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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know it's not really that cold yet, but last night's ride at DC had me miserable. I don't have a lot of cold weather gear, but wore a loose long-sleeve breathable shirt, with a lined wind breaker. I was hot, cold, and wet all at the same time. What do you guys wear for winter night riding?. The cheaper the better, but I don't mind paying if the quality is good. There's some stuff on rei-outlet that looked pretty good.
The wind last night was in our faces the whole time, out and back. I'm thinking I need some type of breathable jacket. Also, do the tighter fit base layer shirts keep you warmer?

Thanks,
Ken
 

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Fragile - must be Italian
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Lightweight jacket

kendogg said:
I know it's not really that cold yet, but last night's ride at DC had me miserable. I don't have a lot of cold weather gear, but wore a loose long-sleeve breathable shirt, with a lined wind breaker. I was hot, cold, and wet all at the same time. What do you guys wear for winter night riding?. The cheaper the better, but I don't mind paying if the quality is good. There's some stuff on rei-outlet that looked pretty good.
The wind last night was in our faces the whole time, out and back. I'm thinking I need some type of breathable jacket. Also, do the tighter fit base layer shirts keep you warmer?

Thanks,
Ken
Yes, base layer shirts do keep you warmer. They fit snug and act as a second layer to whatever shirt you are wearing. I always wear them on fall-winter night rides (or early AM rides). Make sure you find base layers made of a synthetic material like polypropolene. And for God's sake...don't spend a lot of money on these. They are all basically the same thing. Go on-line to www.campmor.com and you will find lots available for less than $10. Or you can get a Body Armour for like $35 and throw your money away.

For chilly winter rides you want a high quality lightweight jacket. I bought mine at REI a few years ago and it's been a savior on many cold day and night rides. The jacket is just a shell, and it's windproof. It has pit vents, 2-way main zipper, cinch cord waist, and a hidden hood - just perfect if you need to bundle up when it gets really nippy but then need to open up the jacket to let it breathe when it gets warmer.

Look for cycling-specific jackets as they are longer in the rear and won't ride up, especially when wearing a pack.

Also look for jackets that are packable. My REI shell packs down very small, which is nice on those epic rides and I want to take it off later in the morning.

These jackets aren't cheap - you can spend upwards of $100 on them. But I've found plenty of deals on eBay (got my REI jacket for like $30).

The next item you want is a windvest. These are almost must-haves on any ride between November and February. Windvests keep the cold off your chest, which is what you need to "feel" warmer. They work perfectly with a longsleeve jersey (or short sleeve jersey + arm warmers). Look for a very packable windvest with a mesh back. This keeps the direct wind of your chest but keeps you from overheating.

Windvests are pretty cheap. I just got a Louis Garneau windvest for $29 online.

On nighttime fall and spring rides, I bring the best. For winter rides, I always bring a jacket, even if I start out in the warm sunshine. You never know how the weather is going to turn...and nothing is worse than getting cold on a night ride (which means you are only going to get colder as the night wears on!).

Thx...Doug
 

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a second on the base layer. when i put on that seeminly flimsy piece of fabric in addition to the jersey it gets noticeably warmer. i was a bit leery of the concept at first, but after my first ride with it i was sold.
 

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ride your bike
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kendogg said:
I know it's not really that cold yet, but last night's ride at DC had me miserable. I don't have a lot of cold weather gear, but wore a loose long-sleeve breathable shirt, with a lined wind breaker. I was hot, cold, and wet all at the same time. What do you guys wear for winter night riding?. The cheaper the better, but I don't mind paying if the quality is good. There's some stuff on rei-outlet that looked pretty good.
The wind last night was in our faces the whole time, out and back. I'm thinking I need some type of breathable jacket. Also, do the tighter fit base layer shirts keep you warmer?

Thanks,
Ken
If it's really windy having a wind blocking chest shield is the ticket....I think they're made from a gore-tex material.

I use a tighter micro-fleece base layer for winter riding and colder cx races, micro-fleece bib knickers or full length bibs, insulated gloves, windblocking skull cap, long sleeve wool jersey, wool socks, and a wind blocking shell. I also use neoprene booties over the shoes.

The micro-fleece (or polypro) stuff made by Under Armor is great stuff, but really spendy IMO. There is a company based in my hometown (American Wave Int'l) that makes nearly identical goods but the prices are a lot more attractive. It's all made in the USA too, if that matters to you. The long sleeve mock turtle microfleece shirts I wear are sized medium....and I usually wear an XL t-shirt. The next set I get will be size L....just saying you should probably get a size under what you normally wear. It's made to be skin tight.

http://www.americanwave.com/winter_gear.html
 

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Having one part of your body warm will hopefully allow blood to flow to that area, and "warm" the rest of the body...to some exent. I notice that with my decent blackbottoms pants that I don't really require much upper body insulation, and for most of my ride on sunday a short sleeve jersey with a long sleeve jersy over it was fine. I had a light pearl izumi windbreaker and used this when I did an extended downhill, but I took it off at the bottom.

The coverage of the jerseys is what made it all work, and the fact that I was moving at a good pace most of the time and generating a decent amount of body heat. My pants breathe extremely well, but they also insulate well too, so some of the blood flowing through my body was no doubt warmed up to some extent by my pants.

On the other hand, you have to watch some of the extremities like the feet because they loose heat like crazy, when you have a metal cleat a few mms beneath the sole of the foot, connected to a metal pedal, connected to a metal crankarm, etc. The conductivity of heat is pretty large here, and insulation from this will also prevent a huge amount of heat loss. The feet in general also need some insulation all around, just because it's usually more difficult to get a good volume of blood flowing through your feet. Your feet are a lot tougher than other parts of your body, but because of this there's not as much room to pass blood. As of right now, I use some gore-tex socks that go around my normal winter wool socks, but I could always use something better in this area. I'm thinking about some winter shoes for this winter. That's a real good investment if you constantly get cold. It's just too easy to feel like crap and cold because all the heat was sucked out from your feet. It happened in the army when we were standing or sitting in armored personel carriers, just a huge difference between standing on dirt and in one of those. That heat gets sucked right out and you feel like crap overall and cold.

My ride on sunday was probably at or below freezing most of the time, especially in the shade at 7000'.

It usually has to be significantly below freezing before I need a face mask, and it also has to be blowing pretty hard before I'll go for the windbreaker.

It's also very relative to how much heat you produce when riding, and someone who is not pushing very hard will not make as much, so you'll also see some wide variances between people in this regard, no real rules you can use here. I've seen people jogging fully covered up with caps and gloves, when I've been out running in shorts and a T-shirt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks!

I'll probably hit Target or wallyworld for some base layer stuff, and check out superformancego for a vest. I checked the lbs by my casa, and they didn't have sheet.

Ken
 

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