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Colder Weather Cycling for Age 60+ Cyclists?

Old 10-21-13, 01:47 PM
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newbert
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Colder Weather Cycling for Age 60+ Cyclists?

The leaves have almost all fallen in my neck of the woods, and the forecast for later this week is high temps in the 40's. Yes - Winter is coming and its definitely getting colder. I'm a casual rider. My rides are generally around town for an hour or so - up to about 12 miles or so. Sometimes longer. I'd like to continue riding as long as the snow doesn't fly, so I'm looking for recommendations for proper clothing.

Note that I don't want to wear skin-tight apparel (I'm afraid of scaring the neighbors. ), so what would you recommend? In warmer weather, I generally just wear a t-shirt and shorts. Now that it's a bit colder, I've switched to a long-sleeve t-shirt and shorts. But that won't do in another week or two. I'm particularly interested in covering up the legs and providing some warmth to my finger tips. (I use padded gloves, but the fingertips are exposed.)

I'm 60 years old and ride a Specialized Exhibition, if that matters at all.

Any suggestions/links would be appreciated!
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Old 10-21-13, 02:05 PM
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Sweat pants .. I like the nylon shell polar fleece lines stuff because its a jersey fabric it stretches .

if it gets colder , A windshell like my rain pants helps.

then I wear a Parka, something with wide reflective stripes and Neon lime color fabric..

mine came from Carhartt .. its not Bikie gear .. (I got a Showers Pass 'portland' Jacket its more bikie)

I'm 60 years old and ride a Specialized Exhibition, if that matters at all.
a bike named for an exhibitionist , who would have guessed,

maybe just paint your skin to look like clothing..
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Old 10-21-13, 02:06 PM
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I'm not sure whether the Expedition has a chain guard or not on the big ring, but it it does, you can wear basically any kind of pants you like. My wife has on, but it's at least 13 years old and Spesh probably has changed the specs many times.

I suggest some kind of winter/fall weight base layer made out of wicking material, or merino wool. Then a cycling jacket that's wind resistant. That should keep you warm down to the high 30 degree range. Colder than that, try a micro fleece vest as a middle layer. Long fingered gloves for the hands. Remember that it's better to feel a little chilly at the start of a ride. If you're comfortable starting out, you'll be drenched in sweat before too long. I wear woolen socks and my normal cycling shoes (I ride a road bike with clipless pedals) and my feet stay fairly warm down to about 30 F.

I dislike riding in jeans, or any street pants, but if you don't want tights, they should do for your legs. Ski pants are overkill---you'll roast in them, unless it's really cold. Like below 20 degrees cold. Pedaling keeps a good blood supply going to your legs. It's your arms, hands, and core that you need to keep warm.

Layering is the key. Better to layer than to wear a bulky outer garment. Base layer, mid-layer if it's cold enough, and a wind resistant outer layer. Also, regardless of whether you wear a helmet, consider some kind of head wear. When it gets down into the 30s, I wear a fleece skullcap under my helmet.
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Old 10-21-13, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
..... a bike named for an exhibitionist , who would have guessed,

maybe just paint your skin to look like clothing..
Whoops -- I meant Specialized Expedition. (sigh)
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Old 10-21-13, 02:16 PM
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I'm only a veteran of one Winter season, but rode almost daily for up to 25 miles last year. It was cold, but entirely manageable, here where it snows to excess along the Lake.

Synthetic base layers are the only way to go, IMHO. Polypro, and more modern blends in tight fitting base layers wick any moisture away from your skin. Cottons and silk just hold the moisture making one cold in short order. On top of the long underwear, I'll put a snug nylon pair of jogging type pants and a pair of Cycle-Cuffs to avoid anything hung up in the drive line. On top, a fleece jacket over the base layer and a nylon windbreaker (again snug). Gore-Tex is substituted for the windbreaker when it's sleeting/freezing rain. Cycling shoes with heavy synthetic fleece socks, or if it's REALLY tough, my hiking boots with the same socks. A pair of extra large ski gloves pulled over my fingerless cycling gloves. Wear the fingerless gloves underneath...you'll be happy to have them when you pull off the ski gloves to make an adjustment or change a flat. Natch', a helmet with either a liner and/or ear covering headband top off this little runway inspired ensemble

I know you don't want to scare the kids, but garments flapping in the wind don't work in the least for me.

Oh, one more Fredly type item to consider: I found a pair of goggles necessary when the wind was whipping across the Lake and making my eyes water to the point of not being able to see!

Last edited by North Coast Joe; 10-21-13 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 10-21-13, 02:19 PM
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I had their touring bike , a Japan subcontractor build in the mid 80s.

they recycle the name, but stick it on a different kind of bike by now.
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Old 10-23-13, 11:56 AM
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Thanks for all of the replies/suggestions, guys. I don't have much choice in LBS's around here, so I'm wondering whether anyone could provide specific links to online sources for some of the apparel mentioned? (Tops, bottoms, gloves, etc.)

Thanks!
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Old 10-23-13, 12:15 PM
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Okay, I didn't want to wear skin tight gear either. For pretty much the same reason. But, as I got into the summer anything other than skin tight got in the way and I got over my modesty.

But, in winter, it doesn't really matter. Why? You can wear the skin tight gear under street clothes. Frankly, I'm on a budget, so I went to Wally World and bought starter compression gear. My thoughts are that basically, they fit about like I'd imagine a pair of nylons would fit.

BUT, THEY ARE THE WARMEST THINGS I'VE EVER WORN IN COLD WEATHER.

Personally, I'd accidentally bought a sleeveless compression shirt off a discount rack, and found it worked so well, I bought a short sleeve shirt and cold weather compression pants.

At this point, there is no way I'd wear them without a shirt or pants over the top, but they are warmer than thermal underwear, I only need one layer, and it is easier to remove a layer than if I were wearing bulky clothes.

Also, a good pair of pant cuff clips is invaluable. And tuck everything in.
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Old 10-23-13, 12:25 PM
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Bottom fleece pants, and a rain shell over them ..

Not too cold I have a pair of pants made from a compound jersey knit fabric..
fleeced on the inside , slick nylon on the outside , so stretchy and comfortable..


Top In colder weather Carhartt safety gear Parka , neon Lime with wide reflective stripes
Carhartt bonds it into the fabric. itself..

moved into town got a pair Of LL Bean rubber bottom Moccasins.. rather than their lace up boots.
which I used the last 2 winters..
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Old 10-23-13, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mycoalson View Post
Okay, I didn't want to wear skin tight gear either. For pretty much the same reason. But, as I got into the summer anything other than skin tight got in the way and I got over my modesty.

But, in winter, it doesn't really matter. Why? You can wear the skin tight gear under street clothes. Frankly, I'm on a budget, so I went to Wally World and bought starter compression gear. My thoughts are that basically, they fit about like I'd imagine a pair of nylons would fit.

BUT, THEY ARE THE WARMEST THINGS I'VE EVER WORN IN COLD WEATHER.

Personally, I'd accidentally bought a sleeveless compression shirt off a discount rack, and found it worked so well, I bought a short sleeve shirt and cold weather compression pants.

At this point, there is no way I'd wear them without a shirt or pants over the top, but they are warmer than thermal underwear, I only need one layer, and it is easier to remove a layer than if I were wearing bulky clothes.

Also, a good pair of pant cuff clips is invaluable. And tuck everything in.
Before Under Armor and other brands of compression tops/tights were available, a lot of macho football players wore panty hose in cold weather. Queen size, naturally.

Those Starter tops/tights are a great value at Wally World, too, and the tops are light enough to wear as a base layer in the 60 degree range.
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Old 10-23-13, 02:04 PM
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cheap running pants from walmart but you'll need ankle bands
not sure what kind of shifters you have but you should get some fingered gloves. walmart has those too
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Old 10-23-13, 02:08 PM
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I like to look snobbish in cooler weather, some light underarmor, then I kinda got the idea from watching some British TV shows where they ride bicycle's wearing tweet coats and caps and the all important knicker pants, it beats spandex and you get plenty of approving nods by the over 60 ladies, silk scarf works wonders....
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Old 10-23-13, 02:30 PM
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Most important for me is the base layer. That one next to the skin if not a good grade of wicking material will get you wet--and cold. Then it is layers of S/S jersey-L/S jersey and normally a top layer to suit. Lucky in that I have an Assos winter jacket that is windproof and warm but that may mean that the L/S jersey is left off.Final layer-even if it is in the rear pocket- is a lightweight jacket that is water and windproof and breathes by the number of vents under the arms and across the back. Handy in case of rain or it being colder than I thought.

Legs and depends how cold. 40f down to 30f and I will wear KNickers. Long shorts that cover the knees and they are a winter grade in Roubaix material. Below 30f and it is time for the bib tights to go on and not much weather protection in mine but once again they can be had in "Winter" grade.

But the big problem is always the extremities. Ski mask for the face and I often find this is too warm but take it off and the ears freeze. Hand and feet and I discovered SealSkinz socks and gloves many years ago. Both are waterproof but do breath and if you can keep the feet dry then they will stay warm. I used to use two pairs of socks with a plastic bag between the two but Sealskinz are better. The gloves though and I do need to look at a better pair on the road bike. I have a circulation problem in the hands and road riding with the higher speeds and less finger movement and the hands do get cold.
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Old 10-23-13, 05:03 PM
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Tights under fleece lined nylon "athletic" (I guess) pants. Under layers above - sometime up to 4 layers, but never anything "heavy" - I find that 2 or 3 Tyvek windbreakers are amazingly warm. I have a long-sleeved jersey (actually, 3 of them) with a hood that zips up to your nose in front and acts like a Balaclava, but much handier. These used to be available from Performancebike.com, but are no longer made. I guess they were not "cool." There is a similar undergarment with a built in hood available online, but I don't recall where, and they were expensive. I have a wide assortment of gloves, ending with lobster gloves with liners.
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Old 10-23-13, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by newbert View Post
The leaves have almost all fallen in my neck of the woods, and the forecast for later this week is high temps in the 40's. Yes - Winter is coming and its definitely getting colder. I'm a casual rider. My rides are generally around town for an hour or so - up to about 12 miles or so. Sometimes longer. I'd like to continue riding as long as the snow doesn't fly, so I'm looking for recommendations for proper clothing.

Note that I don't want to wear skin-tight apparel (I'm afraid of scaring the neighbors. ), so what would you recommend? In warmer weather, I generally just wear a t-shirt and shorts. Now that it's a bit colder, I've switched to a long-sleeve t-shirt and shorts. But that won't do in another week or two. I'm particularly interested in covering up the legs and providing some warmth to my finger tips. (I use padded gloves, but the fingertips are exposed.)

I'm 60 years old and ride a Specialized Exhibition, if that matters at all.

Any suggestions/links would be appreciated!
First option would be knee or leg warmers, although I find a pair of cheap sweat pants works as well, I use a pair of wind cheating nylon pants over those to cut wind, if needed. A pair of bicycle shorts under it all, and you should be fine even down to below freezing.
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Old 10-23-13, 06:04 PM
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I live in California, so I can't really comment, but I will anyway.

I commute to work every day, often before sunrise. That means lots of low 40s and an occasional 32 and lower. I geek out in bike tights, which you say you don't want to do, so I'll comment on other stuff.

Headgear! I am am a huge fan of the Buff. They are great as "hats" and if it's really cold I wear one around my neck and over my face. It makes a huge difference and is better than a hat.


Start solo century, Feb 2013 by ccorlew, on Flickr
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Old 10-23-13, 09:38 PM
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Check out Bike Nashbar and Performance Bike online. Nashbar especially has close-outs and inexpensive stuff.
I have some Merino wool socks from REI and I like using a skull-cap, too. I have even used a wool beanie under the helmet. Covering the head and ears just makes me feel warmer.
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Old 10-24-13, 05:24 AM
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Sierra Trading Post often has merino wool socks for sale and other merino wool items.
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Old 10-24-13, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I live in California, so I can't really comment, but I will anyway.

I commute to work every day, often before sunrise. That means lots of low 40s and an occasional 32 and lower. I geek out in bike tights, which you say you don't want to do, so I'll comment on other stuff.

Headgear! I am am a huge fan of the Buff. They are great as "hats" and if it's really cold I wear one around my neck and over my face. It makes a huge difference and is better than a hat.


Start solo century, Feb 2013 by ccorlew, on Flickr
That is exactly what the hood on my long-sleeved jersey covers, except I can unzip from the nose down, if I so desire. I wish they still made them - but I have three, and they will likely last me my cycling "career."

Here - I found a similar one at closeout with limited sizes from REI


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Old 10-24-13, 08:46 AM
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What everyone said.

In the summer it doesn't make much difference what you wear, as long as it's not cotton.

OTOH, it's best not to cheap out too much on winter gear. Warm non-bulky breathable stuff is really nice to have when it gets nippy out.
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Old 10-24-13, 08:53 AM
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XC ski knickers, wool socks, mountain parka, balaclava and mittens with wool liners.
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Old 10-27-13, 07:46 PM
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Resistance is futile. If you keep riding you will eventually wear tight clothing and you will sneak peaks admiring your fine manly quads.
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Old 10-27-13, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I live in California, so I can't really comment, but I will anyway.

I commute to work every day, often before sunrise. That means lots of low 40s and an occasional 32 and lower. I geek out in bike tights, which you say you don't want to do, so I'll comment on other stuff.

Headgear! I am am a huge fan of the Buff. They are great as "hats" and if it's really cold I wear one around my neck and over my face. It makes a huge difference and is better than a hat.


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Old 10-27-13, 07:56 PM
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Bulky clothing is especially bad with winter winds. You create a huge amount of drag with lose cloth and material flapping about. Winter clothes and winter tights are snug but thick enough they don't make you look bad. So my advice is get some things that are warm and reasonably snug.
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Old 10-28-13, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
Fighting wind resistance is futile. If you keep riding you will eventually wear tight clothing and you will sneak peaks admiring your fine manly quads.
FIFY. That's what the Borg would say were they cyclists.

The problem I have with winter riding apparel is getting over my immodesty. I hate covering up my awesome cycling bod with baggy layers.
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