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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I did part of the Vapor Trail race last year. I bombed due to sickness/breathing issues, but that isn't the point of this post.

What I want to know is...how do people dress effectively for the possible wildly variable temperature/weather conditions for an event like this? I brought too much crap and changed clothes too many times. Mostly, my upper body layers were the issue. I switched between short/long sleeve jerseys, rain jacket, insulated jacket, etc. There has to be a better setup. What has worked for you?

Thanks,
baker
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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dialed

I felt like I got it just right last year. I started with lightweight leg warmers, a short sleeve jersey, windstopper arm warmers and 50 degree fall gloves. I rolled the arm warmers down on the co trail. At the first aid, I threw on a windvest smartwool cap and toe covers. That was good until the top of canyon creek. At canyon creek I added a thick LS jersey, windstopper skull cap (over the smartwool) warm overgloves, and a wind jacket. That got me to old monarch. There I dropped to top two layers. At the drop I dumped the heavy stuff and my pack and just kept my warmers and vest in a jersey pocket.

Myy vest and windjacket will both fit into one small jersey pocket, so the only item of clothing in my small camelback was the LS jersey during the first bit. (With the cap, overgloves, and toe covers)

My first year, I brough too much and wasted tons of time changing clothes...taking the pack off...etc. my second year was tough with the rain and snow....last year things were just right.

I like lots of layers that are versatile and can be adjusted quickly.
 

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Biggest factor to this is how each individual person handles cold/rainy weather riding. For me, I grew up riding in cold temps while riding/training in Iowa in the winter. I feel I tend to run warm blooded compared to others.

For example, last year in the Vapor Trail 125 I wore the following through the night....
1. Helmet (no skull cap or other layer)
2. Craft short sleeve base layer
3. Team Issue SS jersey
4. Team Issue LS jersey
5. Team Issue wind vest
6. Ergon long finger gloves (summer weight gloves)
7. Team Issue bib shorts
8. Pearl Izumi knee warmers
9. Swiftwick wool socks.
10. Northwave mtb shoes (no booties or shoe/toe covers)
11. Adidas glasses with clear lenses

I carried, but never wore....
1. Buff skull cap
2. Endura Strike gloves

With the weather good last year....I raced light and with no pack. If there weather would have looked a bit more sketchy, I likely would have carried a pack filled with some other clothing items.

used2Bhard's quote is spot on....."I like lots of layers that are versatile and can be adjusted quickly."
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Good info. I remember rolling out from the airport with you, Jeff, and thinking, "Wow, I have way too much stuff. Look at all these other people's tiny (or non-existent) packs."

I'm fairly resilient to cold temps, but I think I packed with failure in mind. In other words, I carried a bunch of just in case stuff. Which, due to my abnormally slow pace, actually came in handy. Still, I know I need to do a better job in the future. I'll try the multi-layering approach some this winter/spring and see if I can figure it out.

One thing absent from your lists that sorta surprises me: rain gear. In case of rain, I guess you just assume you'll keep warm by moving? Would a waterproof breathable shell just soak you from the inside?

Thanks.
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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baker said:
Good info. I remember rolling out from the airport with you, Jeff, and thinking, "Wow, I have way too much stuff. Look at all these other people's tiny packs."

I'm fairly resilient to cold temps, but I think I packed with failure in mind. In other words, I carried a bunch of just in case stuff. Which, due to my abnormally slow pace, actually came in handy. Still, I know I need to do a better job in the future. I'll try the multi-layering approach some this winter/spring and see if I can figure it out.

One thing absent from your lists that sorta surprises me: rain gear. In case of rain, I guess you just assume you'll keep warm by moving? Would a waterproof breathable shell just soak you from the inside?

Thanks.
It's funny how if you bring clothing, water, and food for x hours...it will take you x hours! Last year, I went light and quick. I only carried my pack at night, and went with jersey pockets the next day. My pack had that jersey, a couple of small pieces, some endurox powder, 1 or 2 liters of water depending on the section, a small first aid kit, and a couple of big airs. Running lighter cut hours off of my time IMO.

The forecast called for no rain last year. I also knew if a brief shower popped up, the combo of my mostly waterproof windjacket and mostly waterproof vest, would be more-mostly waterproof.

The year before I was wearing a rain jacket for quite a while, and brought it instead of a wind shell. It was unbearably hot on that first climb and on the CO trail. The temp was in the 30's and anything more than a LS jersey and vest was too hot. I did whip out all kinds of gear for the descent off of Tomichi (we didn't do canyon creek in 09 because of the rain and snow. I had rain pants, rain coat, a thick softshell, full booties, extra socks, waterproof gloves...they were all welcome as the temp was 20 with full humidity.
 

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Winds jackets I think are the key. I have the Pactimo Thermal Jacket and I ride in it all winter long. I can effectively make it work from 15F to 60F. At 60F I unzip, and roll up sleeves. I usually go into VT125 with the mindset that my feet will freeze at some point and to just not care because they will thaw eventually. But I did have knee warmers and leg warmers and thin gloves plus my trusty Craft Lobsters.

The thermal jacket helped me when I fell into the creek sometime in the early AM, but it did soak my thin gloves. A little later up on the climb to Tomichi I put on the leg warmers and removed the knee warmers.

The cool thing about the Pactimo jacket is the big rear pocket - I could keep gloves and warmers in there and ran my usual bottles plus just a tad bit of food. The thing that surprises most folks about VT125 is the aid stations - nothing like you see in a mountain bike race - more stocked like a road century or double.

If anything - get a jacket that blocks an arctic blast, but is useful enough to not be a burden at the start. If you've been riding this winter, you pretty much know how to pack for VT in the worst of conditions.....Ala 2009. That year I ran my Shower's Pass jacket over long sleeve jersey and neoprene gloves, booties, and Goretex pants. Probably the warmest and most comfortable I've ever been at VT. You should be able to make the Elite 2.0 work like a thermal jacket if you wear warmers underneath. It unzips even better than the Pactimo jacket and hase huge vent zippers. It just lacks the insulation qualities - but has the water and wind block elements.
 

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baker said:
Good info. I remember rolling out from the airport with you, Jeff, and thinking, "Wow, I have way too much stuff. Look at all these other people's tiny (or non-existent) packs."

I'm fairly resilient to cold temps, but I think I packed with failure in mind. In other words, I carried a bunch of just in case stuff. Which, due to my abnormally slow pace, actually came in handy. Still, I know I need to do a better job in the future. I'll try the multi-layering approach some this winter/spring and see if I can figure it out.

One thing absent from your lists that sorta surprises me: rain gear. In case of rain, I guess you just assume you'll keep warm by moving? Would a waterproof breathable shell just soak you from the inside?

Thanks.
Waterproof rain jackets are usually too warm. The key is still layers. Note that Jeff had a base layer, jersey (or two) and the wind shell. I usually find that to be enough in rain down to about 40 degrees, though I prefer wool to synthetics.
A light wool base layer, long sleeve if generally cold, short sleeve wool jersey, light wool arm warmers, and a wind vest will get me through most anything into the 30s, wet or dry,

A pair of bib knickers takes care of the bottom.

Always nice to carry spare gloves.
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the advice. After reading it and thinking about it some more, one thing that killed me was not having versatile clothing which worked across a wide range of temps. I stopped too many times to change clothes en masse, rather than just unzip or peel a single layer to manage body temperature.

I think a good base layer, along with additional layers which provide warmth and wind protection, while still allowing some control of temperature (zippers/vents/hi tech fabric) sounds like the way to go.

Also, having too much stuff meant that I had to dig around my pack in the dark, looking for the correct piece of clothing to change into.

Lots for me to learn.
 

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Wool. 'nuff said.

For no chance of rain: Short sleeve warm wool jersey, arm warmers, knee warmers, tall wool socks, two pairs of gloves, wind breaker, and shorts of course.

If you get cold, pedal faster, and if you're feet go numb, get off and run. ;)

For VT125, pack a complete change of clothes for the top of Monarch. Dump everything warm, take only what you need for the second half.
 

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baker said:
Thanks for all the advice. After reading it and thinking about it some more, one thing that killed me was not having versatile clothing which worked across a wide range of temps. I stopped too many times to change clothes en masse, rather than just unzip or peel a single layer to manage body temperature.

I think a good base layer, along with additional layers which provide warmth and wind protection, while still allowing some control of temperature (zippers/vents/hi tech fabric) sounds like the way to go.

Also, having too much stuff meant that I had to dig around my pack in the dark, looking for the correct piece of clothing to change into.

Lots for me to learn.
That is one of the reasons I love wool. It has an incredibly wide temperature range and does it even when wet.

I wear the same thin base layer and SS jersey on a damp 45degree day in Oregon (plus arm warmers) as I do on a 100 degree day in Utah. Comfortable on both rides, even when I stop.
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
shiggy said:
That is one of the reasons I love wool. It has an incredibly wide temperature range and does it even when wet.

I wear the same thin base layer and SS jersey on a damp 45degree day in Oregon (plus arm warmers) as I do on a 100 degree day in Utah. Comfortable on both rides, even when I stop.
Shiggy, do you use a sleeveless or short sleeve base layer?
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
SlackerEszter said:
Wool. 'nuff said.
Don't know why I spaced out on trying wool for riding layers. I use if effectively for climbing and backpacking. And, I've used it for a long sleeve jersey. Just never crossed my mind to use it all around. I'll have to give it a shot.

SlackerEszter said:
If you get cold, pedal faster
I had some issues with the pedal faster bit last year, but in general, that's good advice.

SlackerEszter said:
For VT125, pack a complete change of clothes for the top of Monarch. Dump everything warm, take only what you need for the second half.
I'll definitely plan on this for my next attempt.

Thanks!
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I ponied up for some new gear and will figure out what works for me.

Craft ProZero Sleeveless Top
Ibex Woolies Short Sleeve Crew
Smartwool Hinman Jersy
Sugoi Helium Bike Vest
Craft Performance Stretch Jacket

I already have merino wool arm warmers, a couple different knee warmers, short tights, long tights, a couple merino wool long sleeve jerseys, and some ultralight rain gear.

Some combo of all this junk should work out.

The idea of long wool socks is something I hadn't ever considered. Might have to try that.

Thanks!
 
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