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Cold weather questions(22 posts)

Cold weather questionsmetonymy3
Oct 26, 2001 8:43 AM
Winter is coming on, I live in Fort Worth, Texas, so I won't need to bundle up like some of you Northerners, but it is too cool for shorts and a short sleeve jersey. My question is: what cold weather gear do I have to have? I'm on a budget, so I was thinking arm & leg/knee warmers, full finger gloves, a cap for under the helmet, and an old jersey w/ cutoff sleeves as a kind of undershirt. I've got all of that except for the warmers. Is this all I need? Is there something I need more? I don't want to break the bank. Thanks a lot.

Oct 26, 2001 8:49 AM
I would go with some overshoes - cold tootsies are a definite minus, and can wipe out the benefit of warm other bits. Plus side is, you can get them cheap.

Not that I really have any idea how cold it gets where you are, mind you...
re: Cold weather questionsbrider
Oct 26, 2001 9:18 AM
You might consider a long sleeved jersey also.
I agree with Muncher, but also...Cima Coppi
Oct 26, 2001 9:21 AM
get yourself a Cool-Max undershirt. They wick sweat much better than a plain jersey used as an undershirt. I ride with a Cool-Max undershirt in the summer and the winter here in Denver, and I have found it to be a great added barrier against the cold winds.

You can get them cheap through REI.

Chris, I live in Fort Worth also, here's what I doDave Hickey
Oct 26, 2001 9:34 AM
I use the following in the winter months
1. Head- Cap under helmet- Baklava(sp) for real cold days-it also covers neck. Go to the ski department of Oshmans
2. Hands- Full finger gloves- with silk liners for very cold days
3. Body- Long Sleeve jersey/ long underwear top. Cycle shorts with long underwear bottoms and tights
4. Feet- Silk sock liners and shoe covers. My feet get the coldest in winter.

IF you need a place to ride in the winter months, go up to Texas Motor Speedway. There is a 5 mile ring road around the speedway that is light up at night.
You can get a lot of things cheap from Sierra Trading on line.MB1
Oct 26, 2001 9:52 AM
They often have winter cycling stuff. Also look for "Smart Wool" socks and wool undershirts.
re: warmers and shoe covers (defeet review)Js Haiku Shop
Oct 26, 2001 10:03 AM
I ordered defeet knee and arm warmers, and their slipstream shoe covers, back in june. started using them at the end of last month. the arm warmers are warmer than my old ones (nashbar), but less well made. the knee warmers are a bit tight, and have already started showing some wear, including threads coming loose, after half dozen rides.

the slipstream shoe covers have been used half dozen times or less, and are falling apart. very disappointing.

I addressed excel sports via e-mail, where these things were ordered online, inquiring about any type of return/exchange for the shoe covers, or if i should deal directly with defeet. they replied once, and didn't follow-up after that. the response was that they could attempt to get the covers "warrantied", meaning replaced, by defeet. the things cost $11. though it would cost a few bucks to send 'em back, i certainly don't want another pair! bottom line: the covers (1) weren't well made, at least not enough for putting on and taking off more than a few times, and (2) don't really work all that well.

that said, i also bought a pair of the PKI neoprene booties ("Spokes"), and they make for toasty warm toes.

the voler shorts i ordered were shipped promptly, good quality, and wearing/washing well so far. they also sell arm, leg and knee warmers. you might check them out. i will, when it comes time to replace these defeet accessories.

by the way, the nashbar arm warmers have been washed and worn countless times, and are holding up like the day they arrived UPS.
oh, and to answer your question...Js Haiku Shop
Oct 26, 2001 10:23 AM

down to 50 degrees, i wear:

* cycling shorts
* short sleeved jersey
* arm warmers
* knee warmers
* windbreaker (the adirondak kind that stores itself)
* non-thermal full-finger gloves

below 50:

* cycling shorts and knee warmers OR cycling tights
* short sleeved jersey
* arm warmers
* knee warmers
* fleece vest
* windbreaker (see above)
* neoprene booties over shoes over ziplog baggies
* fleece ear warmer band ski thingy

below 40:

all the below 50 stuff, substitute fleece vest with fleece pullover (long sleeves), add shorts AND tights OR tights with something down the front (newspaper, plastic grocery bag) for wind protection down there, a second pair of socks if comfortable, a hat under my helmet.

and, i've just received a fleece-lined neoprene nose-to-neck hannibal-look-alike cold weather face thingy from nashbar that velcros in the back and covers nose-to-neck and ears. if it works is yet to be proved, but it's awful warm around the house! :-)
re: First use what you got til it don't work. Thendzrider
Oct 26, 2001 10:12 AM
I like gore-tex booties that fit inside shoes. They're small, light and easy to carry in pockets.

Long sleeve poly-pro undershirt. I find them warmer than cool max and they fit close to the body and still add warmth.

Mountain bike shorts that are baggy shorts on the outer layer and a lycra inner layer. Keep my little buddy out of the wind.
re: dressing for Texas wintersguido
Oct 26, 2001 10:26 AM
Over here in East Texas temps don't hardly go below 45 ever. I forget where I got this, but it's always worked for me:

65 degrees and above: Short sleeve jersey, summer shorts, summer gloves, summer shoes, sox, summer helmet fully vented.

55-65: Lycra tights, same weight as shorts; long sleeve breathable jersey, or summer jersey with long sleeve breathable undershirt; summer gloves, summer shoes and sox.

45-55: Same as 55-65 above, add a layer on upper body, full fingered gloves; wear hat under helmet.

Below 45: Same as 45-55, add booties over shoes, liners under full fingered gloves; heavier tights or liner under lycra tights, lycra ear covering.

Above is assuming you will ride energetically. When you go out you should feel slightly cold and under-dressed, because when you get going you'll warm up just right if dressed according to above. If you're already warm kicking off, you'll be too hot riding.
Guido of East Texas? ;-) (nm)mickey-mac
Oct 26, 2001 10:30 AM
Oct 26, 2001 12:21 PM
That's pronounced "Gweedow" as you may recall, the journalist character played by Marcello Mastrioanni in Frederico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." Don't ask me how I got to East Texas, just now coming out of a 1950s time warp, but the weather is always balmy, the people real nice, and the riding always good, especially now that the boy from Plano is an international sports figure. Yeehaw!
Oct 26, 2001 3:48 PM
I work in LA for a big company that's based in Texas. Every year or so, we have a big management confab in San Antonio. Two years ago, a former California who had recently move to SA took the stage and said that the hardest part of moving to Texas was learning to put an extra syllable in every word. The folks from the Midwest and CA got a big kick out of it, but most of the Texans weren't laughing. I agree, though, about the people being nice. I might try to take my bike when I go to SA again at the end of February.
re: Cold weather questionsWoof the dog
Oct 26, 2001 10:33 AM
check out for defeet stuff. Yes, shoecovers suck, but their armwarmers are more comfortable than tight seamed voler stuff. I'd buy knee warmers from voler, just get 'em one size larger. I wear everything small, but these are so tight on my legs. Saves weight though ;-)
Cheap warm stuffMel in Wa
Oct 26, 2001 11:13 AM
I'm also on a budget, and I imagine that our Seattle weather is somewhat similar in temperature to yours, but wetter. Three of the warmest, cheapest purchases I've made this fall toward being a warmer commuter are:

The Performance bikes fleece headband. It's warm like a thermonuclear winter, and I've discovered that if my ears are warm, I don't need to wear nearly as many layers otherwise (i.e., short sleeve jersey under windbreaker instead of long sleeves)

Also, I bought cheap ($12) exercise leggings at my local multi-purpose mart, Fred Meyer. (Btw, I'm female, and said leggings seem to only be available in the women's dept.) They are cotton spandex with coolmax on the inside, and they work like champs in terms of warmth and wicking. I wear them over bike shorts. They're size XL. My DH (160 lbs) says they fit him okay (he picked them up instead of his "official" bike tights one morning).

Jersey work gloves with the little rubber gripper dots on palms and fingers, big enough to go over my cycling gloves, $2. I usually take these and the fleece earband off after I get warmed up.
re: Cold weather questionsxxxl
Oct 26, 2001 11:14 AM
I second the advice about the Gore-Tex booties; they're lighter and easier to deal with than shoecovers, and should work just fine where you are. As a bonus, they're "waterproof," which is nice, as winter riding can get pretty sloppy. Neoprene gloves are warm, but disgustingly clammy. I prefer riding Gore-Tex winter ski gloves myself, but a pair of glove liners (usually silk or Coolmax) under your road gloves works on the warmer winter days. Also, I find neck gaiters useful.

Here up North, when it gets very cold but you've just gotta ride, we've been known to plaster our faces, lips, and other exposed skin with a liberal layer of petroleum jelly (sort of like Channel swimmers do). Machismo aside, the cold wind of a hard pace will dry your skin out like nothing else, and not in a good way. The jelly also traps heat, as well as moisture, and, believe it or not, isn't really noticeable once you're riding. It seems to keep your face from freezing, it's not as intimidating as a face mask, and the chicks will dig your baby-soft glowing cheeks apres ride.
re: Cold weather questionsfiltersweep
Oct 26, 2001 3:38 PM
Cool max undershirts are excellent- long sleeved. I wear a long-sleeved winter jersey over it- with a fleece-like lining. Also, I'd recommend bib tights over regular tights, it helps keep wind out of your torso area and they will actually stay on your legs. I prefer fleece-lined bib-tights over shorts/leg warmer combos- my shorts aren't lined and my nether-regions can get quite chilly with summer-weight lycra- but I live in MN (it snowed yesterday, but no accumulation!). I know you are on a budget, but the tech fabrics will help keep you warmer by not getting all wet when you sweat. Overshoes of some type are a must if it is under 40- and lycra shoe covers are more for aero than warmth. A light-weight headband under the helmet helps- I haven't found the need for a full cap- the headband also makes me look even more freakish than I already do!
bib shorts with regular tights?metonymy3
Oct 27, 2001 3:24 PM
What do you do with bib shorts? That's all I have. If I get bib tights, then I've got two layers of bibs, and if I get regular tights, does it work to have the bib under the elastic waist? I don't want to have to buy new shorts to wear tights under, and I can get a good deal on regular tights, but I don't know about those with bib shorts. Thanks.

bib shorts with regular tights?Birddog
Oct 27, 2001 7:54 PM
Yes, I regularly wear bib shorts under tights. If it warms up, then you can easily remove the tights. On really cold days, I wear bib knickers under tights.
when do you make the switchmetonymy3
Oct 27, 2001 9:41 PM
Are you just wearing lycra tights, or are these roubaix/fleece tights? Can you fit roubaix tights in a jersey pocket? They seem bulky for that, maybe not. Also, about how cold is it before you have to lose the lycra tights and have to go to warmer roubaix/fleece tights over your shorts? Thanks.

when do you make the switchBirddog
Oct 28, 2001 9:14 AM
I have PI therma fleece tights, but it really doesn't matter. In general, I wear the tights if it is below 50 and looks like it will stay down there for awhile. If it is in the higher 40's and the forecast is for 60's or 70's, I might forego the tights and just tough it out until it warms up. I would probably wear my knickers if they are clean on that kind of day. Yes they will stuff into a jersey pocket. In my view, the worst kind of day is one that has a wide temp swing because you will be taking garments off. Sometimes on the return trip I look like a homeless person on a bike with all the junk poking out of my pockets. I've found it a high priority to buy gear that will condense when you don't need it so that you can put it in a pocket.

On a different tack, I just purchased a pair of Manzella Fleece gloves for $9.99 at TJ Max. They are supposed to be windproof and they seem to be pretty good. I used them yesterday when it was 38 degrees and my fingers stayed toasty. They were comfortable all the way up to about 60 when I took them off and they folded up nicely. They have some kind of gripper material on the palms. I'll be using these al lot this winter, as they are every bit as good as some of my bike specific (expensive) PI stuff, maybe better.
One more thingBirddog
Oct 28, 2001 9:25 AM
There is a big difference in comfort between sunny days and overcast days with the same temp. When it is sunny, you are a much more effective "solar collector" when you are dressed in the typical black tights/knickers/shorts than when it is overcast. Windy, cold, overcast days are the worst for comfort. I can handle sunny days with much colder temps (high teens and 20's) as well or better than warmer (30's) days when it is overcast and/or windy.