October 1, 2015 at 6:47 pm #807205
I have a pretty good collection of gloves. Being that I’m photographer and shoot many winter sports, I must have a pair for every condition I’m faced with. For feet, I am big fan of the Gore-Tex socks. They don’t do much in the way of keeping me warm but they breath well and keep me dry. However, I think its time for proper footwear, I always make my summer shoes work with socks and booties but I get cold on long rides. Do you guys size up to accommodate a larger sock?October 2, 2015 at 8:21 am #807208
Specialized just released their collection of dedicated winter/fat biking outerwear, in which they collaborated with 686 (snowboard/ski technical apparel). I got myself a 3L Tech Jacket and Tech Bibs and they are absolutely outstanding. Not cheap by any means, but reasonable for this quality for sure. The bib pants in particular are well beyond anything I’ve seen for mountain bike specific clothing.
Also, we’re now stocking Icebreaker stuff at Cycle Solutions Downtown. Come get some socks!October 2, 2015 at 9:12 am #807210
That is s tight looking kit @matty-f I’ll check it out. Think it would come down to how it would function in the spring fall vs full on winter. Nice that it stretchable and relaxed fit.October 2, 2015 at 9:14 am #807211
Just checked out those bibs. They were listed at $450.00 US. Is that right?October 2, 2015 at 9:29 am #807212
The icebreaker base layers are a solid investment. I bought a full kit and wear that under some tech stuff which varies depending on temps. Arcteryx and icebreaker, while $$, keeps me warm and dry. The merino base layers wick sweat perfectly as well and stay warm even when I’m sweating a lot. Then I just wear an old boarding jacket that I don’t mind crashing in as it’s not insulated and has lots of venting, and protects the $$ layers underneath from dirt/abrasion.October 2, 2015 at 9:47 am #807213
Just checked out those bibs. They were listed at $450.00 US. Is that right?
No idea, but I would say that sounds about right. Branded, sport specific gear – gotta pay to play.
Mine are the non-bib version which are around $300 CAD
Obviously there are cheaper options out there but there is something to be said for being able to depend on your gear in the most heinous of conditions. I noticed the jackets have Recco locators so this is pretty high end gear we are talking about here.October 2, 2015 at 9:49 am #807214
I have two weights of tights from icebreaker, socks and thermal shorts. They are awesome. I have lots of stuff, so I wait for clear outs and buy at the outlet. I’m not cheap about stuff, but why pay more if you can wait. I bought a set of tights at the end of season last year for about half price. This stuff also tends to last. I have two shells from the 90’s that are still in really good shape. I even changed the zipper in one to dual action so it opens at bottom and top. Plus it has the vented sides. The other one has an internal pocket which is nice to keep my phone in. Last year my iphone gave me a temperature warning and shut off. However if that price is correct, it would be almost $600.00 for a pair of bib pants.October 2, 2015 at 10:01 am #807216
I have Arcteryx brand Gore-Tex jackets and bibs and cant speak highly enough about them or any of their gear for that matter. I’ve been belly down in the snow and dirt on shoots in this stuff for a while and cant believe how well they fair in these conditions. I love how well you can layer these and find I get nearly all season out of them. I suppose these would be great for MTB but it would also be nice to get a bike specific fit and design.October 2, 2015 at 10:18 am #807217
Just checked out those bibs. They were listed at $450.00 US. Is that right?
That may be the US pricing, but comparatively the Canadian pricing is much cheaper, exchange taken into account. Canadian is more like $490 CAD for the jacket, and $435 CAD for the bib. As @fietser said, that’s a good chunk of dough, but these bits use 686s highest end fabrics and technology from their snowboard and ski apparel, and the jacket has a Recco rescue device. As far as overall performance winter gear goes, it’s pretty reasonable. Furthermore, companies like 7 Mesh and Acre sell their top end fall jackets (not even full winter gear) for $450-$500.
We don’t actually stock them, but I have a size large of both the bib and jacket. If anyone wants to try them on and potentially order some, let me know and I can bring mine in for you to try.October 2, 2015 at 10:26 am #807218
I find it harder to keep my ass from freezing.
Yup, me too.
Sweat runs down my back, wets the shorts/pants and my riding shorts allow my tail bone area to get cold. A cold ass sucks.January 4, 2016 at 9:33 am #808667
I ended up picking up the 686 kit and it’s been simply amazing. I’ve worn in through a good range of temps, from +5 down to -10 and don’t see any issues going below that. Great fit and venting. The hood doesn’t quite fully cover my POC Trabec lid. It stays put but that is something that I would have liked to fit better.
I also got a bunch of Endura base layers and stack them as needed. I wear Endura thermal bib knickers which have been great with long socks and/or knee pads or wool tights.
I have been using a pair of Shimano MW81 Gore-Tex Winter MTB SPD Boots that were super for the fall and early winter but lack a bit when it gets colder. I sized up a full size which was the best choice, allowing me to be comfy with a slightly thicker sock.
For colder days I went with the 45NRTH Wölvhammer. This is the updated model with simpler closure system, easy to slip in and out. Only a few rides that have been cold enough to merit these but they were unreal. Comfy and toasty. I was worried about pedalling in a boot but its a non-issue. Typical issues with snow packing in pedal and sole are present however.
For days were I want to be on flats, I got these Vasque Arrowhead Ultradry boots during a cyber sale. Equal quality and function to the 45NRTH but way less coin. Great sole for a flat pedal as well. I sized up a full size for both the Wölvhammer and Arrowhead too. Fit is great with appropriate sock. Cleat could be placed in correct location despite longer sole for both Shimano and 45NRTH boots.
For my hands, I have been wearing Alpinstars Status gloves for fall, Endura Dexter Windproof Gloves down to -5 and the 45NRTH Sturmfist 4 below that. The Dexter could also be worn in colder temps if grip trumps comfort. The added padding in the palm of the Sturmfist is not something I like but accept if cold hands are the alternative. Really depends on how demanding the trail is. On a snow cover trails it’s fine but some of the the frozen dirt rides I have done require all digits onboard.
So far so good. Should have some colder days coming up to test the limits of this stuff but really happy so far.
Thanks to everyone for the helpful advise.January 4, 2016 at 11:37 am #808681
@fasttimes, nice setup … between the fat bike, the Santa Cruz(s) and the winter gear, you are pretty well kitted up! You win the lottery recently? 😉January 4, 2016 at 11:58 am #808682
I have two pairs of hiking shoes and two pairs of boots. I looked at these last year as it was bloody cold. It would mean that I can use them with any of my boots and probably go to the lighter option in really cold days. I read a bunch of stuff online about how well they work for hunting and ice fishing.January 5, 2016 at 8:58 am #808689
^^^ Has anyone used those? Or done a one-shoe only blind test? 🙂 I had them in my hand at Canadian Tire and walked out without them for 2 reasons:
-The battery being in the insole means there isn’t much room for high capacity (compared to an external battery like Hotronics)
– The soles were thick enough (again due to the battery) that I couldn’t imagine them not squishing my feet and reducing circulation.October 24, 2016 at 10:56 am #813937
Just reviving this thread again as I have received numerous messages about fall and winter riding gear. Lots of good info here that helped me as well as others. I was happy with what I used last season, particularity the 686 kit. Got a small tear in the jacket though, which I need to repair if anyone has any tips on that front. It’s not big so I will likely sew it, rather than patch it.
The Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket I got for North Carolina last January is the ticket as fas as unparalleled barrier and breathability is concerned. Though it’s not bike specific, it’s better suited than most which are. It has full front zip, pit zips, adequate arm length to cover wrists and a hood that fits and adjusts to modern trail helmets. It can also accommodate elbow pads, inside the sleeve, which as we discovered on our Revy trip was the only one that did among a myriad of bike-specific jackets the guys had. The only real downside is that this is a really expensive jacket to potentially destroy of a fall. And while it packs down pretty small, it’s not what I would classify as the truly packable variety that pack down to the size of a tennis ball. But when your in the elements, this can save your ass big time. And the Gore-Tex is actually pretty tough and can handle quite a bit. The new Pro version is also quite a bit lighter and pliable. I’d say bike-specific wise, the ACRE is the only one that touches it.
So all that to say that all I was really after this year for the fall was a more packable/emergency, shoulder season shell. After some research I settled on this fella. http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?p_id=2328276
I’ve tried others from TLD, Royal and the likes but they are all missing one element or another. While this isn’t the lightest or the smallest, it has most of the features I was after in a packable jacket. If I am caught in the rain this is what’s in my bag and will keep me dry enough to finish my ride. If it’s colder or I am starting in the rain the Beta goes on straight outta the gate. Anything below zero the 686 is my first choice as it can handle the cold but still breath and shed body heat better than anything out there.
I also got a set of these Royal Storm shorts prior to NC and have used them quite a bit in the wet and mud. They are pretty bomb proof and have handled some very nasty conditions. I like that they are just a shell and that I can layer them with bibs or whatever I need to on the day. It also makes then packable or shed-able if need be. They are on the long side so there is good coverage and fit well over knee pads.
Depending on how this winter shapes up the only thing I may like are warmer boots.
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