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Looking at clothes for winter cycling

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Looking at clothes for winter cycling

Old 08-18-19, 11:36 AM
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voyager1
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Looking at clothes for winter cycling

I am going to be doing an event in the spring next year, and this is going to require me to actually ride more in the early mornings before work this winter. Looking at building up a little cycling wardrobe. I looked at the winter cycling forum, looks like that is more of a commuting forum. Location is Birmingham Alabama, so no snow.

Here is a tentative list. Any suggestions or substitutions welcomed!
Arm Warmer
Gloves
Maybe these gloves too
Vest
Alternative Vest
Jacket
Alternative Jacket
Tights

I have a Castelli Head Thingy to use as a buff to already. Used it this past winter, and it worked well. I didn't ride a bunch this past winter, and most of the clothes I used were just old running stuff. Worked fine for short rides (10-12 miles) here and there.
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Old 08-18-19, 11:57 AM
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colnago62
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Your lists looks very good. Everybody is different in terms of how their bodies react to cold weather. I know guys who ride with Arm and leg warmers with a thermal vest in 40 degree weather. As you ride in colder weather, you will have a better idea of what you need to buy.
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Old 08-18-19, 01:42 PM
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MSchott
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Not sure how cold it gets in Birmingham, AL but if you need all that you need neoprene covers for your clipless shoes.
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Old 08-18-19, 03:37 PM
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voyager1
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Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
Not sure how cold it gets in Birmingham, AL but if you need all that you need neoprene covers for your clipless shoes.
Oh good point. Many of the mornings in Jan and Feb can be in the high 20s.
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Old 08-18-19, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by voyager1 View Post
I am going to be doing an event in the spring next year, and this is going to require me to actually ride more in the early mornings before work this winter. Looking at building up a little cycling wardrobe. I looked at the winter cycling forum, looks like that is more of a commuting forum. Location is Birmingham Alabama, so no snow.

Here is a tentative list. Any suggestions or substitutions welcomed!
I like a thermal jersey plus wind shell.

By itself, the thermal jersey is insulating but has no wind protection. Without a top layer it's comfortable through 60 degrees.

By itself, the wind shell has no insulation so it fits in a jersey pocket as the temperature warms up.

Together, they're peasant at 40-45 degrees. Below that I substitute an insulated jacket for the shell.

I really like the Louis Garneau speedzone jackets (available through their custom program), also available as vests.

They have a hole in back so you can keep everything in your jersey pockets and get at them while riding.

I'm more of a wind shell than vest sort of guy. If it's cold enough I want the wind blocked, I don't want cold arms.

I like thermal tights over regular cycling shorts. That lets you have a clean chamois every day without doing laundry that frequently or owning a closet full of tights you only wear three months out of the year, and pull them off as it warms up over a few hours.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-18-19 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 08-18-19, 06:08 PM
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Definitely something for your feet. I would suggest wearing your normal bibs and getting a few pair of waist tights in different weights. The two layers will be warmer where it counts and you'll have more versatility. A newspaper stuffed in the jersey front works great and can be ditched when you warm up.
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Old 08-18-19, 07:18 PM
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I've lived in Montgomery and Selma and remember pretty cool winter temps . On cold mornings, don't forget your balaclava and possibly a helmet cover.

I also recommend non-chamois tights over your normal bibs.

Sierra Trading Post, among others, can have some notable sales.
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Old 08-18-19, 09:42 PM
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Consider a carbon fabric baselayer top. Pearl Izumi's Minerale fabric was outstanding but discontinued and new/old stock is decreasing in choices of sizes and types. It's sometimes advertised for cooling but the Minerale fabric was outstanding for any weather. I've never worn anything that wicked perspiration better or was more comfortable in hot and muggy or cold and damp weather. I even wear it under dress shirts in summer to reduce sweat printing through. It was more of a woven or knit yarn type fabric, snug yet stretchy.

The current PI baselayers don't compare at all -- I sent 'em back or gave them away. Via email a PI rep said it was too expensive to continue. Don't waste your money on the current Pearl Izumi baselayers.

There are several bicycle apparel companies offering carbon fabric, but check out other winter sports wear makers for hikers, climbers, etc. Pricey but outstanding stuff. Probably will cost $50-$150 unless you can luck into discounts. I got one of the last Pearl Izumi Thermal RX Minerale fabric baselayers in my size for around $30 in 2015 or 2016. Wish I'd bought a couple more.
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Old 08-19-19, 06:19 AM
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@voyager1, I am next door in North Georgia and ride throughout the winter in temperatures as low as 20F. I will be training for Southern Cross through this winter.

I looked at your list. Most of it looks good but for truly cold temperatures, if you plan to ride when it is below freezing then windblock garments will be needed.

Have a look at the Castelli Alpha ROS jersey and Alpha ROS jacket. The jersey version is the most versatile piece of cold weather gear I own.

Also look at the Castelli Sorpasso Wind bib tights.

Swany X-Change gauntlet style gloves will serve you well and have a zippered pocket for chemical hand warmers. These are bulky but your hands absolutely will not get cold.

The one thing I recommend above all else is a neck gaiter.


-Tim-
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Old 08-19-19, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by voyager1 View Post
Oh good point. Many of the mornings in Jan and Feb can be in the high 20s.
We've still got people in shorts at those temps here

Not me though. Wool long johns, wool t shirt, long sleeve thermal shirt, long sleeve jersey, balaclava, gloves.
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Old 08-19-19, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
We've still got people in shorts at those temps here
https://www.summitpost.org/little-annapurna/151427
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Old 08-19-19, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
We've still got people in shorts at those temps here

Not me though. Wool long johns, wool t shirt, long sleeve thermal shirt, long sleeve jersey, balaclava, gloves.
At those temps I wear Zwift.

;-)
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Old 08-19-19, 03:08 PM
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I'd investigate winter cycle boots. 45NRTH makes great ones, and have worked very well for me down to 10-15F.

These have SPD clips, and attachment makes a difference in crap weather
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Old 08-20-19, 03:10 AM
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Wool socks, shoe covers. In the winter, I wear a pair of thermal bibs, underamour type baselayer, jersey, merino wool top if its really cold, and a jacket. A pair of grip grab winter gloves as well, Pretty good down to about -5C
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Old 08-20-19, 04:08 AM
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I like your list...I have a fleece jersey I wear with or without a windbreaker, and like wool socks. I had a (and am looking for another) set of tights that had windproof fronts...really nice, but finally self-destructed after twentyish years. Some shoes are not really suited for cold weather (or wet weather) work.
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Old 08-20-19, 08:25 AM
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A vest is useless unless it can breathe out the back and can be packed down to the size of a 12oz can and put into your back pocket. I'd spend money on a nicer jacket rather than a vest. A breathable thermal long sleeve is always a better choice than a heavier vest. In my experience, you'll either have arm warmer + jersey days or jacket days, but rarely a 3 stage arm, vest, short sleeve jersey day. The light vest is a just-in-case item.

Gloves- Gore Windstopper non-insulated have the best high-low temp range I've found (like 70-48deg). You can put a liner glove inside for colder.
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Old 08-20-19, 03:42 PM
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Merino wool is your friend. RedRam and Smartwool are a few of my favorite brands. Use it as a base layer, head to toes. Then perhaps add a mid layer on your torso, and top it off with something waterproof and/or wind blocking as needed.

I use this system, and my body doesn't get cold when I ride, even below 30 degrees F. My toes, fingers, and nose sometimes freeze, but these can be addressed with some specialized gear. Torso, arms, and legs are never a concern. Merino is perfect for active outdoor performance because it is insulating, wicking (so you won't get too sweaty), and naturally odor-resistant. It's also very thin and light, and it won't make you itch.
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Old 08-20-19, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CadenceCrazy View Post
I've lived in Montgomery and Selma and remember pretty cool winter temps . On cold mornings, don't forget your balaclava and possibly a helmet cover.

I also recommend non-chamois tights over your normal bibs.

Sierra Trading Post, among others, can have some notable sales.
Sounds good.
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Old 08-21-19, 10:08 AM
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I absolutely love Castelli head thingy. Toe thingy is also another fav all the way down to 40F. I still like to wear them under my booties when temps go down below 40. Still haven't found warm booties? Got a pair of Raphas but they are not very snug. Guess you need to pair them with leg warmers which I don't really like.

My wife got me this Castelli Wind Jacket way back as a xmas gift but seems like they don't sell them anymore (is there a smiliar model now?). It's really one of the best clothing I have. I just wear different base layers depending on the temperature with my neck thingy. I also have a similar Rapha Jacket that has become my go-to jacket when I'm not wearing the Castelli. Rapha thermal bibs are also pretty warm and comfortable. For whatever reason they fit me better than their regular bib shorts.

I like Pearl Izumi thermal arm warmers and 3/4 leg warmers. They fit me well and they stay in place no matter how long I ride. PI Transfer wool thermal base layer (both LS and SS) is superb. I also love their Elite thermal wool socks. Hope this helps!
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