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What to wear?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well fall is here, and winter will soon follow. But I'm not ready to give up the biking just yet (not until the first day of skiing, well, maybe ).

I rode the other night in 65F weather, with a cold wind. It looks like maybe 60F for todays ride. All summer I have been wearing plain old nylon shorts and TNF Flight series wicking tops. I've been meaning to get some actual bike shorts, but I can't find any nice baggies (I don't really agree with the spandex look-yet) locally.

So what clothing should I be purchasing for the cooler temps? Is a long sleeve wicking top enough, or should I look into some of the thicker jerseys? Jackets? And of course, what about the lower body?

Right now, I am going to estimate that I won't go out and ride if it is less then 45F out. I am typically a warmer individual, when skiing I wear lightweight thermal bottoms and shell pants, a lightweight thermal top and either a light fleece vest or a fleece shirt under a nylon shell.
post #2 of 20
Are you a road or mountain biker or both?

I mtb bike some all season, it’s great to trail ride on a 20 to 30 degree day on packed snow. Packed snow can be surprisingly grippy, but it also can release under too much front brake pressure. Biking for me ends during thaw – freeze cycles – ice on trails is not fun. I do not road ride a temperatures much below freezing.

In answer to you question consider:
  • Over booties – Pearl Izumi makes very high quality booties.
  • Long sleeve Jerseys made out a technical fabric – same as skiing - the non-cotton variety. I have several of different warmth. For me, picking one that is not too warm or too cool is the hard part – I don’t want to sweat too much and I don’t want to be too cool. I err on the side of being too cool.
  • A thin nylon jacket to cut the wind
  • Pant/tights work best if they are narrow at the bottom so as to not get caught in the chain. Some manufactures make more or less wind resistant fabrics, or fabrics with a little insulation. I like knicker tights down to about 40ish, and full-length tights on colder days. Again, Pearl Izumi makes excellent tights for cool weather. So does Sugoi and Etxeondo. On even colder days I layer, and use something with greater wind resistance on the outside. Some manufactures make tight fitting pants with nylon on the front and more breathable material on the back – a great combination for riding into a cold wind. On cold days I also attend to making sure certain private parts have good wind protection. Craft sells underwear that is designed for this.
  • Warm gloves are also important. As with other garments, I have to find a balance between too hot and not warm enough. Sometimes, I start in a heavier glove and switch to a lighter glove.
  • Socks – I use thin wool socks in cool weather, thicker wool in colder weather.
post #3 of 20
BTW, I rode quite a bit around Kennebunkport (which I know is not very near to Poland Maine). It is a very nice place to ride with rolling hills, great old roads, and interesting historical sites. The people there were also fantastic. I hooked up with some local bike clubs and found the people to be very friendly. One young guy challenged me to several sprints during the beginning portion of a 50 mile ride. I wasn’t used to riding with such a big group and accepted his challenges (I noticed later that the locals my age didn’t).
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Should have specified, road biking.

Actually, Kennebunkport is only about an hour drive away from Poland. I've only been down there a few times on though, too many tourists...

Thanks for the advice. The "balance between too hot and not warm enough" is exactly what my problem is as well. It's taken me too many years to get it right for skiing (and I just bought a new jacket-uh oh). I'm hoping to get it right the first time for biking, preventing me from buying extra gear that I'll never use.
post #5 of 20
Good thread.

I have 2 pieces of clothing I love for colder weather cycling.

One is a lightwight, North Face vest that is wind-proof nylon in the front and on the shoulders and just a thin mesh material on the back. Just enough as the temps begin to cool. I just unzip it if I get too warm and it's so light you don't even know it's there.

The other is a pair of "technical Wear" sweat pants made by Pearl Izumi. I wear them over my biking shorts all winter with Under Armour or something underneath on really cold days.

I ride through the winter because there is usually not enough snow to xc ski here. I need to get something for my feet though - my toes freeze.

I'm riding in the woods so I don't have as much wind to contend with compared to roadies.
post #6 of 20
Oh I forgot, I have these lobster claw mittens that are absolutely the best thing since sliced bread. They are basically a mitten split down the middle, 2 fingers per side. You can keep 2 fingers on the brake and they are toasty warm and less bulky than heavy gloves.
post #7 of 20
Several companies make winter riding shoes - the performance is not quite the same, but it's nice to have warm toes. I have a pair made by Lake, but these are mtb shoes. Also wool socks with heavier neoprene booties can be toasty.
post #8 of 20
HAHA!
Look what's on SAC
Castelli Knee warmers 12.50
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Missed em, was in bed already.
post #10 of 20
I love my Pearl Izumi leg warmers and arm warmers. They're warm, wicking, and easy to take off and store in a small pouch behind my seat. Great for rides that start cool in the early am and end when it's hot. P.S. I ride in Maine, too.
post #11 of 20
Seriously krp8128, forget how you look and do yourself a favour and get some knicks. Proper bike pants are the most comfortable thing to wear, whether on road or trail. And the Pearl Izumi are pretty sweet.
post #12 of 20
krp,

I bike commute, and do it in any weather (except rain in the morning - I want my clothes to be dry by the time I have to put them back on). Riding in 30-45 degree tems is actually quite nice. I use UnderArmor cold gear leggings on top of bike shorts. Below freezing a pair of windstop pants on top of the leggings. I use a Performance jacket on top of a long sleeve jersey until it gets below freezing. Then I'll put a fleece pullover in between the jersey and jacket. Long finger gloves below 40. Half finger above. Also a skull cap below 40 degrees. I have one with polar fleece around the headband area that I also use under my Giro Fuse ski helmet when it gets really cold.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxman View Post
Seriously krp8128, forget how you look and do yourself a favour and get some knicks. Proper bike pants are the most comfortable thing to wear, whether on road or trail. And the Pearl Izumi are pretty sweet.
You are right. I ordered a pair of knickers and two LS jerseys (med. and lg) from REI the other night. Last night I went out and bought a pair of shorts, a SS jersey, and a pair of tights.

Unfourtunatly, last nights purchase made me aware that I ordered the knickers too big, and should have just ordered the lg. jersey. Plus the tights were too big. Oh well, returns are always accepted.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 

New Clothes=bad Juju

So I bought some clothes, see above post. Tonights ride sucked, in the following order.

I called my friend, who was supposed to ride with me, during the drive home from work. She says she has to study for an exam, but is willing to take a break at 6:15 to ride for an hour. I get home at 4:45. I contemplate riding for an hour or so, loading the bike and driving to her place to ride, but decide to just wait for her. Deep down I know this is a bad idea.

I play some PS3 game with my roommate to kill time. Friend calls at 5:30, "can't go, I'm real sorry" I understand, she is taking classes, I'm on Co-op. My day ends at 3:30. At this point, I'm content to sit on the couch in front of the AC, but decide to go ride anyway.

I get out the door at 5:40, beginning to ride feels like crap, and I never really loosened up. Because of this, I could just not get a rhythm going. Without rhythm, I can't get down on my bars which further slows me. I really feel like an ass in my bike clothing.

I finally think I've got something going on the return ride, not the best, but it's there. I come around the 2nd corner after I turn around, and a fricken hornets nest falls from a tree 3ft in front of me!! WTF!! That can't be good. I just barely miss it, I'm not even sure if there was anything in it.

I get caught up to at an intersection, I slow to let the guy pass, he starts asking me about my shorts. I'm wearing my spandex under nylon shorts, to avoid the looks. This just causes more looks.

We ride along side each other for a bit, I think we were both wanting to pick up the pace, but trying to judge each other. Finally he takes off. I match his pace for a while, then fall back. I forget about him and ride.

I see a few joggers up ahead, so I slow down and watch where I am going. I take a drink from my water, and miss the cage putting it back. I run over the water. An extremely attractive female jogger is nice enough to pick it up and hand it to me. I turned a deep shade of red at this point.

The only place I really felt good riding was the last 3/4 mile. Up hill.

So to recap,

1. Friend ditches me. Late start to ride.
2. Pace sucks.
3. I looked like an idiot.
4. Hornets nest almost lands on me.
5. I get called out for looking like an idiot.
6. I get challenged by an older guy, he kicks my butt.
7. I drop the water bottle, and run it over.
8. Really hot girl notices.
8a. I didn't ask for her number

Next time, I'm sticking to just straight spandex. So what if everyone sees what I've got. At least if I drop the water again, she'll have something to look at.

I still did the 23.66 miles in 1.5 hours though.
post #15 of 20
I always wear riding spandex shorts – most people think I’m a bicyclist.

I once wore running tights (shorts) visiting my father-in-law in Seymore Texas. I should have known better. Not only did I not see another sole exercising (people must not do that in rural Texas), someone in a p/u truck (with a rifle in the back window) stopped, backed up, laughed out loud, and shot gravel all over me with his tires. In Maine, however, riding tights is the norm and red necks are rare.

Also, compare your bad day to this….A friend was riding on a nearby scenic highway by himself when a tree fell on him (no wind that day – just very bad luck) and broke his neck. It took him 6 months to recover.

Enjoy the spandex – it really is much more comfortable than anything else to ride in.
post #16 of 20
krp8128, I mostly MTB ride with a bunch of gnarly dudes who are 10-20 years younger than me. After months of taking the piss out of me they are all now wearing technical riding gear, including knicks. BTW, they may be faster downhill and I don't do the jumps they do, but I kick arse uphill.
post #17 of 20
we've only had one cool ride. Temps are still in the 70-80's here. This is nuts!
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
So to recap,

1. Friend ditches me. Late start to ride.
2. Pace sucks.
3. I looked like an idiot.
4. Hornets nest almost lands on me.
5. I get called out for looking like an idiot.
6. I get challenged by an older guy, he kicks my butt.
7. I drop the water bottle, and run it over.
8. Really hot girl notices.
8a. I didn't ask for her number

Next time, I'm sticking to just straight spandex. So what if everyone sees what I've got. At least if I drop the water again, she'll have something to look at.

I still did the 23.66 miles in 1.5 hours though.
Are you in Rochester or are you home riding? I am just curious where you can ride around there. I visit the area often and contemplate taking my bike but rarely do because I do not know where I could ride without driving first...
post #19 of 20
I have the Pearl izzumi booties. The toe always flips back when I mountain bike. I also have North Wave specific winter riding shoes. These are great, highly recommended. For the not so cold days, I wear gortex socks with wicking socks underneath, (sometimes ski socks), under my regular biking shoes. I have Heavy Pearl tights, and a lighter pair from Price point. Sometimes I wear another pair of biking shorts under the tights if it is really cold. I layer on top usually, a long sleeve Jersey, short sleeve wicking T-shirt and a In-Sport Gortex Jacket. Long finger gloves with a glove liner underneath, I also have the heavier pearl gloves (too bulky). I have a thin hat from smart wool and a thicker one from AE under my helment. I have a balaclava (sp?) from a hunting store. I will ride (MTB) in the snow also.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post
Are you in Rochester or are you home riding? I am just curious where you can ride around there. I visit the area often and contemplate taking my bike but rarely do because I do not know where I could ride without driving first...
I'm out here in Rochester. I commute to Skaneateles for work, so I get home about 5pm, which limits how much effort I am willing to put in to riding. During the week, I typically ride along the canal. It's about a .5 mile ride from my apartment (corner of South Winton and Jefferson, if you are familiar) to the trail. As far As I know, it is only paved from Pittsford to Greece. From here to Greece and back is 23.5 miles, long enough after work. This week I did this ride Sunday, Monday Tuesday, took a break Wednesday, and again last night. I spent the afternoon at a company BBQ, the sun and the beer wore me out, no ride tonight.

I've done two weekend rides out of Chili, a little more country out that way. I think this weekend I might head out to Letchworth. However, I'd really like to do something like a 50 mile ride.

I miss the roads back in Poland, living in the sticks, everything is fair game for a ride.
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