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Tights and Knee Warmth

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Tights and Knee Warmth

Old 01-07-22, 12:13 PM
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UniChris
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Tights and Knee Warmth

What are people wearing on their lower halves, and to keep their knees warm?

I'd been wearing running tights over summer cycle shorts, but for a colder ride yesterday layered the running tights on my one pair of chamois tights. Mostly it worked but around 15 miles in my right knee became quite unhappy, and I remembered something I'd read somewhere recently about temperature being a problem for joints.

Stopped and what it turned out I had was a heavyweight Walmart plastic bag, which I proceeded to wrap around my leg, stuffed in between the two layers of tights. By blocking the wind that seemed to make a huge difference the remaining 7 miles home, but was definitely feeling some aftereffects last night.

Now I'm trying to decide what to make or buy. I have some uniqlo "windproof" pants that I've been using on some shorter utility rides, but they're substantially cotton and a bit bulky so I don't really want to use them or a ski/snowmobile type overpant for anything over ten miles.

Somewhere I saw a recommendation of cheap drugstore type knee pads as a warmth solution, could do that but they don't look like they have all that much vertical coverage. Also have some neoprene / foam ones I used to wear for light impact protection until I decided they were just rubbing sweaty leds raw in the summer - guess I could put those back on over everything, but sort of want to find some kind of windproof heavy lycra and whip something up on the serger, thicker on the front and thinner on the back.

And then there's only having the one pair of chamois tights, which are discontinued and being uncertain about their available replacements. Part of my thinks I want to figure out two layers (vs just one) of non-cycling tights or tights + pants that I could wear of the collection of summer cycle shorts.

What are other people wearing for determined rides in cold weather, vs shorter utility ones?
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Old 01-07-22, 12:28 PM
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I have to keep my knees seriously warms. (Chondromalcia patellae.) Like body temperature warm. I was told 45 years ago that if I didn't, it would be knee replacement time. So I over-dressed my legs.

18 years ago I had this thought - what if I invented some really warm warmers that covered just my kneecaps and far enough around to protect them from wind. So I designed pads using two layers of 300 weight windproof fleece, light elastic straps around the backs of the knees and velcro straps that run up to "D" rings I sew into all my shorts at the hem. I wear whatever I would wear anyway over them. (Regular kneewarmers up to mid 70sF.) I had a local shoe and outdoor clothing repair shop make them. Cycling life changers.

PM me if you want patterns. I think I can still find them.
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Old 01-07-22, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
So I designed pads using two layers of 300 weight windproof fleece, light elastic straps around the backs of the knees and velcro straps that run up to "D" rings I sew into all my shorts at the hem.
I like the idea of the windproof fleece, but curious about the straps. Do you feel that works better than having something that's uniformly stretch enough (say a lycra back) and personalized in girth to just stay about at the knee on its own?
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Old 01-07-22, 01:50 PM
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I have a pair of Adidas jogging pants that fit well. If it gets too cold, I go with the rain pants over the jogging pants. The rain pants don't vent well, but they do keep my lower core warm.
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Old 01-07-22, 02:02 PM
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Just to make a note... In the old days we used to take a sheet of newspaper and stuff it in-between our outer most layer on our chest when beginning a ride. After warming up you could just pull it out. Same thing worked for the legs.

Ha... And yes we used to crumple it up and throw it on the side of the road. Not even thought about now days...

When it comes to staying warm I will embrace any new or old idea.
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Old 01-07-22, 02:36 PM
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I cut up some fleece leg warmers & taped them in place under other stuff. worked quite effectively



https://www.bikeforums.net/winter-cy...e-warmers.html

haven't used that combo in a long time because I have better pant solutions now. multiple combinations, not sure about listing them all here

there are actual cycling knee warmers tho
https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...-stay-put.html

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Old 01-07-22, 03:36 PM
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I wear wool cycling knickers with wool tights over them. Or, Asso leg warmers under the wool knickers. Keeps my knees happy
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Old 01-07-22, 04:04 PM
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Guy down the street is a Mountain Biker. He uses Soccer Goal Keeper pants for protective padding at his knees and hips. From the torn up looks of them, yes, they have done the job well. They have a thin layer of High Density Foam at the knees and hips but have tight breathable fabric all around. I think they would serve well for bike ridding in cold weather but I have not tried it...

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Old 01-07-22, 04:31 PM
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Hmmmm. I never had issues specifically with cold knees. If I get my kit wrong, I do get cold legs.

I'm pretty simple about it. Down to around 20 *F, I wear a pair of thick cycling tights. Below 20 F, I wear two pair (one with chamois). Below 0F, I add a pair of wool long underwear
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Old 01-07-22, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
I like the idea of the windproof fleece, but curious about the straps. Do you feel that works better than having something that's uniformly stretch enough (say a lycra back) and personalized in girth to just stay about at the knee on its own?
For some of us with CP, anything that binds on our hamstrings affects our knees just as much as riding cold. So any straps tight enough to hold them up is a no-no. My inspiration for these came from a pair of knee warmers I saw in a marked-down box at a bike store. Looked like 1960s basketball knee pads. First ride - "I like but this strap!" Stretched them until they worked. Warmers promptly slid to my ankles. Sewed in straps and safety pinned them to my shorts. Looked goofy but a breakthrough. (I have to buy regular knee warmers big enough that they won't stay up. My knees love safety pins.
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Old 01-07-22, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Guy down the street is a Mountain Biker. He uses Soccer Goal Keeper pants for protective padding at his knees and hips. From the torn up looks of them, yes, they have done the job well. They have a thin layer of High Density Foam at the knees and hips but have tight breathable fabric all around. I think they would serve well for bike ridding in cold weather but I have not tried it...
The knee foam at least sounds interesting. Not sure about the rest, unless I fall off badly.

Until partway through a century in summer 2020 when I took them off in disgust at the chafing, I'd been routinely riding in HDX kneepads over whatever or nothing I was wearing on my legs, it may be I should just start using them again. Granted, I'd be more interested in using the stetch neoprene that comprises their backs as the windstop front, and simple lycra back. But if I mis-estimated an icy patch, they'd not be terrible, and they are right here in my box of cycling stuff.

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Old 01-07-22, 06:46 PM
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In the days back when I commuted by bike, leaving the house at about 4:15 a.m., at temps below 30 degrees F I would use rain pants over synthetic fleece pants. Under about 20 degrees, I added gaiters. I found that keeping my calves/shins warm was crucial for keeping my knees and feet warm.
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