level I sex offenders. So one has to be careful….
So simple tights is the answer for me.
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Old 11-03-19, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Bottom 1/2 reccomendations for sub-freezing? (32F->0F)Just this morning I was looking online at an LBS website, and decided on getting PI Pursuit Thermal Tights…a perfect answer to what do you want for Christmas, and that’s when I’ll be needing them. It seems the AmFib are bib types, which I don’t want.
Mine are not-bibs, if that helps.

They've tweaked the model slightly since I bought them but these are basically it. No "screaming yellow" on mine: https://www.pearlizumi.com/US/en/sho...ght/p/11111713
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Old 11-03-19, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Mine are not-bibs, if that helps.

They've tweaked the model slightly since I bought them but these are basically it. No "screaming yellow" on mine: https://www.pearlizumi.com/US/en/sho...ght/p/11111713
Thanks for the reply. So are AmFib tights better/warmer? Slightly more expensive, but that's not a consideration.

Currently I use light-, mid-, and heavyweight base layers in various combinations
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
The way I organize my winter dress is by levels (link), 1 to 6...The levels do not mean layers, but the combination of gear for temperature intervals, in increments of about 10 degrees F…

The level makes the job of selecting clothing very easy for that decision to be made on the morning of a commute, without going outside. Sometimes I may bring along a piece of apparel from a higher level just in case.

The scheme is particularly useful at the change of seasons to remind me of what works. Also, I choose by ambient temperature and usually ignore the reported wind chill temp, because there always is a wind chill on the moving bike...
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Old 11-03-19, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Thanks for the reply. So are AmFib tights better/warmer? Slightly more expensive, but that's not a consideration.
It's supposed to be warmer, but I haven't tried the Pursuit ones you're looking at. The AmFib shell helps block wind and resist rain on the front side, and it works really well for that.

I just wear a pair of merino briefs under them, and that does the job down to 10 degrees or so.
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Old 11-03-19, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
It's supposed to be warmer, but I haven't tried the Pursuit ones you're looking at. The AmFib shell helps block wind and resist rain on the front side, and it works really well for that.

I just wear a pair of merino briefs under them, and that does the job down to 10 degrees or so.
Sounds good, especially the wind shell, Resisting rain can be an impossible task, but I presume I would wear them below 32°F, where water resistance to snow would be a benefit.

I do have rain pants for temps above that, worn with a base layer of a weight depending on the temperature.
Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
"Water-repellent in light rain" is not much of a claim. I do have a pair of Sugoi pants that are similar with the thicker panel in the front, and it appears to be waterproof or repellent, but they are not.

Last week in a heavier consistent rain there were good for about 10 minutes before I felt the cold damp rain on my thighs.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-03-19 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 11-03-19, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
I've been layering thermal tights...and it still isn't enough to trap heat below 20F. And it takes forever to get out the door. Haven't laid out $$$ for PI AmFibs (using look-a-like thermal-fleece/softshell cycling tights off Amazon), but I doubt they'd be any warmer for costing 4x-5X as much per tight.



For 20F for 6ish miles, one way...need two layers of thermal tights, and windbreaker pants....still not warm enough when it gets much colder. Hence the thought about ski-pants or the like.
I'm curious to know where your cold spots are? I wear a similar gear set, UA tights under wind breaker slacks. But I'll also wear a standard pair of summer padded shorts under the slacks as well. Usually my sit bones start getting cold first around 20°f but everything else is fine.
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Old 11-13-19, 10:18 AM
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when it's super cold, I like cycling specific rain pants (double layer) with something underneath, like thin running tights or warmer fleece pants

when it's in the mid to upper 30s regular cycling pants are fine as-is. as it gets colder I can add a single layer under those as well, usually just thin running tights. if I need the fleece pants under then I'll swap the regular cycling pants for the two layer rain pants cuz they are a better barrier to the wind

I've tried snow pants & they work, but they are bulky for the bike

fwiw - my 1st layer is always thin lined tri-shorts

so I mentioned cycling pants & fleece tights. these are the tights I used this weekend cuz I couldn't find my running tights.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016J164SK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

which are no longer available, good luck finding similar

they were really hard to find. I only use them once or twice a year before switching to men's fleece pants I got from EMS

https://www.ems.com/ems-mens-classic...s/2009204.html

don't know if these are the same but might be (looks like these aren't available anymore?)

again those 2 items go between cycling shorts & an outer layer, either cycling pants or cycling rain pants

Last edited by rumrunn6; 11-18-19 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 12-02-19, 09:57 PM
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I must be the only one that didn’t find PI amfibs to be the ticket for cold weather riding. I thought they did a good job for cool/windy rides in the upper 20’s-30’s, but not enough for me below that. Maybe I should have upsized? I thought I could used them under another cross country ski pant, but think I would probably have too much bulk inside my lake boots to do so.

im like the op. Top half I’m great. Hands feet are good. Anything over an hour and a half in the single digits and below, the backs of my thighs, and behind are pretty darn frosty. Perhaps the new Bontrager mtb I thiink soft shell looking pant might work better? Looks like a competitor to 45 NRTh version.
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Old 12-03-19, 07:27 AM
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Waterproof "rain pants" on top, sweat pants below. The rain pants work as a windbreaker and trap in body heat as you pedal

I've tried snow pants & they work, but they are bulky for the bike
My rain pants are kind of bulky, but I tape them down and use rubber elastics to seal the ankle area, that compresses them pretty well
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Old 12-05-19, 12:23 PM
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Someone here on BF recommended these pants for winter. They go OVER your pants. Well, I find that they are too warm. I think I've worn them only once or twice. I may not have many occasions to wear them. So if you get cold more easily than I do (which is quite likely), or if you live in a colder place than New York, these might be great. They are more flexible than ski pants, but damn, they are warm.
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