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Fat Bike Winter Attire

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Zirca 5 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #799586

    Zirca
    Participant

    Just picked up a Fatty this year and I”m looking forward to hitting the Don and other trails this winter. Curious on what you guys are rocking for clothing once the temperature drops below zero? I know layering is the game, but I’m curious what people are using. In particular gloves and footwear. Are poggies worth getting, or just stick to some good mitts? I’m debating b/n platform and clipless, and I’m eying the Wolvhammer’s, but they aren’t cheap. What other footwear are people using?

    Thanks in advance,

    #799587

    mcbain
    Participant

    Due to austerity measures enacted at home I am making do with really old cycling gear and cast-offs. And it all works just fine.

    Head – thin balaclava and thin tuque – can be worn in combination or separate. Usually just the balaclava though. Glasses!
    Upper – At least 3 layers, with the outer being a soft shell (breaks the wind, sheds snow, but breathes faster than I sweat). It would have to be mighty cold for me to seal myself in a windproof shell and even then it would be a sweat fest.
    Lower – bib shorts, long johns, trademark pirate pants (just chinos cut mid-shin), kneesocks or proper legwarmers over the long underwear to prevent tearing.
    Feet – I’m wearing my summer SPD’s with waterproof bootie covers and thick socks, but the situation is not sustainable. Covers are tearing, no room for heat packs. Cold feet is definitely my Achilles Heel on rides. I was hoping MEC was still carrying a cheaper winter shoe but they’ve gone to a nice but pricey Mavic. Those 45nrth Wolvhammers look WAY better.
    Hands – First time pogie user and loving them. Mine are camo ATV versions from Princess Auto ($14.99) with some mods. I’d post up pics but my flip phone just died. Seriously. I start by wearing very light gloves inside the pogies until the grips/levers warm up, then I’m just bare-handing it. Pogies are not quite “SPD’s for your hands” but I did fail once to get my hands out in time. Lesson learned. I find mitts/gloves/lobster claws all too bulky.

    When it gets really cold I stuff a down jacket, mitts and proper tuque in my kit to have for snack breaks/mechanicals. Hope to see you on the trails this winter! mb

    #799588

    Zirca
    Participant

    Thanks for the detailed reply, much appreciated.

    I think I might give that Pogie route a go. Thanks for the heads up on the ATV solution. Waaaayyyy cheaper than the gloves I was looking at, or the 45Nrth versions. Buying the bike seems to be only half the investment (exaggerating…sorta).

    Do you bother with mud/snow flaps? My first couple rides I didn’t realize the bike looks like it’s ejecting oreo cookies off the tires. I found these pretty cheap at MEC (online one) and they have decent reviews http://www.mec.ca/product/5037-674/portland-design-works-daves-mud-shovel-fender-rear/?q=mud%2Bshovel

    Thanks again,

    #799589

    Trailhead
    Participant

    These are the PA Pogies McBain has; http://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/atv-briar-mits/A-p8510935e

    I’ve been running winter SPD’s with hot packs for years. They keep frost bite from setting in but, not much beyond that as far as warmth goes.
    So far this year I’ve been spending more time kicking my pedals (to clear snow from my shoes) then I have pedaling it seems. I’m gonna try running flats next with winter boots. Whatever winter footwear you choose, go a size bigger for heavy socks and hot packs. When the mercury gets below -10 you need to be thinking 4-5 layers as you start out. Also, how much wind exposure should always be considered.
    Studded tires always prove valuable as the season gets down to its full frostariffic potential. If you think Fat’s are expensive wait ’til you buy Studded tires! Another must have is studded footwear imo.

    I’ve not put on fenders but, I have been thinking seriously about it…

    #799590

    ghettocruiser
    Participant

    I don’t have a fatbike, but I’ve been running more or less the same winter mountain biking set-up since the 90s.

    Layer 1 – Standard roadie bike shorts. Can be bibs. Or not.

    Layer 2 – All wool baselayer of LS shirt, tights, and socks. I have icebreaker, but cheaper wool probably works just as well. As long as it came from a sheep.

    Layer 3 – Insulation (if needed) Fleece top of whatever weight and fleece pants or tights. Or wool again if you want to go fancy. I skip this layer above -7C, or if I am going to be working up a sweat slogging through fresh snow.

    Layer 4 – Windbreaking layer. Jacket or jersey that is windproof at the front and NOT windproof at the back. Windproof pants,I use either light PI bike pants or heavy fox moto pants if I see some crashes as likely.

    I also throw a dayglow-orange moto jersey over my jacket if I am road riding to get there for visibility, and to keep road spray off my rather expensive jacket.

    Shimano MW80 shoes. Buy larger to fit thick socks. Pogies take some getting used to, but they keep my hands warmer than any known glove..

    Really thin balaclava under wither regular helmet or neoprene facemask under fullface. Snowboard goggles under -5C.

    #799591

    Matty F
    Participant

    I do a minimal amount of actual fat biking, but I do ride somewhat year round and commute daily by bike year round, even when the needle drops to the -20° mark. So here are some points I feel worth mentioning:

    Disclaimer: I grew up in Northern Ontario, so I just plain tend to deal with the cold better than most people.

    – I ride flat pedals exclusively, which are much warmer than SPDs. I just ride thermal hiking boots with good socks in the coldest temperatures and have been satisfied. However, if you must run clipless, the many people I know who have Wolvhammers absolutely love them. It’s surely a lot of cash for a set of boots. But considering the amount of use they see, they can surely last you many, many years. If they work perfectly for that long, it is probably just worth it.
    – I have ordered a pair of the 45N Sturmfist 4 gloves for myself, which I’ve since found out might be the most revered winter mountain biking glove due to the number of people asking me about them before they have even arrived. As such, I’ll probably have them at my shop regularly for people to check out/try on. If you have a look at these, let me know. They retail for $155. But again… if they last for many years and work perfectly, it’s probably better than three sets of “pretty good” gloves for $60 each.
    – Some sort of hoodie or a jacket with a hood that goes OVER your helmet is key to me, and supplementing that with a good helmet liner works miracles. I just like to keep the wind away from my head/neck as much as possible. Yeti’s Performance Hoodie is a masterpiece in my mind. I can wear that hoodie alone below 0° quite often.
    – Keep your knees warm. Some sort of good snow pants/long mountain biking pants (Endura has some great options for these) with full thermal tights or knee warmers underneath (Endura also has some great winter tights). Cold weather reduces the flow of the fluid that lubricates the cartilage in your joints, which can cause some major pain, especially in the knees. As much insulation as possible on the knees.
    – If your core is not really warm, your extremities (hands and feet) will be cold. I find if my core is at a moderate temperature, my hands and feet are cold. Your body will limit circulation to your extremities in order to keep your core warm. So I’ve found that’s it’s best to over-dress and shed a layer if need-be in order to keep my hands and feet warm. Typically in really cold weather, if I’m not sweating, my hands and feet will be cold. To deal with the sweat it’s best to get some good moisture wicking base layers. Merino wool is great.
    – I wear goggles once it drops below about -17°. Even with a balaclava, my upper cheeks, forehead and the bridge of my nose will get wind burnt otherwise. I ride DH, so I have goggles laying around anyways. I don’t know if this is really worth it to buy goggles if you just plain avoid riding in those kind of temperatures.

    #799597

    singlesprocket
    Participant

    platforms and snowshoe boots…. keeps the toes toasty even with a soaker. used this combo well into the double negatives with no problems, use hiking boot gators to keep out snow and burrs, just use a thick base layer with waterproof shell as the outer for my legs. warm ski gloves work well for the hands and are cheap, lined wind-stopper and layers for the upper. no cotton though, either merino wool or synthetics… a bucket helmet and balaclava keeps the noodle warm…

    #799598

    micah356
    Participant

    Lots of good advice here. I won’t repeat too much of it.

    -Merino wool as much as possible. @ghettocruiser ‘s advice above is good.
    -Goggles, a thin hat, and a balaclava. I wear one of these, a thin merino wool hat, and goggles. You can get clear lens ski goggles at MEC for $24. I use them a lot in the winter for commuting.
    -Pogies. I don’t believe there are any gloves or mitts warm enough for really cold (below -10) riding. Something that might be warm enough for hiking or whatever won’t be able to handle the extra windchill effect of riding at speed. With pogies you can wear a really thin glove or bare hands and be nice and toasty.
    -Flat pedals and boots. I wear -40 Sorels, one size two big, with two pairs of socks and my feet don’t get cold.

    If you’re not planning on any extended periods being stationary, you really don’t need to wear a lot of layers for your body. Hands, feet, and head need to be warm and protected. Everything else is usually good with a base layer and wind/water layer. Add one more insulating layer like a fleece mid in anything below -10.

    #799599

    singlesprocket
    Participant

    there are mitts/gloves out there that are good to -40c without being to bulky. but it comes down to personal choice of what suits you and your riding. i like these gloves from mec good till -26c

    http://www.mec.ca/product/5037-186/black-diamond-soloist-finger-mitts-unisex/

    #799600

    mikester
    Participant

    add Clear packing tape on helmet vents
    add Clear packing tape over shoes (on toes) under booties

    – just saw a vid recently and tried this solution as well – add tin foil over socks before you put shoe on – works great

    #799601

    mcbain
    Participant

    @ghettocruiser‘s suggestions of (1) wool (2) windproof front/breathable back are excellent points. @trailhead bought me the pogies – thanks! Hooded @mattyf looks like a Dementor when he rides, but he’s right about the knees. Keep them warm and covered. Falling hurts more in the cold.
    No flaps on my bike for winter, but I don’t have very far to go on road to get to the trails so I just go slow to prevent road spray. Haven’t seen a need for them in actual snow. These tires can hold a tonne of mud so be sure to wear glasses and keep your mouth closed when you pick up speed and it all releases. Glad I switched to 1×10 as the front derailleur was a major nucleation point for crud. No wheel -blocking buildups since. Of course, if it’s that muddy we probably shouldn’t be riding…

    #799602

    aragon
    Participant

    – I have ordered a pair of the 45N Sturmfist 4 gloves for myself, which I’ve since found out might be the most revered winter mountain biking glove due to the number of people asking me about them before they have even arrived. As such, I’ll probably have them at my shop regularly for people to check out/try on. If you have a look at these, let me know. They retail for $155. But again… if they last for many years and work perfectly, it’s probably better than three sets of “pretty good” gloves for $60 each.

    @MattyF – Adding myself to the list, have you received these gloves yet? Seriously considering them for riding and/or skiing, as they appear to have the most insulation I have ever seen in a glove (300g Polartec Alpha!! Warm ’til -400!!) while still being able to hold a grip/pole (Aerogel in the palm! NASA!!). Just wondering if this is all marketing gobbledegook, or if these are the real deal. 45nrth stuff is not cheap, but so far my experience has been really good…. thoughts on these?

    #799603

    Matty F
    Participant

    @MattyF – Adding myself to the list, have you received these gloves yet? Seriously considering them for riding and/or skiing, as they appear to have the most insulation I have ever seen in a glove (300g Polartec Alpha!! Warm ’til -400!!) while still being able to hold a grip/pole (Aerogel in the palm! NASA!!). Just wondering if this is all marketing gobbledegook, or if these are the real deal. 45nrth stuff is not cheap, but so far my experience has been really good…. thoughts on these?

    I just got them in this morning. Obviously it’s not cold enough for me to properly test them out, but they seem extremely impressive from my initial inspection. They fit equally well with or without the merino inner glove, and they are a little more thin and nimble than I expected. The draw string on the cuff works really well, and is easy to use one-handed with the opposite glove on. Nice snot wipes. The leather palm is really grippy. Very impressed on the whole. If you want to swing by CS Parliament and try them on, just shoot me a PM.

    #799604

    Zirca
    Participant

    Thanks for all these responses, EXTREMELY helpful and greatly appreciated. I’ve found a few tips here and there on sites, but nothing as comprehensive as this in one place.

    #799610

    secret agent
    Participant

    I began fat biking last year. Bought a pair of winter specific pants and they have the wind proof front and not on the back. Last year Costco had a lot of merino stuff. I bought a few shirts 100 % merino. They are light weight. Bought the medium and large. The medium is body hugging and I use it as a base layer. The large is loose and can be a second layer. They also had some tops with a zipper that were 25% merino which I use as a second layer. I have a gortex bike jacket and snowboard jacket for the outer layer as well as a fleece outer layer depending on temperatures. I have a hiking shoe and two weights of boots to go with my flats. I can’t keep my feet warm in clipless pedals no matter what. I even change my road bike to flat pedals when it gets really cold.
    I have two sets of balaclavas and my snow board hood will go over my helmet if necessary. I don’t go out much below -15 C though.

    I ordered and expect to get these tomorrow:

    http://45nrth.com/products/softgoods/cobrafist

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