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Cold weather riding gear recommendations

HOME FORUM RIDING FEELS GOOD FORUM TECH TALK Cold weather riding gear recommendations

This topic contains 36 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  BlurredLines 2 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
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  • #807178

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Well, this morning was a rude awakening that fall is officially here. I need to update my very old and torn up fall riding gear and would like some recos. I have decent winter stuff so am mostly looking for wet and cool weather attire. I like to layer stuff for the most options. What are you guys wearing?

    Santa Cruz

    #807179

    Whynot
    Participant

    I find it so hard to dress for Fall being someone who heats up and sweats a lot. So I tend to overdress with a light merino base layer since it keeps me warm even when wet. Just long socks on the bottom, I don’t wear full leggings until the temp is below zero. OR gloves, of course… nothing better. And my ears are sensitive to cold so I don the uber-cool merino headband.

    #807180

    jcitizen
    Participant

    I basically get sick a lot in fall cause I can’t dress well either, haha. Fall rides are often after dark and involve a beer or two, which means hangin out in the cold, sweaty. Smart, I know. I usually stuff a little wind breaker in my bag that helps take the edge off. While actually riding, though, I pretty much wear a t-shirt or a long sleeve until it dips below 10, then I might wear a vest until close to zero before the tights come out.

    I also like my raceface knee pads. They are really just there for abrasions, meaning they are comfortable and work very well as knee warmers.

    #807182

    micah356
    Participant

    Merino everything, makes it easy. Especially arm warmers – it’s amazing how much that one thing alone can do to keep you warm. Plus when you get warmed up you can just pull them off and stuff them in your pocket without getting off the bike, taking off your pack, etc.

    #807184

    secret agent
    Participant

    I have long sleeved microfiber tops I got from Lululemon, long sleeve merino, long sleeve merino blend. Depending on temperature I wear one of these, and then begin layering. I’ll throw my bike jersey over one of these. I bought them tight knowing they are going to be base layers. I have a couple of looser merino blend tops with a 3/4 zipper. Those layers get me to around the freezing mark. Around that temperature, it begins to get hard to balance heat/cold. Once you go to a jacket, you will get hot and sweat. Merino is awesome for that. As mentioned, keeps you warm even when wet. Road riding is a bit trickier as the wind is a much bigger factor. I have headband and two weights of balaclava. I find my Nike running one really versatile.
    I have various weights of gloves for different temperatures.
    I have a couple of long tights I wear under shorts depending on temperature.
    I wear flats for trail riding, and as it gets colder, will switch to flats even on my road bike. My Sidi shoes are great for summer and are well vented, but such in cold weather, plus I have trouble with cold feet. Again merino wool makes for good socks.
    I have been picking up a bit of this and that when I see it on sale. I like the Icebreaker stuff, but it is pricey. I buy it when they are blowing it out. They have an outlet at the mall at Trafalgar and 401. Have also bought some at Costco.

    #807190

    ghettocruiser
    Participant

    My gripe with Merino/icbreaker etc. is that it shreds so easy compared to synthetic fabrics.

    It seems that every time I brush against a branch or twig it puts a hole in it, especially the 150-weight stuff. I have a drawer at home full of $$$ wool layers that are too mangled to wear as anything but winter baselayers.

    As I’ve mentioned before, the other key is a jacket that is windproof on the front and NOT windproof on the back.

    #807191

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Merino everything, makes it easy. Especially arm warmers – it’s amazing how much that one thing alone can do to keep you warm. Plus when you get warmed up you can just pull them off and stuff them in your pocket without getting off the bike, taking off your pack, etc.

    I love Merino and have a bunch of it. I also have arm and leg warmers but find that they always slide down and drive me nuts. Maybe I have the wrong brand but they just don’t seem to stay up for me.

    #807193

    micah356
    Participant

    These are the ones I use, I’ve had them for years and they work well. I have a set of synthetic knee warmers that are annoying like what you describe.

    http://www.mec.ca/product/5035-500

    #807194

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Thanks @micah356 I’ll check these out. I would like knee warmers as well. I find dressing my upper body easier as a shell or long sleeve jersey or base layer takes care of most of my needs. Have you ever tried wool knew warmers? I suppose my only concern is tearing them (i’ve had the same experience as @ghettocruiser with wool) but if they stay up better I would give them a try. I actually normally wear my kness pads which takes care of keeps me both warm and protected. Though once it gets colder it gets trickier – pants with pads underneath or tights with pads on top . Neither are great and I usually end up turfing the pads.

    #807195

    micah356
    Participant

    I haven’t tried wool knee warmers. I would imagine that they (and the arm warmers) might tear in a crash. But the arm warmers I have are in great shape. The material is quite thick so it doesn’t seem to be affected by brushing up against shrubs or whatever.

    When it gets colder I wear merino tights. I wear longer shorts over top, and tall socks, so there is only a couple inches of merino actually exposed to potential wear. I don’t use knee pads though so I can’t comment on that.

    #807196

    secret agent
    Participant

    I have two weights of merino tights. I have not found my knees get that cold. I find it harder to keep my ass from freezing. I don’t DH, so the only place I really need pads is for the rocks at AF/HF. I bought a set of GForm knee and elbow pads. They are light, comfortable and would be great to wear under looser clothing. I have not used them in winter, but they would offer some warmth for sure. They are a bit light in so far as impact protection goes, but are good enough for a slow speed tumble in the rocks. I have not crashed while wearing them yet.

    http://g-form.com/en/pro-xc-knee-pads.html

    #807197

    fietser
    Participant

    I run pretty hot so I tend to dress on the less bulky side. This morning for my commute (10km by MUP) I wore shorts, Light weight LS Lifa to, a wind breaker vest (mesh back – totally agree with @ghettocruiser) and my regular summer weight full finger riding gloves. It was perfect. I go with the adage that if you are chilly to start you will be warm once you get moving.

    I have a bunch of Merino, which I love, but honestly is costs too much to get all torn up while riding! So I tend to wear less expensive polypro baselayers – something like this (http://www.mec.ca/product/5034-432/mec-t2-long-sleeved-crew-mens/?f=10+50089+50122+51005)

    It seems that MEC doesn’t carry it anymore but my most prized cool weather piece of clothing is that vest. Simple wind resistant front and mesh back – packs down to nothing if not needed. I have a simple shell as well (from the 90’s) that keeps on tickin’. I would like to upgrade that this year however.

    Huge fan of arm warmers, especially at this time of year. I have simple spandex ones that work well (maybe some arm curls to keep them in place @fasttimes – jokes!) They really cut the wind and are easy to ditch when you heat up. They work well with the vest. Leg/ knee warmers, have a pair don’t love them – if it is warm enough to take them off I would be wearing shorts. Interested in the idea of 3/4 ‘shants’ which I think would be ideal for warm knees.

    When the temps dip below zero I wear tights. For footwear, just below zero, I wear booties over my regular cycling shoes (with thicker socks) this usually keeps my toes warm for about 1.5 hours of trail riding, less on the road or MUPs. Oh, don’t forget your head – I have a head band for cool temps (like 3 to -5c) and then a skull cap for anything colder. I wear these (http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftr/gloves/cold-weather-gloves/deflect) essentially on all but the coldest days and have found them excellent as far as dexterity and warmth are concerned. For really cold weather I wear my DH ski gloves.

    I have always sorta made due with my camping/ skiing gear when it comes to cool/cold weather riding. A few specialty items here and there but otherwise it all does double duty. Plus, once the snow flies and the temps really drop I would rather be shredin’ the white stuff 😉

    #807200

    tec
    Participant

    While pricey, I love my Arcteryx base layers. I have them from my climbing days, spending 8-10hrs standing in a freezing crag, but they are awesome for riding and don’t hold on to smells (like other synthetics). Buy them tight, as the first layer, then layer more on top.

    #807201

    fietser
    Participant

    While pricey, I love my Arcteryx base layers.

    I will gladly pay the price for their gear – worth every penny in my opinion. Fits me perfectly too which is a bonus.

    @tec my wife often finds a good selection of the women’s gear on sale at Sail, sadly the men’s is well picked over – just an FYI.

    #807204

    BlurredLines
    Participant

    If you’re anything like me it’s always the fingers and toes that go first when it really starts to get cold… My “secret” tip to warm fingers on the cheap is those “kid gloves” they sell at the dollar store. I’m sure they’ve got to be a synthetic just packed with elastic, but putting on a pair and cramming them into your busted out pair of full finger gloves from the previous season is about a $2 solution to cold hands. Best part is the variety of wild colours they come in!

    Otherwise… Arm warmers with a fitter merino 3/4 tee and “trail” jersey on top. Regular shorts with the vents closed (I use the RaceFace Ambush, though their new Agent winter shorts look awesome), merino sport trucks, leg warmers, and some synthetic long socks.

    Interested in solutions for the toes as when it starts to get real cold that’s always the thing that has me starting a fire or heading home.

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