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How many layers to wear for 41 deg, feels like 34 deg?(10 posts)

How many layers to wear for 41 deg, feels like 34 deg?Swat Dawg
Dec 13, 2002 8:06 PM
I am planning go for a ride tomorrow morning but am unsure as to how much I will need to wear. When I have gone out other times I seem to overdress and can't get it right. The road will also be a little wet. Thanks
re: How many layers to wear for 41 deg, feels like 34 deg?jtolleson
Dec 13, 2002 9:58 PM
Depends a LOT on what you are used to. For me, that is leg warmer and jacket weather plus thin polypro on the fingers, no other bells and whistles. But I live in kind of cold country, and if you are used to 70 degree sunny days, you'll need to break out all the cold weather regalia for those temps.

If you can be too cool for 10 minutes and then okay... that's the right clothes (IMO).
I've been using three layers in similar conditionsGeoCyclist
Dec 14, 2002 6:21 AM
Last week I was riding in similar conditions using the following combination. Three layers on upper body and one or two on the legs. I started using two layers on my legs (thin thermal under and thermal tights) and dropped to one on my last ride. I found the thermal tights to be sufficient to keep my legs warm in 40 plus and dry. I was using a thermal undershirt and thermal long sleeve jersy when it was dry. Carried a water proof jacket for the drizzle and high speed decents. This kept me sufficiently warm, except for my feet. I bought a new (larger) pair of shoes yesterday to solve this problem; I couldn't get more than a thin pair of socks inside my summer riding shoes and the insulated covers just weren't enough.

Hope this helps!
re: How many layers to wear for 41 deg, feels like 34 deg?DINOSAUR
Dec 14, 2002 10:03 AM
A lot of it depends on how much dampness is in the air. I can go out in 50 degree temps after it has been raining and freeze my ass off, or I can go out when it's in the 40's and the sun is out and feel fairly comfortable. Wind chill really comes into play. When I start descending on the mountain roads at 35-40MPH the wind chill factor can get down to 20 degrees and the important thing at that level is outer wear for wind protection.

Pearl Izumi has what they call a T system (used to be called base system or core or something like that). They had a web site that recommended how many layers depending on the temps. They now have a "T" System: T1 (next to skin) T2 (over T1) and T3 (outer wear over T1 T2). I try to avoid wearing an outer wear unless rain is in the air as I don't like wearing jackets. But the jackets that work the best for me are something that has a gore material in the chest area and front or arms only (not full gore all the way around, it does not breath).

They say if you don't feel a little bit chilly the first 5 minutes into your ride you are overdressed. Too many layers for me means I sweat too much and if I have to stop for a minor repair I risk the chance of getting chilled. I think it's better to be overdressed as you can always pull something off if you feel too warm. Otherwise you have to experiment.

Probably a good place to check would be one of the guys at your LBS who is familiar with the riding conditions in your area, or another local roadie.

And maybe someone can pull up that Pearl Izumi site with the layer system recommended for temps, I could not find it....
So, I went out today taking account of earlier comments...Swat Dawg
Dec 14, 2002 10:44 AM
and I was cold as sh*t. I was ok when I was going slower, but as soon as I picked up speed, my arms, a**, and fingers got bitter cold. I went with leg warmers, bibshorts, polypro longsleeve thermal, and jersey. I stood outside my dorm for a few minutes, and took a quick spin around, and I thought, "Oh, I'll feel fine." Not!!! I didn't account for the wind chill, wet air, or the road spray. The water issues were what really killed me. I think I should have worn my arm warmers under the long sleeve underwear and I would like to have a thin windblocker jacket that I can zip the sleeves off to make a vest. If I had had that, and a good pair of gloves, I would have ridden for a couple hours, but I didn't, and rode for only 40 min. It was good to just get out, I have cabin fever pretty bad; haven't ridden in a week, and was up all night last night writing a paper. College is so bad for trying to stay on a consistent program, sleep included! Anyway, any recommendations for a cheap jacket I could get that would be moderately rain proof, but comfortable? Thanks for the suggestions.

Swat Dawg
So, I went out today taking account of earlier comments...DINOSAUR
Dec 14, 2002 3:42 PM
I don't know how cold it gets in your neck of the woods, sound like it's colder than where I live (Nor Cal foothills).

I dress in 3/4 layers, a Pearl Izumi thermo tank top, followed by a long sleeve REI mock turtle T, then my cycling jersey, arm warmers, leg warmers, and if it's less than 55 degrees or so I'll put on a Pearl Izumi Zephyrr Gore Wind Jacket on top off everything else. I usually put the jacket on if there is a chance of rain. For my feet I use Wigwam snowboarder socks, I cover the toes of my shoes with neoprene toe booties and I wear long fingered mnt bike gloves over some light ski liner gloves. I cover my head with a cold weather thermo cap that I pull over my ears and top it off with a helmet and clear or amber lens riding glasses to keep the junk out of my eyes. The wind jacket does a good job of keeping the wind off of me and I don't feel cold once I get warmed up.

Performance has a Pearl Izumi Zephyrr 2 jacket on sale for $49.98 (16% off). I've had good luck with my P.I. jacket but mine has the gore material in the chest and front of arms area only. I don't like the color of my jacket (black). My pick would be screeming yellow.

Avoid wearing cotton it will suck up the sweat like a sponge. Try hitting the ski shops and you can save money on the thermo layered stuff. Anything made for cycling will be marked up. I found a long sleeve mock thermo T at Rei for under $30 and it works great. Very lightweight and it wicks the sweat. Also the mock turtle stuff keeps the neck nice and toasty and you don't loose body heat. Another option would be silk, which I have not tried, but the prices are reasonable.

If you look around you can find alternative stuff to wear that will work fine. Such as the snowboarder socks, ski liner gloves, long fingered mb gloves and so on.

Once you get the hang of it you will know how to dress. Do not be afraid to pile the layers on and experiment, you can always pull stuff off. You might have to go with an extra layer such as two thermo T's. It will take you awhile getting all this stuff on and at the end of your ride you want to peel it off and get in a nice warm shower to avoid getting chilled.

That's about the hang of it....I don't get snow very often where I live, the only thing that stops me is rain/crazy drivers (like now)....

So, I went out today taking account of earlier comments...NewDayNewWay
Dec 15, 2002 5:14 AM
I think some of these guys that are really cranking it and generate a lot of body heat may not need as many layers as people like me who are newer to riding, and may ride slower on average, epesically in the winter.

I'm still working out my clothing issue as well, but I wear more than what the folks are saying above. I generally always start off with glove liners (as well as gloves), plastic bags on the feet, and a baclava (sometimes pulled up so it's like a skull cap, if it's a little warmer). These items are EZ to take off if you don't need them and don't take up much storage room. Better to start off a little warm I think and take stuff off. Oh, and I always wear a wind breaker jacket. Creates a little more wind resistance, but no big deal for me. This is probably about the most important layer next to the most inner layer since it keeps the wind out. Don't wear cotton on the most inner layer. You want some type of new-age fiber that doesn't soke up sweat. I wear polyester long john's when it gets below 40 degrees out (there's probably more sophisticed material out there, but these were inexpensive and work fine).
Dec 15, 2002 7:49 AM
Swat Dawg - I take it from your earlier posts that you are racing collegiates in the Northeast. I used to (10 years ago) and race regular USCF up here now but on a workingmans schedule. Which means riding when I can, regardless of weather. Did 3 hours in the pouring/cold rain of Boston Metro/Metrowest yesterday with only minor discomfort and this is what I have learned (through years of painful trial and error):

* less is sometimes more - tons of clothing in the wet just makes you colder/clammier and retains water. As such, all I wore yesterday was: polypro long sleeve top + long sleeve jersey + clear rain jacket (<$20 at Performance) up top...knickers down below with Born sports cream (warming lotion) and foul weather oil from the ankles up...wool socks, shoes and booties (and a heating packet for insurance) on the feet. Fingers were another issue - I haven't found anything to do a great job keeping one warm and dry, so the best thing is that if you're going to be out for a couple of hours is to use liners and a shell and bring some spare (dry) gloves. If you rotate through them every hour or so, it works out okay. A wool cycling cap under a helmet does the trick for the noggin.

* fenders do an admirable job keeping the water from soaking you from the ground up. As such, consider investing in a beater bike for the offseason, or even better, a fixed gear bike with fenders for the colder months.

Fixed gear riding + weights + a steady diet of time on the trainer for more specific intensity training (as the season draws closer) will stand you in good stead for the collegiate and USCF season.

Good luck racing collegiates - you will have a blast.


PS - the best money you can spend is on a clear rain jacket. Almost totally unbreathable under heavy exertion (i.e. a race), but for training in the cold and wet, it's hard to beat. And at <$20 it's a bargain
re: How many layers to wear for 41 deg, feels like 34 deg?Andy M-S
Dec 14, 2002 12:47 PM
I typically commute to work with temps in the mid-to-high 20s (F). I wear a long-sleeved jersey and wind jacket on top, balaclava, helmet, and down below shorts and tights. Sometimes a strategically placed plastic bag between shorts and tights, maybe one in each shoe, but that's it. Oh--and I have a "scarf tube" that I pull over my neck to make sure the seal between balaclava and jacket is snug, so the collar doesn't turn into a cold-air vent.

For wet roads, use fenders. Nothing else will do what a fender will do. I have one bike set up with fenders especially for wet conditions.
re: How many layers to wear for 41 deg, feels like 34 deg?peter1
Dec 15, 2002 2:05 PM
For me:

Midweight tights over padded shorts
SmartWool socks with shoe covers
Long sleeve Craft undie shirt
Long sleeve fleece jersey
Vest that fits in jersey pocket
Full finger gloves w/neoprene backs

If there's no wind, the vest usually comes off. I'll take off the headband if I get too warm, usually does the trick.

I'd rather can always unzip.