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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
since i just started mtb'ing last month and have had a blast so far, i'd like to keeping riding for as much of the winter as possible. i live in North Georgia, so i think it would be reasonable to keep riding for a good portion of the winter. i can't afford to build a whole "winter wardrobe" for winter riding, and the fleece pullovers and sweatshirts i've been wearing are miserable when they get wet and tend to snag on branches a lot. so my question is ... if you were on a budget, what would be the first cold weather pieces you would buy? and what are some key pieces that i need to stay comfortable in 35 - 40 degree weather? also, any brand names you could recommend w/ regard to price vs. quality would be appreciated.
thanks
~Brian
 

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Windproof glove liners let you ride with any glove over them, or on their own if it's not too cold out. Then some long johns for your legs Both are about $20. If you ride when it's really cold out, a balaclava (SP?) helps keep your face and head warm too.
 

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Key of winter riding is a) stay warm and b) not to sweat. You need to layer your clothes so you can adjust to temperature changes during the ride. You can get fairly good but cheap clothes from Performance.
 

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It looks a little pricey but it might be worth it if it really wicks the moisture. I think for the layer next to the skin Polartec underwear is better than polypro. In fact I like Polartec or something similar in a loose bike jersey. If you use polartec for an outer layer make sure you get windproof Polartec.

The best pieces of clothing I have had have been a windproof gore jacket, windproof gore gloves, polartec underwear, loose fitting polyester jersey-like polartec. windproof polartec pants. Whatever it is make sure its windproof if its an outer layer. Performance like Carl mentioned is a good source for clothes. REI has a nice selection of active outdoor winter wear.
 

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biggsmoothe said:
.....and the fleece pullovers and sweatshirts i've been wearing are miserable when they get wet and tend to snag on branches a lot. so my question is ... if you were on a budget, what would be the first cold weather pieces you would buy?
If any of those sweatshirts are cotton I would put those back in the closet. You don't need cotton on your winter rides.

Depending on how big your budget is...the first couple of things I would get are....

1) Windproof/water resistant shell jacket. Put that over your fleece.
2) Either earwarmers or a skull cap.
3) Tights
4) Full finger gloves
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks man! that's what i was looking for. any suggestions on a good outer shell? pref. less than $100.
 

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I work parttime for REI, so I'm always hawking the stuff we carry.

This is similar to the one I currently use over a fleece jersey or jacket...
http://www.rei.com/product/47914343.htm
...except the one I have is less burlier, but still offers good protection. The last time I rode with it was on Thanksgiving when it was only in the 20s and it was a wet cold. I had on a snug fitting 100 weight fleece jacket underneath and I was getting pretty warm so I had to undo my pitzips and unzip the jacket to my belly.

There are a number of other jackets in there that would fit in your price range. You'll just have to decide for yourself when it comes to fit and features.

And other stores such as Performance or Sierra Trading Post or your local bike shop will/should have a decent selection of winter riding apparel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
nice. there's an REI about 30 mins from me. i'll check them out this weekend. thanks.
 

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Just to add to the list:
Skull cap is a must. I use the Headsweats midcap from Performance.
Thermal tights. These can go under shorts for cool days or under pants for colder days.
Windproof jacket. REI has a good selection, but I saw a windproof TREK jacket for $40 at my LBS.
Wicking thermal base layer shirt. NO COTTON. Dicks has a good selection and they are not too expensive.
Winter gloves. I have not seen a good set of winter biking gloves yet. Make sure you can stretch your finger out to reach the brakes. I found out the hard way with my first set.

I need another layer between my windproof jacket and my thermal shirt. By itself the thermal shirt isn't warm enough and the jacket only blocks the wind, not the cold. I have tried a long sleeve cotton shirt here but it sucks up sweat and get COLD if direct wind hits it.
Wool socks. I use a heavy wool sock with a winter bike sock on top of that. I just recently ordered a pair of Smart wool socks.
 

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Breathability is key..

biggsmoothe said:
since i just started mtb'ing last month and have had a blast so far, i'd like to keeping riding for as much of the winter as possible. i live in North Georgia, so i think it would be reasonable to keep riding for a good portion of the winter. i can't afford to build a whole "winter wardrobe" for winter riding, and the fleece pullovers and sweatshirts i've been wearing are miserable when they get wet and tend to snag on branches a lot. so my question is ... if you were on a budget, what would be the first cold weather pieces you would buy? and what are some key pieces that i need to stay comfortable in 35 - 40 degree weather? also, any brand names you could recommend w/ regard to price vs. quality would be appreciated.
thanks
~Brian
The temps you are riding in aren't terriblely cold to start with. Some tights over regular bike shorts works well. I wear a thin ls jersey and sometimes a ss jersey with it. I have an older REI cycling jacket which has a insulating layer plus a windstop layer on the front panels and the front of the arms. This is perfect. Some tights have a windfront also but tend to be too hot unless it is below freezing. For the temps you are riding in you may get along with regular full finger mtb gloves. If not some windblock fleece gloves work well plus you can add a thin liner inside if necessary. A thin skull cap should be all you need under your helmet. If your feet get cold some chemical toe warmer (sticky type) on top of the toes works well. IF you need more ideas try the "Alaska forum".

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
keetowah said:
Northern GA is where I go in the winter to ride where its warm ;)
lol. :p hey, it was below 30 when i got up this morning. that's pretty chilly for these parts. ;)
 

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biggsmoothe said:
lol. :p hey, it was below 30 when i got up this morning. that's pretty chilly for these parts. ;)
Yea I was just being a smart a$$, I'm in Indiana and it has been in the 20's all week which is actually pretty cold for here. If it gets below 25ish then I usually opt for indoor riding, unless I can get on a nicely protected trail with no wind. Don't forget to put a little Gatorade in your bottles and pack to keep them from freezing up.
 
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