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Winter Cycling Kit?(7 posts)

Winter Cycling Kit?neverspeakingup
Jul 25, 2003 8:59 PM
OK, so I'm going into my first winter on the bike, and I need to get my gear. I live in GA, so it doesnt get too harsh, but so far I've ordered:
2 new pair of Bib shorts (not for winter, but I work at REI, and needed some nice PI stuff before my discount goes away when I go to college:-)
Leg Warmers
A sugoi jacket that zips off to a vest (investor or something like that)

I know I need tights, but do I get tights with a chamois? or just wear tights over/under the shorts?
I have Castelli, Sugoi, PI, Cannondale, and Canari to choose from.
I need a long sleeve jersey, which I'm getting from castelli--any advice there?
How many of each? Help, I'm completely lost here!

re: Winter Cycling Kit?morkm
Jul 26, 2003 2:04 AM
I'm sure many others are much more well versed in this, but I'll give you a run down of my winter kit. I live in central TX. I got a pair of PI tights with the wind/water-proof front panel, AmFab or some name like that. They are awesome. No chamois, I just wear shorts under them. If it's not brutally cold out, can usually get away with just leg warmers (ie no tights).

I also got PI booties, again the AmFab (or whatever) ones and some toe covers. I don't have any long sleeve jerseys, I usually just wear a long sleeve wool undershirt, arm warmers on top and then a regular jersey. If that isn't warm enough, I'll throw a jacket on top. I got one of the team kit ones that's suppose to breath and be windproof...I got it at end of winter, so haven't tried it out yet.

Last is a skull cap to keep the ears warm and some gloves and you should be set.
re: Winter Cycling Kit?ms
Jul 26, 2003 1:07 PM
I live in Maryland, so temperatures are a little colder here, but I have a few comments that may help.

First, the most well-used items in my winter wardrobe are arm warmers and a PI microsensor headband that covers my ears. The arm warmers are great for the days when the temperature is cool, but not cool enough for a long sleved jersey. My ears get cold, especially when I am riding, long before my head, so the headband comes in handy. I think that you would get good use out of both of them in Georgia.

Second, get stuff that you can layer. For example, I have a Craft undershirt with a windblocking panel on the front that extends the range of my winter jerseys by about 10 degrees. A windbreaker over a long-sleved jersey can do the same thing.

Third, keeping your hands and feet warm is essential. I have three pairs of long fingered gloves in different weights. You don't want gloves that are going to make your hands sweat, but you also do not want to be cold. The same is true with socks and shoe covers.

Fourth, good wicking material is as imporant in winter as it is in summer -- The worst thing is to be both cold and wet underneath.

Fifth, tights over shorts -- the shorts provide an extra layer of insulation for the important parts.

Sixth, How many? As many as you can afford. I would not buy duplicates of the same thing, but try to buy things in a variety of weights and purposes. By layering, you can extend your temperature range without, say, buying an ultra expensive heavy jacket.

Final comment: It sounds like you need to buy now to get your discount. If you can wait until later in the year, I think that it would be wise to buy a little at a time and experiment. My concern is that you may end up buying too much stuff and end up with a great wardrobe for Minnesota or Maine, but not use it in Georgia.
re: Winter Cycling Kit?MShaw
Jul 26, 2003 2:09 PM
I live in San Diego now, but "grew up" riding in VA. The coldest I've been out was when it was 20 below with the wind chill. The tights and etc. that I accumulated when I lived in VA are pretty well useless out here except for night riding in the middle of winter (and even then I haven't worn tights in 6 years!).

In more temperate climates (San Diego, the south) you don't need nearly as much stuff. You can probably get away with a few base layers, SS jerseys, knee warmers, arm warmers, and a vest.

The secret is layering so that you can remove things when you (or the temps) warm up. Tights aren't as flexible as arm and leg warmers. Especially tights with chamois built in.

PI base layers (or the equivalent from Craft, Dfeet, Sock Guy, etc.) are a mandatory piece of equipment for winter riding!

The best piece of winter riding equipment I own is the plastic bag that the Sunday funnies came in. It fits your chest, keeping it out of the wind, packs up very small, and best of all, is free.

That help?

re: Winter Cycling Kit?wookieontherun
Jul 26, 2003 2:20 PM
as far as tights go- just get tights without the chamois and wear them over your bibs- extra insulation and cheaper too.
Former REI guy here...Steve_O
Jul 26, 2003 7:31 PM
Not sure what your temperature gets like where you ride in the winter. I commute through the winter in Chicago and, since, I used to work at REI, I have some favorites.

- REI Power Stretch Tights - While not cycling specific, these tights rock for cycling. I wear them over shorts in temps from 45F to 20F. They seem to wear well and regulate heat nicely.

- Fleece jerseys - Performance seems to have these and they work nice for a top. I don't really like nylon jackets as they tend to capture moisture and you end up getting soaked in your own sweat.

- REI Gloves - REI used to sell a cold weather glove that had a neoprene-like backingand grey leather palm. They worked pretty well down to about 35F. Below that temp I added a liner glove. Take a look at the REI One glove for a similar product if they don't have a cycling specific glove this year. Yoko ski gloves are good too!

- Balcavas - Get a light one. I have a polypro one that is almost t-shirt weight fabric that works well.
I'm from GA, and I have....Sadlebred
Jul 28, 2003 4:48 AM
I've been riding in GA now through about 5 winters. Ok, I'm a girl and love to shop and probably have more clothes than some, but these are my essentials. Even though it doesn't get much below 20 degrees here (and even then rarely), you may need some additional clothes for really cold days.

Tights: several pairs of different fabric weights. A very thin pair of Cannondale tights for days above 52-53 degrees. Two heavier Pearl Izumi tights for cooler days. Any of these can be layered. A pair of Amfib PI tights for when it snows (ok, I found em on sale for $25 online). You can get away without a pair of heavy windproof/waterproof tights here in GA unless you will be riding when it's 40 and raining (I'll take that day on my trainer or in the gym).

Jackets: Must: At the very least a light breathable waterproof or water and wind resistant jacket. I have a Moonsomethingorother Activent jacket. Nice to have but not a must: A full Gortex windproof and waterproof jacket. A Biemme very heavy winter jacket, which is a bit overkill for over 32 degrees.

Jerseys: several light long sleeve jerseys to layer under jackets.

Feet: Gortex or Sealskinz socks (mtb only). Neoprene shoe covers & Sugio windsocks for road biking. Wool socks (mtb only).

Etc: Arm warmers are a must. You can add them under any other layer if you get cold and take them off it you get hot. Knee warmers for cool days over 55 degrees when it isn't quite cold enough for full tights. A vest is nice to wear with armwarmers or as an additional layer under a jacket. Windproof/waterproof gloves. Several pairs of winter gloves for different temperatures. Polarfleece headband for under my helmet on really cold days.

If I had to pick the essentials:
Medium weight PI tights, Activent jacket, 2 long sleeve jerseys, neoprene (etc.) shoe covers, windproof gloves, polarfleece headband.